Sinhagad Fort, Pune, Maharashtra

Sinhagad initially known as Kondana or Kondhana is an eye-catching fortress located on an isolated cliff of the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri Mountains to the south-west of Pune once used for extensive fortification during the era of Shivaji. It has been a witness of various historical events and important battles fought long before significantly the battle of Sinhagad fought between Mughal and Shivaji led Marathas in 1670. As there is no exact date of inscription according to some prominent historians the fort is believed to be established two thousands years back. Given natural protection by its very steep sleep Sinhagad fort is situated 4300 feet above the sea level and attracts lots of travelers especially the Trekking enthusiasts. The fort has been renamed later as ‘lion fort’ to commemorate Tanaji Malusare one of the trusted aide of Shivaji, who played a key role to re-capture the fort over the hand of Mughal and died in the battle of Sinhagad.

Sinhagad fort is strategically located at the centre of other three forts Rajgard, Purandar and Torna and its wall, bastions and steep slopes are built with tremendous idea in order to give it a complete protection and impenetrable by others. One more prominent  architecture is the fort was used to enter only  through two gates one is  Kalyan Darwaza at south east and other is Pune Darwaza  positioned at  north-east respectively. The fort could have been built two thousands years ago and observed long lasting battle between Mughal empire and Shivaji inspired Marathas including the fierce battle of Sinhagad in 1670 where Tanaji Malusare shivaji’s trusted aide led the war against mughal army headed by Udaybhan Singh Rathod. The fort was first seized by Muhammad bin Tughlaq from the hands Koli tribal chief Nag Naik in the year 1328 AD and since then the fort was conquered by many rulers in regular interval and later in 1647 Shivaji subjugated the fort and till 1818 the fort remained impervious with Marathas. Later in 1818 AD British took the complete control of the castle, destroying almost everything including ancient monuments, sculptures etc. and left the fort untidy except a few worn temples, tomb and monuments are scattered about.

Located on an isolated cliff of the Bhuleswar range and partially ruined, today this historical structure bears the significant memory of Marathas’ brave leader and Shivaji’s trusted aide Tanaji Malusare and Rajaram, son of Shivaji, both died in the battle of Sinhagad. Many tourists often visit the fort and it has been a popular picnic and weekend destination for the locals. Some enthusiasts also trekking to the top of the fort. Tourists also find military stables and a Kali (deity) temple near the fort along with the historic gates once used to enter the castle.

There is a narrow-steep lane that leads to the top of the fort. Some public transports are also available including buses that go to the Sinhagad foothills from Swargate at every hour. One can also hire taxi from there to reach the fort.