Shivneri Fort - a landmark of Maratha history is the birth place of 'Chatrapati' Shivaji Maharaj. Shivneri fort was a difficult fort to climb in those times and Shahaji, father of Shivaji, worried about the safety of his pregnant wife Jijabai, chose Shivneri as the place where she could safely give birth to her son. Shivneri fort is a well maintained fort and all the important landmarks in Shivneri fort has been well marked thanks to ASI.
Shivneri is a prominent fort in Maharashtra due to its historic importance. Shivneri more than a trekking destination is popular as a weekend picnic destination and a 'pilgrimage'. (Many consider 'Shiv janmasthal' as a temple and a place of worship). There is a tarmac road till the first of the seven gates of Shivneri fort and a liesurely half an hour walk takes one to the Shiv janmastal through manicured gardens and landmarks of Shivneri fort.
Junnar is the transitional zone between the Sahyadris and the broad plains to the east. Junnar has the largest number of excavations numbering over 200 independent excavations spread over the four hills. Tuljalena, Manmodi, Sivaneri and Lenyadri are the sub-groups depending upon the location. The Shivneri group of caves is the closest to Bhimashankar with over 50 caves.
This historic Shivneri fort, is located about a 105 km from Pune, near Junnar village. A two and a half hour drive to the north of Pune gets you to Junnar which lies at the foothills of Shivneri fort. Being one of the most important forts in Maharashtra, and a historic monument as declared by ASI directions to Shivneri fort is well marked and reaching the fort wouldn't be difficult.
Shivaji was born in Shivneri on 19 February 1630. Shivaji spent his childhood and got his name Shivba here. Inside the Shivneri fort is a small temple dedicated to the goddess Shivai Devi, after whom Shivaji was named. Shiv Janmastal has been preserved as a historic monument by ASI.
Shiv Janmasthan is the most important spot in Shivneri fort. The birthplace of Shivaji is also called Shiv mandir. Ganga Jamna - Two of the many water cisterns, are located near Shiv Kunj. Badami Talav is a small pond almost in the centre of the fort and near the pond is a statue of Jijabai with son Shivaji. Ambharkhana is a huge granary of Shivneri fort which is on the way to the Shiv janmasthan.