Fort Type: Hill Fort
Fort Height: 4400 Ft (from Sea-level)
Sinhagad fort is located near Pune city. The fort is towards the south-west to the Pune city. The fort was also known as "KONDHANA". This name was given after a sage Kaundinya.
Temple of Kaundinyeshwar and the caves on the fort indicates that the fort had been built approximately 2000 years back.
When Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj started to build his kingdom, he captured this fort by playing a wise move of politics. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj gained control over this fort in year 1647.
This made Adilshah of Vijapur furious he ordered Fatehkhan to attack Shivaji and simultaneously he ordered Afzalkhan, Baji Ghorpade to attack Shahaji (Father of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj). Shivaji Maharaj defeated Fatehkhan near Purandar fort, but Shahaji raje was captured at the hands of Baji Ghorpade and Afzalkhan. Now the situation was at one end there is a joy of victory and at the other end there is fear of loss of father. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, then decided to play yet another masterpiece! He contacted Mughal King Shahjahan and conveyed a message that he and his father are ready to work for him, but currently Shahaji Raje is in Adilshah's custody. If Shahjahan helps Shivaji to rescue his father, then they will serve Mughals. Adilshah came to know about this move from Shivaji and he got worried that Mughals will launch an attack on him to demand Shahaji's release. So after consulting the delegates, Adilshah decided to release Shahaji Raje. But he demanded Sinhagad fort in return. Thus Sinhagad went back to Adilshah in 1647. Although Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was able to capture the fort again, it stayed little with him as during the Purandar Treaty, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had to surrender this fort to Mughal Sardar Mirza Raja Jaysingh. After the
treaty was broken, in year 1670, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured this fort once again। This time even though the fort came under his command, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had to suffer the loss of his beloved friend and gallant soldier Tanaji Malusare। on 4th February 1670, Tanaji Malusare attacked the fort। He climbed the fort from the area which is now a days known as "Tanajicha Kada" (Cliff of Tanaji). He died on this fort while fighting with Udaybhan (Udaybhan was in-charge of this fort). A fierce battle broke out between Tanaji and Udaybhan. During the battle Tanaji lost his shield and thus started to protect him against Udaybhan's sword using his hand. Finally both died in the battle. Maratha soldier's saw that their leader is dead, they started to ran away from the battle place, at this critical time, Suryaji, brother of Tanaji, took the control of the situation and made an inspiring speech to the soldiers. The soldiers returned to battle and captured the fort. As the news of Tanaji's death reached to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, he broke into tears. At this moment, he said "Gad aala pan Sinha gela". Many of us still believe that after Tanaji's death, Kondhana was renamed to SINHAGAD, but its not true. The fort was called as Sinhagad even before the death of Tanaji. (Refer Raja Shivachatrapati by Babasaheb Purandare)
After this battle, Sinhagad remained under Maratha control till 1689. After death of Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, Aurangazeb captured this fort. Again in 1693, Maratha took control over this fort. On 3rd March 1700, Chatrapati Rajaram Maharaj died on this fort. His tomb is still present on the fort. In 1703, Aurangazeb again managed to capture this fort but he managed to control the fort for next 4 years only as in 1707 Maratha's took the control again. Since then till 1818, the fort remained in Maratha kingdom.
This monument was built in the memory of Rajaram Maharaj.
From Pune, via Aatkarwadi village, we reach Pune Darwaaja we come across three consecutive entrances, of which third one was built during the era of Yadavas. We can see fine sculpture on it. On the way here, we notice an entrance through a distance, which is called Dhondse Darwaja. To reach this there is a tar road.
After entering Pune Darwaaja, we come across this peak from where we can observe the region of Purandar fort and the rivers Mula and Mutha.
This is the entrance to the fort for those who come via Katraj Ghat. In older days, this door was used as the main gateway between Sinhagad and Raigad.
On entering Pune Darwaaja, on the right we observe this building.
When we follow the way rightwards along the Rajsadar, we reach this ancient temple of Lord Shankar.
This temple of Bhairav is located leftwards to the Konadhaneshwar temple, at a few minutes walk.
Statue of Tanaji:
Behind Amruteshwar temple, after going upwards for few minutes, we can see this admirable monument.
This bastion lies to the left after entering Kalyan Darwaaja.
We can see Rajgad, Torna, Lingana and Raigad and Purandar forts from here.
This pinnacle is quite thrilling and lies beyond Zunjar Machi. It is a great attraction for hikers.
This point, as it is named, is the westernmost and is the place to keep the watch.
This peak lies at a few minutes walk from the western point, and is the most suitable place to keep a watch on the extensive Pune city.
Lokmanya Tilak Bungalow:
The bungalow of Lokmanya Tilak is situated on the fort. He used to come here many a times. His works like Geetarahasya were completed here. In 1915 Gandhiji and Tilak met here.
Gandhiji whenever come to visit Pune, he always used to drink water which was specially brought for him from this fort.
Netaji Subhashchandra Bose also visited this fort.
Ways To Reach:
1) Pune-Khadakwasala-Donje-Golewadi junction-Aatka: From Swargate bus stand in Pune, you will get a bus to village of Aatkarwadi। From here, a walk of one & half hour (few trekkers may take 2 hours as well)takes us to the topmost point
The path is tiring; hence early morning is best time to climb. This route takes us directly to Pune Darwaaja.
2) Pune-Kondhanpur:The Bus will take us to Kondhapur village। From this village, we enter the fort from Kalyan Darwaja। It takes 1।5 hours to reach to the fort from this wayThis way is more simpler than first one.
3) Trekking from Katraj Ghat to Sinhagad:It is a favourite of many trekkers. Geton to any bus via Katraj Ghat from Pune early morning, and alight at the Katraj tunnel On the top of the tunnel is the peak known as Vrindavan, from where the trek starts. It is about 6-7 hours trek and we reach the fort by evening. If you do not know the proper path, please join the treks arragned by Yuvashakti and/or Zep. This trek is most enjoyable during Full moon night as well as during the rainy season.
MTDC resort is available on the fort. You may book a room here to spend the night on the fort. Or if you want to add more thrill to the experience, you can spend the whole night in the cottages which during the day time are used as hotels.
Food and Drinking Water
The fort being commercialized, many restaurants are available.
The cistern Devtake provides water throughout the year.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Fort Type: Hill Fort