Shivneri hillfort, birth-place of Shivaji, is near Junnar town, about 85kms north of Pune. Situated on a 300 metre high isolated hill, the fort is triangular in shape. The wide base of the fort is towards the south and the narrow point is towards the north. The ascending path to the fort is defended by seven gates, the fifth one being armoured with anti-elephant spikes. The fort has several rock-hewn cisterns and ponds, of which two large ones are known as Ganga and Jumuna. Today, there are only a few structures remaining in the fort. At one end there is a ruined stable and at the other end a mosque of the Mughal period. The house where Shivaji was born (in February, 1630 AD) has been recently restored and a temple with statues of Shivaji and Jijabai called Shivakunja, has also been built. Sir Richard Temple in his book Shivaji and the Rise Marathas’ wrote about Shivneri: “You will see what a rugged precipitous place this is and what a fitting spot it was for a hero to be born in!”
The Shivneri hill, on which the fort is built, has a long back to the Satavahanas. There remains of rock caves on all the three faces of Shivneri, which show that it was a Buddhist centre during the first three centuries AD. After the Satavahanas, the Shivneri for was occupied by the Shilaharas, the Yadavas, the Bahamanis and the Mughals. In 1599 AD the hill fort was granted to Shivaji’s grandfather, Maloji Bhosale and passed down to Shahaji. Though Shivaji was born here, he had to surrender the fort to the Mughals and could not take it back in his lifetime.
The Shivneri cluster forts, comprising Harishchandragarh, Jumnar, Jivadhan, etc. was very important strategically, because it controlled the ancient Nane Ghat Pass.
The nearest airport to reach Shivneri fort is at Pune Airport which is situated around 10 kilometers from the city in Lohagaon area. The Indian Airlines operates regular domestic flights that pass through various major cities of India like Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Delhi. For international tourists, they can connect first reach to Mumbai International Airport and then board a domestic flight for Pune city. From airport you have to catch taxi to reach at Shivneri fort, but it could cost you little expensive.
The nearest railway station is Pune Railway Junction, it is the main railhead which offers good networks on rails that connects other cities in India. There are many trains and expresses that are available from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, and many more. For reaching Pune, Deccan Express is one of the fastest trains that depart from Mumbai Railway Junction.
There are many road transport facilities available to get at Shivneri fort. Regular state bus and private luxury bus services are provided to and from Pune which passes through numerous major cities of India like Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Goa. From Mumbai city, it directly links Pune at a distance of 200 kilometers. You can pick these buses from outside railway station or airport. Apart from bus, visitors can also travel by taxi, auto rickshaw, hired cars, which may cost you expensive to reach the fort.