Monday, November 3, 2008

Fort Torna

Fort Torna
Fort Type: Hill Fort
Fort Height: 4606 Ft (from Sea-level)
District: Pune
Base Village: Velhe
Time to reach from Base Village: 2.5 Hours
Grade: Medium to Tough
Fort Description:
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured this fort when he was only 17 years old. It was his first expedition towards establishing the "Hindawi Swarajya".
The history about who build this fort and when it was build is unknown till date. The structures like caves and sculptures indicate that the fort was existing way before the 13th Century. Malik Ahmed, who was a BAHAMANI RULER, captured this fort during 1470 to 1486. The fort then was ruled by Nizamshah. It was year 1646, the fort was conquered by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as the first stepping stone to establish his kingdom. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj remaned this fort as "Prachandagad".
While renovating the fort, the workers found 3 vassels filled with gold coins. These workers gave all these vessels to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The wealth found here was used to construct the Fort Rajgad.
During the famous "Purandar Treaty", Fort Torna remained with Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. After the great escape from Agra, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj came here before he went to his capital "Fort Rajgad".
After the death of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and assassination of Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, Aurangazeb won this fort in the year 1704. However he could not hold-on to this fort for a long time as in 1708 Sarnaubat Nagoji Kokate captured this fort.
Must See:
1. Toranjai Devi (Goddess Toranjai)
This is a small temple of Goddess Toranjai. Even today, people from base village visits the temple worships the Goddess. We can see lake Toran and lake Mhasoba can be seen from here.
2. Budhla Machi
In the Marathi language "Budhla" means Vessel. There is a large rock located on this part of the fort. This rock looks like a large vessel kept upside down and hence the name "Budhla Machi" is given to this part of the fort.
3. Bini Darwaja / Pune Darwaja
In Marathi Language "Darwaja" means GATE/Entrance. The route from the base village Velhe, leads us to this entrance.
4. Kothi Darwaja
After passing through the Bini Darwaja, we enters in the Kothi Darwaja. We can see some rooms created for the Guards. After we enter through this entrance, we enters the fort, taking the left side of the fort, we comes across the Hanuman Buruj. Going ahead of the Hanuman Buruj, we come to the point from where we can see the amzing structure of Zunzar Machi.
5. Zunzar Machi
This is spot when look from top, looks like a RIFEL. The way to go on this machi is very difficult. There is a "CHOR-DARWAJA" on this machi. This door was used to escape from the fort in case of emergency. Even today this door is present, but the escape from here is almost equal to escape from life.
6. Mengai Devi (Goddess Mengai)
This is a temple of Goddess Mengai. The Goddess is worshiped by the people from village located at the base of the fort. The temple has two doors and approximately 15 people can get accomodated in this temple.
7. Various doors on the fort
a. Bini Darwaja / Pune Darwaja
b. Kothi Darwaja
c. Kokan Darwaja
d. Chinla Darwaja
e. Bhagat Darwaja
f. Wankajai Darwaja
g. Chitta Darwaja
How to reach here?
After reading through all this, you may ask, all is good but how can I go there? Here is your answer:
All the references here are given from PUNE as base location.
1. By State Transport (S.T.)
If you plan to visit Fort Torna by ST, you have to go to Swargate S.T. Stand to catch a bus to Velha. Please contact Swargate S.T. stand to get the most up-to-date time-table. As per knowledge, there is a bus at 6:00AM from Swargate to Velha. The Bus will take you to the base village "Velha". Here you can take breakfast in the near by hotel and start your journey to the top of the Fort.
The Bus usually takes 2 hours to reach to the base village.
2. By own vehicle
If you plan to visit this fort with your vehicle, you have to take the Pune-Satara road. On Pune Satara Road, you will come to a diversion on the right hand side. This diversion is known as "NASRAPUR PHATA" This diversion will take you to NASRAPUR village. Keep going on this road till you reach to Velhe Village. Directions and information sigb boards are available along-the road. You can park your vehicle in the base village and visit the fort. Usually it takes 1.5 hours to reach to the base village if you are taking your vehicle.
One can reach Fort Torna from Fort Rajgad as well.
From Sanjeevani Machi of Fort Rajgad, one can start the walking journey of 5-6 hours towards Fort Torna. The route passes through dense forest. There are couple of cottages along the route where you can rest a while. The route takes you to Budhla Machi of Fort Torna.
Food and Drinking Water
There is no food available on the fort. You have to take food with you.
Drinking water, during the rainy season, the water-fall provides ample water, but it is recommended that you carry ample water with you in any season.
15-20 people can be accomodated in Mengai Devi Temple.

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