That was a cool Sunday of
19-Dec-2004. We were 4 friends for this trek, Abhay, Anil, Sagar and me. As Purandar is near to Pune, we decided to go on
bikes. Abhay was on his Splendor with Anil and Sagar was on his Pulsar with me.
We left Pune at 7.00 am.
Our route was Swargate - Hadapsar - Saswad - Purandar. On the way to Saswad, we crossed Dive Ghat at around 7.30. This ghat
gives you a fantastic view of some of Pune Suburbs. Also, one can see a small lake at the base of the ghat. It is said that
Mastani (from Bajirao-Mastani) was coming to the lake for bath. We proceeded towards Purandar. The road is too good to drive, very wide with less traffic. Perhaps this is because
its the same road which goes to Baramati. :-)
We crossed Saswad and take
Narayanpur Road. After around 10 km, we got Purandar phata. Purandar base is just 3 km away from this phata. We reached the
base at 8.00 am. There is a motor road to go on the fort. But, we decided to have a trek to the top. We had tea and biscuit
at a tea stall in the base village and parked our bikes there. We started at 8.15. The climb is very easy. We reached on the
fort at 9.00. After visiting Murarbaji statue, an old church, we proceeded further for Balekilla.
Its around 45 minutes climb
Balekilla. This part of the fort is called Balekilla. There are two water tanks here. A very old Kedareshwar temple is also
there. Nothing more to see on the Balekilla except the temple. The temple is the highest point on Purandar fort. The view from the temple is very scenic.
The surrounding valleys gives you a pictursque view of the area. You can see see Neera river valley, Karha
river valley, Sinhagad, Vajragad from the top. It must be more beautiful in the monsoon. We were carrying some junk food with
us that we finished at the temple. After spending some time over there, we again come down to main fort at 12 noon.
In a very small hotel over there, we had some Bhel and tea.
Then we moved to see east
part of the fort. This part of the fort is mostly having many N.C.C. buildings. N.C.C. centre has now shifted from the fort,
but the building are still there. There is a statue of Sambhaji Maharaj. Purandar fort is birth place of Sambhaji. This
part is very near to Vajragad. As per our initial plan, we were not going to Vajragad, as we were not knowing about the route,
the distance and difficulty. But from Sambhaji statue, the Vajragad is very near. So, we asked a shepherd about the distance
and route to vajragad. He told that its around 20 min. walk. So, we decided to go there.
The route to Vajragad is
very easy. Its is covered with thorny bushes. Even if you loose your control, you can not go inside the valley because of
the dence bushes. The main Darwaza of Vajragad is unseen until you reached just 10 meters to it. Its very easy path from the
Darwaza inside the fort. Vajragad is very small fort, having around 5 buruj. There are two small temples of Shiva and
Hanuman. Also the fort is having plenty of big rocks. This is feast for rock climbers. There is nothing more to see on this
fort. You can visit the fort just within an hour.
We came back to Purandar
fort at 2.00 pm. Now we started to go down to the Purandar base. This time we took a different route. This route was
very difficult, with very slippery slopes. Moving slowly, we get down to the base. We started our back journey and
came at Saswad. There we visited Sangameshwar temple. This is very old temple with very nice stone carving on it.
Also, very near to the temple, there is samadhi of Sant Sopandev. Sopandev was brother of Sant Dnyandev. Both these temples
are worth visiting. Near Saswad, we found a dhaba and took a heavy late lunch at 4.30 pm. We came back to Pune at 6.30 pm.
So, in all, this was a very
small but very nice trek. Its very near to Pune. Our total running of the day was 100 km. You can also visit the very famous
Datta mandir in Narayanpur and also the Balaji temple of Ketkavle. For this, instead of coming back to Saswad, you have to
come via Kapurhol and Katraj.
is 45 km.
Places to visit on Purandar: Sir Darawaja, Padmavati lake, Kedareshwar temple, Peshwe's palace, Nanasaheb Peshwe's
palace, Sawai Madhavrao Peshwa temple, Konkan darwaja, Murarbaji Deshpande's statue.
Places to visit nearby Purandar: Vajragad,
Saswad, Narayanpur, Balaji temple.