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Ramshej fort near Nasik on Nasik Gujarat Highway

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ramsej or Ramshej Fort is located around 10 KM away from the city of Nasik, in Maharashtra. One has to travel on the Peth road, which is the Nasik Gujarat Highway. From the Aashewadi Phata there is a road that leads to Aashewadi village, which is the base village to Ramshej fort.

Ramshej fort

Manohar, Vineet and Thomas joined me in exploring Ramshej Fort, Chambhar Leni Caves and Pandav Leni Caves, all in the Nasik belt.
Foggy roads

We met at Ghatkopar in the east at 5:20 AM. The route is tagged on Google Maps. Ramshej Fort is around 180 KM away. We then headed via the Eastern Express Highway to Kalyan, for the final pit stop to refill on CNG. By 6 AM we were at the CNG pumping station. As there is was no crowd we filled the car with gas and headed over the Mumbai  Nasik Highway. As there was less crowd on the road, we picked up on speed. We were greeted by foggy roads. The fog was so intense that we could hardly see the vehicles a couple of feet away. It was fun travelling in the fog.  Finally the fog gave way to bright sunlight.

Watchout for this signboard near Aashewadi Phata

Kanda Bhajiya at Hotel Shri Krushna near Aashewadi Phata

Due to a small accident on the highway, we were stuck for almost 45 minutes. Somehow the roads cleared out and we started on our journey. 

Manohar picked up speed and we kept moving on the highway. As the route was tagged on  google maps, we didn't have to ask people around for directions. 

Ram Mandir next to Ramshej Fort

Fortification of Ramshej Fort

We traveled by the Nasik Flyover as we wanted to skip the signals and finally on the Peth Road. We stopped at Aashewadi Phata. 

There are a two hotels here, on either side of the road. We decided to try the food at Shri Krushna Hotel. It serves Jain Food and along with Veg Food. I ordered the Kanda Bhajiya. Doesn't the photo look yummy. The Kanda Bhajiya was spicy, it bought tears down by cheeks, but that didn't stop me from eating them all. The food is costly. Don't recollect the price. Manohar any inputs on the cost?
Another hill in a distance

We met Prakash at the hotel reception. He spoke English fluently. I was surprised to hear him speak. After enjoying the kanda bhajiya we asked him for directions. He asked us to travel on the road, till we reach a temple in Aashewadi village. Park the car near the temple and then walk it out to the fort. 

We drove the car to the Aashewadi village. Aashewadi village is a cluster of around 15 to 20 houses. We parked the car  near the temple premises. We then started our trek to Ramshej Fort. 
Stairs leading to the fort

We exited the village and then took a right and saw a track, crossed the barb wire and walked on the cemented road. The cemented road, then turned to stairs and finally we were climbing rocks to reach the top. It was ziz zag way till the top. 

View from Ramshej Fort

Ramshej means Lord Rams bedstead. During exile he had made this fort his residence for sometime. That's how the fort got its name. During the reign of Sambhaji, Aurangzeb tried to conquer this fort. Sambhaji and his men resisted the attacks for around 6 years.

The view of the hill near the fort is amazing. Greenery all around us. We kept climbing and finally in 45 minutes we were atop the fort. At the entrance of the fort is the Ram Mandir. There is a cave below the temple, it provides fresh drinking water.
That's us

Atop the fort there is very little fortification left. On the left hand side is a plateau. It offers a wonderful view for of the land around.
There are a couple of caves on the Fort premises. They are not in use. They must have been used for storing and boarding purposes. They were not Buddhist nor Jain nor Hindu Caves.

Caves atop Ramshej Fort

There are a couple of water tanks cut out in the rock. Not sure how deep they are. It still has water filled in them. But the water is not suitable for drinking purposes as the water color has turned green. 

We walked a little ahead, we saw a temple, painted white. There were people sitting in it discussing some issue . We didn't want to bother them , so we decided to move ahead and view the fort.

Fortification of Ramshej Fort
Fortification of Ramshej Fort

Nothing much to see on the Fort premises. Have to admit, the view it offers of the surrounding  is just amazing . Thanks to the sun , once again, I got to click some wonderful photos. It took us around 45 minutes to see the fort. We then decided to head back to base as we had Chamber Leni and Pandav Leni Caves to be explored.

There is no provision of food on the fort. Food is available at Aashewadi Phata. Also ST buses ply on this route, you can board one from Nasik. 

Water tank atop Ramshej Fort

Temple atop  atop Ramshej Fort

It took us 30 minutes to reach Aashewadi village. We then boarded the car and headed to Aashewadi Phata to have lunch, we had lunch at Hotel Dhanashri as they serve Non Veg Food. LOL. Lunch for us comprised of chicken rice plate and Dal Fry. Doesn't the food look yummy. It was a little expensive but the food was finger licking good. We paid around Rs.530 for a wholesome meal for four.

Hills in a distance

That's us
Lunch at Hotel Dhanashri

If you have noticed the signboards of both hotels are in Gujarati, as we were not far from the Gujarat border. Buses playing to Gujarat and Rajasthan ply from this road. 

We then traveled by the Peth Road to visit Chamber Leni Caves.

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