Friday, April 15

Shivneri, Lenyadri & Ozar Temple - Junnar

1 Day Trip From Mumbai / Pune


How to reach :
To reach on fort Shivneri first we have to reach Junnar. Distance between Junnar Bus stand and Shivneri is 2 km by road.
Ways to reach Junnar :
1) From Mumbai or Kalyan one can reach Junnar via Malshej Ghat or via Khandala Ghat. Route via Malshej Ghat is the preferable as it takes less time. Buses ply hourly from Kalyan towards Junnar. Distance from Mumbai is approximately 100 km.
2) From Pune or Shivaji Nagar one can take buses for Junnar. Buses ply hourly for Junnar from these bus stands. 3) On Kalyan – Nagar road there lie two diversions: a) Bangar Phata b) Aale Phata.
One can also descend at any one of these diversions and use local transport to reach Junnar city.

Shivneri Fort is a historic military fortification located near Junnar. It is the birthplace of Shivaji maharaj.

Shivaji was born at the fort on 19 February 1630, and spent his childhood there.he got his name SHIVBA here. Inside the fort is a small temple dedicated to the goddess Shivai Devi, after whom Shivaji was named.

There are statues of Jijabai and young Shivaji. At the centre of the fort is a water pond which is called 'Badami Talav'. To the South of 'Badami Talav' are the statues Jijabai and a young Shivaji. In the fort there are two water springs, namely Ganga-Jamumna, which have water throughout the whole year. Two kilometers away from this fort there are the Lenyadri caves which is one of Ashtavinayaka temple in Maharastra.

Detail Background:
This fort has lot to tell. Shivneri, a birth place of Chhatrapati Shivaji (1627), is located at a distance of around 3 km from Junnar (125 km from Pune). Shahaji, father of Shivaji kept his wife Jijabai in this fort during her pregnancy, as the fort was unique and difficult to reach. It is easier to reach the fort by the normal road than to climb from the hills. One has to get through 7 doors before reaching the actual fort. This fort is a very big structure with a very good height. The old and beautiful 'Devi Shivai' temple is on the way. Shivaji was taken from the name of this goddess. Shivaji spent his childhood on this fort. He acquired all the skills and training on this fort which he used while establishing Swaraj. He learnt the early lessons of Swaraj on this fort.
The wide base of the fort is towards the south and the narrow point is towards the north. The ascending path to the fort is defended by seven gates, the fifth one being armoured with anti-elephant spikes. The fort has several rock-hew cisterns and ponds, of which two large ones are known as Ganga and Jumuna. Today, there are only a few structures remaining in the fort. At one end there is a ruined stable and at the other end a mosque of the Mughal period. The house where shivaji was born (in February, 1630 AD) has been recently restored and a temple with statues of Shivaji and Jijabai called Shivakunja, has also been built. Sir Richard Temple in his book Shivaji and the Rise Marathas wrote about Shivaneri: You will see what a rugged precipitous place this is and what a fitting spot it was for a hero to be born in!
Junnar means "Jirna Nagar", one of the oldest cities of ancient India. The Shaka dynasty ruled here. Gautamiputra Satkarni, who was a Satvaahan king, defeated the Shakas to establish his rule. The era of Satvaahan is the most glorious one, as many artistic works were carried out during their rule. Junnar became their capital city. This was the golden era of our culture. Here more than 100 caves were carved out in the mountains surrounding Junnar. The mountain on which fortification was constructed, is well protected by steep scarps, and is the most suitable for constructing caves. Here 64 caves were carved, and eight inscriptions are found here. After the Satavahanas, the Shivneri for was occupied by the Shilaharas, the Yadavas, the Bahamanis and the Mughals. In 1599 AD the hill fort was granted to Shivaji's grandfather, Maloji Bhosale and passed down to Shahaji. Though Shivaji was born here, he had to surrender the fort to the Mughals and could not take it back in his lifetime.
Shivaji Maharaj left this fort in 1632 and it went into the hands of Mughals in 1637. In 1650 the local fishermen refuted against them. The folks lost to the rulers and were assassinated cruelly on the fort. In 1678 the Marathas raided Junnar, but attempt to capture Shivneri was futile. Shahu Maharaj brought the fort under his control forty years later. Later it was under the control of Peshwas.
The Shivneri cluster forts, comprising Harishchandragad, Junnar, Jivadhan, etc. was very important strategically, because it controlled the ancient Name Ghat Pass.
Type : Hill Fort Fort Range : Nanehjat
District : Pune
Height above sea level : 3500 ft
Difficulty rating : Medium
Base village : Junnar
Appx. time to reach the top : 2 hrs from the base village
Water availability : Water cisterns are available on the fort.
Food : Available at Junaar. Not on the fort.
Shelter : One can make a stay on the fort in Shiv Kunj or Ambarkhana. Shiv Kunj is a suitable option among the two because of water cisterns is available near it.
Best time to visit : Any time except summer.

More Photos HERE



Ticketed Monuments - Maharashtra
 Lenyadri Group of Caves, Junnar
Junnar (19°10’ N; 73°53’ E), Taluka Junnar, district Pune is located at a distance of 96 km from Pune and on the southern bank of river Kukdi. Another river namely Mina flows 5 km towards the east. The location of Junnar is also ideal, for, it is in the transitional zone between the Sahyadris and the broad plains to the east. It is encircled by a series of hills, on all sides, namely Sivanei and Tulja hills on the west; the Sulaiman on the north and east; and Manmodi on the south. It is also not far from Naneghat, a vital pass in the Western Ghats which connects the sea ports of Sopara, Kalyan and Thana with the cities and towns of the mainland like Nasik, Paithan, Ter, etc. Naneghat has yielded many label inscriptions and low relief sculptures of the members of Satavahana dynasty like Simuka, the founder of the Satavahana dynasty; Sri Satakarni, his wife Nayanika; her father Tranayakira and her sons Hakusri and Satavahana. There are various identifications of this place as an ancient city mentioned in contemporary accounts. One such identification is Minnagara, the capital of Nahapana.

Junnar has the largest number of excavations numbering over 200 independent excavations and spread over the four hills. All the excavations belong to the Hinayana phase and are datable from mid 3rd century B.C. to late 3rd century A.D. The presence of largest number of rock cut excavations, a large number of inscriptions enabling a paleographical study makes Junnar a prominent site for the study of rock cut architecture. Here there are 24 inscriptions, which provide useful paleographical data for the relative dating of the caves. The donors include members of the royal family as well as commoners, which also includes Yavanas (Greeks). One particular inscription from the Manmodi group mentions the name of a minister of Maharathi Nahapana (c. A.D. 119-124).


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