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Monday, December 14, 2009

Imagining the Glorious Past amidst the ruins of Sinhagad Fort near Pune in Maharashtra, India

After admiring the cave temples of Badami, and the cradle of temple architecture at Pattadakkal, I rode to the cosmopolitan town of Pune. The ride was fairly uneventful as I was zipping on the boring 4 lane highway –NH 4.


After refreshing at my cousin’s place in Aundh, Pune, I rode for an hour through the countryside and the winding roads to reach the fortress of Sinhagad.


I parked my motorbike and began ascending the steep steps that led to the top. Enroute, I stopped at one of the many trail-side food stalls to taste the raw mangoes.


This place is perched on a steep cliff in the Sayhadri hills and is situated at an altitude of 1,350 metres. This natural cliff on 3 sides provided ideal protection in those days.


As I walked around the entire fortress, I could see that most of them were in ruins, but tried to imagine how it would have been in the 16th century with military outposts and a fully functional hill town.


The most famous piece of history about this place is the battle of Sinhagad that was fought in 1670. Shivaji’s general Tanaji Malusare, spearheaded the attack and helped conquer the fort, but not before he died in battle.


Hence, this fort houses a memorial to Tanaji. The views of the green valleys, the steep cliffs and the lakes beyond are breathtaking. I believe there are a lot of trekking routes to get to this fort and some of them being pretty popular.


As I kept walking, I spotted a small brewery and a temple dedicated to goddess Kali. This place makes for a great getaway from Pune and offers great views, trekking opportunities and to imagine our glorious past!

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