Sudhagad, also known as Bhorapgad, is a small hill fort near Pali, Maharashtra. The fort was named Bhorapgad after the Goddess Bhoraidevi. The origin of the fort traces back to 2nd century BC. It was named Sudhagad after the Marathas conquered it from the Bhamani dynasty in 1657. Shivaji Maharaj considered it to be the capital of the Maratha empire but later decided to choose Raigad over Sudhagad due to its central location.
Sudhagad trek is a short and sweet weekend gateway for trekkers from Mumbai and Pune. The fort is almost equidistant from both the cities. One can see the peaks of Sarasgad, Tail Baila and Ghangad from the top. There are 2 huge lakes at the top where one can take a dip and build a camp for night stay. Apart from that, you can also visit Bhorai devi temple and “Pant Sachivancha Vada”.
- Altitude: 1,970 ft
- Time taken: 2 hours from Thakurwadi
- Trek gradient: Easy. The trail is a mix of flat walks and ascents
- Terrain type: dense vegetation and steps cut through the rocks
- Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water from the base. You can refill your water bottles from the lakes and wells on the summit.
Tar road ends once you reach Thakurwadi. To your right you can see a school. There is a parking space next to it. The trail begins just opposite to the school. Ask any local and they will guide you.
After crossing few houses, the trail begins ascending slightly. You are now facing Sudhagad while Thakurwadi lies behind you. From here you can see the first ladder as well. The route is well laid and there is negligible chance to lose track.
Traversing further, the route now moves through some dense overgrowth till you reach the first ladder. The ladder appears to be new and strong. After climbing the first ladder, the trail passes through open meadows with light ascent. About 15 minutes of walk will take you to the next ladder.
Once you climb the ladder, you will reach stone steps which will lead you through Pacchapur darwaja. The steps are easy to climb but consume good amount of energy. The last 15 minutes of the climb is again through open meadows and lead you upto Takmak point.
The trail now opens up to huge flat land. There is a potable fresh water pond at the top. This place is ideal to set up a camp if you do not wish to stay at the Vada (near the Bhorai Devi temple ahead).
Keeping the lake to your left, move straight ahead following the arrow marks and you will come across rajwada. There are rooms available here and the temple care taker Mr. Santosh offers food and stay. The rajwada has a wooden pillared gallery surrounded by a central courtyard.
Take some steps further and you land on a stone bordered walkway which leads to the Bhorai devi temple. Bhorai devi was the family deity of the Pant Sachivas. There is a huge deep stambh or a lamp tower in the temple courtyard. Also, one can see several hero stones carved to pay tribute to the death of a hero in a battle.
The rajwada and temple are in a pretty good shape. The views of surrounding mountains are eye pleasing and keep us reminding how insignificant we humans are in front of a mountain.
You can descend back on the same route or explore an alternate route from Dhondase village which joins the top near the devi temple. This trail is through the Mahadarwaja, located diametrically opposite to Pacchapur Darwaja in the North. You can hire a vehicle back to Pali village from Dhondase. The descent will take you around 2 hours. There are also diversions on the Dhondase route to take you to other trails such as Talibala, Ghanghad and Kairgad. If you camp overnight on top, you can start early the next day to explore these other trails.
Accomodation at the top: Mr. Santosh +91 9273369217
For Food orders: Ms. Vedangi Tambat +91 9225136215
Parking facility is available at Thakurwadi.
This trek has been researched and documented by Apoorva Karlekar.
How to reach Thakurwadi, the base village
3.5 hrs from Mumbai (Ex Dadar)/Pune
The best way to reach Sudhagad is to go by own/hired vehicle. The location is a little off track which makes the use of public transport cumbersome.
For those who want to take public transport, reach Pali by ST buses (All buses from Mumbai to Mahad and beyond will take you to Vakan, from there you can take share auto to Pali. There are direct buses to Pali from Panvel but the frequency is limited). Shares take Rs.15-20 per person. From Pali, you need to hire a private auto which will take you to the base village Thakurwadi which is 13 km from Pali. Getting a transport after dark is difficult.
Route from Mumbai:
Route from Pune: