Historic Sinhagad Fort Trek
Location : Pune, India
Total distance : 5.4 km round-trip (out and back)
Elevation gain : 1,650 ft
Peak elevation : 4,200 ft
Tree Cover : Not much tree cover. Sunscreen recommended.
Parking : Several small parking lots near the trailhead.
Trailhead : Click here(http://shorturl.at/rvzKZ)
Landmark : Hike starts near the 2-wheeler parking at the trailhead
Satellite map :
Click on the image for an interactive map
Terrain map :
Click on the image for an interactive map
Sinhagad fort trek is not complicated when it comes to directions. There are many paths and as long as you follow one that goes up you will reach the fort. Even beginners can complete the hike without getting lost once the starting point is identified. The hike starts at the green board as shown in the picture. Refer to the interactive map above for more details. The more important thing to note is the history that is associated with this place, why the fort was built and when. In order to do justice to the hike you need to know the rich history it is steeped in. The fort changed hands in late 1600s between the Marathas and Mughals until it fell to the British in 1800s. Sinhagad fort saw a lot of action in the past several hundreds of years.
In english Sinhagad means Lion's fort. The story goes that Tanaji lost his life in a fierce battle against the Mughals and when Shivaji had heard the news of Tanaji's demise he said "Gad aala, pan Sinha gela" which means "The Fort is captured, but the Lion is lost" and hence the name Sinhagad. Archeological research of some carvings indicates the fort might have been built over 2000 years ago. This is one of the many Maratha forts (Torna, Rajgad, Purandar) in the area that are strategically located to provide protection from enemy invasions. Hiking to the top of the fort can be dangerous in monsoon based on the paths you take.
This is a good hike for all levels of hikers starting from beginners to experienced hikers. There are paths that are steep as well as gentle slopes, based on your comfort level you may choose one that is apt for you. After reaching the top pass through the three Pune darwazas(gates) located on the North-East side of the fort. These massive darwazas and walls remain intact long after they were built. Apart from the scenic views of hills and valleys, one of the distinctive features of Sinhagad fort is the ponds and wells that still contain water to this day. These must have served as great water sources back when people lived up there.
The fort is situated on a hill with steep slopes that are not easy to climb today, one can only imagine how treacherous the uphill climb along the muddy slopes would've been like in the thick jungle hundreds of years ago. No wonder it was considered such a prized possession and very difficult to conquer. Lucky for us today most part of the hike has several food options from vendors along the way selling fresh fruits, snacks and meals.
For anyone planning to drive instead of hiking don't worry - there are ample food options at the top as well. Be sure to keep your appetite for the Pitla-Bhaakri, Thalipeet, Kanda bajji and all the other delicious local food items. There are also pay and use bathrooms at the top located near some food stalls. Another one of the facilities that might have been extensively used back then is a stable for horses as shown in the picture below. This spacious cave is a great place to keep the horses to shelter them from wind and rain that one expects at these altitudes. And the natural stone pillars give it good structural support.
The below picture shows Kalyan darwaza which is on the South-East side of the fort. It takes a bit of walk to get here from Pune darwaza. I highly recommend spending more than an hour after reaching the top to walk around and see the darwazas, Tanaji memorial and temples. In addition to this there are several viewpoints with amazing valley views, small but durable stone structures and some recently erected statues that will make it worth your while. And for foodies like me there are more places than you can eat from in even few visits, may be consider making this a monthly activity with friends and family. See the gallery below for more pictures. It is our collective responsibility to keep the outdoors clean and not deprive others of the joy and pride.
Hike... Have fun... and Stay fit...
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