Where history and luxury meet – Fort Jadhav Gadh

At first glance, all you see are the black stones that make up the walls of the fort. Built in 1710 on top of a picturesque hill, Fort Jadhav Gadh takes you through the history of the time when the Mughals held the reins of most of India. It was built as a safe haven and a residence to protect people from enemies. The stone structure is a vision of the legendary Pilaji Jadhav Rao, a Maratha warrior who played a leading role in protecting the Jadhavgadhi and Saswad area.

It is located on a 25-acre piece of land, some 2,250 feet above sea level, surrounded by the gently rolling hills of the land once known for the bravery, courage, and honor of its rulers, the Peshwas. The main passage is made up of large blocks of stone and leads to the main door, which is nailed; there are switchbacks and steep climbs to get there. The idea was to make it easier for animals to climb but at the same time make it difficult for enemy soldiers to enter.

The interior of the fortress is divided into an outer walled area and an inner sanctuary. The inner sanctum was where the women lived. The outer walled area was used for rain collection and is still used for the same. There are dungeons below for obvious reasons, four have been discovered and restored. There are no intricate designs on the walls or anywhere else that indicate the full purpose of the fort being built for protection. Woodwork and designs on the dwarzaa are predominant works of art during that period. It is a fine example of Maratha craftsmanship.

The fort has been renovated and opens its doors as a boutique hotel. There are 38 rooms, of which six are premium rooms with rain shower, 6 are premium rooms with balcony, 10 are deluxe rooms and suites, there are also 10 tents spread over three wings. The suites are located separately from the rest of the rooms in another part of the fort. All rooms reflect old world charm with restored stone walls, antique furniture and are elegant and comfortable.

Premium Rain Shower Suites contain a shower open to the sky and Premium Suites with a balcony opening onto stunning views of the extensive gardens and gently rolling hills of Saaswad. Explore the wild side of the fort by staying in the tent. The tents have an open balcony, lie back on the chairs placed there and relax, sleep or read. There is a vegetable garden attached to the shops, the vegetables grown here can be used in royal cooking.

Enjoy a fine dining experience from traditional to contemporary at Payatha, nestled at the foot of the hills. It serves traditional Maharashtrian cuisine. Chhajja the Cafe is a multi-cuisine restaurant offering Indian, Continental and Oriental dishes.

There are many things to do and see around Jadhav Gadh. Visit the Purundhar fort, 14 km from the fort, on top of a mountain. It is an ideal trekking destination and has ancient temples around it and the historic Dive Ghat, offering glimpses of the Mastani River below. Another must-see is Purandar wada, a prehistoric structure believed to be from the Mahabharat era. There is an ancient Ganesh temple next to the wada. The fort specializes in themes and festivities, whether it be weddings or fairs or a celebration, the fort can be your desired destination.

Mumbai is the nearest international airport. If you are driving, exit the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and take the NH4 or Pune-Satara Expressway. Proceed straight towards Pune and Katraj Bus Terminal. Turn right and then immediately left onto Kondawa road. Keep driving until you pass the historic Dive Ghat and see the Fort on your right.

Modern, luxurious but with the feeling of going back in time, Fort Jadhav Gadh is the place for those who want to get away from the routine, a place for family and celebrations.

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