Hike to Sinhagad Fort

Hike to Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad Fort was a suggestion from a friend who resides in the Pune city. My friend told me about this hike and assured that I would love it. And as my friend mentioned, the hike to the Fort definitely did not disappoint me. The trail is challenging, the views are spectacular and the fort is amazing. The fort provides a sneak peek into the history of the Maratha Empire.

Hike to Sinhagad Fort
View from Sinhagad Fort

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About Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad Fort, previously known as Kondhana, is a fort in the Pune city. It is located on an isolated cliff in the Sahyadri mountains. The fort has witnessed and fought many battles and the well known one is the Battle of Sinhagad in the year 1670.

The Battle of Sinhagad was fought by Tanaji Malusare, general of the Maratha Empire to recapture the fort. Sinhagad was the first fort that was re-captured from the Mughals. Unfortunately, Tanaji was killed in the fight but the fort was won.

The fort was renamed to Sinhagad meaning Lion’s fort and reference of lion was made after Tanaji.

Based on some of the information available and found, it is suggested that the Sinhagad Fort was built around 2000 years ago.

The Sinhagad Fort has a memorial of Tanaji and a tomb of Rajaram.

The best time to visit the Sinhagad Fort is during the winter (November, December and January), spring (February and March) and autumn (September and October) seasons. The summer season (April and May) is extremely hot and the rainy season (June to August) makes the hike a bit harder because the path is muddy.

Even though the hike is hard during the monsoon season, the Sahyadri mountains look stupendous during the rains and the lush green vegetation around with the cool fresh breeze is something to die for. This experience can only be felt and cannot be described in words.

Hike to Sinhagad Fort
At the Fort

Sinhagad Fort also played an important role in India’s freedom struggle. Bal Gandagdhar Tilak used this fort as a summer retreat and it is also believed that Mahatma Gandhi had a historic meeting with Bal Gandagdhar Tilak here.

Bal Gandagdhar Tilak is also known as “The Father of Indian Unrest” and Mahatma Gandhi is “The Father of the Nation”.

How to get there?

The easiest way to get to the fort is by driving. One can also drive to the Sinhagad Fort itself instead of hiking from Sinhagad Payatha.

  • By road – The base of the mountain is around 38 kilometres from Pune city. The best way to reach is either by driving or by taking a taxi. We hired an Ola Outstation cab that cost us about INR 2000.
  • Public transportation – There are buses between Shaniwar Wada and Sinhagad Payatha.
    • Check with the locals or on the Pune Municipal Corporation regarding the bus stops and the timings.

Hiking logistics

The Sinhagad Fort is a very popular hiking destination in Pune and is very crowded over the weekends. I would say that Sinhagad Fort marks as a Moderate one day hike as the path does not have defined steps and one needs to walk on the muddy path. This makes the hike a bit difficult.

The Sinhagad Fort was strategically built on the hill as the natural steep slopes that provided protection to the fort.

  • Starting and finishing point: Sinhagad Payatha.
  • Total distance: 4.4 kilometres return.
  • Grade: Easy to Moderate.
    • The path is defined and one cannot get lost.
    • Moderate only because the path has a few steep climbs and one needs to walk on a muddy path.
    • The trekkers gain 600 metres of elevation in just 2.2 kilometres.
    • Because of the muddy path, the hike becomes harder than usual during the rainy season.
  • Suitable for: Beginners.
  • Time taken: 3 to 4 hours return.
  • Type of hike: Return.
  • Do not litter the fort and the trail. There are rubbish bins at every point.
  • Wear comfortable and sturdy shoes, unlike me.
  • Carry water for the trail.
Hike to Sinhagad Fort
Trail to the Sinhagad Fort

Eateries and Indian snacks

There are plenty of street vendors at the entrance of the Sinhagad fort and inside the fort. The food here is extremely cheap, fresh and delicious. I would definitely suggesting the different kinds of snacks and fritters (pakoras).

Hike to Sinhagad Fort
Street vendor

In some of the places, one can see the food being cooked right in front of you. The paranthas are absolutely amazing. My friend and I spent most of the time eating.

Hike to Sinhagad Fort

Facilities

  • Drinking water – There are shops where one can buy packaged and bottle drinking water. However, if you are getting water from taps or a restaurant kitchen, definitely treat the water before drinking.
  • Toilets – There are toilet facilities inside the fort. One needs to pay a minimal amount of INR 5 to use the toilet facility. This is to ensure the toilets are maintained and cleaned regularly.

Safety for solo female travelers

There are a lot of people on the track and is a busy track. So, I wouldn’t say that the hike is an unsafe hike. However, be careful on the way to the base of the hike in the taxi and after it gets dark. That would be the time where I would definitely say that it can become unsafe. In a nutshell, I would suggest hiking this trail with a buddy or a group. I visited the Sinhagad Fort with a buddy and hence I felt very safe during the hike.

Hike to Sinhagad Fort
At the entrance of the fort

Closing Notes

I have been told that one needs at least 3 to 4 months to explore all the forts around Pune and Sinhagad Fort marks as the beginning of exploration. I intend to go back to the city and live there for a few months and see all these amazingly pretty forts.

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11 comments

  1. There’s nothing better than a challenging hike that leads to a spectacular view! So nice that there are street vendors too, I’m sure you worked up an appetite. What a great experience!

  2. It is too bad the trail is too muddy to hike during monsoon season, the description of the breeze and green lush landscape sounds amazing. I love that there are street vendors, a treat after the hike is the perfect reward. Great tip to bring change for the toilets.

  3. Sinhagad fort hike looks like a good hike with spectacular views at the end! The views are always best in India during monsoons although there is the difficulty of muddy terrain. The pakoras and parathas for sustenance before or after the hike sound perfect. Or you could pack some and take it with you. I will try this hike when I am next in Pune. This would be the perfect hike for history and adventure lovers. 🙂

  4. I somehow missed this fort when I used to travel to Pune often and I do remember one of my teammates suggesting this trip. This certainly is a lovely hike and I love the greenery of the trails. The view from top is amazing too.

  5. Most of all, I enjoy long walks in nature with visits to historical sites and local architecture. Sinhagad fort looks like a beautiful place to visit as there you can connect with nature in a particular way and enjoy a picturesque view of the city from the top as well.

  6. I went to Pune only for a day and didn’t get a chance to see anything. I am glad this hike is for beginners, s perhaps if I get a chance, I will do this. So glad that there are toilet facilities, otherwise it’s just too difficult.

  7. I’m planning a trip to India so this has been really helpful. I’ve solo travelled Sri Lanka and did find doing some of these hikes alone to be somethings a bit challenging so thanks for the advice. Hopefully I’ll visit someday.

  8. This sounds like a great hike and i’m glad to know there are toilets once you reach the fort. A 3-4 hour hike is perfect and since its moderate (not a tough hike), I don’t mind attempting it. Would love to stop for some freshly made parathas on the way too!

  9. Wow! What a spectacular view! Definitely, worth the hike. Happy to know that the path is define and its suitable for beginners. We hope to visit in the future.

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