|Fort Name :||Alphabetically||RangeWise||DistrictWise||CategoryWise||GradeWise|
|Padargad||FortHeight : 2200|
|Type : Hill forts||Fort Range : Bhimashankar|
|District : Raigad||Grade : Medium|
|Padargad and Tungi forts were built to keep a vigil on the ancient Ganesh ghat trade route. This ghat/pass falls on the Bhimashankar route via Karjat-Khandas. The main purpose of these two forts was served as a watch tower and thatswhy there aren’t many structures on this fort. as the approach path to the fort is broken in many places, it can be accessed only with the use of technical climbing expertise and equipments. The two pinnacles on the fort are named as “Kalavantinicha Mahal”.|
|The origin and history of Padargad is not well known. Aurangzeb used this fort to gain control over the fort of Peth.|
|Fascinating Spots :|
| There are two tough patches to cross to reach the fort. First is the Chimmney climbing and second is the rope climb for a rock patch. After this the hill has to be circumvented to arrive at a cleft between the fort summit and the mountain. There is a large cave on the right side which can accommodate up to 5-6 people. Another small cave to the left is above the rock patch. Only one person can stay here. Both these caves are facing different sides and also at different heights. Thus they were effectively used to keep a vigil on the Ganesh ghat trade route and the nearby region. There are rock cut steps in the cleft but the beginning 5 feet approach has been devastated. So we have to take the support of adjoining trees to climb a bit. After climbing 5-6 steps the path takes a diagonal turn. Here on one side there is a rock wall patch and steep valley to the other. There are about 10-12 built in steps adjacent the rock wall which takes us to the fort top.|
The fort summit is divided in two parts. The first part has a small flat ground with 3 rock cut water tanks which are now dried and two platforms. A very narrow passage connects the second part. Two pinnacles stand independently here on the second part. Below the first pinnacle on the front there is a water tank and a platform structure. Keeping this pinnacle to the right proceed ahead in between the two pinnacles to reach the second pinnacle. Keeping this second pinnacle to our left we reach a large cave by crossing a narrow patch. This cave can accommodate around 10-12 people and around 30 people could be seated.
To the east of Padargad we can see the wall of Bhimashankar hills spread across and to its north is Siddhagad. To the north side of the fort at the base, the village we see is Padargadwadi. To the south is Peth fort and Tungi fort is to its west.
|Ways To Reach :|
| Reach Karjat on the Mumbai Central railway line and proceed to Khandas village by bus or auto rickshaw at 14 kms. One can reach Bhimashankar from Khandas via Shidi ghat, Gugal ghat and Ganesh ghat. The Ganesh ghat route can be used to reach the Ganesh temple in 30 minutes and the well in the ghat in another 30 minutes this well has water till January-February. It is advised to fill up our water stock here as there is no water source on the fort.|
Next to the well to the right a path goes through a dense forest patch. After a 30 minute trail we come outside the forest cover and have to ascend the hill. We come to a narrow rock patch vertical window which is about 4X2X10 in dimensions. The other side of this is closed and also its roof due to landslides. One has to climb this narrow path using Chimney Climbing technique i.e. using our back and legs against the walls to move upside. There is also a bolt affixed to the upper side which can be used for rope climbing. After climbing this narrow patch we have to cross another 15 feet rock patch using a rope for which a bolt has been affixed on the upper side. After this we have to circumvent the hill adjoining the fort summit and arrive at the cleft between the fort summit and the hill. Here we can see a large cave to the right. In the cleft there are rock cut caves to ascend the fort but the initla 5 feet patch has been devastated. One can take the help of the tree to climb this patch. Further the path take a diagonal turn where there is a rock patch to one side and a deep valley to the other. After ascending the steps adjoining the rock patch we come on the fort top.
|Accommodation Facility :|
|Available in the Caves|
|Food Facility :|
|Drinking Water Facility :|
|All the water tanks on the fort are dried and have no water. It is advised to fill water from the well in Ganesh ghat which has water till January-February.|
|Time To Reach :|
|3 to 4 hours from Khandas village.|
|Best Season To Visit :|
|Avoid rainy season and 2 months after it. In the summers carry enough water.|
| 1) Carry two ropes of 100 ft and 30 feet each.|
2) Local guides can be hired from the village who are aware of the rock patch.
3) Expert climbers can climb this rock path with free hands.
4) Even though this is a one day trek it gets late to return and thus carrying torch is advisable
|Forts in the range of Bhimashankar||Bhimashankar||Bhorgiri||Dhakoba||Durg|