“Fort JadhavGadh – Earlier it protected the Royal Pride. Now it safeguards Royal Traditions. “
Discover the Charms of living like Royalty at Fort JadhavGadh, one of the World’s first Museum Fort Hotels. Overlooking the lush highlands of southern Pune, this Gallant fortress with a mighty history of 300 years has been lovingly restored to its erstwhile glory by the Kamat Group. And skilfully adorned with some of the finest amenities to appease the modern-day royalty.
The story of Fort Jadhavgadh starts from the man who himself was as strong in mind and body as the stone structure he created. Pilaji Jadhavrao was the Maratha General in the army of Chhatrapati Shahuji. In 1707, Chhatrapati Shahuji, the grandson of the great Chhatrapati Shivaji, was released after 21 years of imprisonment by the Mughal ruler Shahjahan. The Mughals still controlled the Maratha region but were loosing some ground because of Aurangzeb’s death. It was during this time that Shahuji thought of a comprehensive plan. His ultimate goal was to bring back the lost glory of the Maratha empire and recapture the region from the Mughals. He was also an excellent judge of characters. Therefore, he appointed a select group of loyal men, to spread far and wide across the region and recharge the quiescent emotions of the people.
It was this select group of men of honor that Pilaji Jadhavrao was a part of. With a keen focus on the mission assigned to him, Pilaji lost no time in gathering able men across Jadhavgadhi and Saswad area and to train them to fight for the victory of the Marathas. Power of the mind or the sword, whichever instrument seemed more befitting for use at a particular situation, Pilaji used most assuredly. His stories of valour and the way he could use the sword are still spoken about.
It was indeed through the heroic efforts of men like Pilaji Jadhavrao that Chhatrapati Shahuji finally sat on the throne of the Maratha empire. Pilaji Jadhavrao breathed his last in 1784 after leading a long and fulfilling life of a true patriot, serving the Marathas till the very end.
Fort Jadhavgadh was built in 1710 and it was the residence and safe haven. Since it was built for practical purposes, it is devoid of intricate designs and cravings like other Maratha fortresses. Yet it is steeped in Maratha architecture. Woodwork and armoured main Durwaaza. Rock stairways and main residential quarters. And of course the dungeons which served as grain storerooms, and in tumultuous times prisons. Four such enigmatic dungeons have been traced and restored. One of them may even have a secret route to be used in times of crisis.
The Royal treatment starts at the Main Gate or the Durwazza with a Royal traditional Maratha style welcome with Tutatri and with Tikka and a welcome drink. After the registration and completing the formalities the staff escorts you to the Kholi.
At Jadhavgadh, the rooms are called ‘Kholi’ Marathi for ‘rooms’ . They have been crafted in a manner that they seamlessly fit on the sidewalls of the fort. A total of 58 rooms comprising of 3 suites, 39 rooms of various types, 12 royal tents & 4 neem cottages all are spread across the fort’s three wings
1. Kholi -Deluxe Room: The Kholi or Deluxe rooms of the Fort are equipped with all conveniences and luxuries of the modern world.
2. Varsha Suite- Premium Rain Shower Room:
Located on the lower level of the main fort, these spacious rooms have an uniquely designed bathroom that let you gaze up at the stars and feel the cool hill breeze- all while taking a relaxing shower.
3. Chhavni- Royal Tent:
Live in something different – a Luxurious Chaavni Royal Tent equipped with all modern amenities and an attached bath area.
4. Neem Forest Cottages:
Four quaint Neem Forest Cottages are located amidst nests and chirping birds. These eco-friendly cottages are unique in nature. Completely air conditioned and with all the modern amenities, The Neem Forest cottage will certainly amaze you.
5. Hill View Daalan- Premium Hill View Room:
Situated on the top level of the main fort, the Hill View Daalan- Premium Hill View Room have a balcony overlooking the lawns and providing a view of the vast open spaces.
6. Museum Suite:
Located on top of the Aai museum and with its very own private entrance, the Museum Suite is one of the most sought after rooms at the fort.
7. Maharani Suite:
Located at the top of the fort and below the Maharaja suite, the Maharani suite has a direct access to the swimming pool and the spa. You will never forget your stay at this royal suite.
