Witness the epic beauty of Pune’s own historical forts and temples! The Sinhagad Fort Trek is one of the most famous and popular treks in Maharashtra. This fort is rich in nature and boasts of having being named after one of Maharashtrian history’s bravest. A trek to this fort is one that needs to be on every beginner’s bucket list.
Table of Content
- The Sinhagad Fort Trek: A Sneak Peek
- All about the Sinhagad Fort Trek
- The History of Sinhagad: A Step Back in Time
- The Sinhagad Fort Trek Through the Seasons
- How to Get to Sinhagad
- The Route Options for the Sinhagad Fort Trek
- Nearby Attractions
- What to See On the Fort
- Things to Carry for the Sinhagad Fort Trek
- Useful Tips That’ll Help You through the Sinhagad Fort Trek
- Summing Up
Every stone in the walls of Sinhagad holds a bit of history, and visiting it is like travelling back in time.
The Sinhagad Fort Trek: A Sneak Peek
- Where it is Located: Maharashtra
- Number of Trekking Days: 1 Day (8 or 9 hours)
- Total Trekking Distance: 17 km
- Max Altitude: 4,320 ft (1,350m) (Height of fort: 800 m)
- Trekking Grade: Moderate - Hard (Depending on the route you choose)
- Number of Hills (for K2S trek): 16
- Best Time to Visit: October to February
- Livingit Rank: Beginner - Advanced
All about the Sinhagad Fort Trek
The Sinhagad fort is southwest and around twenty-five kilometres away from the main Pune city. This fort is situated on the Bhuleshwar range which is part of the Sahyadri Mountains and is at a height of 4,320 feet or 1,350m above sea level. The fort itself is 800 meters tall. When planning your trip to the fort, you can reach by either two entrances, the northeast entrance called the Pune Darwaza and the south-east entrance called the Kalyan Darwaza. You may trek to the Sinhagad fort in two ways, either by a breathtaking day trek or an exciting night trek.
The History of Sinhagad: A Step Back in Time
The Sinhagad fort claims its fame from being a historical landmark having seen many battles during the Maratha Empire in the 17th century. One such famous battle fought at the fort was in 1670 where Tanaji Malusare, general for Shivaji Maharaj, sacrificed his life so that the Maratha rulers could seize the fort.
When Shivaji found out about this loss, he said, "Gad aala, pan Sinha gela" which translates to "The Fort is captured, but the Lion was lost”
In the honour of Tanaji Malusare, the brave Lion who fought for his kingdom, the Maharaj renamed the fort from its previous name Kondhana to Sinhagad.
The Sinhagad Fort Trek Through the Seasons
Although the scenery right after the rains is mesmerising, the paths become slippery, making it harder to trek. You can, however, go by the Sinhagad ghat route during this season.
The summers are really hot and the trees that usually offer cool breeze and shade may not help you towards the end. A K2S night trek could be done as nights are much cooler.
Winter, from November to February, is the best time to take the Atekar Vadi route as the weather is not too hot and neither is the trail slippery.
- Monsoon: 28 ° C to 32 ° C (day); 20 ° C to 25 ° C (night)
- Summer: 35 ° C to 40 ° C (day); 21 ° C to 26 ° C (night)
- Winter: 28 ° C to 32 ° C (day); 20 ° C to 25 ° C (night)
How to Get to Sinhagad
To reach Pune you can drive, take a train or flight. The nearest rail station is Pune Railway station and it is around one hour thirty minutes away from Sinhagad fort. The nearest Airport is the Pune airport in Viman Nagar which is around one hour and fifty minutes from Sinhagad fort.
Once you reach Pune then make your way to Swargate to catch a bus up till the Atekar Vasti village to start your trek, hire a car or share a cab. If you are doing the night trek then you will have to make your way to Katraj Tunnel to start your trek.
The Route Options for the Sinhagad Fort Trek
There are primarily two popular routes you can take to get to the Sinhagad fort via the Sinhagad Ghat road or from the village of Atekar Vadi. There is also a night trek from Katraj that you can try out with a tour guide.
Trek to Sinhagad via Atekar Vasti
This route is very simple and well suited to new trekkers and easy going hikers alike. You can complete it in around 2 hours tops. First, you will need to reach the base which is Atekar Vasti. To get there, you can travel by car or bus by the Paytha Road. When you come to a junction in the road take the right path as this lead you to Atekar Vasti and from here you may get down and trek to the fort. There are numerous parking areas and facilities as well as restaurants available at this point. The path from here onwards is well marked but rocks are not as strongly in place as they used to.
In the monsoon season, the entire trek can get extremely slippery and must be trekked with caution. There are multiple food stalls on the way up in case you get hungry from all the trekking or thirsty from the heat.
There is a small not commonly traversed path that you can find which runs along a large electrical line and makes its way up to the fort. This trail is a little more difficult involving some rock climbing and steep slopes. This trail can make your trek even more exciting if you are the adventurous kind. Proceed with caution, however, especially in the monsoon season where you may find this trail dangerous to climb.
Sinhagad Ghat Road Route
If you take the left at the junction then you can ride uphill all the way to the top of the fort by the Sinhagad Ghat road. This route lets you easily drive to the fort without any hassle. There is a toll to take your vehicle to the fort and is usually fifty rupees per car. There are also strict rules about drinking alcohol at the fort so your car may be checked. The road up to the fort is in bad shape and very narrow, barely fitting two cars alongside each other. Take it slow driving up and watch out for big cars coming from the opposite direction. Sinhagad fort car parking is available and cost-free.
