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Walking an off beaten path


"And we finally reached the entry of the fort, the weather was a bliss, the trail was small but beautiful, it was drizzling throughout the way, the wind almost made me fall (disadvantages of being skinny) the view of the village was blur because of the dense fog and barely I could see the bottom. The guard at the entry of the fort offered Gud (Sweet) to everyone who took out their precious time to visit this fort not visited by people frequently. The carvings on the door were very old, from the time of Maharaja Shivaji as we climbed up the stairs to reach the top."



Vichitragad Fort is located in a village named Bajarwadi, near Bhor – a village at a distance of around 70 km from Pune. Also known as Rohida fort, it was built during the reign of Yadavas. Post 665 this fort became Shivaji Maharaja’s Swarajya. It was conqured by the Mughals in 666 but could not hold this for long, as Maharaja Shivaji captured it again in June 670. Being at such a short distance from the city, not many people are aware of this beautiful trek. Starting the journey at around 6:00 am, we reached Bhor at 8:30 am where we had tea and breakfast to get energized for the trek. We reached Bajarwadi, the school at Bajarwadi which is the base of the fort and started climbing by 9:30 As the hike started, the fort was not visible, all we could see was clouds all over on the top of the hill. As we ascended towards the fort it started drizzling and it made all of us more excited to reach the top. The trail was a simple one not much steep, however the views along the way were awesome, we could see the whole of Bajarwadi village from the half way itself. Before reaching the top there were few instances where either you can follow the trail or climb the rocks to reach the entrance of the fort. After climbing few rocks we ended up in front of the entrance where there was a guard who greeted us and gave away his blessings before we climbed to the top of the fort.



The size of the fort was not very large, it was a small fort, most of the buildings were in ruins, there was a Shiv temple in the center surrounded by some ponds and vegetation. The view points of the fort were fantastic and gave beautiful views of the villages around the fort, each more scenic than the previous one. After exploring each and every section of the fort, we stopped at the temple to have our lunch after which we decided to leave. The journey to the bottom did not take much time and energy, all of us reached the bottom easily without any difficulty. The experience of Vichitragad fort trek was as unique as the name suggests, the fort was historic, the weather was amazing, the trek was not so tiring, and the views were outstanding. Shayadri keeps on surprising me in how so ever ways possible. One falls in love with this place and the surroundings around. The trek may not be suitable for experienced trekkers, but for amateurs this is the best to start with.



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