The densely populated cities like Mumbai and Pune are continually clamoring with energy – something that can lead to mental and physical fatigue very rapidly. A weekend break can help to recharge batteries and set you back in the game. The best part is that you don’t need to travel far as there are numerous tourist spots near to these cities. One such option can be visiting Lohagad fort trek.
Lohagad Fort walls
Also known as the Iron Fort, Lohagad fort is one of the many hill forts of Maharashtra standing at an elevation of approx. 1033 meter above sea level. The great Indian Warrior King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj used this fort to keep his treasury.
Lohagadwadi base village as seen on Lohagad Fort trek
Lohagad Fort trek is a standout amongst the most prevalent trek points near Pune/Mumbai followed by Sinhagad, Rajmachi, Torna, Tikona, Rajgad and many more. Unlike other forts, it has stone steps leading right to the top of the fort which makes it easy even for a novice climber. Out of the numerous forts located in the region, I would rate this as one of the most effortless and secure forts to climb.
Sunrise view from Lohagad Fort trek near Pune Mumbai
How to reach Lohagad Fort from Pune/ Mumbai
Lohagad Fort is located around 100 kms from Mumbai and 60 kms from Pune. The cheapest and convenient way to reach the fort is via railways. The nearest railhead to Lohagad Fort is Malavli station (approx. 6 kms) which is connected to Mumbai and Pune via local trains. From Malavli station, the base of the fort “Lohagadwadi” is about an hour walk. For train bookings visit IRCTC.
What I would suggest is to rent a bike from Pune/Mumbai (around 300 INR/per day). The road trip would add more fun to your entire journey.
My journey to Lohagad Fort trek from Pune
I began for Lohagad from Pune around 4:00 AM. You might be wondering why I started so early? I had been to Lohagad fort twice before this visit but couldn’t experience the sunrise from the fort. From last few weeks, the sunrise and the sunset view have been absolutely magical. I wanted to experience the same from the top of Lohagad fort.
Sunrise view from top of Lohagad Fort near Pune Mumbai
There are mainly 2 routes to reach Lohagad – Mumbai Pune old Highway and the village route (Paud – Hadasi – Tikona). As I started a bit early, I took the highway route as they are considerably more secure. On reaching Kamshet, check Gmaps or ask a local the route of Pawna lake. Lohagad base village “Lohagadwadi” is in the close-by area to Pawna lake.
Pawna Dam on route to Lohagad Fort trek
It takes around 1.5 hours to reach the base of Lohagad from Pune. If you want to avoid the trouble of asking people the exact point where the steps start for the top, just type in Loahgarh Car parking in Gmaps. To reach the top, one needs to climb around 500 steps. It can take something close to 25 minutes to 50 minutes’ contingent upon an individual’s fitness level.
Monkey as seen on Lohagad Fort trek near Pune Mumbai
Amid the climb, you will be honored with some extraordinary views of the beautiful Pawna lake and the close-by Visapur Fort. The steps lead right up to the main entrance of the fort – the Ganesh Darwaja which is opened only from 7 AM to 5 PM. Sunrise was expected to be at 7:05 AM so I was desperate to reach the top before that. With a bit of request to the guard, he opened the fort gate 15 minutes early from the designated time.
Amazing sunrise at Lohagad Fort near Pune Mumbai
The sunrise view from the top was absolutely majestic and all my endeavors to reach the fort early were justified. The fort is enormous but there is nothing much to see on the top except the encompassing area and the famous Vinchukata – a long and narrow wall-like fortification which resembles a scorpion’s tail. Apart from this, there are few temples and small ponds at the top.
Mahadev Temple at Lohagad Fort near Pune Mumbai
Previously when I visited the Lohagad fort trek in monsoon season, the experience was totally different. It was extremely windy at the top and visibility was almost zero. This visit was more about experiencing the sunrise from the top and gazing at the nearby surroundings.
Scorpion trail at Lohagad Fort near Pune Mumbai
Food and stay options at Lohagad Fort
Generally, no one stays overnight due to lack of proper accommodation options. Also, the fort can be visited on a day trip from Pune/Mumbai. But if you are planning to stay, there is a village at the base where you will find a few budget options.
There are not much food options on the way to top. But yes you can find eating joints at the base of the fort where the locals serve the Maharashtrian food.
Pawna Dam view from Lohagad Fort trek
On your visit to Lohagad Fort, you could explore the nearby Visapur Fort, Tikona Fort, Pawna Dam, Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, and Bedse Caves.
The tent that I carry during the treks is Quechua Arpenaz 2 Tent. It has enough space for 2 people.
Do follow me on Instagram as I am regularly posting travel posts and stories over there. Also, you can message me on Instagram if you want to join me on my next trip.
Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my post on What’s in my Backpack.
Looking for more weekend gateway options near Pune and Mumbai? Check out these blog posts:
- A cycle trip to Lavasa city from Pune (INR 100)
- Andharban jungle and Devkund Waterfall Trek – Time to get lost in the dense forest
- Satara – A road trip to the Maharashtra’s Valley of Flowers from Pune (INR 800)
- Tikona Fort Trek and Pawna Lake – One day trip near Pune (INR 250)
- A two-day trip to Torna Fort and Madhe Ghat Waterfall(INR 400)
- Matheran – Asia’s only automobile free hill station
- Daman – A Glimpse of Portugal Heritage
- A road trip to Harihareshwar, Shrivardhan and Diveagar Beach from Pune (INR 1200)
- Kalsubai Peak – Trek to the highest peak of Maharashtra (INR 600)
- Korigad Fort Trek – Exciting one day trek near Pune Mumbai (INR 300)
- Bendewadi, Laalwadi and Jagtap waterfalls – Go get lost in the land of waterfalls!! (INR 300)
- Visapur Fort Trek – Thrilling one day trek near Pune Mumbai (INR 200)
- Rajmachi Fort Trek, adventurous one day trip near Mumbai and Pune (INR 350)
- 12-hours monsoon road trip exploring Tamhini Ghat (INR 300)
- An exciting road trip to Purandar Fort from Pune (INR 300)
- Tung Fort Trek – A journey through the clouds (INR 250)
- Garbett Point Trek – An exciting one day trek near Mumbai (INR 350)
Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post. To get regular updates on upcoming budget blog posts from On a Cheap Trip, please subscribe by entering your name and E-mail address in the Newsletter below. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest as well as on Twitter.
Wish you a wonderful new year! Keep traveling!