Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sonori A.K.A Malhargad Pictures

Kondhwa - From Baapdeo Ghat
Sardar Panse Palace at Sonori
Walls of Panse wada - Sonori
Sonori - Malhargad - Fort
Shiva temple on the fort
Fortification - Malhargad
One of the multiple wells for water
Fortification on the west side of the fort
The water tank on fort
East end of the fort

Sonori A.K.A Malhargad

Not sure if I would be able to carry on like I did in the previous years. Though,the bug wouldn't let me sit idle so without much planning and hype a team of four set out to Sonori, A.K.A. Malhargad. Going by records this fort is the last one to be constructed by the Marathas. It was built by Sardar Panse, the Admiral of Maratha army to watch over Dive Ghat. The village Sonori is at the base of this fort.

To reach this place from Pune:
1] Take Saswad-Kondhwa road and travel till Saswad, take the right turn towards village Sonori on a not so nice road. Sonori about 5 odd kms or more from here.
2] Take Saswad Road from Hadapsar via Fursungi, Dive Ghat and reach Saswad. Take the left to Sonori on the same road described in #1.

There is not much to see on this fort. The fort is named after Lord Malhari i.e. Khandoba. There is a temple of Khandoba here and a temple of Lord Shiva. There are ruins of the partly still intact fortification. There are couple of dry wells and a dryer water tanks that might have served as source of water in ancient times. The fort apparently was built in late 18th century. The construction isn't made of Dark Basalt stones unlike the prominent Maratha forts. There are ruins of Sardar Panse's palace in the village Sonori which needs some mention and needs a visit.

Scaling the fort isn't a tough deal as well and takes hardly half an hour to 40 odd minutes from the right side of the fort. I had hoped that the rainfall this season till now might have pumped some life in the dead grass around here. Although, to my disappointment there was no rainfall reported here so the landscape was quite arid and dry. I had visited Purandar back in 2003 and I had a similar observation by then. This area doesn't get much rainfall, despite the proximity to Pune.

From the top one can apparently spot Dive Ghat, duo of Purandar-Vajragad, Jejuri and Sinhagad [?]. There was no signs of rains and the weather was not as clear so I could spot none. But you sure can try your luck. One more to the kitty for the fort collector !