|Hills Covered in Mist|
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|
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|
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|
|In front of the main entrance|
|Second Entrance - bakdrop is the mist in full swing|
|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.
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.
|The path - covered with Makai Plants at both sides|
|Trying to explore the Makai Plants|
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|