Two weeks ago, I went for an overnight trek with a professional trekking group. This trek reminded me every step of way that I was in very poor shape physically. :( I was so unequipped and unfit both to start trekking as it had been a whole year since I’d even seen a fort (Sinhgad on Dad’s birthday doesn’t really count). The last trek I did was Tikona with Anand in Feb 2012. Anyway, We took off from Pune at midnight on 2nd Feb, reached the base village – Ghatghar at about 3 AM. After sleeping (in the bus) for a couple of hours, we started climbing at 6 AM and finished the trek at 2 PM. It was long, tiring but so very rejuvenating!
Jivdhan (or Jeevdhan) is a fort situated in Junnar taluka of Pune. The fort, which rises 1145 meters above sea level, is located in the Sahyadri mountain range.
Forts originated during the Satvaahan era. Every entry point on the forts built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj has a ‘Kalas’ and Lord Ganesh carved on it. The nearby Naneghat (Toll collection booth) was used for commercial purposes by traders to help in efficient movements of goods. As this was an important pass joining the seas to the mainland, it was heavily guarded from enemies. The Jivdhan fort stood as an important guard to protect the interests of various kingdoms. The route from Jivdhan to Naneghat has an open field of 2–3 km, which gives a clear view of any enemy approaching.
This trek had many a small rock climbing patches [like the one below] that required some strategy and a lot of limb strength. The Britishers had captured this fort in 1818 and in the process, destroyed all approach routes and stairs. And because of the lack of stairs, Jivdhan is said to be a high difficulty grade trek that requires climbing equipment in quite a few patches.
The inscriptions in the caves indicate that they are the work of Satavahana rulers who came into prominence after the fall of the Mauryan Empire. It is believed that a powerful woman ruler Naganika, the wife of Satakarni (180–170 BCE) of the Satavahana family commissioned the cave, the statues and the inscriptions. Inscriptions in the cave mention her and her family members. Though the statues adorning the sides of the rectangular cave are now gone, the inscriptions still record some of the achievements of the dynasty. The Naneghat records have proved very important in establishing the history of the region. he mention of Samakarsana and Vasudeva indicate the prevalence of Bhagavata form of Hinduism in the Satavahan dynasty.