Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Sinhagad - The Lion Fort





Hills Covered in Mist
 Sinhagad Fort is one of the most popular weekend gateways for the Punekars in the monsoon. So we were no exception and this place was a must for us. Besides its charming attraction it has a proven historical background of its own.


Sinhgad Fort was previously named as Kondana Fort. Chhatrapati Shivaji's right hand man, Tanaji Malusare, captured this fort from the Mughal Army during the famous battle of Sinhagad in March 1670. In the course of the fight, Tanaji lost his life and Shivaji expressed his grief through the words " we have won the fort but lost the lion" and that was how this fort picked up its current name - Sinhagad which literally means The Lion Fort.


How to go:


From Kharadi, one needs to go towards Hadapsar. Once the Hadapsar flyover comes, take the flyover to the right and go towards Swargate. Pass by the Swargate junction and go straight. You will come across a T-junction from where you need to take a left. Immediately after taking this left, there is a 'Mahalaxmi Temple' on the left and here you need to take a right turn to take the Sinhagad Road. Once on this road, you have to drive straight for around 25 Kms to reach the Sinhagad Fort base. You can also park here and set on a trek if you love it. Otherwise you can drive straight to the top.


Here is the map.



Sinhagad Fort can be enjoyed the most during the monsoons, due its height and location.


We started off on a Sunday morning around 7 am. We passed the Khadakwasala lake. After Khadakwasala, there is a junction from where you need to drive straight for Sinhagad. If you are heading off to Panshet or Varasgaon, from this junction you should take the right turn. The first photo pf this post was taken while we were passing this Lake.



Winding Up Road


Road through the Lush
 After reaching the base, one can see the glimpse of commercialization - there are lots of shared jeeps which can take you to the top. At the base, you have to pay a tax of 50/- to enter the forest area. The road was a kind of eerie and steep. Many a times I had to drive on first gear due to the sharp hairpin bends and steepness of the road. But the scenic beauty was superb - the thick forest creates a shadowy atmosphere.


At one point, there is a small junction where the straight goes to the top and left - I don't know. The landmark here is a tea stall at this junction which will be on your right when you are ascending. My recommendation to everyone is to stop here once. The view from this point is simply breathtaking. There were waterfalls running down through the hills like a silver lining at a distance, the backwaters of Khadakwasala Lake were looking like a plate of huge glass. The greenery all through the road was thick and lush.



Green and white :)


Green and white - what a combo


A small cascade with full zoom with my baby camera


Greenery all around


The Road through which we came


Backwaters of Khadakwasala


Khadakwasala Backwaters - another angle. Mist is taking over the control



Once we reached the Sinhagd parking, the fort was under the mist and a real heavy wind was passing. It is always like this at Sinhagad in monsoons. This is my second visit to Sinhagad - I experienced the same weather when I was here for the firt time. Well, this is the beauty of it.


Behind the mist, Sinhagad was looking like a humongous structure standing with all its pride acquired over the years.




Sinhagad - hidden behind the mist, but can you feel the wind


The base - Structure of Sinhagad is behind


Parking at the top - always full
 The top was very much commercialized with loads of cars parked covering every inch of the parking. Additionally there were innumberable number of tea-stalls, shops for Kanda Bhaji, Bhakri, Vada Pav, Roasted corn (makai) etc. We also had a cup of hot tea and a plate of mouth-watering kanda bhaji. One shouldn't miss these while at Sinhagad.


From this point, you have to climb through the stairs. During the monsoons the stairs become real slippery so be careful. There are not much remnants of the fort, but some of the entrances and bastions are still standing.



The main entrance


Slippery Stairs


In front of the main entrance


Second Entrance - bakdrop is the mist in full swing

Fortification


The owner of the fort :)


After these doors, a small road to the right will lead you to a dilapidated structure of a room/building.




The small diversion on the right, with the fortification - covered under the mist



Remnant of a Bastion??

The deserted structure - still standing tall


We came to the main road (I forgot to say - most the roads are constructed by the government and are of concrete) and passed by too many number of small shops selling bhaji, pitle bhakri, lassi etc. You may feel like you are walking through a park - there is even a Doordarshan Tower inside the fort!!!Well, don't mind and get going will be my advise. Enjoy whatever you can.


Going straight you will find the tomb of Tanaji Malusare and a small detour from here will lead you to the old 'Kondaneshwar Temple'. This temple was responsbile for its earlier name.


Tanaji's Tomb


Kondanewshar Temple













































































Coming down from the temple you will pass by a pond which was used to store the drinking water of the fort. We went to the edge of the fort from a small diversion but due to the mist and the wind nothing much was visible.


Age Old Pond
Some remnant - gets covered with green in monsoon



Edge of the fortification - steep cliff on the right



Keeping on the main road and going straight will direct you to the end of the Fort. This part is too much windy and we found really difficult to walk or stand. The fortification at this part is still standing.




Fortification towards the end


The same fortification - from another angle


Fortification - from the other side


The windiest part of the fort


Coming back with a U turn but with a different route we found some more fortfications and an old Hanuman Temple. That justified the presence of some big monkeys all around Sinhagad.




Remnant


Remnants


Hanuman Idol
The path - covered with Makai Plants at both sides


Trying to explore the Makai Plants



Most of the top was covered by the Corn (Makai) Plants which served two purposes - it filled the place with lush green ambience as well as it served as a means of living for the locals who sell the roasted corn all around the fort in different shops.


Besides the entrance, there is a small row of caves - these were used by the sentries.


Rooms for the sentries


We spent almost 3 hours at the fort and then decided to come back. The whole place was covered with mist and it was raining. We were drenched but we had great spirits. So did a lot of ensthusiastic ones.


Coming down from the fort with that winding road is an expereince. Every now and then I found there was some vehicle coming from the opposite direction. The narrow road and the steep cliffs at one side made it a real adventure for me to drive.


We stopped at quite a few places for photography. The following are some of the views.


















We made another stop at Khadakwasala Lake. It was almost 1 Pm then and the places was thronged by crowd - people were enjoying to the fullest.












The Road through Sinhagad - goes straight past the Khadakwasala Lake




The 'Jolly Good' Fellas
We drove down and came back to our 'home-sweet-home' where we had our lunch.

11 comments:

  1. Yes Kusum. Without the pics I couldn't share the beauty

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  2. The Mist is trademark Sinhagad! The snaps brought about nostalgic memories of my own trips here few years back! (Flash, Indiamike)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fully agreed Flash. Good that you have liked it. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Sinhagad Fort is really amassing place. Find more information about Sinhagad Fort at http://www.touristsafari.com/forts/sinhagad-fort

    ReplyDelete
  5. Catch the monsoon story of Sinhagad below -
    http://thetravellist.in/monsoon-delights-sinhagad-fort/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey you may like to go Vaishnodevi tour, north india tours by Ajinkya tours and travels in pune

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great Information Your Tour. Its explaining over
    Sinhagad Fort cab services. Really nice. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Singhagad is a beautiful place to visit in Pune. Pictures were amazing and it inspires people to make their trips. Thanks for sharing about this lovely place in this blog. I was planning for a trip for myself, this blog is really informative and it helps for planning. If anyone planning to visit this place, then try out in Orange Tours & Travels .

    ReplyDelete