Koregad (also known as Korigad, Koarigad, Kumwarigad) is a hill fort located at a distance of around 20 kms from Lonavala. Perched atop an isolated hill away from the din and chaos of the city, the fort spells magnificent and grandeur in all its form. Tucked away at a desolate distance from the main township, the place boasts of panoramic vistas of the adjacent meadows, verdant green woods, sweeping views of the adjoining hills and an all around environment of serenity, solitude and ataraxy. Built at a height of 923 metres above the sea level, the fort is believed to have been built in the 1500 BC and is the only one of its kind in the town. The nearest village to the fort is Peth Shahpur located at a distance of about 1 km from the castle. The top of the hill offers a splendid view of the valley below and the nearby running streams. Koregad is frequented by tourists, backpackers, adventure enthusiasts and is a common favourite among localites.
History of Koregad Fort
The fort is believed to have been built in 1657 by the Maratha warrior Shivaji Maharaj alongwith the forts of Lohagad, Tung, Tikona and Visapur. In 1818, Colonel Prother tried to capture the fort but could not make his way through it. Although the sturdy structure of the walls was shaken defending the fort. However, just 3 days later, the British used ammunition by means of cannonball and eventually the fort went on to be a part of their kingdom. Most of the walls were broken down and therefore, currently very little of the fort is left. Some of it is in ruins but you can still see the basic architecture.
Structure of Koregad Fort
Koregad Fort boasts of a splendid architecture. The perimeter and the guarding walls are as long as 2 kms. The huge magnanimous gate is still intact and several of the ruined structures are still a part of the interiors. There are two lakes situated at the top of the fort along with a small temple. It has six cannons and the largest one is called Lakshmi Tohp.
What to See at the Fort
1. Visit the two quaint lakes situated at the top of the fort. The lakes offer a reflection of the adjoining mountains and an all around sublime and surreal experience. 2. There is a temple of Goddess Korai Devi in the premises. Do not forget to pay visit and homage to the goddess. 3. Walk around the magnificent fortification walls. The 2 kms long stretch has some absolutely charming views of the surrounding hills in the vicinity and the emerald valley below. 4. There are also six bombard cannons placed inside the fort. These were used in ancient wars. The largest one is kept near the Koraidevi Temple. 5. Witness the surreal sunrise or sunset and the blissful views from the mountain top.
Camping near Koregad Fort
Koregad gives you the most raw and exotic camping experience ever. The fort is open all day and night making it a perfect camping spot. You can choose to carry your own camps and set them up in the premises of the fort. Make a bonfire and sleep under the stars, literally. You can barbeque your own food and have a cosy dinner tucked up in blankets. But remember to keep the volume down; your activities should not disturb the wildlife.
In case you are not carrying camp equipments, the fort can accommodate up to 10 people. And the Korai Devi temple can accommodate 25 people itself. Besides, there are several private campsites present at the base of the hill. The people of the Peth Shahpur Village are also pretty helpful. If you ask them, they will help you carry mattresses and firewood to the top. Night trek is also a popular activity at the fort. Spending a night amidst these awfully beautiful surrounding is sure to give you memories for a lifetime and an experience that you can never forget.
Other Activities near Koregad Fort
The fort offers an easy to moderate trek which can easily be undertaken by amateurs and kids.. The trekking starts from the base village of Peth Shahpur which can be completed in around 1 - 2 hours. From the starting point, you only have to walk for 15-20 minutes across the jungle until you reach the clearing. After that, there are steps which will easily take you to the top. You can take a night trek and reach the top to camp and come back in the morning after witnessing the beautiful sunrise.
2. Mountain Climbing
The terrain and the adjoining hills offer perfect opportunities for mountain climbers. Although there is no supervision available, so all you rock climbing enthusiasts will have to take responsibility for this on your own. However, it does promise you a thrilling adventure and the much needed adrenaline rush.
3. Have a meal in the village
Once you are done with trekking and camping, come down to the village. Immerse in the rural vibe and indulge in their local cuisines and local food delicacies. Bicycle around the village for additional excitement.
Photos of Koregad Fort
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The most ideal time to visit the fort is considered to be the monsoon season. That is because during the summers, the water of the lakes at the top of the fort dries up. Whereas, after the rains have fed the lakes, you can witness the fort in all its glory and splendour.
Tips For Visiting Koregad Fort
1. In case you are planning to camp inside the fort, make sure to carry all camping equipments like the camp set, mattresses, sheets, pillows etc. 2. Carry a torch and extra batteries. 3. Carry some snacks especially dry food and enough water. 4. If you are visiting in the day, beware of the monkeys. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t leave your valuables unattended. 5. Wear your most comfortable shoes for the trek. 6. Dress lightly if trekking during the day. 7. If you are planning on staying the night, carry woollens as it might get a little cold in the night.
How To Reach Koregad Fort
Koregad is located at a slightly desolate spot away from the din of the towns and cities. It is ideal if you have a private vehicle to reach here as there are very few public transport options available ahead of Lonavala. Follow the Aamby Valley route from Lonavala until you reach Peth Shahpur village. Once in the village you can park your vehicle and trek your way up the hill. Paid parking is available in Peth Shahpur near the bus-stop.