Mahuli Fort at 2815 ft, is a popular trekking destination and a paradise for rock climbers because of many nearby pinnacles with interesting names like Vazir, Vishnu, etc., given by the local trekking and climbing fraternity. This mountain complex is actually a group of two or more hills with common cols and pinnacles.
It is the highest point in the Thane district. The forest surrounding Mahuli has been declared as a sanctuary. Once Shahaji Raje, father of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, had this fortress. The fort has been declared as a protected monument.
Besides an open Shiva temple there is a small perennial drinking water cistern on top, three caves of which the larger can be used as overnight shelter, like as on many other such natural hill forts of Maharashtra Western Ghats (Sahyadri Range). There is a stone arch historically known as the ‘Kalyan Darwaja’ but the dome of the arch is now broken.
The creator of this fort are Mughals. In 1485 this place came under rule Nijamshahi dynasty. When Shahaji Raje became the secretary of Nijamshahi, Mughals of Delhi tried to end Nijamshahi. In 1635-36, Shahaji Raje transferred himself with Jijabaiand Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to Mahuli. When Khan Jaman attacked the fort, Shahaji asked Portuguese for help, who refused and Shahaji surrendered.
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took this fort from Mughals on 8 Jan 1658. In 1661 it was given back and was won again by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. In treaty of Purandar, in 1665, Marathas lost these forts again. In Feb 1670, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj tried to conquer Mahuli, but failed, Manohardas Gaud, was the in charge of the fort. A thousand Marathas were killed.Most of them were from nearby villages.Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj said to his dead kadam sardar he is our gold. So maharaj gave the Sonare surname to this family. Manohardas Gaud, soon gave up his position and Alveerdi Beg took over. On 16 June 1670, after two months, Moropant Pingle conquered the forts and Mahuli, Bhandargad and Palasgad became part of Swarajya. Till 1817, Shivaji’s dynasty owned the fort but later on it was controlled by the British Raj.
Source : Wikipedia
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