Travel Guide

5 Magnificent Forts of Maharashtra

Forts of Maharashtra
Written by Jane Sophia

India’s top tourist destinations include the two big cities Mumbai and Pune in the state of Maharashtra.

While Mumbai as the commercial capital of India attracts tourists as well as businessmen, Pune’s natural attractions, monsoon delights, and historical monuments would lure families that are looking to spend a full week of holiday.

If I were you, I would make Pune as my base and visit myriad Forts of Maharashtra, stunning hill stations, roaring waterfalls, and distant farms.

In this blog post, I have listed only Forts of Maharashtra that related with the history more particularly awesome forts near Pune and Mumbai city. While some forts of Maharashtra are located far off that requires more than 4 hours of travel from either Mumbai or Pune, other Forts of Maharashtra are at a quickly accessible distance.

When is the best time to visit Forts of Maharashtra in India?

Since Forts of Maharashtra are invariably situated on a mountain or a hillock, summertime will be unbearably hot.

With only two months of pleasant weather in India, it is advisable to visit the forts during December and January.

If you are captivated by a picture of any fort near Pune or Mumbai, it is because of the lush and fresh green cover. That means the photo must have been taken either during the monsoon or just after the withdrawal of rains.

So, September and October too are good months to visit the forts in and around Pune and Mumbai.

How many forts one can see in and around Pune and Mumbai cities?

I believe 350 forts are spread over the entire state of Maharashtra to see some of which attract a large number of tourists.  However, around 20 forts are located in and around Pune and Mumbai. These Forts of Maharashtra are built for defensive purpose and hence they are built on top of the hills that run through Maharashtra state.

The Western Ghats and the Sahyadri Mountain range are home to most of these forts and castles.

Let us visit 5 of the historical Forts of Maharashtra near Mumbai and Pune.

5 Magnificent Forts of Maharashtra Around Mumbai

Kothaligad Fort, near Mumbai

Forts of Maharashtra Kothaligad Fort

I reckon this historical fort located on top of a hill at just over 3100 feet is known only to the people residing in Maharashtra, more specifically, the residents of Mumbai and Pune.

The Kothaligad fort is located about 85 km only from Mumbai city near Neral railway station. Take a suburban train from Mumbai that is going to Karjat that is located at 64 km away from Mumbai, on the Mumbai-Pune train route. Neral railway station is on the way to Karjat.

If you are coming from Pune, Karjat railway station is 116 km away.

The most ideal time to visit Kothaligad fort is either during monsoon (June to August) or immediately after the monsoon.

No roads are there to reach the fort on top of the hill. You have to trek up but that can be easy and exciting too. The view of the countryside as you climb will be wonderful.

The Kothaligad fort and the caves inside the walled place belong to the 13th century.

2. Raigad fort, near Pune

Forts of Maharashtra Raigad fort

Obviously, the photo of Raigad Fort must have been shot during monsoon. Look at the cool green cover! It is pleasing to look at.

The height of the location is 2700 feet on the Sahyadri Mountain range.

From Pune, you can reach this biggest fort in Maharastra in about 3 to 4 hours. The distance between them is 130 km only. From Mumbai, Raigad fort is 165 km away.

Forts of Maharashtra Raigad

Another view of Raigad Fort.

If you feel like having an adventure or just want to kill time, you can walk up the 1700+ steps to reach the fort. Alternatively, a sky tram will take the tourists from the base to the Raigad fort.

A gory spot called Takmak Tok on one cliff side of the Raigad fort. It is now closed to visitors. Once, the death sentences were implemented from Takmak Tok. The guilty are just thrown down from the cliff to their death.

3. Karnala Fort, near Mumbai

Karnala Fort

Beautifully captured in the camera!

Karnala fort is very much inside Mumbai’s city limits, on the outskirts of Mumbai. Panvel is the closest residential area to Karnala fort. The added attraction for Karnala fort is the presence of Karnala Bird Sanctuary near the fort. The exact location of the Karnala fort is 10 km from Panvel, on the Mumbai-Pune national highway.

Some of the birds that you can spot in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary are:

  • Grey-fronted Green-pigeon
  • Nilgiri Wood Pigeon
  • Malabar Grey Hornbill
  • Malabar Lark
  • Ashy Minivet

Ashy Minivet

  • Three-toed kingfisher

Three-toed kingfisher

  • Malabar trogon

Malabar trogon

Since Karnala Fort is located within Mumbai, you would find numerous street food stall lining the road leading to the fort.

4. Devagiri-Daulatabad Fort

Devagiri-Daulatabad Fort

Pune seems to be closer to the Daulatabad Fort than Mumbai. 250 km separates the Daulatabad Fort from Pune. However, the nearest railway station is Aurangabad that is only 16 km away from Daulatabad Fort.

In spite of being located on the way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site-the Ajantha and Ellora Caves, the 12th century-built Devagiri fort is not among the favorites of tourists. Another probable reason for not on the tourists’ radar is the lack of a motorable road to reach the fort. You have to climb 750+ steps to go up the rock.

Trivia: Daulatabad Fort is one of the 7 wonders of Maharashtra.

5. Lingana fort

Forts of Maharashtra Lingana fort

It is located 135 km from Pune. The fort’s pinnacle actually resembles a ‘linga’ and hence the name. Since the steps to reach the 3000 feet height are in bad shape, the fort is off the limits even to veteran trekkers who can go only up to the middle point of the hill.

Lingana Fort is one of the several forts built by the Maratha ruler Shivaji.

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Jane Sophia

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