Torna Fortfort/palace

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Video: zunzar machiVideo: Water rappelling at Torna FortTorna FortTorna FortTorna Fort

Overview 

Torna Fort is 65 km from Pune and is massive in size and grandeur. The Fort is the highest point in Pune and is located at 1405 meters above sea level in the Sahyadri mountain range. The Fort was constructed by the Shaiva Panth, followers of Lord Shiva, in the 13th century. A Temple dedicated to the Menghai Devi is situated at the entrance of the Fort and is more commonly called the Tornaji Temple.

In 1646, at an age of 16, Shivaji launched his first military attack and conquered the Torna Fort after he vowed for Swaraj. He put a garland (Toran in Marathi) around the Fort and thus came the name Torna Fort. Shivaji built several monuments and towers close to it and fought many battles here. The Fort is also called Prachandgadh (Prachanda means vast and Gadh means fort in Marathi) because of its vastness. In 1700s the Mughal Empire took over the Fort after the assassination of Shivaji’s son Sambhaji and the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb renamed this Fort Futulgaib (meaning divine victory).

Hidden Gems! 

1. Trekking to the Torna Fort is very popular in the months of September to December when the narrow way up is laden with wild flowers in all colors, textures and sizes.

When to go 

How to reach 

The best way to get to the site is by boarding a bus from the Swargate Bus Stand in Pune which goes straight to Velhe which is the base village. From here is a 2 -3 hour climb to the Bini Darwajja which is the main entrance to the Fort.
Alternatively a ridge walk which is slightly easier can be done which starts at Rajgad and ends at Torna Fort’s Budhla Machi. This takes approximately 5 - 6 hours.

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