Sinhagad fort is a perennial favorite weekend getaway for Punekars and on a list of must visit places for tourists. If you are in Pune for a weekend, make sure you visit this place and here is the reason why:
The fort was one of the top military outposts during the reign of ShivajiMaharaj. If the purpose of your visit is to peek into the history of the Maratha Empire then you will be disappointed with Sinhagad Fort. What you can expect from Sinhagad fort – authentic Maharashtrian food, panoramic view of the landscape, clouds drifting over the mountains and releasing a sudden shower and a wonderful time with your family and friends. I have visited this place five times in the last 3 years and I can assure you that this place is worth a visit every monsoon.
How to reach Sinhagad fort?
Every time I visit Sinhagad, I see groups of bikers, cyclists and trekkers going to the fort. The best way to reach the fort (apart from trek) is bike or car
Bike/Car – Due to proximity of this place to Pune, people prefer driving up to the fort by bike or car. Vehicles have to pay a toll (₹ 50 for a car) at the base to reach the fort. Sometimes the police at the toll gate check the vehicle for liquor as liquor is banned at this place. Due to heavy traffic and rains, the roads are in bad shape most of the time but the drive to the fort is scenic.
Public Transport – Local buses are available every hour from Pune city to AatekarVasti. One you reach AatekarVasti, you can either walk to the top or take a shared taxi. Shared taxi and auto services are available from the base to the top of the mountain.
I would not recommend using a public transport as the travelling will take more time and it will spoil the drive experience. If you do not have a car, you can book a self-drive car from Zoomcar, Myles, ORIX – Mychoize or other local players.
The road from base village to the fort is small and parking the vehicles on both the side of the road makes it narrower. Close to 1.5-2 km road from the fort is used as a parking area and people park their vehicles wherever they find space thus blocking the road and resulting in traffic jam.. If you want to avoid traffic jams and get a good parking slot then start early morning as the place gets very crowded after 10 AM.
Trekking at Sinhagad fort
The trek to the fort is mostly straight up and the track is rocky. It is best done in the early morning hours when the place is less crowded. Trekking lovers come to Sinhagad fort every weekend to keep up the stamina for climbing.
When we went to for a trek, we had parked our car in a parking space behind a local tea shop at AtekarVasti and started the trek at 6:30 AM in the morning. Experienced trekkers can climb within 45 minutes but novice people like us whose sole purpose was to have fun took 90 minutes to reach the fort. As we visited the place during monsoon, the road was muddy and slippery. What made our trek fun was eating raw mangoes, cucumbers, corn, berries and buttermilk sold by local village folks on the way. The drizzle and cold breeze added to our pleasant experience.
What to expect at Sinhagad fort?
The ruins of Sinhagad fort tells us about how the fort acted as active military outposts in the 16th century. We saw the memorial to Tanaji and the tomb of RajaramRajeBhosle. The strong wind along with mist, fog and rains at the famous ‘Hawa point’ was an experience to remember. ‘Kade lot’ is also a popular point. It is said that in olden days the prisoners were thrown off from this cliff.Dev Take is a famous water tank at fort. The water is cold and sweet, when you visit do taste it.In monsoon, the weather here is cold and it rains frequently. The fog, mist, drizzle and the blowing wind makes your walk at Sinhagad fort memorable. Once the fog clears, you can see Khadakwasla and Varasgaon dams, Torana fort and Panshet from the top.
Food Options at Sinhagad fort
We had built up an appetite for delicious food from all the walking. After having some berries, corn and raw mangos while walking and exploring the place, we started with a plate of crispy kandabhaji. Later we had scrumptious lunch that included pitla, bhakri, wangyachaBharit, thecha, locally produced curd and buttermilk.
- Kanda Bhaji – Kanda bhaji is onion fritters made with gram flour. It is also known as onion pakora.
- Pitla – Pitla is a spicy, runny, thick curry made of besan (gram flour)
- Bhakri – It is a round flat unleavened traditional Maharashtrian bread
- Wangyacha Bharit – Bainganbharta or Wangyacha Bharit is a sabji prepared after roasting brinjal
- Thecha – Thecha is a spicy condiment prepared using onion and chilly
After having the authentic Maharashtrian lunch, we had the famous ‘malaikulfi’. Kulfi is rich flavored dessert made from condensed milk.
It is indeed true that good food is the basis of true happiness.
Best time to visit Sinhagad Fort?
- Monsoon and winter season i.e. June to February month
- Time – It is better to visit early morning as post 10 AM the traffic and crowd increases
How much did the trip to Sinhagad cost me?
- Toll at the base Village / Car parking at the base (for trekking) – ₹ 50
- Petrol (Car) – ₹ 400
- Raw mangoes, cucumbers, berries etc – ₹ 150
- Lunch – ₹ 400 for 2 people
- Dessert (2 Kulfi) – ₹ 60
Total trip cost for 2 people – Approx. ₹ 1000- 1100