The untold story of Sinhagad – Pune

I remembered the two famous lines Har Har Mahadeo (Hail our Lord – Mahadeo meaning the Hindu God Shiva) the war cry of the Maratha army and Gad aala pan sinha gela – We gained the fort but lost the lion when my husband asked me to accompany him to the famous fort of the Marathas (warrior caste in Maharashtra) – Sinhagad (Lion’s fort)

The entry point – Pune Darwaza

We were a group of fifteen enthusiasts who left by car one morning. The drive from Khadakwasla dam to the top of Sinhagad is refreshing and abundant in greenery. The best season to visit this historic place is when she is drenched in the beauty of the rains. The steep slopes of the Sahyadri range are rich in flora and you could enjoy its beauty by trekking. The well laid roads assist a smooth ride to the summit except for a couple of metres near the base. It’s a weekend getaway for the monsoon enthusiasts and many of them could be seen leaving their vehicle and taking a walk.

Kalyan Darwaza

This fort earlier known by the name Kondana was captured by Tanaji Malusare a valiant general of Chatrapathi Shivaji in 1670 AD. He had used a monitor lizard – ghorpad in the local language to scale the this mountain. Kondana was then under the rules of the Mughals. It was in this exploit that the fort was captured but at the cost of Tanaji’s life. Saddened by the event – Shivaji remarked Gad aala pan sinha gela.

Sinhagad is synonymous to Pitla Bhakri and Kandha Bhajji. Bhakris are Indian breads made with Jowar (Sorghum) flour. This is the staple diet of the farmers of Maharashtra. Pitla is prepared by cooking chick pea flour with spices. The onions dipped in gram flour and deep fried – Kandha Bhajji is a fast food Indian snack and is a great company to a hot tea. You could find many stalls/ dhabha selling these items along with egg plant stir fry for the famished stomachs.  If you would want to snack on something light there is a wide variety of boiled pea nuts, raw mangoes with a dash of spices, roasted maize and chanya manya bor ( small red berries).

Spicy Mangoes
Spicy Mangoes


Sinhagad is now in ruins and one can notice the crumbling walls and bastions. The two gates to the fort Kalyan Darwaza and Pune Darwaza still stand and speak of its yester years majestic days. There are many water tanks inside the fort and the well known ones are Ganesh Tanki and Dev Tanki (Tanki meaning – Tank). The water in Dev Tanki is considered to be potable and one can see the locals carrying water drawn from this tank. During the freedom struggle days it’s told that this fort housed Lokmanya Tilak. Chatrapathi Shivaji’s second son Rajaram’s memorial is also in this fort. One could worship Lord Kondeshwar in this temple just opposite to the Dev Tanki.

The visibility reduces during the monsoon as fog descends all around you. You could stroll into the bygone era of history and dwell into the thoughts of the brave spirit of Marathas, Peshwas.

It definitely was a walk through the clouds and you got to be there to experience it. Happy Walking Friends!!

Sinhagad Layout
Sinhagad Layout

Walk through the clouds

Fact file

  • Nearest Railroad – Pune 30 km
  • Nearest airport – Pune 30 km
  • Regular state transport buses ply to Sinhagad from Pune

Author: Rathina Sankari N

An avid blogger, mother of two lovely kids, a software professional and a voracious reader. I also love cooking during my spare time. I try to juggle between the roles I play and my own interests which also includes travelling. I find travelling an eye opener and a great medium to be introduced to the culture and tradition of a place. India through my eyes is always colorful and brimming with its festivities called Life You could get a glimpse of my life at -


  1. I live in Mumbai and I have been to Pune several times but never visited Sinhagad. After seeing your photos and blog, I am planning to visit this place during my next tripe to Pune.

    Both the photos and your blog is very good.


  2. This blog is interesting to me, looks like it is not maintained properly. Can the government or NGO maintain this historic place?

    It is sad, no one is taking care of historic places like this in India.

  3. Nice write up Rathina! 🙂 and thanks for sharing your thoughts! reminded me of my visits to the fort.
    I used to Visit Sinhagad almost every weekend and every time I climbed the hill I used to feel charged up thinking about the rich history that fort have!

    I preferred climbing the hill and reaching the fort to going there by car/bike! The perspectives are different
    Often when you climb up the hill it will make you think what it would have taken to build a fort like this at that point of time; how daring those warriors were to throw a monitor Lizard and climb those steep walls. One will appreciate it more! At some moment your mind will crave to be part of those historic moments!

    One makes you a traveler the other a tourist or a picnicker! But either ways if you are in Pune you must visit this place! I Still miss Pune 🙁

  4. Good one.
    Reminds me of the time we climbed up this place (from the backside) It was the wrong time of the year (May) and at 10 am it was an herculean effort but we did it and it was worth it.
    I think all those who like trekking and love nature should visit this place.

  5. Hi Thr,
    Very Nice blog with pics. Me and my sister are planning to visit Sinhagad Fort on our Activa and wondering if you have ridden scooter there? Are the ghat roads safe to ride thr? Also wondering if you switch off the scooter engine downhill on the way back? Need some tips, Regards, Kusum

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