Rangana Fort is a very rare example of what can happen when extreme nature and extreme human achievements can do. Rangana Fort situated in deep core forests and on a peek where even modern amenities fails in today’s world so one can imagine how and what made it possible to built and portray a fort structure in such dense and dangerous area.Rangana fort is famous as Prasidhdha Gad in the Maratha history situated in the Sahyadri Mountain on the boundary of Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra at the height of 2600 ft above MSL. The capital of Kolhapur region was Panhala at all times. Rangana is situated at 50 km south of Panhala. Fort not easily accessible, strong and not easily defeat able even to enemies.
History-Rangana fort, situated in Bhudargad taluka, dates back to the “Shilahar” dynasty (940 AD). This fort was built by King Bhoj of Shilahar dynasty. It was conquered by rulers of the Bahamani kingdom, and later by AdilShah. Shivaji Maharaj won the fort after slaying Afzal Khan in 1659. Later the fort was built on the orders of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. There are references of Shivaji Maharaj bestowing rewards on the fort’s builders, Aroji Yadav and Firoji Farjand.
Rangana is a massive fort with 65 structures. The five gates are still intact and there are three small lakes atop the fort, flanked by extensive forests that play host to wild animals like bears and leopards.
Three hundred years back the fort area seems to be surrounded by thick forest. Considering today's unauthorized deforestation still the thick forest is there, so the fort is not easily visible to the visitors even they reach at the foot of the fort. The fort is spread over the crest of the Sahyadri. The fort is standing like an attentive surveillance soldier standing at the most strategic place. From Rangana, forts like Manohar & Mansantosh (where a Black Panther was spotted some years back) can be seen. This fort comes under region called as “Maval Patta”. The nature full of hills & valleys surrounding Rangana is utmost attractive. On this fort, Ranganai temple is standing witness to ancient history. One beautiful lake with almost 365 days water source is there. Some time ago ancient statue from the temple was found stolen.
How to go-Rangana fort has access from two sides. One from Patgaon in Kolhapur District and another from Narur in Kudal taluka of Sindhudurg district. The way from Kolhapur is simple but hells from deep and dense forest to pass through.
Rangana fort is situated at 95 km from Kolhapur at direct south side on the border of Kolhapur. The Kolhapur - Gargoti distance is 48 km. About 35 km from this place, is Patgaon. This was the old lane supplying essential girds for Rangana residents. S. T. Buses travel up to this place i.e. Patgaon. After Patgaon, Hanmanta Ghat stretched about 9 km. from Patgaon to Tambewadi. Tambewadi is small village at the edge of Ghat. This road from Patgaon to Tambewadi is very uneven. One walkway from Tabmewadi turns towards Rangana (ask to local villagers about road). This 8 km distance of this way through deep forest you have to cross three deep valleys, two three water bodies (one is a bit deep to pass vehicle through it) and not to forget about thick and dense forest. Thanks to an armature group from Kolhapur helped to show road till foot of Fort by putting signs of direction throughout the forest. Chikkewadi is a small habitat of 8 to 10 houses at 6-7 km from Tambewadi. Rangana's steep rise starts from Chikkewadi. After trekking shrub studded hill for almost 1 1\2 km first entrance of Rangana in form of broken remains show its presence.
There is a small plane portion of hill in the shape of bridge between this place and the main Rangana area. On both sides of this path there are deep valleys. If we stand on the plain ground, we see the Rangana's steep bastion. On both sides of the bastion thick protection walls are constructed. While entering through small walk way on left side of protection wall one sees sky scrapping hill above and deep valley below. After traveling 2 furlongs this way we come to Rangana's first gate. Salient features of old construction of historic buildings are seen here more prominently.
Up till forts base motorcycles or 4*4 SUV’s can be taken through deep forest and through water flows. If you take public transport then up to Patgaon state transport is available.