Friends, when you hear the name Shivneri Fort, the idol of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj stands before your eyes. Because Shivneri, Shivchhatrapati are the closest subjects to our hearts.
And that is why everyone from a small child to an old man knows that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born on 19th February 1630 at Shivneri fort. Let’s find out about the famous Shivneri fort.
This Shivneri fort is very prominent in Junnar taluka of Pune district in the state of Maharashtra. This fort on Naneghat hill in the Pune district is still in very good condition.
Main Entrance of Shivneri Fort
The Government of India declared this fort as the ‘National Protected Monument of Maharashtra’ on 26th May 1909. And this is a matter of great pride for all over Maharashtra.
The fort is of the ‘Giridurg’ type of medium climbing range and is about 3500 feet above sea level.
History of Shivneri Fort
Establishment of Shivneri, a historical fort in Maharashtra. It was done by the Yadav kings in 1170. It is found that the Yadavs built caves at the foot of Naneghat hill and a fort on it. The fort is built on a hill about 300 meters high.
This fort has been a very important fort on the trade route of Naneghat since before the birth of Shivaji Maharaj.
The fort was built by the rulers to keep an eye on the route due to the large market in the Naneghat area. Also, due to the large size of the market, a lot of trading was happening here.
Junnar was also known as ‘Jirnanagar’ or ‘Junner’. It was the capital of Shak King Nahpan. After that, Satavahana king Gautamiputra Satakarni defeated the Sakas and established his dominance over Junnar as well as the surrounding area.
The Satavahanas also dug caves at various places in the area after establishing their power. These caves are also found in this area.
After the Satavahanas, Shivneri fort was under the rule of Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas. Later, between 1170 and 1308, the Yadavas established their kingdom in the region and Shivneri took the form of a large fort.
Nizamshahi was established in 1446 and Shivneri came under the control of Nizamshah. The Nizamshah then moved his capital from Shivneri fort to Ahmednagar in 1493.
After that In 1595, Shivneri and Junnar provinces came to Shivaji Raja’s grandfather Maloji Raje Bhosale. After the assassination of Jijabai’s father Jadhavrao in 1629, when Jijamata was pregnant, Shahaji Raja accompanied her on 500 horsemen and immediately took her to Shivneri.
At that time, Jijamata vowed to Shivai Devi at Shivneri fort that I will name my son after you. Accordingly, on 19th February 1630, Jijamata gave birth to a cute baby and named it ‘Shivaji’ after the goddess Shivai according to Navas (promise to goddess).
When Jijabai was stayed in Pune, Pune was in a very bad condition. At that time, she guided little Shivaji raje to plough a gold-plated plough in a field with other stewards.
It was on this Shivneri fort that little Shivaji Maharaj learned the lessons of Swarajya establishment from his childhood under the strong guidance of Jijamata. After that, Jijabai left the fort with the younger Shivaji, and in 1637, the fort fell to the Mughals.
Next in 1716, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj brought the Shivneri fort back to the Maratha Empire. Shivneri fort came under the control of the British Raj in 1820 after the Third Anglo-Maratha War.
Interesting facts about Shivneri Fort (Killa)
- Shivaji Maharaj’s birth anniversary is celebrated with great pomp on 19th February every year at Shivneri fort.
- The fort has a steep climb on all four sides, and extremely difficult to conquer. Balekilla means the safest place on the fort which is very high.
- The fort has a beautiful temple of Goddess Shivai as well as images of Jijabai and little Shivaji Maharaj.
- The hill on which the fort stands is triangular in shape and the shape of Shivneri fort looks like a pind of Lord Shiva.
- The fort has an entrance on the south west side of the hill. In addition to this main gate, the fort has to hold chains to get to the entrance; hence it is also called chain gate. Tourists can climb the hill to reach the fort by following that chain.
- The fort is very difficult to climb on all four sides and there are mud walls around the fort.
- In 1673, the Shivneri fort was visited by Dr John Fryer of the East India Company. He mentions in his book that rations are available on this Shivneri fort for one thousand families to stay for seven years.
Nearest places to see at Shivneri Fort
- Coming to Shivneri fort, you need about seven gates. The first door is Mahadarwaja, the second Peer Darwaza, the third Parvangi Darwaza, the fourth Hatti Darwaza, the fifth Shipai Darwaza, the sixth Phatak Darwaza, and the seventh Kulabkar Darwaza.
- Birthplace of Shivaji Maharaj – The fort where Maharaj Shivchhatrapati was born on the fort has recently been renovated. Seeing Shivaji Maharaj’s childhood in this birthplace, every Shivaji Maharaj fan does not stay there without bowing down and having tears in his eyes.
- Statues – On the south side of the fort there are beautiful statues of Jijabai and little Shivaji. The thrilling history of Shivaji Maharaj will surely come to our notice after seeing these two statues.
- Shivai Temple – There is a small temple of Shri Shivai Devi on the fort. You will feel amazing when you see the beautiful idol of Goddess in this temple.
- On the fort there is a water lake called ‘Badami Talao’ as well as water springs called Ganga and Yamuna. Therefore, drinking water is available on the fort throughout the year.
- There are also ancient Buddhist caves underground in the vicinity of the fort. If you have time, you can enjoy these caves too. There is also a Mughal mosque on the fort.
How to reach Shivneri Fort
- The distance from Pune to Shivneri Fort is approximately 105 km.
- ST and private bus services run regularly from Pune to Junnar. There are also bus services from various cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolhapur, and Goa.
- Similarly, taxis or other vehicles hired from Pune can take you to the fort.
- If you are coming here by train, then Pune Railway Station is the nearest station from Shivneri Fort.
- Also, if you want to get here by air, the nearest airport is Pune Airport at Lohegaon.
- The city of Pune is connected to all major cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi by bus, train, and plane.
- Shivneri fort is located in the city of Junnar. As you enter the city of Junnar, you come across Shivneri fort.
- There are two ways to reach the fort; a chain path and a path through seven gates. Both of these passages pass through Junnar village.
- In front of the new bus stand in Junnar city, there is a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Near this statue, four roads meet.
- About 1 km from the road on the left side, there is a temple on the right side of the road. The footpath in front of this temple takes you directly to the steps of the fort.
- If you go this way, you can reach the fort with the help of a chain. But the way is a bit difficult, and it can take you about half an hour to reach the fort.
- It also takes about 1.5 hours to reach the fort by the other route, which takes seven gates. And it’s a little easier than it used to be.
- Tourists from Pune as well as Mumbai can visit Shivneri fort in one day and return home in comfort.
Shivneri Fort Map | Source: Google Map
Friends, you must definitely come at least once to see this fort, the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and sanctified by his touch. The glorious history of this fort and the magnificent appearance of the Shivneri Fort will definitely help you to cherish those memories for a lifetime! If you want to learn more about Torna Fort then you can visit our blog for that.
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