Friday, July 19, 2013

Tikona Hike - A Relaxed Day in Monsoon

Cover Photo: View of Tikona Fort before entering the base village

Tikona fort also known as Vitandgad is a dominant hill fort in Maval region around 60kms from Pune. Its height from the sea level is around 3500 ft. You can reach to the base village Tikona-Peth from Pune via Paud or Lonavala.

I wanted to take my elder brother, Tushar for a trek. As my brother hadn't done a trek since long time, I finalized trek to Tikona on Saturday,13th July. After finalizing the plan, we tried to call few of our friends but everybody had one or the other work on Saturday and we decided to continue on our own. Initially we had planned to leave around 7.30 AM but we changed the plan at the last moment as my brother did not have the proper trekking shoes! After buying the shoes, we finally left home around 10.30AM. 

We reached to Tikona-Peth, base village of Tikona fort around 12PM. As it was the rainy season, we were advised by a villager to park our car at the village and walk till the base to start trekking. We paid attention to villager's advice and parked our car in front of a beautiful temple.

As we started our walk, we met a group of Foliage Outdoors who were also visiting Tikona.

En route to Tikona from the base village

The muddy road leads you to the base of the fort from where you need to start your actual trek. You can also park your vehicles at the base.  Last time, I had parked my car at this point. But I would advise to park in the village so that you can enjoy your 2-3 kms walk till the base.Waddling through the mud, witnessing the farmers working in the fields along the road, spotting small flowers for practicing Macro photography, hearing the sweet chirping of the birds, spotting beautiful streams make this walk a lot of fun and immensely satisfying.

There is a small ascent as you start your trek.

After 15-20 minutes of trek, you reach to a small plateau from where you get to see magnificent valleys on both the sides.

You need to climb few rocks to join the route which goes towards the fort.

After walking for some distance, you come across an opening in the mountain which you need to cross. There is a small cave in the left as you pass through this opening.

If you look down, you can see beautiful fields and the road that take you to the base of the fort.

Zoomed photograph of beautiful fields and muddy road

After further walking , you come across a beautiful stone carving of Hanuman.

Chapetdan Maruti Carving

After crossing the carving, you come across caves dating back to ancient Satvahan era. This cave hosts Taljai Goddess temple, Ram Dhyan Mandir and small statues of a man and a woman.

Satvahan era caves

Small statues inside the caves:

After crossing the caves, after walking for a short distance, you come across a grinding wheel.

Grinding Wheel

You need to cross two gates to enter the fort. You need to climb some steep steps to reach to the first gate. Because of the rain, these steps were wet and slippery and we needed to be cautious while ascending.

Steps leading to First Gate

First Gate of the Fort:

First Gate

Second Gate of the fort:

Second Gate

You need to climb flight of stairs to visit Bale-Killa.

Once you climb the steps, you come across a small Trimbakeshwar Mahadev Temple:

You get beautiful view of the intact fortification if you look down from Bale Killa. As this was rainy season, wall tops were covered with green grass.

You get spectacular view of Pavna Dam from the top. Watching the reflection of Tung Fort in the waters of Pavna dam is one of the most breathtaking sights you will ever see. I had witnessed the same in winter season last year but as Tung was engulfed with the clouds, we couldn't witness this particular sight but this disappointment was compensated by beautiful clouds and soothing droplets of rain.

There is a large water cistern on Bale Killa

Highest point on the fort: 

It was almost 2.15PM and we both were hungry. As it was raining heavily and there was no other shelter available, we settled on a cave as our lunching spot. We had a sumptuous lunch prepared and packed by mother. 

Soon it was time to descend. While descending, one needs to be careful as the steps are wet and slippery at times! You can take help of ropes tied to the edges in case you need any support.

There is a small Tulsi Vrindavan in front of the caves which I had forgot to photograph while climbing.

There was greenery everywhere and I captured this shot to convey the color of the season!

Looking back, Bale-Killa was giving us the silent farewell.

Within 15-20 minutes, we were down to the base and started our walk back to village. Along the way, I went inside one of the fields and took another shot of the fort.

Along the way, Bhatrashi peak was looking nice with all the green fields in the foreground.

Beautiful flower along the way captured by my brother on his smart phone:

 Finally, we reached to our parking spot.Our clothes, shoes and socks were soaked with water and mud. We spotted a small school across the road of the temple to change our clothes. After relaxing for few minutes, we came across a farmer who was just returning from his field. We asked him about the monsoon and he seemed happy with the current monsoon.

 We didn't have any spare shoes to replace our wet shoes and I had to drive car with bare feet! While going back, Tung was looking very enticing as if it was saying to me: "Don't just look at me ; visit me soon".

Sometimes, even small treks can give you immense satisfaction and this was one such trek. Lush greenery everywhere, rain playing hide and seek throughout the trek, having a lunch in the caves with rain pouring outside, amazing wet trails on the fort, quiet photography sessions without any hurry made this trek very pleasant.

Tips for the trekkers/travelers:
  • This is a simple trek and you can take along kids (>5 years) and few elderly members as well.
  • Carry your own lunch in case you want to have it on the fort. There are no food stalls on the fort.
  • Carry 1-2 liters of water.
  • Things to see - Maruti Carving, Caves, Grinding wheel, Bale Killa, view of Pavana Dam, sights of Tung, Lohagad and Visapur in case there is a good visibility.
  • If you have sufficient time, you can also visit Bedse caves or Hadshi Temple which are very near to Tikona fort.

If you are looking for a nice and easy trek, go and visit Tikona.

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Happy trekking!


  1. Good narrative blog ! Its better & inclusive to give correct information of whole trek than any other i went through available on net
    - Tushar

  2. Very nice information and photos !! Thanks !!

  3. Thanks for the wonderful information. :) Keep writing.

  4. Good information and phographs. It would be very helpful for sure. thank you.

  5. Very nicely elaborated the description. Will be going to Tikona shortly.