Hadsar Fort

Hadsar Fort rises on a steep hill near the Nana pass valley eight miles north-west of Junnar and sixty miles north of Poona. The fort lies within the limits of Hadsar village at the foot of the fort. From Junnar the road to the hill lies along the valley of the Kukdi between two ranges of high hills. The road is easy and passable even for carts, but five miles from Junnar it is crossed by the Kukdi which during the rains is difficult to ford. The approach to the fort lies over a steep ravine guarded by an embrasured and loopholed wall twenty yards long, thrown between the fort and a small hill to the west which is 700 yards round. The approach near the top, a rock-cut staircase sixty-five yards long, leads to two rock-cut gateways without doors. The hill, which is about 3200 yards round, rises about 1000 feet above the Junnar plain It is surmounted by a steep natural scarp 150 to 200 feet high. On this scarp stands the fort in shape a triangle with two equal sides. Only the wall that joins the fort with the neighbouring hill is seen from below. Except by the two rock-cut gateways the fort has no entrance. Inside are a few ruins, the commandant’s office or kacheri, and a small temple. On the west a rock-cut passage leads to three underground chambers which are used as storerooms, one of them being filled with water. The water-supply is from several cisterns inside the fort.

History.

Hadsar was one of the five Poona forts which Shahaji gave to the Moghals in 1637. [Elliot and Dowson, VII. 60; Grant Duffs Marathas, 53.] It fell to the British in 1818 soon after the fall of Junnar (25th April 1818). The commandant of Junnar, hearing that the English were marching on Junnar, left the town and fled to Hadsar. Major Eldridge learning of the flight to Hadsar sent a small detachment under Major M’Leod which reduced Hadsar and captured the fugitive commandant with twenty-five horses and four camels. [Pendhari and Maratha War Papers, 293-294; Bombay Courier, 16th May 1818. A correspond it of the Courier mentions Hadsar fort as deserving of notice, apart from its natural strength, from the labour spent on its two gates and its entire rock-cut passage. The gates with the connecting passage were entirely rock-cut and had not a foot of masonry about them. ‘ You enter the side of the mountain, go up a passage, and through another gate to the hill, and then get into the interior of the fort as if you were entering a well.’ Ditto.]

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