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Purandar Fort, Pune Overview

Situated at a distance of 50 kms from Pune, Purandar Fort is the birth place of Shivaji's son- Sambhaji. The fort has two storeys- the upper is called Balekilla while the lower is called Machi. Besides the Shiva temple, the fort offers beautiful panoramic sights of the surroundings. Purandar Fort is a famous tourist attraction and a place of historical significance near Pune. The fort has withstood several historical milestones and has been mentioned several times in the uprising of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the Maratha Empire against Adil Shahi, the Mughals and the Bijapur Sultanate. It is also identified as one of the twin forts (Purandar and Vajragad Forts) and also the place where Shivaji Maharaj's son, Sambhaji, was born.

Purandar Fort is located in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges, at a height of 1387 feet above sea level. This fort is located to the western side of Vajragad Fort and the village located at the base of the hill is called Purandar Village. Other than its historical significance, the fort and its surroundings draw visitors in large numbers for weekend getaways, nature exploration and adventure activities.

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History of Purandar Fort

Historical records mention that Purandar belongs to the 11th century Yadava Dynasty. The Persians defeated the Yadavas and conquered the area and, in 1350, they built the Purandar Fort. It was ruled by the government during the reign of the Ahmednagar and Bijapur Kings. When it was overtaken by the Berar Sultanate, the fort was attacked a number of times. To protect the fort, a man and a woman were buried alive to please the Kul devata (the patron deity). At the place where they were buried, a fort bastion was erected. Then gold bricks were also offered and after the bastion was completely built, Yesaji Naik took possession of the fort. They also rewarded the father of the sacrificed man with two villages.

In the late 16th century, Maloji Bhosale controlled the areas of Supa and Pune which included the Purandar Fort too. About half a century later, in 1646, Maloji’s grandson, Shivaji Bhosale raided the fort and acquired it at a very early age. Thus, the Purandar Fort is considered as one of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s first wins. Later, Aurangzeb conquered the fort in 1665. Aurangzeb teamed up with Mirza Raje Jai Singh, who also commanded the attack, and Diler Khan. The keeper of the fort (killedar), Murarbaji Deshpande, put up a strong fight to save the fort till his last breath. In order to save the heritage of his forefathers, Shivaji Maharaj then signed the First Treaty of Purandar with Aurangzeb. Under this deal, Shivaji had to hand over twenty-three of his forts including Purandar Fort.

Further on, Shivaji Maharaj, re-conquered Purandar fort, five years later, in 1670. When the Peshwe ruled Pune, the fort protected the city from several attacks. The Second Treaty of Purandar was signed in 1776 between the Marathas and the British but it was never followed as it was soon overruled by the Treaty of Salbai. This treaty was signed between Raghunathrao and the Bombay Government in 1782, by the end of the first Anglo-Maratha War. Subsequently in 1790, Kuriji Naik, a Koli chief captured the fort and in 1818, it came under General Pritzler. During this time, the fort was used as a prison. The attraction also served as an intermittent camp during World War II.  

Things to do at Purandar Fort

Purandar Fort is a great location to go for an outing or a picnic with family and friends. It is located barely 51 kilometres away from Pune. So, it provides a great weekend getaway. Most people visit during the monsoon season as the surroundings become lush green and the atmosphere cloudy yet divine. This is one of the few locations on the outskirts of Pune where one can feel close to nature. A number of seasonal waterfalls and streams cascade down the hill slopes. Some of these can be seen from a distance while some, up close.  

Purandar fort and the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges are also famous among trekkers. Intermediate and advanced level trekkers can easily climb the hill while beginners would take comparatively more time to reach the hilltop. It requires some amount of strength and stamina as the climb is steep in certain parts, while it is slippery and rocky in some parts. It takes about 4 to 6 hours to complete the entire trek, hang out at the fort and return. It is advisable that trekkers carry their trekking & rain gear, snacks and water to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable climb.  

How To Reach Purandar Fort

Purandar Fort is located 51 kilometres from the city centre. The best way to reach the base village, Purandar, is to take the roadways. One can opt to book a rental car or take a city bus to reach the base village. The trek up to the hilltop is a 1300 metres climb. The route goes via – NH 60/ NH 65/ Pune Saswad Road/ SH 64 – SH 63. The fort is located about 19 kilometres ahead.

Travellers not living in Pune would have to reach Pune either by the airways, the railways or the roadways. The closest airport, railway station and the closest bus stand are located 58, 49 and 50 kilometres away respectively. From the drop points, travellers can take public transport to reach the attraction. The best mode of transport is a rental car for a convenient drop close to the fort entrance. However, travellers can choose to board a city bus heading to Pune Saswad Road and Purandar Village.

From the airport, one needs to head towards Vishrantwadi Lohegaon Road and take the route via New Airport Road – SH 60/ Pune Nagar Road – Chandan Nagar Bypass Chowk – Kharadi Bypass (through Kharadi Chowk, Rameshwad Chowk, Kisan Roa Bhivbaraskad Chowk, Magarpatta Chowk) – NH 64/ Pune Saswad Road – SH 63.

The route to the base village from Pune Railway Station goes via Aga Khan Road – Station Road – Sadhu Vaswani Road – Dakshin Kaman Marg – Prince of Wales Road – NH 65 – SH 64/ Pune Saswad Road – SH 64/ SH 63. Approximately 19 kilometres ahead over the SH 63/ SH 64 (through the western Ghats of India) is where Purandar Fort is located.

Swargate Bus Stand, located on Shankar Sheth Road, 56 kilometres away also has a similar arrangement for public transport. So, one can book an OLA or Uber rental or take a city bus to reach Purandar Village. The route to take goes through Late Namdar Jaggannath Shankar Sheth Road – Pune Saswad Road/ SH 64 – SH 63.

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