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Jivdhan Fort trek- Junnar Taluka
Situated in Junnar in the district of Pune near the town of Ghatghar is the Jivdhan hill fortress. It stands at a height of 1145 meters above ground level. The mountain range of Sahyadri houses this fort. Jivdhan Fort is one of the five famous trekking destinations, the other four being Naneghat, Chavand, Shivneri and Hadsar. This trekking destination is the hardest one among the five as only experienced trekkers are allowed here. This is due to the tough climbing route that requires training on how to use climbing equipment. The steps are carved out of the rock on which hooks are attached making its way to the Kalyan gate. The hooks make the climb easier for the regular climbers.
This fort is believed to have originated from the Satavahan era. The entry points to the fort are beautifully carved with Kalas and Lord Ganesha which was built by Shivaji. This point of the fort was given heavy security to protect from the enemies, the location being the point meeting mainland to the seas. The fort was captured by the British in the year 1818 that destroyed all other approaches.
Jivdhan Fort trek attributes
- There are water tanks on the hilltop that serves water but that water should be used under precautions as the tanks near the storehouse atop the hill remains open but the cistern near Kalyan gate could be used as potable water. The fort is seen covered with thorny shrubs so be careful while passing through it. Giant squirrels could be spotted at the base forest of the hills.
- Although the main gate or the Kalyan gate is in good condition, the storehouse and the temple of Goddess at the hilltop is in moderate condition and is less explored by the tourist.
- The height of the pinnacle near the fort is 385 feet high. You can feel the height of the pinnacle as you move closer to it. The name of the pinnacle is Venderlingi. It takes a day to surmount the pinnacle by using proper equipment for rock climbing. Be aware of the beehives in the fort area. Another dangerous thing that you could rarely spot is the snakes. The area is prone to snakes.
- The entire plateau of Junnar is visible from the top of the fortress. Nearby forts are hilltops are visible too atop the hill. The other four forts mentioned above too can be clearly viewed from there. There is a 2 km of flat land stretched from Jivdhan to Naneghat that has a historical significance to notify impending attacks from a distance.
How to reach Jivdhan Fort trek
There are two options to go to Jivdhan fort. You can go either via Naneghat route or from Ghatghat route. You should go through the Naneghat route if you an experienced trekker otherwise the other route is oaky. It is better to take help of a guide as the routes are quite challenging and you may lose your way. There is a past history of trekkers getting lost in their way.
What to carry
You need to carry the common trekking luggage, the rucksack, water bottle, your personal medicines, and windcheater. There are no food centres in the region so, take enough foods with you so that you can have some meal after you reach the top. The people in the village base are always helpful to provide homemade recipes enough for you to spend the night. You need to start your journey the previous night. Early in the morning start your trekking journey after having some light breakfast. If you are planning to go there in the rainy season, then you must be careful of the slippery steps and your shoes must be a suitable trekking shoe.
Jivdhan Fort is one of the hardest climbs and offers an extreme rock climbing experience. Although there are steps at some point, you need to apply rock climbing talent. During rainy months water gushes out of the hilltop creating waterfalls and then the climbing becomes far more difficult. But once you reach the top and get closer to nature you can feel the silent love of Mother Nature that nurtures all your tiredness into strength.