Our road trip to Satara was proving to be very exciting and fulfilling because we had completed all the places that we were targeting to visit on the first day. If you were following our journey through my blogs , you must be knowing that we had earlier visited ancient stepwell known as Baramotichi Vihir and after that we visited a lovely, serene and peaceful temple of Shree Bhairavnath of Kikali Village.In case if you have missed out on these stories you can click on the links given below.
We were very hungry while coming from the Shree Bhairavnath temple, so just before entering the Satara City we grabbed a quick snacks of kanda bhajiya and Tea in one of the hotel along the highway.
We were desperate to reach our next destination which was Ajinkyatara Fort. The desperation was actually to catch the sunset from the top of the fort. Driving down from Mumbai on the highway, when you reach the Satara city junction and you see this Hotel Priti Executive, take a right turn and ask any local or you can either follow the google map,you will easily reach Ajinkyatara Fort.
Ajinkyatara Fort is perched on a mountain right in the centre of the Satara city, coming from Mumbai and entering the Satara city one can hardly miss the towering signage of Ajinkyatara Fort. There is a proper road which go upto the gate of the Fort.(So no worries, if you cannot trek or walk) However talking about the road, I want to point out here ,that as we were nearing the entrance gate the road was in a very pathetic condition.Thanks to the skills and patience of our friend Manohar , who kept driving with cool head that we reached safely.
Getting the car to the top can be a big headache because there is hardly any place to park. Somehow we found a small space and we adjusted our car there and moved on to enter the fort. The entrance of the fort was decorated with flower garland or Toran.
Standing in front of the gate, as we were admiring the the decor, suddenly a tempo with plastic chairs screeched to a halt just next to us and next we know is that some one tapped on the back of Manohar and handed him two plastic chairs and said “Dada isko upar chod do na” Manohar been a no nonsense guy was taken aback for a second however he took the chairs to the top without fuss.On inquiring we came to know that that there was some pooja next day so all these chairs were for that purpose. Just behind Manohar I was walking so I thought probably now the guy will handover the chairs to me too to carry Lekin mere ko ek hath me DSLR sambhalte hue `aur doosre me selfie stick usne soch hoga yeh yeh ludkte insaan ko bolna bekar hoga …. so I was never asked.
As I entered the Ajinkyatara fort first gate I saw a 30-40 stone staircase leading upto the second gate. After entering the second gate we see a temple on our right side. It was a Hanuman Temple. I wanted to know so much about this fort but I was unable to garner much information on the internet, except that the Fort of Ajinkyatara is one of the most important pillars in the history of Maharashtra. This hill fort was under the control of Shivaji Maharaj during the 16th century and has seen some of the most important events of the Maratha and the contemporary history
The word ‘Ajinkyatara’ literally means ‘The impregnable Fort’. It is one of the most stunning specimens of Maratha architecture in Satara. The fort provides a spectacular view of the entire Satara city and is a popular place of sightseeing in the current times. It is based at a height of 3300 feet or 1010 meters above the sea level.
Little ahead of the Hanuman Temple one can see the TV tower.
The fort was the capital of the city in the 4th century and was conquered by the Marathas under the leadership of Shahu Maharaj. Since then till the year 1818 the fort was under the control of the Marathas. This is the same fort where Tarabai Bhosale was imprisoned. This fort when under the Mughals was known as ‘Azamtara’. I was given to understand that Azam was the name of son of Aurangzeb hence fort derived it name from the Mughals; However when it was captured and won over by Tarabai from the Mughals, it was then renamed as ‘Ajinkyatara’.
THINGS TO SEE ON THE FORT:
Other than the carvings on the main entrance gate and the Hanuman temple One can visit the beautiful lake which though not very big but with picturesque background looks beautiful. Do spend some peaceful moments here.
Then there is a Temple of Mahadev which is visited a lot by the locals.
One should not miss walking along the edge of the fort and spend some time standing on the bastions of the fort.Looking down at the surrounding hills.
Trekking the vast expanse of the fort with trees,amber coloured shrubs all around, if you are here in winters is something to be truly enjoyed.
During the evening the setting sun looks quite mesmerizing with the city of Satara slowly immersing in twinkling lights as the sun sets completely. Do witness this magical transformation. Let the time pass by as you feels the simmering lights along with the nudging cool breeze caressing you all along.
Then there is a Tara Rani’s Palace which can be visited. Let the word palace don’t fire your imagination, that the palace would be something grand and splendorous, because what we see today in the name of palace is only the ruins and remains of palace wall. Bhai agar Palace dekhna hai toh thoda imagination ki bhatti jala lene.
One can also visit Mangaladevi Temple and lastly one can view the south gate entrance of the fort which surprisingly looked new and well maintained than the Entrance from where we came in.
One Critical thought too! ( Ek khayal aisa bhi….)
Whatever I wrote above on this blog was, as to what I experienced about the things on the top of this fort (I have my way of romanticizing with the things around me) but honestly speaking if you intend to be critical and shut your imagination and talk real hard and blunt truth,then in that case, the top of the Ajinkyatara fort is not at all maintained properly, there were shrubs all around which actually needs clearing.With so many people visiting this fort everyday, a little efforts on the part of authorities can go a long way and this fort can be a very good tourist attraction, but this Chalta hai attitude is bane of our country. I so wanted to visit this fort because every-time whenever I passed Satara the huge board of Ajinkayatara beckoned me to the fort similarly just like me there would be many travelers who would like to come and visit here, All said and done I enjoyed visiting this fort so Dosto ek visit to banta hai aap jab bhi satara aaye.
HOW TO REACH:
The fort is located in the Satara City. It is about 266 Kms from Mumbai and 115 km away from Pune. Satara railway station is well connected with trains across India hence this place can be reached through rail and road. There is a great state bus service system that can be availed to reach Satara.
The day was coming to end; It was dark when we left the Ajinkyatara fort and our next task was to find a hotel to stay tonight because we had planned to visit few more places tomorrow.
So stay tuned for the next part of my blog and let us see what more Satara has to offer.
Thank you for reading my blog. If you like my blogs please do share them with your friends, Do join my site and your comments are very important so comment on the blog.