Torna Fort


1,390 onwards


Weather:

Time Required: 3 - 4 hrs

Timings:

24 hrs

Entry Fee:

No Entry Fee
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Torna Fort, Pune Overview

Torna Fort was the first fort that was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and that also during his teenage years. Hence, it is recognised as a significant historical monument. Like most Maratha forts, this fort is also located in the Western Ghats of India and at present, it is also identified as the fort located on the highest point in Pune district and a famous tourist attraction. Those looking for a weekend getaway can head to Torna Fort to be in the midst of nature and explore the ruins and its scenic surroundings. Although the attraction is open for visitors in all seasons, monsoons are deemed perfect to explore the fort.

Torna Fort is also known for its picturesque and thrilling surroundings. In fact, this region and the mountain slopes are quite famous among trekking enthusiasts. Most advanced level trekking expeditions are arranged from the base to the fort by adventure groups. Those who want to explore the region but are not so keen on participating in an adventure activity can go on short nature walks with friends and family. Or they can reach the top of the hill by the roadways and explore the fort by foot. It is advisable that people be careful and stay together to assist each other. Proper footwear and a little bit of knowledge about the route would ensure a safe climb up to the fort.

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More on Torna Fort


 

History scholars believe that Torna Fort was built by Shaivites in the 13th century. The temple at the entrance of the fort belongs to Menghai Devi and was called “Tornaji Temple”. This structure supports the fact that it was built in the 13th century. Four centuries later, in 1646, Shivaji Maharaj conquered the fort. He was a teenager at the time (barely 16 years old) and made a huge impact on the Maratha Empire by acquiring the fort. He then renamed the fort, “Prachandagad” (Prachanda meaning massive and Gad meaning fort).

Torna Fort was controlled by the Marathas till the 18th century by the next generation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. After the assassination of his first son, Sambhaji Maharaj, the Mughal Empire took over the fort. Aurangzeb even renamed it as “Futulgaib”. Some even say that this war to win the Torna Fort was the first ever real war Aurangzeb fought. Later, according to the Treaty of Purandar (signed in 1776), it was restored back to the Marathi Empire and continued staying the core of Maratha Empire for quite some time after.

Torna Fort is built on a hill in the Western Ghats of India (Sahyadri Mountain Range) at a height of over 1400 metres above sea level. It consists of tall stone ramparts that enclose the fort ruins. There are seven gates on the pathway/ stairway that leads to the entrance. The first gate closer to the base is called the Bini Darwaza and the main or the last entrance is called the Kothi Darwaza. A narrow lane with tall walls on either side extends within the fort premises leading to some more parts of the citadel which also consists of plain stretch of lands in various shapes. Some of the ruins also signify granaries, guard rooms and resting areas. The fort also has several water tanks and some temples around.

Torna Fort is famous for adventure activities like trekking, hiking and camping. The beautiful surroundings of the fort in the Sahyadri’s have ample spots for camping. The slopes of the mountains are perfect for advanced level of treks as the difficulty level is high. It consists of an initial climb through a muddy yet forested area at the base. During monsoons, this area becomes slippery and therefore, requires trekkers to be careful. Then there is a gradual ascent followed by a rocky patch beyond which is the plateau where Torna Fort is located.

Some might also be interested in sightseeing as there are waterfalls, picturesque valleys and viewpoints, that are also great spots for picnics and outings. Many may not choose to trek through but instead, they can drive to the points and hang out for a while. Visitors may also want to give landscape photography a try even if they are amateurs. During monsoons, especially, the clouds hang down on the mountain peaks creating a stunning view of the scenic surrounding.

The fort itself has several sections that tourists can explore. Upon entering the fort, people would walk into the Budhala Machche which is a wide expanse of grassland. As they walk ahead, they would come across temples, ruins, water tanks etc. Once they reach the topmost part of the fort, they can even get a stunning view of Sinhagad Fort, Khadakwasla Dam, Mahabaleshwar, Bhatghar Dam, Raigad and Pratapgad.

Torna Fort is located about 54 kilometres away from Pune in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges. Travellers coming to Pune and disembarking at Pune Station Bus Stand, Pune Railway Junction or Pune Airport, would have to travel further till Velhe Village by road. Public transport is good enough in Pune and one can choose between a city bus, auto rickshaws, OLA, Uber or other tourist rental cabs to cover the distance till the base of the fort.

It takes about 2.5 hours to reach Velhe from Pune Station Bus Stand or Pune Railway Station which are located approximately 60 kilometres away. The route to the base of the fort goes via Station Road – Sadhu Vaswani Road – Raja Bahadur Motilal Road – R T O Chowk – Abhiyantriki Maha Vidyalaya Chowk – NH 60/ NH 65/ SH 60 – J M Road – Lakadi Bridge – Lal Bahadur Shastri Road – Sinhagad Road – SH 65/ SH 106 – MDR 42.

From the airport, it takes about 3.5 hours to reach the fort (distance 70 kilometres approximately). The route that leads to the fort goes through Vishrantwadi Lohegaon Road – Airport Road – Golf Club Chowk – Airport Road, Gunjan Chowk – Bund Garden Road/ SH 60 – Raja Bahadur Motilal Road – Abhiyantriki Maha Vidyalaya Chowk – SH 60/ NH 60/ NH 65 – Jangali Maharaj Road – Lakadi Bridge – Lal Bahadur Shastri Road – Sinhagad Road – SH 106/ SH 65 – MDR 42. Torna Fort is located about 18 kilometres ahead.

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