It was June, I was there in Pune, and the time for another adventure- Sinhagad trek. It was my 2nd time visiting Sinhagad fort. I was having the same enthusiasm to visit the fort, the reason being the splendorous view and stunning cool breeze which makes you enjoy that moment to its fullest.
About Sinhagad Fort:
Sinhagad (Lion’s fort) or Kondana, located at around 35 km southwest of Pune city on the cliff of Sahyadri Mountains, is the pride of the city. The fortress has an elevation of around 1312 m above sea level. It has got its own breakneck slopes to protect it from all sides. One of the most famous battles on Sinhgad was fought by Tanaji Malusare, a general of Chhatrapati Shivaji of the Maratha Empire in order to recapture the fort in March 1670 AD. He lost his life in the battle but was a heroic victory. Chhatrapati Shivaji expressed his remorse with the words, “Gad aala, pan Sinha gela” – “The Fort is captured, but the Lion is lost” and so the name Sinhagad was framed.
The spectacular view from the fort as well as the cold atmosphere above the mountains is very enthralling to add to your fantastic moments here.
The Sinhagad journey starts:
My squad was ready to go on the adventure. We decided to go on the trek one day prior. The group was very new, we just met one month before, started chatting one week before, and planned for the trek 1 day before. So the trip was really going to be interesting and worth memory making
The last time I went there, I went with the family, so we had a car to drive us. But this time, it was new friends and a new city. I woke up at 5’o clock in the morning, got ready with some trekking stuff. Till then, our cab was ready to drop us at Shaniwarwada, located in the center of Pune city. From that point on, we waited for the local bus. I had never traveled on a local bus before. So, I was more excited to start a new journey, while trying new things in my life.
We did breakfast near Shaniwarwada, and in the meantime, we missed our first bus. Since a bus runs every 15 mins, we caught the next one. It was around 6:30 by then. I was very excited because it was my first trek. The last time we went there, we directly reached at the top, by the roads, which is scenic to experience. But this time, the bus was supposed to leave us at the bottom of the mountain, which is at the base village, from where the trek starts. The bus journey was amazing in the morning because the city was silent, could feel the city vibes – the route was a treat to the eyes. The road towards the trek is beautiful, where we come across enthralling Khadakwasla lake.
Sinhagad Trekking begins:
We reached the base village, bought some water and started the trek. First, the route was simple and plain. Then the actual steep trekking path started. Every spot where we waited to relax, was so wonderful that I couldn’t stop staring the nature. When we were climbing up, many people were returning back. They were the people who usually come for trekking once a month and who start their treks in the early morning. Also, there were many other individuals or groups of people enjoying the trek on the same route. So we had a company and felt motivated throughout to climb the fort.
Usually, the Sinhagad trek takes 1.5 hrs, however since all of us in the group were newbies, we took an hour longer. The uphill trek was simple and motivating. But the journey was most beautiful, the view from every elevating level was becoming interesting to watch, the friendship grew.
Finally reached the destination – The entrance of Sinhagad Fort:
Finally, we reached the top of the mountain, the entrance of the Sinhagad fort. Had a great feeling like a champion. We sat at the entrance, ate some kairis (unripe green mangoes), and went on. The place was really enriching its heroic history. Every step was making me realize the battle that took place here to re-capture the fort. The atmosphere was splendid, with fog everywhere.
It is a huge fort, with many gates and incredible views. There is a guard tower at the edge of the mountain to take beautiful pictures. There is one covered structure, to preserve rainwater used for cooking or other stuff back then. The paths all around the fort make you feel like walking in the clouds. Sometimes you feel lost in the winds enjoying the beauty of the fort. From the edges of the fort, you can distantly view Torna and Rajgad forts. Also, there are various perfect spots for clicking wonderful pictures or capturing videos.
Being June month, it wasn’t raining, so could clearly see the places around, but the far areas were still foggy. The last time I went there, it was the rainy season, and I went in the early morning. It was a foggy atmosphere. I couldn’t clearly look at the nearby place too. But the cool breezy weather and light rains made the experience worth remembering.
The regional food:
Every fort is famous for its regional food. Likewise, Sinhagad is famous for Kande Bhaji (Onion Pakodas), dahi (yogurt) served in tiny clay containers, and bhakri(like a roti made up of jowar or bajra) and a veggie.
We tried all of these dishes for lunch at around 1 pm. It was the most scrumptious food I have ever eaten. There are many rustic Dhaba all around the fort where people from the village bring up the supplies and prepare delicious food and serves you hot. The weather and the food combination made us live at that moment.
The return journey:
We enjoyed ourselves for the next one hour and started our journey down through the same trekking route. It takes less than 1 hr to come down, but we took 2 hrs, enjoying and admiring the beauty of nature. As we reached down, we were fully satisfied with our journey. We played some games, like dumb Charades till the time our bus arrived. We sat on the bus tired, enjoying the last hour on the bus. The journey was filled with excitement, adventure, and friendship.
I barely knew about anyone before, but the trek made me friends for a lifetime. The bus took us till Shaniwarwada. Later we went home, not by cab, but a local bus again. I reached home by 6:30. The one-day adventure trip was another success for me. Traveling is the most amazing thing for me and thus every short or a long journey has made me satisfied.
I love capturing moments because they stay with you forever. I have always cherished remembering those happy moments and the fun we had during the journey. According to me, where ever you go – to a new place – you should leave something unvisited because it makes you go there again, after months or years maybe, and you get a different experience. You visit the place you left last time, along with new places built with a completely new city (because every city changes in the long run), and reliving the old memories at those old places you have been!