Sinhagad, which means a Lion, is a name given to a hill fortress 49 km southwest of Pune in India. The day-by-day aging and rain have made it a valued sightseeing site of the current generation.
The available caves and carvings in the Kaundinyeshwar temple, together with the available information, have led the researchers to believe that this fortress must have been built around 2 thousand years ago.
Interestingly the Fort is perched on an elevation of about 1312 meters above sea level and 760 meters above the ground.
It’s also vital to note that the fortress is strategically located in the middle of a string of Maratha Empire forts, including the Purander Fort, Torna Fort, and Rajgad Fort, which furthers its elegance.
The History of Sinhagad Fort
The Fortress of Sinhagad contributed a lot to the battle of Marathas. It has also had numerous dynasties who have had their period of occupation.
Some of the dynasties that occupied this fortress includes the Kolis, the Mughals, Marathas, the Adi Shahi, and the British Empire. This Fort has played a role in protecting the rulers that occupied it based on its strategic location.
Importance of the Fort
This Fort has an immense historical significance in the past century as it was among the forts that Chhatrapati Shivaji had to give it up for his father’s return based on the terms of the Purander treaty. Nevertheless, Shivaji later recaptured it with pride in the fall of 1667.
It has also played a part in India’s independence. The father of Indian unrest, Bal Gangadhar, used the Fort as a summer retreat. Mahatma Gandhi also had a historic meeting with Tilak after returning from South Africa.
Sinhagad is a pride among the people of the southwest region of Pune. It carries a lot of legendary stories in its support of Maharashtra during the ancient battles, with the most significant being the Sinhagad battle of 1667, whereby the general of Shivaji, Tanaji Malusare, fought to recapture the fortress.
The fortress is an abode of archaeological beauty, which includes a display of several adorable monoliths of the most efficient safe-keepers, such as Tanaji Malusare of the Shivaji Maharaj era.
It is also among the few historical monuments globally blessed with ample sightseeing spots with key attraction spots, including the Pune Darwaza, Hanuman Temple, Chatrapati Rajaram, the Statue of Tanaji Kalyan Darwaza, and the Khadakwasa Dam.
ii. Trekking to the Fort.
This is one of the most adventurous activities you should never miss out on. You can opt for a 16-kilometer day trek with the walker gaining 600m elevation. The route offers a great view of mountain chains and hilltops.
You can also go for a night trek (but not advisable) from old Katraj’s Tunnel Top, one of the most popular activities amongst the locals. Either way, the adventure is enjoyable, whether in a group or solo.
iii. Exploring the Kade Lot.
The Kade Lot is one of the most recommendable attraction spots of the Sinhagad fortress. According to the history of the Pune, it was the spot where all prisoners were punished by pushing them off the cliff from there.
iv. The delicious local foods.
Some of the essential delicacies being served at this place include corns, berries, raw mangoes, crispy Kanda, Thecha, Bhakri, and the Bangyache Bharit, after which you can head to the nearby Kulfiwala and try its authentic and rich flavors.
Timing and Entry fee
Even though the Sinhagad fortress is significantly open all year, it’s best to visit during the winters or monsoons, but you’re advised to double pack all your belongings. Visitors are also advised to step in anytime between 05:00 am and climb down by 06:00 pm.
There is no entry fee for visitors willing to walk to the Sinhagad summit, but a sum of Rs.20 for a two-wheeler and Rs. 50 for four-wheelers is for private vehicles.
How to reach the Fort
The Pune Airport is the most convenient airport to this fortress. Once you arrive, you can opt for several land transport options, which includes road transport that will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes, be it a private cab or an Uber, railway transport with the Pune railway station being the closest railway station from the airport to get you to the fortress or you can opt to use a bus from the Pune bus station.
However, hiring a car in Pune and driving to the base of the Fort is fantastic since the distance from Pune to the fortress is about 37.7 Kilometers.
How long does it take to climb the Sinhagad fort?
The trekking distance from the base of the Fort is about 2.7km which will take approximately 2 hours to climb.
Are there medical facilities in the Fort?
There are no medical facilities in the Fort; therefore, in case of a medical emergency, you’ll have to make your way to the mainland of Sinhagad. Your trekking guide will be of significant help in assisting you in choosing the appropriate hospitals in the mainland.
What are the adventure activities at Sinhagad Fort?
No adventurous activities such as rock climbing, rappelling, and trekking are not allowed as the destination is quite risky.
Which is the nearest MTDC Resort close to Sinhagad Fort?
Panshet MTDC resort is the closest MTDC Resort to the fort and is managed by the Maharasthra tourism Development corporation.
Below are some of the best stay options located near the Fort.
i. Hotel Koran international.
It offers comfortable rooms with TV connections, a kitchenette, and a complimentary breakfast service. It also provides free parking space for its customers.
ii. Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre.
It provides self-contained family rooms, non-smoking rooms, and comfortable suites for your luxurious stay.
iii. Heritage View Resort.
This resort offers its customers air-conditioned suites, family rooms, and smoking rooms with a 24/7 room service. It also provides free parking space and high-speed internet connectivity.
iv. Hotel Kunal Dardan.
This hotel features cost-effective rooms, a bar, a restaurant, and a free parking space for its customers. It also has a room service option and 24/7 front desk assistance.