City trekker duo locate ‘lost’ fort near Purandar
City trekker duo Onkar Oak and Sachin Joshi have located a long forgotten fort - Dhawalgad near Purandar - on Bhuleshwar mountain range. The only reference about the fort is found in a book named Kille Purandar by historian Krishnaji Waman Purandare, published in 1932. Other than him, no other gazetteer or government document has any information about the fort.
Dhavalgad is situated near Amble village in Purandar taluka. Dhavaleshwar temple on the fort is well known in local villages. However, it wasn’t known to the trekking or research community.
In February, Onkar had visited the place for bird watching with his friends and found a 50x50 barricade wall in a ruined condition. After becoming curious about its origin, he searched for more and found ruins of a main door, watchman’s quarters, four water cisterns, a bastion, and watch points.
He found that the details were matching with the references in Purandare’s book, but couldn’t find more information in any gazetteer. Therefore, he decided to conduct a research on the fort. With help from his friend and historian Sachin Joshi, who is member of state government’s fort promotion committee formed in 2015, they visited the fort again and noted the measurements of all available remains of the structure. They made scientific sketches and submitted their report on Saturday to Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal.
“The fort is similar to a watchtower and does not seem to be a full-fledged fighting fort. It’s part of a series of forts on the Bhuleshwar range, which used to protect the area earlier. The other two forts – Malhargad and Bhuleshwar – had been identified earlier, but the third one was never located,” said Oak.
“If we observe the construction of the fort, we can say that it was probably built in the Peshwa regime, and is similar to Malhargad and Bhuleshwar forts. At the base of the fort, there is a strong citadel of Khandero Darekar, a commander during the Peshwa era,” said Joshi.
Similarly, in 2012, Nashik trekkers Hemant Pokhrankar and Rajan Mahajan had located Lonza fort in Kannad taluka in Aurangabad district.
About the fort
Distance: 50km from Pune
Area: Half an acre
Route: There are two ways to get to the fort.
One is from Saswad via Vanpuri, Singapore, Pargaon Choufula ,Waghapur and Ambale. From Ambale village, dirt tracks will lead one to the fort.
Second route is from Urali Kanchan on Pune – Solapur road. From Dalimb village, a steep climb and a 45-minute trek can take one to the fort.