This was the first outing after the rains had started. Having seen the “wet green” in photographs of the western ghats, my expectations were very high. Sinhagad lived up to these expectations. It was drizzling and most of the fort was covered in mist. The sun was peeping through small gaps in te clouds making the whole scene ethereal.
This was also the first “long” trip for the Xylo. Yeah 25 kms qualifies as a long trip in Pune! The drive was enjoyable and Xylo managed the bad roads pretty well.
Route from Pune to Sinhagad fort: It took more than an hour to reach the base of Sinhagad from Magarpatta. You have to reach Swargate to catch the Sinhagad road. To go to swargate from magarpatta, go on the solapur highway (big bazaar, krome route ). Keep on going on this road and you will reach Swargate . Keep going until you reach a T-junction. On this junction, turn left and immediately you should see a mahalaxmi temple on the left and a traffic signal right next to it. At this signal , turn right and you are on Sinhagad road. The route to sinhagad passes through Khadakwasla dam. The dam was not overflowing then. Even with less water, the dam was a pretty sight with lot of revelers enjoying the waves and eating corn!
Even with just a week or so of the rains, the greenery on the way was worth watching. Once we reached the base of Sinhagad, the commercialisation of the place became obvious with so many jeeps vying to offer you a drive to the top, if you didn’t want to go by yourself.
The road to the top of the fort is steep and the condition of the road is also not so good. Particularly, the hairpin bends have been very poorly designed with no provision of any kind of banking. It was a thrilling experience to take the xylo (with 7 adults) to the top. On many turns, i was forced to stop because of some oncoming vehicle and it was tough to start again on the curve and many a time i started to screeching tyres.
We did make a lot of stops on the way for many photo sessions. Nearing the top of the hill, mist almost covered the entire place. One particular view was amazing. The whole valley was in the shade/mist with the sun showing through only on a small area in the middle. The photo below doesn’t do any justice to the actual scene, but it can give you an idea have to start using RAW for all images from now on!
Once on the top, we had to get Akshara all dressed up, as it was quite chilly. This was our first outing with Akshara in Pune and it took quite a while to get Akshara in the sling. The last time she was in the sling was few months when she was much smaller! We didn’t spend long enough on the fort to explore it in its entirety, as we had some party to go to that evening. Anyway, this demo version was good enough to ensure that we visit again. More photos of the fort then.