||FortHeight : 3200 ft|
|Type : Hill forts
||Fort Range : Matheran|
|District : Thane
||Grade : Medium|
| Malanggad is built on a hill, which is situated around 16 Kms south of Kalyan. It lies to the North East of Badlapur and East of Mumbai and “Saashti”. Karanja and Uran to the North East and Bhor Ghat, Bhimashankar and Malshej to the East of Malanggad makes this region strategically important during times of war.
| Captain Ambigdon laid a siege of Malanggad in 1897. The Marathas usually lie low during the monsoons and do not like to fight. Knowing this quite well, he decided to plan an attack on this fort and on the complacent Marathas in the middle of heavy rains. He cut off the routes to the North East and the North as soon as the battle commenced. He decided to take the Peer (machi) first. Pandurang Ketkar, along with his 300 trusted Maratha soldiers were guarding it. Surprised by the attack, the Marathas could not defend themselves. Out of them 125 soldiers ran toward the Sone Machi. As there was no more space on the fort, the rest of them ran towards the Mamledar of Kalyan. To reach the top of the fort, Captain Ambigdon made his own way right from base of the fort to the Peer Machi. Nana Phadnis tried to break the siege to the fort, but could not succeed. Ambigdon brought and set up 3 cannons on the Peer Machi and started bombarding the Sone Machi from there. Because of the strategic positioning of the main entrance of the fort, the bombs did not reach it. The link to the outside world and the fort could not be enforced as the Marathas knew many secret routes and kept the communication channels open. The Fort Commander requested for help from Anandrao Dhulap and Kashi Pant, who sent 700 troops without personally coming for help. These troops, however, could not reach there. Captain Ambigdon laid rope ladders and 250 of his troops reached the Peer Machi with the help of those ladders. The Marathas, however, drove these troops back by throwing rocks and stones on them. Ambigdon then removed the cannons from the Peer Machi. Taking this opportunity Gangadharrao replenished his ammunition and grain stores. Nana Phadnis then sent Balaji Vishwanath Pathak and Radhovishwanath Godbole with troops to break the siege. They, along with their troops reached the village of Shirval, which is at the North of Malanggad. The Maratha troop was around 3000 strong. They tried to drive away the enemy but were not successful. On September 16, a division of Gardi soldiers marched across the Peer Machi. The British had to hurriedly clear the cannons due to this attack. Major Westfield sent some more enforcement to help Captain Ambigdon.
This enforced army besieged the Maratha division bringing reinforcements into the fort. The guardians of the fort had to face the shortage of food grains and other essential commodities. Some food grains rotted because of the rains and the coffers started getting empty. Similarly, the Marathas had also broken down the supply lines of the English Army. Colonel Hartlane then secured the route going through Belapur, Panvel and Taloje. They then attacked the Maratha troops stationed at Shirval and drove them off. Now, the British Captain Carpenter led the second attack over Malanggad. He also started pounding the fort with cannon fire. Around 350 troops were waiting for a breach in the fortification to get into the fort but Ketkar defended the fort with great strategy. There were many casualties in the English army and they stopped the attack. The English decided to bring the Marathas to surrender by laying a complete siege and starving them.
After October, the condition in the fort became more critical. Gangadhar Karlekar could not send any support to the fort from outside. In the end, Nana Phadnis took some sardars under his hand and gathered a massive army, which attacked Vasai and Malanggad. Nand Phadnis himself, along with Haripanth Phadke and the massive army came to Khandala and decided to go down towards Kalyan via the Rajmachi route. This strategy was to intimidate Hartlane and it succeeded. Colonel Hartland immediately withdrew he siege of Malanggad fort and the Marathas could send ammunition and food to Malanggad, thus preventing the fall of the fort till the end.
|Fascinating Spots :|
| You should reach the other end of the Machi going straight along this route. From there a secret route leads to an ashram at a lower level. From there two routes lead to both the ends of the hill, in the North-South direction. One route goes to the village of Vavanje at the base. One can get an S.T. to go to Panvel from that village. If we take the route going north, further away, it divides into two. The bifurcation going straight circumambulates the fort and reaches the entrance via a rock face, which looks like a Palanquin. The route going to the right goes down to the intersecting ridge between Malanggad and the Ganesh Karthik Pinnacles. From the Machi, we can reach the topmost portion of the fort by keeping the rock face to the right and going around it and reaching the steps cut on the rock face. After we cross the steps we see a cave and a water cistern. It is quite difficult to go ahead from this spot. Many rock cut steps, after the initial 50-60 have collapsed and we can cross this expanse of rock face with the aid of an iron pipe, laid along this route. A rope has been fixed through this expanse as handhold. One can reach the top of the fort, in about 10 minutes after we cross this patch. The top expanse is quite small. One can see a construction without a roof. There are 7 water tanks dug out behind this structure. There is a wild fig tree in the middle of the topmost portion of the fort and one can also see a bit of fortifications on this portion of the fort. The pinnacle of Devni is right ahead in front of the “Balekilla”. All pilgrims have a custom of throwing a stone from the fort to the Devni pinnacle. It is said that if the stone hits the Devni pinnacle, they will get their wishes fulfilled. |
If one looks from the East to the North East of this fort, we can see the regions of Gorakhgad, Rajmachi, Matheran, Peb, Irshal, Prabalgad, etc.
|Ways To Reach :|
| One can reach the base of the fort by bus from Kalyan within half an hour. At the lower plateau of the Fort is the famous Dargah of Haji Malang. There are steps up to that point. There are also shops on the way. There is a big Shiva temple and a small temple of Devi. There is a lot of pilgrim activity up to this Dargah. Before the Dargah and between the shops, there is a route, which veers of to the right. There are houses and a well in that route. The route is along the ridge of the hill and starts climbing to the right. You can reach the top vertical rock face after a climb of about 15-20 minutes. |
|Accommodation Facility :|
|Food Facility :|
| None. Cooking on site is very much advised.|
|Drinking Water Facility :|
| There are quite many water tanks on the fort, which have potable water safe for drinking. |
|Time To Reach :|
| Approximately 2 hours from the base.|