Kamalgad Fort, 4511 feet above sea level, is situated about ten miles due west of Wai, Satara. The hill divides the head of the Krishna valley. To the north of it flows the Walki river basin, and to the south the Krishna basin, the two streams meeting at its eastern base. The top of the fort is approached by unfrequented footpaths from Asgaon to the east, from Vasole to the north, and from Nandgane/Paratwadi to the south.
On the rocky top, there is a deep shaft leading some 30-m into the ground, said by some to be a quarry for red Geru stone, which is in abundance here.
The top of the hill consists of an area of only three or four acres quite flat and surrounded by a low scarp and can now be reached only by arduously scaling the scarp. Formerly the approach was by an artificial funnel or tunnel leading upwards from the base of the scarp and issuing on the top. This funnel is now blocked by a large boulder that has fallen into it.
There are now no traces of any buildings on the top nor of any walls or gateway. There is only a hole which is said to be the remains of a deep well sunk right through the rocky layer constituting the scarp and penetrating to the soil below which seems still to be full of water. The hole is now only eighteen to twenty feet deep though the well was thirty or forty.
Some reports indicate that this ‘hole’ might have been a quarry for red stone (Geru) which is plentiful in this region.
The lands belong to the village of Asgaon. There are no Gadkaris in connection with the fort. To the west of the base of the scarp is a rude temple dedicated to Gorakshnath. The builder of the fort is unknown, but it is probably very old.
History of Kamalgad
Even though the exact history of the fort is still unknown, it is said to have been established in the Medieval Period of India. As per records, the fort was under the control of the Marathas. However, later on, it became a part of the British Empire. Under the British, it was used to execute prisoners of war.
The sides of the well which were formed of the natural rock are said to have contained recesses in which criminals were placed to choose between starvation and throwing themselves down into the water. No traces of the recesses now remain. No one lives on the hill, its sides are covered with thick scrub and water is found only at the base of the scarp.
The builder of the fort is unknown. During Maratha times, Kamalgad, Pandavgad and other forts in the area were administered by a Mokasaddar (manager) from Bijapur. Early documents are written in now-defunct Modi script of the Marathi language refer to the fort as ‘Kattalgad’.
In April 1818 Kamalgad surrendered after a slight resistance to a British detachment under Major Thatcher.
Best time to visit Kamalgad fort
The region in and around Kamalgad Fort experiences a bearable climate throughout the year. Hence, it can be visited anytime in the year. However, the best time when the weather is cool and pleasant is from October until the end of March. You can also visit it during the monsoon season, i.e., between the months of July and August when the entire region wakes up with lush greenery and a soothing climate.
Red Stone Quarry (कावेची विहीर)
Kamalgad Fort - The Rocky Top
Ladder to the top
Scurp of Kamalgad Fort
View from Kamalgad Fort 1
View from Kamalgad Fort 2
Ladder to the top
Day 1Kamalgad Fort – 1D Trek
05:30 Please reach your pickup point and meet with SG-Trekkers representatives to mark your attendance.
06:00 You will be transferred by private bus to base camp or the starting point of the trek.
06:30 – 07:30 An hour of breakfast and tea break. Resume the rest of the journey.
09:15 We arrive at the base of the Kamalgad fort. Our field experts will provide pre-trek information and instructions to all participants. (Collect your packets of lunch.)
09:30 – 12:30 Now we start the trek to the Kamalgad Fort. We need to ascend approximately 1,830 ft. It takes about three hours to reach the top from the base.