The department started the work in December last year after inspecting the structure, popularly known as Binni Darwaja.
Torna, also known as Prachandagad, was the first fort captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in his fight for ‘swarajya’. The highest elevation of the fort is 1,403 metres and is a favourite spot for trekkers.
Vilas Wahane, assistant director of the state archaeological department, said, “The structure is safe now as we have inspected the repair work thoroughly.”
The repair was done by a Satara-based agency, which has done conservation work on several forts in the state.
“It was a mammoth task for masons and labourers at the site to work in the scorching heat. They installed over 2,000 stones at the base, with each stone weighing over 15kg. The workers set up a pulley system 1,100 meters deep in the valley to transport the stones to the fort,” Wahane added.
The department has also installed iron railings on the steep route for the safety of visitors. “It was one of the crucial and challenging tasks for us as the team had to dig holes in hard rocky surfaces to fix the iron bars. The bars will provide support to the iron railings installed for visitors to help climb the fort,” said Wahane.
A team of 15 workers and five technicians worked on this task for a few weeks.
The department has decided to initiate other repair works post-monsoon. “We will repair the temple, water tanks and pathways after the rains. We have already prepared a design of each work that will get over by the end of this year,” added Wahane.
Umesh Zirpe, a veteran mountaineer from the city, said, “Amateur trekkers who explore forts during monsoon should not take unknown routes as old structures may fall. The archaeological department should earmark such sites for the safety of visitors.”