||FortHeight : 3000|
|Type : Hill forts
||Fort Range : Ajantha|
|District : Aurangabad
||Grade : Medium|
| This huge fort stands in the Soygaon taluka of Aurangabad district. Its other names are Vaishagad and Taltam fort. A typical feature of this fort is that it is accessible as a land fort from Janjala village while it is a hill fort from its other 3 sides. Looking at its huge spread, the remnants and 3 lakes on the fort it is estimated that there might have been inhabited very well. Its historic importance can be ruled from the existence of Ghatotkach caves in the mountains where the fort is located.
| Jinjala is the old name of Janjala village. The scripture in the caves of Ghatotkach has a mention of Ashmak’s royal daughter. This cave was carved by Varahadev, the minister of Vakatak’s king in the 5th century A.D. this fort was won by Burhan Nizamshah of Ahmednagar in 1553 and thereafter by Shahjahan in 1631.
|Fascinating Spots :|
| One can reach the fort from three routes. One is from the village of Jarandi which ends at the west entrance door. Second route leads us from the Vetalwadi dam and thereafter to the Vetalgad entrance door. The third route is the usual route for carts from Janjala village. The information which is given below depicts the view while accessing the fort from Janjala village.|
The cart route from the village takes us to the fort wall in 30 minutes. The fort wall which otherwise is still in good condition has been partly demolished to make an entry to the fort. There is an 8 feet long canon outside the fort wall. To the right (east facing) there is a secret door from which one can see Vetalwadi dam and Vetalwadi fort. Moving ahead towards right there is a doorway facing east which is 20 feet high and its arch is still in good condition. There are porches inside the doorway. There are some scriptured and sculptured stones near the doorway.
Going back to the entrance route, there is a built in pond which is currently in a bad condition due to which water doesn’t accumulate much. Further left from the pond there is a doorway facing north which approaches from the base village of Jarandi. On the outer side of the doorway there is a two liner scripture written in Persian language.
Moving ahead from Jarandi doorway one comes across an arch which had a fortified wall around it. Inside this fortification wall, there were buildings of important personell. There are two bastions while we move ahead from the arch. One of the bastions is in ruins and its stones can be seen fallen below. One of the many stones of bastions has a sculpture of a Sharabh which is now in two broken parts. Between the two bastions there is a tomb of Saiyyad Al Kabir Kadri. Opposite to it is a scripture in Persian language carved on a stone. There is pond behind the tomb which has potable water.
One has to circumnavigate the tomb which takes us to a structure which has a window and a dome. Besides this there is a bastion which has a Sharabh sculpture carved on it. Enter the window into the structure and continue to the right path through a dense vegetation which takes us to the Queen’s residence area which has many arches. In front of it there are remnants of 4 structures. Next to the queen’s residence there is a mosque with 3 arches on a ramp. There are 2 lakes near the mosque next to each other. After descending the ramp circumnavigate the lake and continue to the east. 5 minutes from here one comes across the Vetalwadi doorway. Outside this doorway there is a fortified wall which connects to the summit to the north of the fort. This wall also has secret doorways. The route which is in between the two lakes takes us to Janjala village.
These Buddhist caves are situate in between Janjala village and fort. The hall of the cave is huge with 20 pillars. Two pillars each in the middle and the corner have different carvings than others. To the left of the hall there are some scriptures and a seated Buddha statue which has carvings of deers and the Dharmachakra.
There is an ancient temple built in Hemadpanti architecture in Ambhai village.
One can cover the entire fort within 2-3 hours and the Ghatotkach caves are 45 minutes from here which takes another 30 minutes to see. To reach the village from the caves it takes about 30 minutes.
|Ways To Reach :|
| If one has their own vehicle then following option can be exercised:-|
65 kms from Aurangabad on the route towards Ajantha caves on Aurangabad-Jalgaon road is Sillad village. 14 kms from Sillad is Golegaon village. State Transport buses from Aurangabad are available to reach Soygaon village. Just before Golegaon there is a diversion on the left for Andangaon village which is further 5 kms. There are two routes from Andangaon. One takes to Soygaon via Halada-Vetalwadi and he second route leads to Ambhai village at 12 kms. Janjala village is 10 kms from Ambhai and the fort is 3 kms from the Janjala village.
If one does not have their own vehicle then following option can be exercised:-
2) 105 kms from Aurangabad on the route towards Ajantha caves on Aurangabad-Jalgaon road is Fardapur village. 15 kms from Fardapur village on the Fardapur-Chalisgaon road is Soygaon village. State Transport buses from Aurangabad are available to reach Soygaon village.
A) Soygaon village to Jarandi is 9 kms. One can easily get an S.T. bus or a 6 seater autorickshaw from Soygaon village. It takes 2 hours to reach the fort from the mountain ridge which is to the east of Jarandi village. It is recommended to take a route guide from the village.
B) Soygaon village to Vetalwadi is 4 kms and the dam is further 2 kms. One can easily get an S.T. bus or a 6 seater autorickshaw from Soygaon village. It takes 2 hours to reach the fort from the mountain ridge which is to the west of Vetalwadi dam. It is recommended to take a route guide from the village.
|Accommodation Facility :|
|Food Facility :|
| Available in Soygaon village.|
|Drinking Water Facility :|
| It is recommended to carry drinking water although the pond near the tomb has potable water in it.|
| Janjala fort, Ghatotkach caves, Vetalgad fort and Rudreshwar caves can be covered in one day.|
To Reach the fort:-
1) 30 minutes from Janjala village
2) 2 hour from Jarandi village
3) 3 hours from Vetalwadi village.