Katraj to Sinhagad Night Trek
This trek is very popular and frequently known as the K2S trek. It can be taken by novice as well as professional hikers. You would usually begin your trek at eight in the night and end up at the fort at seven in the morning. The starting point is from the Katraj Tunnel Top and as you trek along this route you will be able to witness the beautiful Bhubaneshwar range and many hills. The entire length of the trek is 16 kilometres after which you will reach the top of the Sinhagad Fort. Try out this trek if you love experiencing mountain views, valleys and amazing sunrises. The climb will push you to the limit but in the end, all of it will be worth it.
If you plan on taking the Katraj to Sinhagad route or the Night trek, then this is what your itinerary would look like for the trek.
To start the Sihnagad Fort Trek, first drive to Katraj which is around an hour away from the centre of Pune. Once you reach the Katraj Tunnel, the starting point of the trek, you can eat your dinner if you did not already. Along the trek, you get to admire the night life until you reach Sinhagad. From here you can enjoy the fort for a few hours and look at the nearby attractions. Once your wanderlust is satisfied, you can trek back by the Atekar Vasti route or catch a bus back to Pune.
Pack an easy and light meal for yourself like parathas or sandwiches which can be eaten on the go.
A night trek is completely different from normal, day treks, even if you've been on the same route a million times before. So, it is important that you take the necessary precautions and carry the right gear if you're going for the night trek, especially if you're trying it out for the first time.
Khadakwasla Dam is constructed on the Mutha river around 45 minutes away from the Sinhagad fort. The dam was created in 1869 and runs along a length of 1939 meters. This dam has created the beautiful Khadakwasla lake which is a popular point to picnic with an awe-inspiring view. Another attraction point near Sinhagad is the Panshet dam. This dam is about an hour away from Sinhagad fort and is another picnic spot. What makes this dam special is that it creates the Panshet lake which is essentially the backwaters of the dam and from the lake, you can spot the Sahyadri mountain range making one exquisite view.
The Sinhagad Pune waterfall is yet another spectacular attraction near Sinhagad fort. It can be seen during the monsoon season and quite a sight as it appears to be going backwards due to the wind pressure.
What to See On the Fort
The Fort itself has a handful of places that you must visit, merely for their historical significance.
Tanaji Malusare Samadhi
The grave or Samadhi of the military leader Tanaji Malusare is located in the fort. A visit to the fort definitely calls for a visit to the Samadhi that stands as a reminder of the sheer courage the brave warrior showed.
Since it was Tanaji who fought for, and lost his life at, Sinhagad, a statue in his name has been erected in the fort.
In the battle of Sinhagad, Tanaji and his troop of 300 warriors scaled the steep fort from the west in the dark of the night. Today, this area is known as Tanaji Kada.
Lokmanya Tilak Bungalow
In the 20th century, the famous Indian freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak built a bungalow on the fort that is known to people today as Lokmanya Tilak Bungalow.
Things to Carry for the Sinhagad Fort Trek
These are the items you will need to bring and wear for this trek. Remember to pack light
- A Sturdy Backpack with a waterproof covering (if you’re trekking in the monsoon).
- Wear comfortable hiking shoes with a good grip.
- The most important thing to carry on this trek is water. There are not many places to quench your thirst so pack around three litres to stay hydrated.
- Flashlight for the night trek.
- Personal medicine
- First Aid Kit
- A Compass and a Map of the area
- Avomine for motion sickeness
- Moov or Relispray for muscular pulls, aches and sprains
- Combiflam as a general painkiller
- Crocin for fever
- Crepe bandage and ointment in the case of any injuries
- A small roll of cotton and gauze
- Avil for allergies
- Antiseptic creams and bug spray
- Dettol antiseptic
Always consult with your doctor before going on any trek, no matter how small or easy it is and how fit you are.
- Wear comfortable, lightweight clothes like a comfortable t-shirt and trekking pants. Carry along a pair in case the other one gets wet/torn.
- Wear a good warm jacket if you trek in the winter and a raincoat if it is monsoon season. An umbrella is not recommended as it is too much of a hassle.
- Lip balm
- Sun Cap
- Pack lunch and dinner accordingly depending on the route you plan to take. Make sure the food is light, easy to eat on the go and replenishes energy.
Useful Tips That’ll Help You through the Sinhagad Fort Trek
- The level of difficulty for the Sinhagad trek depends on which route you choose to take. The route via Sinhagad Ghat road is very easy with not trekking as you reach by car. This route can also be reached by bus or a shared cab and numerous transport facilities are available from Pune city.
- The route via Atekar Vasti is still easy to do, taking only two hours to complete. Finally, the night trek via Katraj is moderate in difficulty as you will trek along the mountains with numerous inclines and rocky paths.
- So far there is no permission for camping at the Sinhagad fort. Along the night route, however, you may camp on the mountaintop. No drinking water, food or toilet facilities are available in this part.
- There are numerous places to eat at the Atekar Vasti village if you do not want to pack your own food. You can get good snacks, tea, and local Maharashtrian cuisine. If you want, you can start out early in the morning and have breakfast before trekking at this village or in the city itself.
- Some delicacies that you must try are the Matka Dahi and Zunka Bhakri. The former is a sweet curd that is drunk from a mud pot and the latter is a traditional dish made from chickpea or besan mix.
- There are no hotels or guesthouses next to the fort, however there are places to stay on Sinhagad road and in Pune city if you travel back after your trek.
We hope you are prepared enough for this trek and will try out soon! Pack light, bring lots of water and appropriate clothes according to the season. We highly recommend you try the night trek as it is definitely something you would not get anywhere else.
So what are you waiting for? Embark upon your journey to revisit the glorious Maratha Empire and Indian history. Let us know how the trek went in the comments below and share lots of pictures with us!