Tikona Fort is a hill fortress situated in the
Pawana Maval in the Konkan region in Maharashtra. The fortress is known for its
rich history and the hills around the monument is a popular trekking
destination. In the Marathi language,
the fort is called Vitandgad, however, the fort is better referred to as
“Tikona Fort” especially due to its triangular shape.
There aren’t any reliable sources that
elucidate the origin of the fort, however, it has been a part of various great
dynasties including Marathas, Mughals, Nizams and British. To date, the fort
stands tall and strong despite the harsh forces of nature trying to crumble it
down. The architecture of the fort is marvellous and constitutes of seven water
cisterns, humongous gateways, massive fortifications, high placed bastions,
etc. Recently, a local body named Shivdurg Sanvardhan is in charge of its
maintenance and preservation.
A trek from the Tikona Peth village to the top
of the hill is a memorable experience and a must-do activity for adventure
enthusiasts. The trek is not very challenging but the route comprises of sharp
turns and steep steps. Therefore, it is advised to be fit before undertaking
this trek. During the trek, you will walk past various interesting places
including caves, shrines and cisterns. Finally, you will reach the edge of the
hill from where you can get a panoramic view of the surroundings. The low lying
clouds and lush greenery with a historic fort in the backdrop makes this place
a perfect location for a photo session.
More on Tikona fort
History of Tikona Fort
The Konkan region of Western Ghats in
Maharashtra is divided into smaller parts which are locally called as Maval.
Tikona Fort is situated in Pawana Maval and is one of the four important forts
in the region. This fortress had a crucial role to play in protecting the
region and other fortresses such as Visapur, Lohagad and Tung in the past.
It is very difficult for the historians to
decipher the actual year of construction of this fort, however, this monument
has been under the supervision of several rulers and hence, represents a rich
intermix of cultures of different kingdoms. In the year 1585, the fort was
conquered by Malik Ahmad Nizam Shah I. Later, Tikona and many other forts in
the Konkan region were taken over by the army of Shivaji Maharaj. King Jay
Singh attacked the neighbouring village and this fort in 1665, however, the
defence and security of the fort remained impenetrable.
On 12th June 1665, the Treaty of
Purandar was signed and the fort was simultaneously handed over to the Mughal
warrior Kubad Khan. But in the later years, the Marathas recovered the fort
only to lose it to the Britishers.
Trekking around Tikona
Nestled amidst the dense tropical forests of
Western Ghats at an altitude of 3500 feet above the mean sea level, the area
around the Tikona Fort forms an apt location for undertaking trekking
activities. The trek starts from the base village named Tikona Peth. The groups
of trekkers gather in this village and initiate the trek after walking uphill for
another one and a half kilometre. The entire trek trail is characterized by
dense foliage, edgy turns and picturesque view of the misty hills.
You will reach the first gate of the fort
after a half an hour trek. The entrance is called Bhuyari Darwaja and is
covered with dense growth and vegetation, therefore, making it look like an
ancient and mysterious cave. You can even click a few pictures at this point of
the trek. Once you cross this gateway, you will witness the ruins of the
ancient Lord Hanuman Temple, the Chapat Maruti. The idol in this shrine is
carved out of a single rock and is installed in a position where the Lord is
stepping on the devil Panvati. There are also few caves amidst the jungles
which were probably used by soldiers in the past.
This spot is followed by a series of some old
fortifications and Tuljadevi Mandir. The shrine has a huge water tank and
remnants of stone grinder in its front yard. A signboard is installed here that
elucidates the history of the fort. This is the exact point from where the trek
route gets steeper and more challenging. From here you will have to climb a
knee-high steep staircase.
The last section of the trek trail, the steep
steps, is referred to as Shivaji Trail. The route has a break after 15-20 steps
leading up to the bastion of the fort. The steps are steep and slippery as they
are covered with moss. Therefore, you need to be cautious while climbing; it is
advisable to take the support of the ropes that are attached alongside the
staircase. Once you reach the top, you will be greeted with the sight of
magnificent Trambakeshwara Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. On the
other side, you will get a fantastic view of the entire Pawana Maval
region. From here you can also get a
splendid panorama of the nearby located forts including Visapur, Lohagad and
Tung. In addition to this, you can also have a look at the massive Pawana Dam
lurking in the backdrop of Tung Fort.
The view from the top of the fort is
hypnotizing and is ideal to shoot a few awesome photographs and capture the
blissful moment. The entire exhaustion of the trek is compensated by the
outstanding view that awaits the trekkers on the top. The difficulty level of
the trek is easy, and it takes around 1-1.30 hours to climb and an additional 30
minutes for stopping and photographs.
Restaurants near Tikona Fort
There are no eateries along the trek route;
however, you can find a few affordable foods stalls selling local delicacies in
the village. One of the most visited restaurants in the village is the Tikona
Upaharagruha where you can have your breakfast before starting your trek.
Tips for Visiting Tikona Fort
1. Please wear comfortable and sturdy shoes
with a thick sole and good grip. The trek is not only about walking but it also
entails climbing steep and slippery stairs.
2. There are no food stalls along the trek
route and on the top of the hill, so it is advised to carry enough food and
3. Do not forget to carry a good camera to
capture amazing pictures.
4. Carry rain protection gears and
windcheaters if you are travelling to this place during the rainy season. In winter, take warm jackets because it gets
chilly at the top.
5. The caves in and around the fort can be
used for camping but it gets flooded and moist during the monsoon months.
Therefore, avoid camping during the rainy season.
How to Reach Tikona Fort?
Tikona Fort is not connected with any means of
transportation from the major cities including Pune and Mumbai. The fort is
situated at a distance of about 60 km and 130 km from Pune and Mumbai
respectively. In order to get to the fort, you will have to take a bus or hire
a private taxi to reach Kamshet village. From here, you can avail private taxis
or shares auto-rickshaw to the Tikona village. In case you have to purchase a
few trekking gears, you can visit the nearest city of Lonavala.