Kalyandgad AKA Nandgiri Fort

Type: Hill forts
Area: Satara
Grade: Easy
Base Village: Nandgiri (Dhumalvadi), 120 Kms from Pune
Time to climb: 1-1.15 Hours
Best time to visit: Monsoon
Time visited: June 2011
Way to reach from Pune: Travel to Satara and take left to Satara Road (Padali) and reach dhumalvadi.

History as per on web: Kalyangad AKA Nandgiri fort was built by king Bhoj-II of Shilahar dynasty between 1178 to 1209. The Shilahar Dynasty was follower of Jainism. This dynasty ruled all over the south Maharashtra and North Karanatka between 11th to 13th Centuries. After decline of Shilahar Dynasty, the Nandgiri fort was captured by Adilshah of Bijapur. The fort was conquered back by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1673 A.D. As this fort was very difficult to climb, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's treasury was kept on this fort. After Shivaji, the administration of Kalyangad went into the hands of Pratinidhis and later fort was taken over by Peshwa. In 1818 the fort came under British control.

Monsoon had arrived early and had been there for a week so we decided to sart the trekking season. Started early at 6.30 AM and after having Vadpav at Ramprasad @ shirval our usal stop over we proceeded to Bhuinj. Now we wanted to visit a historic temple in Kikali and we exitsed NH4 from Bhuinj for Nikamwadi. On the way we stopped for directions and old man offered us to sho till Nandgiri. he mentioned that Kikali temple was being reconstructed.

The fort looks easy from the bottom but as you start climbing you get feel of steep slopes. All over the way Arrows have been marked. On the way is a cave pond with carved pillars supporting the roof. A neat staircase leads to the main gate facing north.

The path, made up of steps, leads us to the door facing east.

On entering the fort by this path we come across the temple of Lord Hanuman.

There is a ruined temple of Shree Ganesh and a big lake ahead on the left. On the right side you would see few windmills rotating with swish of wind. On A few steps ahead are the remnants of palaces. After going straight from this way for 10 minutes we reach to eastern part of the fort. There a huge Banyan tree which is also seen from the base of fort/far away.

Few minutes after this point you can see beautiful lush green sourrouindings and few forts in this region- Jaranda, Ajinkyatara, Chandan, Vandan, Morya and Vairatgad if the skies are clear.
We could locate Jaranda easily. I immediately made up a point to visit Jaranda later this year.

It takes approximately half an hour to watch the top of the fort.

Just after the first gate on the left is a steep footpath descends into a hollow of about forty-fifty feet deep. This is an entrance to a huge pitch dark cavern.

You will get few minutes to adjust your eyesight as nothing can be seen except a a faint flicker of diya far far away.

There are railings inside the cave which is usually filled with water. Sometimes it is said that the water is knee deep or could be upto even waist deep in monsoosns and you have to walk stooping.

The cave is said to be around 30m deep. At the end of the cave you see status of Lord Dutta and on right hand side is very ancient statue of Lord Parshavnath in a sitting posture. Since it was just beginning of monsoon there was absolutely no water in the cave near the railings but on the right side there seemed to deep water..

It takes approximately half an hour to watch the top of the fort and maybe half an hour for the cave. We came down in 20-25 minutes and it started raining heavily. We proceeded to our next destination Bara Mota chi Vihir.