Breathtaking Trek to Torna Fort
हिंदवी स्वराज्याचे तोरण. तोरणा किल्ला जिंकून छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराजांनी स्वराज्याचे तोरण बांधले. आणि त्याच्या टोकापर्यंत पोहचून परत येण्याचा आनंद खूपच आगळा वेगळा आहे जो प्रत्येकाने अनुभवावा.
Torna Fort is historically significant as first acquired by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at the age of 16. The fort is incredibly massive; perhaps that is the reason Chhatrapati renamed the fort as “Prachandgad” (Massive/huge is “Prachand” in Marathi and “gad/killa” indicates fort). Tallest fort amongst all forts in the district of Pune, 4,603 ft above sea level. One can trek to the Rajgad from Torna or vice versa, is a 5-6 hours hiking.
Favorite amongst trekkers and now mine favorite too as I felt the thrill too. Last Thursday Kushal called me asking any plans for Sunday, as we already visited Rajgad and Torna was remaining to visit, so I said what about Torna? He said okay. Then we called our other friends, and they were fascinated to accompany us.
On Sunday, June 12, at 7 o’clock we 11 people started our journey towards Torna by car from Pune. It is around 50km from the City of Pune. The base village is Velhe at the foothills of the fortification. You can reach Velhe taking right from Nasrapur Phata by NH4. The Nasrapur Phata is 30-35km from Pune, and from the Phata Velhe is somewhat 19km. You can also enter the fort via Khed Shivapur, or Baneshwar. Once you reach the village, you can park vehicles in the village, or there is path constructed till the foothill you can take the cars or bikes up there quickly.
We started hiking at 10 o’clock. From the base of the mountain, we were able to see the massive fort surrounded by dense greenery and clouds all over it. When we started trekking the weather was cold but as we went ahead everything we imagined seem impossible due to the heat. Some of our people were trekking first time ( 😀 and they did not know that they were hiking the tallest fort of the district). Somehow we crossed one mountain, the cold breeze started again. We felt so relaxed; we sat for some time; selfie time; clicked few photos of nature, and other friends were like forgot that we have to climb to the top as they were busy clicking pictures and chatting and enjoying the picturesque view, everything was eye-pleasing. You have to climb two mountains to reach the Bini Darwaja(Gate). There is no support; you need good trekking shoes. The trail is slippery because of rolling stones. At 2-3 point the trekking becomes very tough, railings are there but still it’s too difficult. As we were in the group; each person became very careful and supportive of each other. We endured splendid climate, breezy air, mists, and heat on the same day.
- Temple of Goddess Toranjai.
- Temple of Goddess Mengai.
- Maal & Safeli Bastions
- Budhla machi: One of the breathtaking place on the fort.
- Bini Darwaja: The main door to the fort from Velhe village moreover it is located in the NW of the fort. The trail leads to the Kothi Darwaaja.
- Kothi Darwaja: The steps carved into the solid rock. Here we come across some rooms. Besides, there is a Toran Lake.
- Hanuman Bastion
- Konkan Darwaaja: Still exhibits the constructional hallmarks that predominated during the 17th century. It rests on the access to Budhla Machi.
- Zunjar Machi.
We had tasty Misal in breakfast while going to Velhe village. You can bring own food as there is no provision of food while you are hiking. If you are going on the weekend, you can get food on the Fort from local people at very cheap price, i.e., Maharashtrian local food – Pithal, Jwarichi Bhakari, Pohe, Rice, tea, buttermilk.. as for the accommodation; the Goddess Mengai temple is the best spot on the fort to stay in.
I would like share here slightly different experience. As we all know “Sairat Movie” is trending all over the Maharashtra, and it was trending while trekking too. Guys from our group – singing and dancing on “Zingat” song when we reached the top. However, for me, the unexpected thing was some other trekkers were also enjoying the songs from same movie plus I heard the dialogues too :P.
Individual clicks from the trip:
That’s me. I am a day-dreamer, traveler, reader, and I want to trek lifetime and here are my partners in crime.
Kushal — most funky and idiotic. Important for me in all treks. We can plan in a minute and also achieve it. My BFF from 8 years.
Charan — my next BFF. Quite but can be quirky. Me, Kushal, Charan and Ram(was absent) have succeeded many treks like Rajgad, Harihar, Anjineri, and Brahmgiri.
Priya – Charming and cool. She is my cousin, works in Infosys. This was her first trek, but she succeeded it. It was impossible she thought in between, but it was the time to overcome fear and conquer impossible, and she did it.
Sagar – Serious one, sometimes funny but sarcastic. A friend of Priya works in Acxiom, Mumbai. Thanks for coming all the way from Mumbai to join us.
Ravi – Fun-loving, cool, chatterbox, real person. Developer in TIBCO. He is a friend of Charan, came with us first time. It was fun trekking with you buddy.
Pallavi – Shy and Quite. A friend of Ravi. She joined us because I insisted her. Also, it was her first trekking experience and was very difficult for her. However, her friend acquainted her and made it easy.
DJ – Dattatray Joshi — Other chatter and a friend of Ravi and Charan. Joined us and was very joyous. Moreover, his enthusiasm was continued all the way back.
Swati – Colleague of DJ. I loved the girl. She is easygoing; I don’t know if it was her first experience or not but she seemed to enjoy trekking and nature.
Pritesh – Cool, Funny, Dancer, and he got a new name on the trek, i.e., Spiderman because he stuck on some hard rock while hiking :P. Dude, you are amazing just the way you are.
Sachin – Last but not the least. Caring and Funny. My friend, he was with me all the time. Because of him, I felt like I am trekking the first time yes seriously. I am not saying I do it every day, but he was very controlling on all steps :P. I would like to say thanks to you for coming all the way from Nashik.
Thank you all for making the trek successful and memorable!
- Be extra careful while it is raining. It becomes tough in the rain.
- Please use trekking shoes which have an excellent grip.
Contribute – Do Not Litter, Keep Environment Clean.
“Be a part of Solution, Not part of the Pollution.”