Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sinhagad Trip

Pune visits always had the underlying thought of a trek to Sinhagad Fort. This fort is atop a hill famous for the way Tanaji used a huge monitor lizard to scale an almost vertical climb to surprise the Moghuls and win back the strategic fort for Shivaji, the Maratha King. Sinhagad these days is a popular destination for Puneites because of the wonderful trek it offers - a climb that takes about an hour and descent that takes maybe 15 minutes less. But in winters, it is a great place to visit, offering several scenic places, great food and a good half days exercise.
A view from the top of the trekking route

We were not in the mood to climb up so we drove up - Shobha, Anjali, Raja, Pooja and Miskil. We were joined by our old accomplices in several Sinhagad treks Parth and Maria. So we drove along the 20 odd kilometres out of town and the 15 odd kilometres up the hill. The road that goes up the hills is a narrow single road and is not in great shape and requires some careful driving. Since we left in the early afternoon and the weather was balmy, it was an enjoyable ride all through.
Climbing Up

At Sinhagad we parked the cars and trekked up a small way through the gates into the fort. The views are really scenic and one gets a panaromic view of Pune from the hill tops. There are all kinds vendors selling guavas, pineapples, mangoes, butter milk, onion pakoda (a famous snack there), kulfi etc. The vendors appear to be locals and one sees very little commercialisation on the hill in terms of boards, ads etc. We hit the first hut, there are several, run by maushis, and they all have a standard menu - onion pakodas, bhakris, pitla, butter milk, curds. Some serve chicken etc as well but everyone is happy with this rustic food because it really tastes so good on top of the hill. We quickly ate our food and struggled along into the interiors of the fort. A good exploration of the fort will take about an hour, going from one point to another. Now the internal tracks are paved so it is much better. Earlier it was just a kacha road.
At the zunkha bhakhar stall

As always the trip to Sinhagad leaves one feeling tired but pretty satisfied inside. It has been a while since we trekked up and we promised we'd do it - Parth, Maria being pretty keen on it. Maybe next trip.

No comments: