Sinhagad Fort is a popular tourist destination in Pune. Apart from historical significance and the fort remains, Sinhagad is a highly preferred trekking spot. The fort is hardly an hour’s drive away from Pune city. Standing about 2494 ft from the ground, the fort area towers over the city, offering a bird’s eye view of its vast extent. If you are a Pune resident, Sinhagad Fort is a great travel destination to spend the day.
The Sinhagad Origin Story
There is an interesting story that goes with the fort. According to legend, the fort was famously recaptured by Tanaji, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s commander in 1670. Tanaji along with 300-odd soldiers scaled the steep western side of the fort with the help of tame monitor lizards. Now, wasn’t that out of the box thinking or what?
Ropes were tied around the lizards’ torso, with the other end held by the soldiers to scale and surprise the enemy. Though the fort was won, Tanaji was gravely injured and died on the battlefield. Aggrieved, Shivaji renamed the fort, from its former name Kondana to Sinhagad (Lion’s Fort) as a tribute to Tanaji.
Sinhagad Fort on Weekdays
Weekend visits to Sinhagad are best avoided. Too many people throng the fort on Saturday and Sundays. Traffic snarls and chaos is a common sight. If you still want to visit the fort on weekends, start early before dawn and return by noon. Adhering to these timings allows for a better, leisurely travel experience.
Weekday visits are your best bet if you want to avoid the crowd. Sinhagad is a revelation during weekdays. The weather is cool and serene for most of the year at Sinhagad. Night stays, at the time of writing has been discontinued.
October to February are the best months to visit Sinhagad Fort. If you are crazy about trekking, the grueling 9-hour Kartaj to Sinhagad night trek is highly recommended. The trek is a thrilling experience, a great test of stamina.
Driving to Sinhagad
Driving uphill to the fort is an exhilarating experience. Many trekkers opt to park their vehicle in the foothills and trek uphill to the fort. There are Pune Municipal Corporation buses that take you to Sinhagad. But the bus services do not necessarily offer a comfortable ride to the fort. You also pass by Khadakwasla Dam while traveling to Sinhagad Fort.
If you are a Pune resident, Sinhagad is worth occasional visits. As a tourist, you need a full day to soak into Sinhagad’s breezy atmospherics.