At a distance of 11 km from Lonavala, 66 km from Pune & 114 km from Mumbai, the Lohagad Fort (Iron Fort) is a historical fort situated along the Sahyadri hills in Lonavala region of Maharashtra. It is one of the best tourist places to visit in Lonavala and also one of the popular historical places in Maharashtra that can be visited as part of Lonavala tour packages. Perched atop a hillock at an altitude of 1050 m, the fort separates the Indrayani basin from the Pawna basin. It is also among the popular trekking places to visit near Pune & Mumbai.
The trek to the fort is an easy one and perfect for the first-timers, making it a favourite haunt of hiking enthusiasts. In addition to its thrilling trek route, Lohagad Fort in itself is a massive structure that was once under the control of the mighty Maratha Empire and is connected to its twin Visapur Fort as well. Until a few years back, the base of the fort was quite far from the last point connected via road, but now a proper road has been built to the base of the fort, due to which a lot of people visit Lohagad during monsoon weekends, making it quite crowded. Whether you visit this destination for its lush green beauty, adventurous trekking route, panoramic views or illustrious history, Lohagad Fort is certainly worthy of a visit. The hill fort is designed in the shape of tail of a scorpion. The fort can be reached from any of its four entrances, namely Maha Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja, Hanuman Darwaja and Narayan Darwaja. Exquisite sculpting can be seen on the Maha Darwaja and there is a small cave at the third gate which was initially used for storage of food material. All the four gates of the fort are still intact.
Lohagad makes an ideal trekking destination for trekkers from Pune and Mumbai because of its accessibility, ease of trek and lush green surroundings. Lohagad trek is very popular especially during monsoons. Malavli is the base of the trek, which is around 7 km from Lohagad. It is a simple, very scenic and pleasant trek and the distance from Malavli and Lohagad can be covered in two hours. This fort offers aerial views of Karla, Bhaja caves and Pawna Lake. The highlight of Lohagad fort trek is the ‘Vinchu Kata’ fortification resembling a scorpion’s tail. This structure situated outside of the main section of the fort and requires an additional 15-20 minutes of walking to reach the edge. The durgah is another major landmark within Lohagad which is located near Maha Darwaja.