Gagangad Fort known as Gaganbawda. It is located 55 km from Kolhapur. Gaganbawda is a hill station on the way to Sindhudurg district and Goa and is also known as Mahayogi Gagangiri Maharaj.
Gaganbawada is on the threshold of the famous Karul Ghat and Bhuibawada Ghat. Perhaps the only place having two ghats originating at a single place but going in different directions, one towards Talere-Kankavali (Karul Ghat) and another towards Kharepatan-Rajapur (Bhuibawada Ghat).
History of Gagangad
Gagangad was built by Raja Bhoj II (Shilahara dynasty) in 1190. After that Singhan Yadava defeated King Bhoj in 1209 and captured this fort. After dividing the Bahamani dynasty this fort goes under Adilshahi. In Maratha Empire Chh. Rajaram Maharaj appoints the chief of Ramchandrapant Amatya as Jahagir. In 1844 British army demolished the Gagangad fort.
How to reach Gagangad Fort
To reach the fort of Gagangada, there is a path of excavated steps near the Shankar temple. This way we reach Samadhi in 10 minutes. Nearby is the temple of Goddess Vitthalai and a water well. Apart from this, on the lower side of the fort, you can see the remains of old houses and ramparts.
Best time to visit Gagangad
Monsoon season is best to visit the fort, Gaganbawda is a hill station and you enjoy it a lot more during monsoon.
Places to visit at Gagangad
As Gagangad is at the tip of the Sahyadri Plateau, deep valleys descending into the Konkan can be seen to its west. The road is paved up to half the height of the fort. There are steps to reach the fort from the basement. At the beginning of the steps is the temple of Mhasoba. It has an image of Redya.
Going up the stairs, on the left-hand side, there is a large natural cave in front of the rock. Gagangiri Maharaj lived in this fort, he had done penance in this cave. Therefore, their temple has been built in this cave.
Outside the cave is a magnificent image of Hanumanta carved in the rock. Next to it is an image of Rama, Lakshmana, Sita, and Shankara. In front of the cave are the monastery office and dining room. There is a Bhaktanivas and Navagraha temple on the way up the steps from the cave. There are 2 cannons on the bastion near the temple.
Ascending from Bhaktanivasa, we enter the open plateau. On the left side of the plateau is a marble temple. On the right is the ancient temple of Lord Shiva. Standing in front of this temple, you can see a mosque-like building at the highest point of the fort (Balekilla). It is the tomb of Gaiby Pira or the tomb of Gabinath.