Lohagarh is one of the many hill forts of Maharashtra state in India. Situated close to the hill station Lonavala and northwest of Pune. It is connected to the neighbouring Visapur fort by a small range.
The fort was under the Maratha empire for the majority of time, with a short period of 5 years under the Mughal empire, when it was conquered again by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Lohagarh is one of the most historic forts ever built. It has a long history with several dynasties occupying it at different periods of time: Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Nizams, Mughals and Marathas.
Shivaji Maharaj captured it in 1648 CE, but he was forced to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 CE by the Treaty of Purandar. Shivaji Maharaj recaptured the fort in 1670 CE and used it for keeping his treasury.
Later in Peshwa time Nana Phadnavis used this fort for living for sometime and built several structures in the fort such as a big tank and a step-well.
But, how will you feel, if I tell you that Jihadis are now silently encroaching upon our National hero, Shivaji’s legacy?
Last Week, when I visited the fort, I was appalled to see the condition of temples inside this fort. I was surprised, when I saw Majaars above the Lohagarh fort.
It was so disheartening to see majaars even inside the Raja Rani temple. Majaar atop fort-hill was higher even from the temple. These jihadis are now silently encroaching upon our legacy. And it is not tolerable in any manner; Outrageous is a small word for it.
There was no pujari present in any of the temples, neither the Raja Rani temple nor the Shiva Temple nearby, but how is it possible that there is no one from the Government of Maharashtra to protect it?
We could see fresh agarbattis burning in the Raja Rani Mandir, at the twin majaar. Another majaar is under construction in the fort.
This fort has been declared as a protected monument by the government. But, no care and attention has been given by government till now, despite BJP and Shivsena being the two main power-holding political parties in Maharashtra right now.
We need to wake up them up and demand action. If we don’t stop it now, very soon Muslim community might lay claim on the legacy of the Lohagarh fort and demand its confiscation under Waqf laws.
The Devendra Fadnavis Administration needs to take action against this encroachment. We need to save Shivaji’s legacy, the legacy of Hindu Rashtra.