The plan for the day was to visit the Sinhagad fort. It is said to be a beautiful place, especially at sunrise, and as my cousin, though she had been a resident of Pune, hadn’t been there either, we were both understandably very excited about the whole affair. We were to car-pool with some of her friends so that we had a large group and the day was going to pan out according to the maxim ‘the more, the merrier’.
The drive was for a distance of about 50-55 kilometres from Pune (by far the nearest fort to Pune), but we were told that the scenic beauty and the lush valley was completely worth the trip. Add to that the fact that there was always going to be steaming hot roadside Marathi-dishes to be found at all times, and we didn’t need any more convincing.
There was a slight drizzle on-going, but it didn’t deter us. We drove our way up the little hillock on which the fort was situated, and stopped en route for a bite of roadside pakora with chatni, which was simply delicious and tasted like heaven on earth to us hungry vagabonds at the wee hours of the morning.
Before we reached the fort, we made another pit stop at Khadakwasla, for a photo session, because the view from there was simply irresistible.
This fort is strategically located in the centre of a string of other forts, the Torna fort forming one of the clusters. It is perched on an isolated cliff in the Sahayadhri Mountain Range, and rises above sea level to a height of 1312 metres. As its isolated location and steep slopes of the hill provide suffieient security, walls and bastions to reinforce security were constructed in only a few places. The fort itself has two gates: to the south-east it has the Kalyan Darwaza, and the Pune darwaza to the north-east.
We did not stop our trip at the fort itself we drove forward some fifteen kilometres from the fort upon the suggestions of the local vendors to a beautiful and serene lake.