8. Maharaja Suite:
The Maharaja suite is a royal indulgence in the true sense. Be treated like Royalty at this kingly suite. With a panoramic view of the surrounding hills, the Maharaja Suite was where the seat of power rested.
Activities at the Fort:
Shivaji Martial Arts – DaanPatta : This is a 45 minute evening show that takes place at royal lawns or at ‘Payatha’ at the backdrop of the fort wall. A troop of 15 youth perform Shivaji’s martial art in a traditional technique using bamboo sticks, spears, swords, fire wheels, and much more. The performance is lethal as well as stunning and is thoroughly enjoyed by all ages.
Ghazal Nights: Occasionally, Fort Jadhavgadh’s roof top restaurant comes alive with ‘Ghazal Nights’ filling the air with a nostalgic ambience. Commensurate with the theme, we provide Indian traditional ‘Mostly Grills’ cuisine and gadda and bolsters seating for the event.
The Aai Museum : Fort Jadhavgadh is the only hotel of its kind with an in-house museum. The Aai Museum, as the name suggests, is a dedicated to the mothers of the world. It is a labour of love of Dr. Vithal Venkatesh Kamat and he has painstakingly created this museum by reusing and reviving the fort’s horse and elephant stable houses.
Bullock Cart Riding: A common means of transportation in ancient times, ‘Jinker’ bullock cart riding has been revived by Fort Jadhavgadh for its residents. Beautifully decorated carts donning plush colourful mattresses and pillows along with traditional fanfare are used to create an unforgettable and exhilarating experience for young and old alike. Other activities such as fig farming, cow milking, etc. that allow you to experience rustic village life at the fort are also arranged upon request.
Temperature Controlled Swimming Pool and Spa: Swimming Pool is operational from 7am to 7pm. While some of you can Rejuvenate and relax at idyllic pool side spa.
Gate opening and Closing Ceremony: Back then when the Royal families were living as per the tradition the Maha Durwazza or the Main gate use to open at 9:30am and it use to close by 6:30pm and no was allowed to pass by once it is closed. Still these tradition are followed. Now the ceremony last for 10 mins only, They close the door and brief history of the Fort is given by the Care taker or Killedaar Somnath.
Guided Fort & Museum Tour: Its one of the most advance guided tour which takes back you to 300 years of history of the fort. It takes 1 and half hour to complete the tour and covers almost 25 points of interest including the Aai Museum, which unfolds the history and importance of every point.
There are other activities as well like Archery, Rifle Shooting, Pottery Making. Fort JadhavGadh also has Royal Lawns with a capacity of 3000 -4000 people for wedding, Product Launches and big social gathering.
They also have 90 seater Banquet hall – ‘Prangan’ The Conference Room.
Above all this the most Important is Food. Fort JadhavGadh has two restaurants: Chhajja- The Coffee Shop (Multi Cuisine) and Payatha A Royal Ethnic Cuisine. Food at both the restaurant is impeccable and scrumptious. The service and the staff are very courteous and treat you royally.
Payatha has a open kitchen counter and has huge buffet spread with two live counters of Puran poli and Desserts. Being under the management of Kamath Group the food quality is never compromised. The Cleanliness and the hygiene of the staff is utmost taken care. The buffet Spread is really huge and you need a royal stomach to relish on all this. Along with Maharashtrian cuisine, Punjabi Cuisine is also served. They also have Jatra night on weekends where ‘Lavani’ – ( Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance, which particularly performed to the beats of Dholki, a percussion instrument.) live performance is displayed and you can enjoy it with delicious food.
Fort JadhavGadh is a absolutely fantastic and unique destination for a Individual Family or Family get together events. Even Corporate Team building up activities can also be organised here.
A big Shout out for Neha (Shout it out Media) for the lovely Staycation Invite and Mr Aloy lobo and Team JadhavGadh for hosting us.
Phone: +91 99 8757 3818
Tel: +91 2115 305200/305220.
Disclaimer: I was invited for a complimentary Staycation . This blog is a narrative of my experience at the venue. These are my views that I have expressed in the blog. Others are most welcome to agree or disagree with the same. The blog is not personally or commercially influenced. I have not lifted, copied or plagiarised it from any source either. However, I have done my due diligence via publicly available information on the internet and as shared by the client/PR agency.