Kailasgad Fort: Gateway to history and adventure

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Kailasgad Fort, also known as Ghod Manjaricha Dongar in Marathi is a historic fort located in the Satara district of Maharashtra, India. Located near Panchgani, it is one of the lesser-known forts of the region but it also has historical and travel importance.

The fort is situated amidst the natural beauty of the Sahyadri mountain range, offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. It is situated at an altitude of about 1200 meters above sea level.

The rich history of Kailasgad is linked to the Maratha Empire. Due to its elevated location and natural defenses, it served as a strategic fort for the Maratha rulers. The castle underwent many changes during the various wars and conflicts in the region.

Today, Kailasgad Fort is a popular destination for travelers and history lovers. The journey to the fort takes you through lush greenery, rocky terrain, and sometimes steep slopes which provides an exciting experience for the adventurous.

At the summit, tourists can see the remains of the fort, gates, and many structures. The panoramic views from the top make the trip worthwhile, especially at sunrise and sunset.

Although not as famous as some of the other forts in Maharashtra, Kailasgad Fort is still a draw for those looking for a less crowded and more peaceful trekking experience amidst the beauty of nature.

History of Kailasgad Fort –


Kailasgad Fort also known as Kailasgad has a rich and interesting history spanning many centuries. Here is a brief summary:


Early history: The exact origins of the Kailasgad fort are uncertain, but like many forts in Maharashtra, its ancient roots date back to the Yadava dynasty or earlier. Before the rise of the Islamic Sultanate in the Deccan, the Yadavas ruled the region.


Maratha Period: Kailasgad Fort gained fame during the Maratha period. It was strategically located and served as a stronghold for the Maratha rulers, especially during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire. Known for his military prowess, Shivaji Maharaj realized the importance of forts in the security of his kingdom and often extended and strengthened existing forts.


Strategic Importance: Located in the Sahyadri range, the Kailasgad Fort offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape, making it an important outpost for defense and surveillance. Its strategic location allowed the Marathas to monitor and control the surrounding area and trade routes.


Wars and Conflicts: Like many forts in the region, Kailasgad Fort has witnessed many wars and conflicts over the centuries. Control of the Deccan Plateau changed hands several times between the Marathas, Mughals, and other regional powers.


British Period: With the fall of Maratha power in the 18th century, Kailasgad Fort finally came under the control of the British during their colonial rule in India. The British recognized its strategic importance and preserved the fort and used it as a military outpost.


Post-Independence: After India gained independence in 1947, Kailasgad Fort lost its military importance. However, it also attracts travelers, historians, and nature lovers who are drawn to historical ruins and natural beauty.


Today, Kailasgad Fort stands witness to the rich heritage of Maharashtra and serves as a popular destination for travelers and tourists, offering a glimpse of the region’s historical past and breathtaking natural scenery.


How to reach Kailasgad-


Reaching Kailasgad Fort requires a combination of roads and trekking paths as the fort is in a remote and hilly area. Here is a general guide on how to reach Kailasgad:


By Road:


From Mumbai: The nearest big city is Mumbai. Kailasgad Fort can be reached by car or bus from the nearest town, Panchgani Mumbai. The distance between Mumbai and Panchgani is about 245 km, depending on traffic conditions the road trip takes about 5-6 hours.


From Pune: If you are coming from Pune, you can also travel to Panchgani or take a bus. The distance between Pune and Panchgani is about 100 km and the road trip takes about 2-3 hours.


From Panchagani to the root of the fort:


Pass Panchgani and make your way to the base of Kailasgad Fort. You can hire a local taxi or use your own car to reach the starting point of the trip.

A trip to Kailasgad Fort usually starts from a village or trailhead near Panchgani. Locals or guides familiar with the area can provide directions to the starting point.


How to follow it:


Depending on your pace and fitness level, the trek to Kailasgad Fort takes about 2-3 hours. This includes forest roads, rocky terrain and sometimes steep incline climbing.

Although the hike is not too difficult, it is recommended to wear comfortable hiking shoes, carry enough water and food, and be prepared for changing weather conditions

Along the way you will get panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making the journey a pleasant and beautiful experience.


Local guides and assistance:


If you are not familiar with the area or need assistance, you can hire a local guide in Panchgani who can accompany you on this tour and give you information, it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before you travel, especially if you’re hiking alone, and to let someone know your plans

Follow these steps to reach Kailasgad Fort and enjoy its historical significance and natural beauty with an adventurous trekking experience


Final Thoughts:


Exploring Kailasgad Fort offers much more than just a trekking adventure; It is a journey through history and natural beauty. The silent ruins of the fort bear witness to centuries of human efforts while the surrounding Sahyadri hills welcome visitors with their serene splendor Whether you are a history buff, nature lover, or just want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Kailasgad is unspoiled.


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