Adventure / Trekking | Historical
At a distance of 32 km from Pune Junction, Sinhagad or Sinhagarh means the Lion Fort, is a fortress located southwest of Pune City. Sinhagad Fort is one of the popular places of trekking in Pune and also one of the top places to visit near Pune City.
Previously called Kondana, the fort has been the site of many important battles, most notably the Battle of Sinhagad in 1671 CE. According to history, the fort was built 2,000 years ago and it is said that the name Kondana was derived from sage Kaundinya. Mohammed bin Tughalak captured the fort from the Koli tribal chieftain, Nag Naik in 1340 CE. And in 1496 CE, Malik Ahmad, the founder of the Nizam Shahi dynasty took control of the fort.
Nearly 200 years later, the Maratha leader Shahaji Bhonsale captured the fort. In 1647 CE, Shivaji held the stronghold and renamed it Sinhagad. In 1665 CE, as per the Treaty of Purandar, Shivaji handed over Sinhagad to the Mughals and again captured it in 1670 CE, under the direction of Tanaji who was Shivaji's favourite general. Aurangzeb laid siege to Sinhagad in 1701- 03 CE, but could not hold it for long. Finally the British seized the fort from the Marathas in 1818 AD. The fort was later used as retreat for many European residents of Pune.
Sinhagad was an important fort because of its strategic location perched on an isolated cliff of the Bhuleswar range of Sahyadri Mountains, 1,312 m above sea level. The fort is naturally protected due to its very steep slopes. As such, walls and bastions were constructed at only key places. The fort has two gates - the Kalyan Darwaja in the south-east and the Pune Darwaja in the north-east, both protected by three successive gates. The fort contains Kaundinyeshwar Temple, a memorial to Tanaji, tomb of Rajaram, Lokmanya Tilak Smarak, Amruteshwar Temple and Devtake. Military stables, brewery and a Kali Temple are also located within the complex.
One can reach Sinhagad fort either by trekking or drive all the way up to the fort parking area. The 3 km trek starts from Sinhagarh village is medium and it takes 1 hour to reach the fort. From the top of the fort one can enjoy the majestic view of the mountain valley. The fort also serves as a training center for National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. One can see the Panshet, Khadakwasla and Varasgaon dams and Torana fort also. The best time to visit the fort is during monsoons.
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM