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Tikona Fort or Vitandgad in Maval near Lonavala in Pune District of Maharashtra

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tikona Peth (Fort) or Vitandgad is located in Maval near Lonavala. Tikona Fort is located very close to the Pawna Lake, Kamshet and Tung Fort. It is located in Pune district of Maharashtra. It can be easily accessed by road, the closest rail station is Lonavala.
Watchout for the signboard on the road

Tikona fort is located at a distance of around 14 km from Bedse Caves. That is roughly around 30 minutes ride by car. Again we referred to Google Maps for directions. But then the maps are not very accurate so do ask locals around. They are very helpful.
Fortification of Tikona Fort
We traveled by Bedsegaon Road - Pawnanagar Kamshet Road to reach Tikona Fort.

Public Transport is not very reliable here. We didn't see a single ST bus on our trip nor share rickshaws or tum tum.
Hanuman Temple atop Tikona Fort
The time was almost 1:30 PM on my watch when we braked for lunch on the way to Tikona Fort or Peth. After having a heavy lunch, we were deciding if we should climb up the fort, Nevertheless we still proceeded with our plan to climb the fort.
Cave converted into a Temple and a water body near it
After asking the locals we reached Tikona Village. The base of the fort is around 10 minutes away from Tikona Village. Car parking is available near the base of the fort from there starts the muddy trail up hill.
Nyaneshwar Mohur
The climb is a mixture of muddy trail, and rock cut steps till the top of the fort. The initial climb is a steep one  in a matter of 30 minutes we are halfway up the fort. Not much shade on the trail as we were climbing in  the hot sun in the month of March. The trail starts from the side of the cliff, then moves on to the ridge and finally back to the side of hill again.
Balle Killa or topmost point of Tikona Fort
Even midway up, we saw a wonderful view of the hills around us. But the sun was killing, thanks to the cool breeze blowing, we didn't break a sweat.  

We kept climbing crossed a cave, then Hanuman Mandir with a huge carving of Hanuman painted orange color. Initial signs of fortification had started appearing now.
Grinding stone
Finally we meet two guys, Nyaneshwar Mohur and Sujit Mohur who are a part of Shivdurga Samvardhan, who are the guardians and caretakers of the fort. Nyaneshwar Mohur was dressed like the Malwa (Shivaji friends and soldiers).
Steep Climb up Tikona Fort
Not much is known about the history of this fort. This fort was initially built by Nizam Shah in 1585 and later conquered by Shivaji in 1657, the fort was recaptured by Mughal warrior Kubadkhan and later conquered again by the Marathas. Thereafter it remained under Maratha control. 
Caves on Tikona Fort premises
There is a temple in a cave surrounded by water body which is more than 20 feet deep. As per Sujit no diver has been able to reach the bottom of the water body. The water is not clear and not fit for drinking.
Fortification of Tikona Fort
From there one trail goes downhill to the Maha Darwaza or Main Entrance to the fort and the other uphill to the topmost point of the fort. Now we were running short on time and hence we dropped the plan of visiting Maha Darwaza. Sujit informed us that the Maha Darwaza can be seen from  the topmost point of the fort. Though it is Maha Darwaza, one cannot ascend the fort from there. 
Caves atop Tikona Fort
As the time was now 4 PM, we decided to go uphill. We climbed the steep and narrow steps to reach the top. There are cables put up on either side of the hill so that you don't lose balance. The stairs reminded me of the ones in Sindhudurg in Malvan and Ankai and Tankai Forts in Manmad. Its going to be fun getting down these steps.
Temple atop Tikona Fort
There are some more caves atop the fort, apart from that there is a temple and a water body here. Not sure how deep this water body is. There is a flag erected on the topmost point of the fort.
View from Tikona Fort
Chilled wind blowing around us, though the view was hazy, Tikona fort offers a wonderful view of Pawna Dam, Tung Fort and other hill ranges in a distance. Apart from it one can  see the hills and valleys in a distance along with villages and fields.
Pawna Lake
It felt nice to be on top of the world. Sadly there is no signal for mobile phones up here. 

It took us around 25 minutes to explore the entire fort, we then headed down via the steep steps to reach the temple. 
At the topmost point of the fort
Sujit also informed us about caves midway downhill, but he told us that they are not Buddhist caves but Hindu caves so there are no carving on the wall. These caves are converted into temples now.
Me near the flag topmost point of the fort
The time was around 4:45 PM on my watch. we started the descend downhill. By 5:10 PM after posing for a couple of photo shoots we were near the junction, one trail going uphill to Tikona Fort, the other going downhill to the base where we had parked the car and the third to the caves. We took the path to the caves. Walked down hill, it was steep. We then gave up as we running short  of time and we had to reach the car before it grows dark.
Three of us at the water body
By 5:45 PM we were finally at the base of the fort i.e near the car. 

We cancelled the plan of visiting Tung Fort and clubbed it with our camping at the banks of Pawna Lake.
Tikona Fort in a distance
We covered Karla Caves, Bedse Caves and Tikona Fort in a day's trip. Not bad. All this was possible as we had traveled by car.

Though it was tiring we did enjoy our self. One never gets tired doing what one loves.


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