If you are looking for a weekend getaway ,then located just 30km and a one- hour drive away, Malhargad fort is a medium to a fort to trek near Pune . As we all know Pune is blessed and surrounded by the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges which only means that there are many many forts in and around Pune . One such fort just one hour away from Pune is the fort Malhargad.
Malhargad is a hill fort near Saswad. It is also known as " Sonori " fort due to the base village named as Sonori.
The fort Malhargad was named for the god Malhari and it was the last fort built by the MARHATAS. The fort is believed to be built to keep watch on Dive ghat and the Pune - Saswad route. The Sahyadri range to the west of Pune in velha taluka is split and the forts Rajgad and Torna are on the one range while the forts Sinhagad, Purandar, Vajragad and Malhargad are on the other range. This range is known as Bhuleshwar Range which is spread along the east - west direction.
The Malhargad fort has not seen much warfare, and so is still in a good condition. The fort was built during the period of 1757 to 1760. The fort was built by Bhivrao Yashwant and Krishnaji Madhavrao Panse, The Peshawa Sardar who was the chief in charge of Tofkhana of the Peshwas. Citations of a visit of elder Madhavrao Peshwas to the fort are available in historic documents. A palace , belonging to Panse, can be seen in the Sonori village though much of it is in ruins.
Now a days Malhargad is the most popular place for trekkers and cyclists. Cyclists start cycling from Pune to the base of the fort and then climb the fort. The difficulty level of trek is easy, anyone can climb the fort and explore. The fort might be small but the view from the top are just fascinating. The fort is in good condition. Once you reach at the top there are two temples constructed side-by-side , the smaller temple is for Lord Khandoba and the larger temple is for Lord Mahadeva and the most interesting thing is we can see the city of Jejuri and Parvati hills from the top of the fort. While exploring the fort you will see the Balekilla , Ganesh Darwaja , Zendewadi Darwaja , huge pond , Chor Darwaja and the beautiful view. We all can stay in the temples or we can carry our own tents and camping equipments.
Malhargad is just 30kms away from the Pune. The easiest way to reach the fort will be through Sonori village which is situated at the base of hill. Public transport is also available, there are daily bus services from Saswad to Sonori, Swargate to Saswad etc etc.
BEST TIME TO VISIT -
Best time to visit the Malhargad fort is all year around.
OPENING/CLOSING TIMINGS AND DAYS -
The fort is open all year around .
ENTRY FEES -
The entry to the fort is free.