Gorakhgad fort history

Gorakhgad, about twelve miles south-east of Murbad and a couple of miles from Sidgad, a sheer rock about 400 feet high, stands out from the Sahyadris at the foot of the Aupa or Khopoli pass. In 1818 it had two forts an upper and a lower. After a difficult ascent of about 100 feet, in places along the brink of a precipice, stood a gateway with an underground spiral staircase behind it. At the top of the staircase was a second gateway, and above were some water cisterns and huts. From this a second steep and dangerous ascent of about 100 feet ended in a narrow terrace from ten to fifteen feet wide, with some large cisterns and caves useful for stores or dwellings, running under a knob of rock about 100 feet high. The top was reached by a very narrow and difficult staircase hewn out of the rock. This upper fort was, in Captain Dickinson’s opinion, safe against any native power and could scarcely be taken by surprise. In 1862 it was ruinous with scanty water and no supplies. Close by is Machhindragad an abrupt rock like Gorakhgad. These rocks are notable from the railway near Neral station.

 

The caves and cisterns noticed by Captain Dickinson are the remains of an early religious settlement. At different heights and at irregular distances are many small groups of caves most of them dwellings much like many of the Kanheri excavations. They have verandas, seats, and square hewn pillars. The water in the cisterns is cool and abundant.

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