I am now in Final Year of my engineering and I’m lovin’ it, because I now get three days off in a week. And three days off means an excellent opportunity to go on more and more treks.
This week we decided to go to Torna(also known as Prachandgad).
Sushant Bhosale (Me),
Aditya Shelar and
Date : 31st July 2011
Place : Velhe, Pune
Route : Swargate(Pune)(via ST bus) -> Velhe
Time from base village : 2 and a half hours.
Difficulty : Medium
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 in what would become the Maratha empire. Shivaji Maharaj renamed the fort Torna, and constructed several monuments and towers within it.
In the 18th century, the Mughal empire gained control of this fort after assassination of Shivaji Maharaj’s son Sambhajiraje. 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 in 1776 between Marathas and British East India Company.
So here goes. . .
Me and Prashant left from our place for swargate. Our direct bus to swargate had already left so we had to change buses at Pune Station, which delayed us a little. This time Aditya and Tushar(surprisingly) were a little ahead of time and he was constantly calling us. They told us that the bus for Velhe was gonna leave at 8 and it was already 8.
Once we got out of the bus we literally ran into the Swargate bus stand only to discover that these guys were sitting in comfort. Then we inquired about the bus and got to know that the bus was already on the flat and ready to go. We got into the bus and started our journey to Velhe.It was a nice ride from Katraj ghat to velhe.
Once we reached, I have to admit, I had the best Misal Paav I ever had in my life. It was just perfect. I would love to do this trek again because it’s the first fort won by Shivaji Maharaj, because it’s the highest fort in Pune district and because of that Misal Paav.
Then we started climbing the mighty Torna. Its the highest fort in Pune district. The way to climb takes a left turn from a big well. Just ahead there was beautiful stream coming down. The real trek starts from this point onwards.
The way to the top actually crosses from three small peaks, so its like climbing one peak, then the second and then the third before actually reaching the hill that houses the fort. First three hill are easy to climb but they require you to walk alot.
Once we reached the final hill, we saw a big rock patch in front of us. This rock patch is a little tricky but its been secured with bars on the sides so it feels safe to climb.
As we continued, the path took us into dense forest and after sometime we were standing below one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen. We refilled our bottles here and only 10 mins of more walking took us to Kothi Darwaja.
From Kothi Darwaja we enter the fort and further we reach another big door called Bini Darwaja. This door lead us into the fort. There was hardly anything visible as there was a lot of fog. Then also we scouted a little bit.
As compared to a number of forts, Torna has large amounts of remains. There’s Mongai mandir, Daru kothar, and Torneshwars mandir.