Torna Fort

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Torna
Torna Fort aka Kille Prachangad.jpg
Torna Fort
Highest point
Elevation 1,403 m (4,603 ft)
Coordinates 18°16′33.86″N 73°37′21.78″E / 18.2760722°N 73.6227167°E / 18.2760722; 73.6227167Coordinates: 18°16′33.86″N 73°37′21.78″E / 18.2760722°N 73.6227167°E / 18.2760722; 73.6227167
Naming
Translation तोरणा किल्ला (Marathi)
Geography
Torna is located in Maharashtra
Torna
Torna
Location of Torna Fort, Maharashtra
Torna is located in India
Torna
Torna
Torna (India)
Location Pune district, Maharashtra, India
Parent range Sahyadri Range

Torna Fort, also known as Prachandagad, is a large fort located in Pune district, in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is historically significant because it was the first fort captured by Shivaji Maharaj in 1643, at the age of 16, forming the nucleus of the Maratha empire. The hill has an elevation of 1,403 metres (4,603 ft) above sea level, making it the highest hill-fort in the district. The name derives from Prachanda (Marathi for huge or massive) and gad (Marathi for fort).[1]

History

Torna fort zunjar machi fortification

This fort is believed to have been constructed by the Shaiva Panth, followers of the Hindu god Shiva, in the 13th century. A Menghai Devi temple, also referred to as the Tornaji temple, is situated near the entrance of the fort.

In 1643, Shivaji Maharaj captured this fort at the age of sixteen, thus making it one of the first forts that would become one of the forts of the Maratha empire. Shivaji Maharaj renamed the fort ' 'Prachandagad' ' as Torna, and constructed several monuments and towers within it.

In the 18th century, the Mughal empire briefly gained control of this fort after assassination of Shivaji Maharaj's son Sambhaji. Aurangzeb, then Mughal emperor, renamed this fort Futulgaib in recognition of the difficult defense the Mughals had to overcome to capture this fort. It was restored to the Maratha confederacy by the Treaty of Purandar.

Location

The fort is about 50 km southwest of Pune in the Western Ghats Sahyadri mountain range at the base village Velhe. One can go from Pune via Satara road take right at Nasrapur. It is the highest fort in Pune district.

Tourism

The Torna Fort is a popular destination for trekkers especially after the south-west monsoon, from September to December. Trekkers can stay in the Menghai Devi temple. The Raigad, Lingana, Rajgad, Purandar fort, Sinhagad are seen from Torna.

However, it is recommended that, trekkers should not stay up on the fort. Staying up on the fort, results in littering the fort. Some people who don't know the etiquette of mountains and nature end up discharging stool in the area near by historical monuments or on the pathways.

Tourists prefer to stay at a campsite near this fort.

Routes

Travellers from Pune start in the early morning from Swargate bus stand (6:30 am first bus to Velhe reaches around 8:20 am till Velhe the base village). The relevant routes go via Khed Shivapur, Cheladi/ Nasarapur/ Baneshwar, then Winzar, to the village of Velhe. The main path to Torna starts from here, and local people can help with directions. The way to the top is moderate to difficult, with some precautions to be taken in the rainy season. It is a two- or three-hour climb to the "Bini Darwaaja", the main entrance to the fort.Britishers said "If Sinhagad fort is lions den then Torna is Eagles Nest.

Alternatively, there is a pleasant and interesting ridge walk of 5–6 hours from the fort at Rajgad. This starts from "Alu Darwaaja" of Rajgad, near the left side of "Sanjeevani Machi", and ends at Torna Fort's "Budhla Machi".

Images

References

  1. ^ "chatrapati-shivaji". Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
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