Sinhagad Fort – is a historical wonder that’s more beautiful than ever with age. Built around 2000 years ago, this magnificent heritage site is located just 30 kilometers southwest of Pune, and is perched on an isolated cliff in the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri Mountains, 1,312 meters above sea level.
Legend has it that Sinhagad Fort got its name from the fact that it was as strong and powerful as a lion. It’s naturally protected by its steep slopes, so walls and bastions were only constructed at key places. Today, it’s a popular hangout spot, and on a clear day, you can see the forts of Torna, Rajgad and Purandar from Sinhagad Fort.
But the fort’s history is as interesting as its natural beauty. One of the most famous battles fought at Sinhgad was by Tanaji Malusare, a general of Chhatrapati Shivaji of the Maratha Empire. He recaptured the fort in March 1670, with the help of a tamed monitor lizard named “Yashwanti”. A fierce battle ensued between Tanaji and his men versus the Mughal army headed by Udaybhan Singh Rathod. Sadly, Tanaji Malusare lost his life, but his bust was constructed on the fort in memory of his fierce resistance.
Sinhagad Fort is a trekkers’ paradise. It’s strategically built right in the center of the line of Maratha forts built in the Sahyadris, including Rajgad Fort, Torna Fort, and the Purandar Fort. This historic and cultural site is also a popular attraction among photographers and nature lovers.
People living nearby often head to the fort for a quick getaway, just like renowned personalities like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi did in the past. The mountain also serves as a great location for training National Defence Academy students, who hike up the hill in complete battle gear.
However, be warned that there are restrictions on partying, cooking/consuming non-vegetarian food, and alcohol due to its historical and cultural significance. But don’t worry, there are plenty of local delicacies to try, such as the “pithlabhakari” and curds sold by the vendors on-site.
In short, Sinhagad Fort is a dilapidated yet striking structure that will leave you awestruck with its scenic surroundings.