|Fort Name :||Alphabetically||RangeWise||DistrictWise||CategoryWise||GradeWise|
|Bhandardurg||FortHeight : 2785|
|Type : Hill forts||Fort Range : Mahuli|
|District : Thane||Grade : Medium|
|A beautiful, strong and abound with natural beauty trio of forts exists in Shahapur taluka of Thane district i.e. Mahuli, Bhandardurg and Palasgad forts. The hill of Mahuli which has these three forts also is well known for many pinnacles on it. The fort to the right is Palasgad, Mahuli in the middle and to the left is Bhandardurg. Due to this strong pack of forts it remained unconquerable for a longer period and thus King Shahaji took the support of these forts to save the Nizam rule.|
| It is not known as to who had built this fort. In 1485 the control of this fort went to Malik Ahmed who was the founder of the Nizam rule of Ahmednagar. When King Shahaji became the Gorverning authority of the Nizam rule, the Mughals of Delhi and Adilshah jointly laid a conspiracy to overthrow the Nizam rule. Between 1635-36 King Shahaji relocated his wife Jijabai and their son infant Shivaji to Mahuli from Shivneri, Junnar. The son of Mahabbat Khan, Khanjaman laid siege to this fort. King Shahaji approached the Portuguese for help which they refused. Thus King Shahaji had to eventually surrender.
On 8th January 1658, King Shivaji won the fort from the Mughals but in 1661 it had to be returned back. The fort was lost again in 1665 in the Purandar treaty. After this, Manohardas gaud who was the commander of the Mughals was appointed as the fort in charge. He built many structures and refurbished the fort. King Shivaji attacked the fort in 1670 with an army of 1500 men but were unsuccessful. Around 1000 men of the Maratha army were killed in the battle. After this victory the Mughals replaced Manohardas Gaud with Alavirda Baig. On 16th June 1670, Moropant Pingle laid a siege to the fort which lasted for two months and won the three forts. The fort remained victorious with the Marathas till the time King Sambhaji was alive. After his death, the fort keeper, Dwarkoji betrayed and joined hands with the Mughals which resulted in the loss of the fort. It remained with the Mughals till 1735. As the fort was difficult to win by a mere attack, the strategy of penetrate and attack was adopted. In 1857, Bajirao II handed over the fort to the British.
|Fascinating Spots :|
|After reaching the fort via the ladder route we can see two water tanks. Moving ahead for few minutes a route goes to the left in the dense forest. There is a temple of Lord Shiva (Mahuleshwar) on the way and remains of mansions ahead. There is also a large pond here. As we move further we come in the dense forest covered by ample Jamun trees and a cleft. This cleft/pass is in between Mahuli and Bhandargad forts. Moving above the cleft and descending for about 500-600 ft. to the right we come to the Kalyan darwaja. This is the entrance of Bhangdargad fort. While ascending the cleft there is a water tank hidden in the dense vegetation which has water all round they year. The route further goes to the southern edge of the fort. Pinnacles of Bhatoba, Navra-Navri and Vajir on the hill to the right can be seen from the fort.|
|Ways To Reach :|
| 1. From Asangaon:-|
Alight at Asangain railway station on the Mumbai-Nashik rail line. The base village is at 5 kms from the station which could be reached by auto rickshaws. There is a temple of Lord Shiva at the base which can be used for overnight stay. A route from here to the right passes through a stream and further a 3 kms steep ascend has to be crossed. On the way there is a ladder, which crossed takes us on Mahuli fort. On the fort top, the path to the left goes to Bhandargad fort. It takes three hours from the base to reach Bhandargad fort by this route.
2 From Vashind:-
Reach Vashind on the Mumbai-Nashik rail line by local trains or buses. Proceed to Dahagaon and then Chafyacha pada village. Keeping the hill of Chanderi to our right, ascend the ridge which starts from the south edge of Mahuli and spreads across west side. Keeping the pinnacles of Navra-Navri to our right proceed ahead to cross the difficult rock patch and then cross over to Kalyan darwaja to reach the fort. There is a scripture near the Kalyan darwaja. As this route is very difficult, proper technical expertise and equipment are necessary.
|Accommodation Facility :|
|Not available on Bhandargad fort. The porches built for the fort keepers on Mahuli fort can be used for stay but it is recommended to avoid as do a one day trek.|
|Food Facility :|
|Drinking Water Facility :|
|Available in water tanks on Mahuli fort opposite the porches. Water isnít available on Bhandargad fort.|
|Time To Reach :|
|3 hrs from Asangaon and 6-8 hrs via Kalyan darwa|
|Forts starting with: B||Bahadarpur Fort||Bahadurgad||Bahadurwadi gad||Ballalgad|
|Balwantgad||Banda Fort||Bandra Fort||Bankot|
|Barvai||Belapur Fort||Belgaum Fort||Bhagwantgad|
|Bhangsigad(Bhangsi mata gad)||Bharatgad||Bhaskargad||Bhavangad|