People generally ask me to suggest weekend gateways near Pune. On suggesting few fort treks, what I generally hear in response is that they already have been to some another fort. It has become a mindset that almost all forts are same, so is it really worth visiting a new fort?
Lush green surroundings near Tikona Fort
I have visited more than 25 forts in Maharashtra, and on each visit, I felt that there was something different about each fort. Yes, I agree the structure at the top might not be so delightful and different from the others, but what about the trail which takes you to the top.
Lake on the way to Tikona Fort Trek base from Pune
Monsoon season for this year is just on verge of finishing, so it’s the best time to enjoy the real beauty of nature from top of a fort. One of the nearest fort options from Pune is Tikona Fort, also known as Vitandgad. Tikona fort is a triangular shaped mountain fort which offers breathtaking views of the entire region including the forts of Lohagad, Tung, Visapur and Pawna Lake.
Scenic route on way to Tikona Fort trek base village
On the same day trip, you can enjoy the numerous waterfalls near Pawna Lake; a dam located just a few kms from the base of the fort. Pawna lake camping is another great option.
Beautiful Pawna Lake
How to Reach Tikona fort and Pawna Dam
Tikona Fort is located around 120 kms from Mumbai and 50 kms from Pune. From Mumbai, you can catch a Pune bound train and get down at Lonavala. From Lonavala, either take a local train or bus and alight at Kamshet. If coming from Pune, catch a local train going toward Lonavala and get down at Kamshet. For train bookings check IRCTC.
At Kamshet inquire for a bus going towards Tikona Peth. Frequency is around 1 bus per hour. Once you are at Tikona Peth, ask the locals for the Tikona trek route. The hiking trail is around two kilometers away from Tikona Peth village.
Note: I would suggest you rent a bike from Pune (around 300 INR/per day) to explore these two places.
Difficulty level of Tikona Fort Trek
I would rate this as an easy trek and would highly recommend it to beginners. The trail is clearly marked and it generally takes around one hour to reach the top. Also, there are many shelters all along the trail, which helps to catch your breath. If you are doing the trek in monsoon, just be extra cautious as the route becomes little slippery.
Tikona Fort Trek
My journey to Tikona Fort
I along with my few friends started for Tikona Fort from Pune around 9:00 AM. There are mainly 3 routes to reach Tikona, we took the village route (Paud – Kolvan – Javan – Tikona Peth). On the way we were blessed with nature’s beauty; lush green valleys, breathtaking landscapes, numerous waterfalls and beautiful lakes all along the way.
Note: Try avoiding the village route on the return journey, as there are few streetlights all the way.
Amazing landscape view from Tikona Fort
It took us around 1 ½ hours to reach the base of the fort. There is a pay parking available at the base of the fort. You can have some refreshments at nearby eating joints, before you start with the trek, as you won’t find much-eating options at the top.
Tikona Fort Trek
The initial part of the trail is muddy with the small steep ascent. After 20 -25 minutes of trekking, you reach a small cave. From here the terrain is mostly flat, till you reach the steps. The steps are quite slippery in the monsoons. Also, each step is much bigger than a regular step and broken at many places, so be extra cautious. The step leads you to the fort entrance gate.
Beautiful Pawna lake with Tung fort in the background
During the whole trek, you will be blessed with breathtaking views of the lush green surrounding areas.
Tikona Fort Trek
Places to see at Tikona Fort
To be very frank, there is nothing much to see on the fort except few walls, gates, a temple and a small tank. But the view of the surrounding areas is simply amazing. You get to see the beautiful Pawna lake with Tung fort in the background. Also, one can see Lohagad and Visapur Fort from the top. Just experience the gush of the wind hitting your face!!!
Small tank at Tikona Fort
Stay options at Tikona Fort
Generally, no one stays overnight due to lack of proper accommodation options. But if you are planning to stay, there is a cave where you can take shelter. Setting up tents would be difficult due to high-speed winds, which prevail almost for the entire day.
Views from Tikona Fort top
The tent that I carry during the treks is Quechua Arpenaz 2 Tent. It has enough space for 2 people.
The local villagers also make arrangements for food and stay at a reasonable cost. But remember to carry enough water and eatables, in case you don’t find any locals at night.
Cave where you can take a shelter
Explore the nearby Pawna Lake
You might be wondering what else to do, as you would probably be back to base by afternoon. What I would suggest is to explore the beautiful Pawna Lake and nearby surrounding waterfalls. There is big waterfall near to Pawna Lake. If you visiting the place after the monsoon, there are lot of options for Pawna Lake camping.
Waterfall near Pawna Dam
You can trek all the way up to the top of the mountain from where the waterfall starts. There is also a small pond on the top. Taking a bath in the waterfall and pond would be really a great experience. Be extra cautious while trekking on the mountain, as it becomes quite slippery in the monsoons.
View of Pawna Lake from the mountain
On just a day trip, you get to experience so much; lush green valleys, numerous waterfalls, mountains, fort, lake and the breathtaking landscapes. So isn’t that enough to inspire you to have a visit at least once??
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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? 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)
- Rajmachi Fort Trek, adventurous one day trip near Mumbai and Pune (INR 350)
- 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)
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