A trek up to Tikona Fort is an easy day excursion from Pune, located just 50m west of the city overlooking Pawna Lake. I visited in September towards the end of the monsoon season which is perhaps the best time to visit. I can still clearly remember how fresh and lush the vegetation was, with masses of wild flowers everywhere about you.
The fort is located near Kamshet in Maharashtra. The starting point is the tiny village of Tikona Peth, also known as Gavhande Village. From here a small paved road (called Mohol Road on Google maps) starts to climb uphill before turning into a mud track.
The 3633ft hill is pyramidal in shape, and the name Tikona means “triangle”. It takes about 90 minutes to reach the summit.
After about 1km look out for a path on your right heading into the vegetation. Here the trek starts to get a bit more serious, rapidly ascending towards the summit and the fort. In wet conditions the path can be quite slippery, it was hard for me to juggle ensuring I had firm footing and trying to take in the surrounding countryside that was getting more and more impressive with every step. Plus of course I has to make plenty of stops for the obligatory photographs 🙂
Near the summit you pass a few small cave temples in front of a pond, before the final leg of your trek takes you up some seriously steep steps into the fort itself. And these are REALLY steep, there’s a chain hand rail fixed to the side wall which I didn’t think I’d need, but I was seriously wrong !
The views from the summit are spectacular, before you is Pawna dam and the nearby forts of Tung, Lohagad and Visapur, plus of course Pawana Lake. The weather when I was there was extremely humid, but in many respects that just added to the whole experience.
Not much is known about the origins of Tikona fort, although it’s believed to have been first constructed around 800 A.D.
Documentary evidence talks of Malik Ahmed Nizamshah of the Nizam dynasty conquering the fort in 1585 and annexing it to the Nizam territory.
In 1657, Shivaji conquered Tikona along with the forts of Karnala, Lohgad, Mahuli, Songad, Tala, and Visapur. Tikona fort was quite strategically placed, at the centre of control for the entire Pawana Mawal region.
In 1665, Jaysingh invaded the region and attacked the local villages but the fort held out. Tikona fort was finally surrendered to the Mughal warrior Kubadkhan some years later.
On the way back down I took some time to appreciate the flowers and vegetation that covers the hillside. The lushness of the surroundings and the freshness of the green foliage was quite dazzling, I wasn’t in any hurry to leave.
This might be a seasonal thing, but be on the look out for land crabs that seem to inhabit the lower levels of the hill. They’re quite nervous of human feet, and rightly so as they blend into their habitat rather impressively. This little chap seemed a little bolder, and was quite content to pose for the camera for a few seconds before scurrying away…
Returning back to the car in Tikona Peth, I was hot and quite tired. The climb was relatively easy, but the humid conditions certainly sap your energy. My driver was nowhere to be seen, a slightly worrying moment for a handful of seconds, until I found him sound sleep in the village temple !
If you’re interested in using any of my photography or articles please get in touch. I’m also available for any freelance work worldwide, my duffel bag is always packed ready to go…