- 114 Kms
- 3 / 5
Location: Near Pali
Situated near Pali, the hill fort of Sudhagad is popular trekking destination and also the site of the Bhoraidevi Temple.
Sudhagad is a hill fort situated near the town of Pali in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. Built in the 2nd century, Sudhagad Fort was originally known as Bhorapgad, named after its presiding deity, Goddess Bhoraidevi. The Bhoraidevi Temple still exists on the fort and is very well-maintained.
A trek to Sudhagad is an ideal weekend getaway if you are seeking a refreshing and fun adventure in the lap of nature. Situated at an elevation of 2,030 feet above sea level, Sudhagad looks especially astounding during monsoons, when it is covered with lush greenery and surrounded by misty clouds.
In 1657, the Marathas conquered the fort from the Bahamani dynasty, who had captured the fort in 1436. The Marathas renamed the fort as Sudhagad, which means ‘the sweet one’. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj considered making this huge fort the capital of his kingdom, but later chose Raigad as the capital, owing to its central location. During the rule of the Peshwas, the ‘Pant Sachivas’ of Bhor became the custodians of this fort. However, the fort became patron less after the annexation of the princely states in 1950, and has been in a state of ruins since then.
There are more than couple of routes to reach Sudhagad, the most popular being the Thakurwadi route. Steel ladders have been fitted on this route, making the ascent relatively easy at rough spots. To follow this route, begin walking from Pachchapur to reach Thakurwadi village, which lies at the base of Sudhagad. You may travel in a car to Thakurwadi, but the road is quite coarse and uneven. The trail begins near a small school at the end of Thakurwadi. Ask any local person for directions, and they will happily show you to the correct route.
As you leave the village behind, a gradual ascend begins. Walk through a dense thicket to arrive at the first ladder. The first ladder opens up to a pretty meadow with a slight slope. Continue walking until you reach the next ladder. Climb the second ladder to reach the stone steps leading to the ‘Pachchapur Darwaja’. After crossing through the ‘Pachchapur Darwaja’, you reach another small meadow. From here, continue climbing another set of stone steps to reach the ‘Takmak Tok’ point, from where you can enjoy a glorious view of the valley below.
After the ‘Takmak Tok’ point, the trail opens up to a huge plateau. There is a small potable fresh water lake here. There are many other water cisterns throughout the fort. Relax near the lake for a while and continue walking along the path laden with rocks. Few of the rocks along this trail are marked with arrows and will help you navigate towards the Bhoraidevi Temple and the ‘Rajwada’ or mansion built by the Pant Sachivas.
The Rajwada has a big courtyard and wooden pillars. Though it is not in its best condition, it can provide shelter to about 50 people. Further along the path, you will reach the Bhoraidevi Temple, which has a tall ‘Deep Stambh’ or pillar of lights in its courtyard. The temple premises also contain ‘hero stones’ commemorating the brave heroes who lost their lives in battle. It is possible to accommodate a group of up to 20-25 people inside this temple for an overnight stay.
Another highlight of this fort is the ‘Maha Darwaja’ or the main entryway of the fort. The Maha Darwaja at Sudhagad is a replica of the one at Raigad and is just as impressive, decorated with intricate carvings. As you further explore the vast landscape of the fort, you will also come across remnants of a Shiva temple, several bastions, a big granary, some tombs and shrines, numerous ponds, a secret door and many more ancient relics.
Also, while you’re on top of Sudhagad, don’t forget to enjoy the spectacular views of the forts of Sarasgad, Tail-Baila and Ghangad. If you wish to trek to the neighbouring Sarasgad Fort, you may set up an overnight camp at Sudhagad near the lake or take shelter in the Bhoraidevi temple or Rajwada. To go back to the base, descend down the same Thakurwadi route or else, explore the alternate route leading to Dhondase village. The Dhondase village route, which leads to the fort’s Maha Darwaja can be used for ascending as well.
- It is advisable to carry your own snacks and water.
- You may drink the water from the potable fresh water ponds atop the mountain.
- If you are planning to stay overnight at the Bhoraidevi Temple or Rajwada, you may ask a local guide to arrange food.
- For overnight accommodation, it is better to carry your own tents.
- Mode of Transport : You may travel by car to reach Pali. From Pali, proceed to Pachchapur if you want to trek up the Thakurwadi-Sudhagad route. To take the alternative route, go straight to Dhondase village from Pali.
Things to do
- Experience a fun weekend amidst nature and greenery by trekking up to the hill fort of Sudhagad.
- Visit during monsoons to feast your eyes on the lush greenery and soak up the dreamy atmosphere.
- On the way, stop at the Pachchapur Darwaja and Takmak Tok point for some stunning views of the valley below.
- Visit the Bhoraidevi Temple and the Pant Sachiva’s Rajwada, where you can stay overnight.
- Explore the magnificent mountain top of Sudhagad, where you will come across potable fresh water ponds, remnants of a Shiva temple, several bastions, a big granary, some tombs and shrines, numerous ponds, a secret door and many more ancient relics.
- Enjoy the spectacular views of the forts of Sarasgad, Tail-Baila and Ghangad from the top of Sudhagad.