July 1st, 2017
Monsoon is here! And with it comes several weekend getaways planned for people staying in Pune. Situated at around 35 kms. from Pune via the Bangalore highway, Sinhagad is one of the most visited forts in Pune. This is a fort that can be reached either by road or by a two-hour trek. Having visited this fort by vehicle the last time, this time we decided go on a trek.
We started at 8.30 A.M from our place and took a cab to Dhayari, Sinhagad road. The driver refused to go further saying it would be charged under outstation rides. So, from Dhayari we took an auto till the base of Sinhagad and after a quick breakfast we started our trek at around 10.30 A.M. The path is rocky and the rains make it slippery, but since it is just the beginning of monsoon we did not face too much trouble. A raincoat or an umbrella is a must, you never know when it will start pouring.
The first view of the fort
Th climb was a challenge, but we made it alright!
As the climb progressed I couldn’t help but go ‘Wow!’ at the scenic beauty. This place was completely brown when I had visited in January and now the green carpeted hills around kept me pushing forward. As we reached higher, the view just got better and to be honest the pictures do not do justice to the actual thing! We took several breaks in between and a glass of lime juice gave us the strength to climb further and reach the fort by 12.40 P.M.
Then vs Now
This fort like plenty of other forts in Pune, has a great history. Unfortunately, there are not many billboards with information, nor is there a guided tour available. But one can spend time exploring the fort and cover all the points within three to four hours. Although most of the fort is in ruins, there are several structures still intact. The entrance to the fort, the Pune Darwaza, the horse stables and several memorials built in the name of the Maratha rulers are the common attractions. However, people mostly come here to soak in the beauty of nature, eat food and capture great pictures for their social media profiles.
Throughout the fort there are stalls where villagers sell mangoes, corn, sliced cucumber, boiled groundnuts and a whole lot of other things. You will even find several donkeys lazily grazing around, and small ponds which get filled up during the rainy season. There was too much fog all around us which never really cleared, but the weather was simply beautiful. It did rain heavily a few times, but there were also times when the sun peeked out for a few minutes from behind the clouds. There was this one point which was so windy that it was a challenge to hold the phone steady to get a good picture! My noodle like hair says it all!
Ah! That awesome breeze….
It is here that in the peak of monsoons one can see the waterfall which flows backwards because of the wind. We were lucky enough to see a few water droplets rushing backwards, as the waterfall was still not at its best. I’m not going to explain how great it feels to be in the middle of something so green and natural, the pictures speak for themselves.
The breathtaking views from different points of the fort
The walk around the fort left us tired and we decided to return to the base by vehicle. There are jeeps available that takes the tourists back to the base and from there one can take a bus or an auto to get back to Pune city. We made a stop at Khadakwasla dam which is not far from Sinhagad. This is a place to be if you simply want to enjoy the calmness of water. The weather was cloudy and a tad bit sunny, giving an enchanting look to the sky and water. We spent around 30 minutes here just relaxing on the rocks and returned to Pune by cab.
This trek will leave you exhausted, yet satisfied. A visit here in the monsoons will be a welcome break from your daily routine and get you refreshed.