|Location:||In the Soygaon taluka of Aurangabad district.|
Aurangabad is referred to as the tourist capital of Maharashtra. Janjala Fort is also called as Vaishgad Fort.
This giant hill fort is located on big hill top within Ajanta-Satmala Range. Easy way is from Janjale village at East of this fort. On way to fort Ghatotkach Cave is observed at east side of this hill fort.
Different historians have different views about this Fort. The scripture in the caves of Ghatotkach has a mention of Ashmak’s royal daughter. This cave was carved by Varahadev, the minister of Vakatak’s king in the 5th century A.D.
This fort is in Jinja village. The village’s former name was Janjala. From there the name of the castle is called Janjala.
In 1553, this fort was under the control of Ahmadnagar’s Burhan Nizamshah.
In 1631, Shahajahan won the fort.
Places to Visit on Fort:
The fort wall which otherwise is still in good condition has been partly demolished to make an entry to the fort. There is an 8 feet long canon outside the fort wall. To the right (east facing) there is a secret door from which one can see Vetalwadi dam and Vetalwadi fort. Moving ahead towards right there is a doorway facing east which is 20 feet high and its arch is still in good condition. There are porches inside the doorway. There are some scripture and sculptured stones near the doorway.
Going back to the entrance route, there is a pond which is currently in a bad condition due to which water doesn’t accumulate much. Further left from the pond there is a doorway facing north which approaches from the base village of Jarandi. On the outer side of the doorway there is a two liner scripture written in Persian language.
Moving ahead from Jarandi doorway one comes across an arch which had a fortified wall around it. There are two bastions while we move ahead from the arch. One of the bastions is in ruins and its stones can be seen fallen below. One of the many stones of bastions has a sculpture of a Sharabh which is now in two broken parts. Between the two bastions there is a tomb of Saiyyad Al Kabir Kadri. Opposite to it is a scripture in Persian language carved on a stone. There is pond behind the tomb which has potable water.
One has to circumnavigate the tomb which takes us to a structure which has a window and a dome. Besides this there is a bastion which has a Sharabh sculpture carved on it. Enter the window into the structure and continue to the right path through dense vegetation which takes us to the Queen’s residence area which has many arches. In front of it there are remnants of 4 structures. Next to the queen’s residence there is a mosque with 3 arches on a ramp. There are 2 lakes near the mosque next to each other. After descending the ramp circumnavigate the lake and continue to the east. 5 minutes from here one comes across the Vetalwadi doorway. Outside this doorway there is a fortified wall which connects to the summit to the north of the fort. This wall also has secret doorways. The route which is in between the two lakes takes us to Janjala village.
Theses caves are situated in between Janjala village and fort. The hall of the cave is huge with 20 pillars. Two pillars each in the middle and the corner have different carvings than others. To the left of the hall there are some scriptures and a seated Buddha statue.
There is an ancient temple built in Hemadpanti architecture in Ambhai village.
How to reach:
One can reach the fort from three routes.
One is from the village of Jarandi which ends at the west entrance door. (It takes 2 hour to reach the fort from Jarandi village).
Second route leads us from the Vetalwadi dam and thereafter to the Vetalgad entrance door. (It takes 3 hours to reach the fort from Vetalwadi village).
The third route is the usual route for carts from Janjala village.(It takes 30 minutes to reach the fort from Janjala village) .
Related Video (Janjala –Vaishagad Fort):
Best time to visit:
Best time to visit is from October until the end of February.