If you like the outdoors, try this tour of Sinhagad Fort and Panshet Lake.
What this tour is about: Sinhagad Fort is located 4300 feet above sea level, on the Sahyadri Hills. It is a strategic fort, carefully selected for its proximity to the settlement of Pune, allowing control over important trade routes and offering protection behind its safe walls in times of need. Originally called Kondana, it was renamed the Lion Fort in honour of Shivaji’s trusted aide Tanaji Malusare who lost his life in a daring raid on the fort.
The summer months (March-June) are too hot to visit Sinhagad, but all other seasons offer great opportunities for a day outdoors. In September-October just after the rains, the hills are carpeted in green, and very scenic. From November through February, the craggy black rock contrasts beautifully with yellow hay and the weather is simply perfect. The monsoon season begins in June, and it is then that the Sahyadris become truly magical, with beautiful waterfalls and lush foliage. Trekkers from Mumbai and Pune head for the Sahyadris to see the hills come alive in the rains.
Panshet is a pleasant tranquil lake created in the 1950’s by the building of a dam. It supplies drinking water to Pune, and is a popular getaway for residents of Pune.
Places we will visit: This is a half-day tour that can be done either in the morning or in the afternoon. The drive from Pune to Sinhagad takes about 45 minutes. There is a fairly easy 20 minute climb to the fort from the parking area. The guide will explain the history of the fort as well as some of the key principles behind its layout. You will visit the memorial of Rajaram, Shivaji’s younger son, who died here. There are great views of the hills, rivers and dams from the top of the fort. After an hour at the Fort, we will proceed to Panshet, for a relaxing picnic break, and then return to Pune.
Total Tour Time: 4 hours
When: Starts 9:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m., from your hotel
Cost: The tour costs Rs.2000/- per person for 4 people, Rs.2500/- per person for 3 people, Rs.3000/- per person for 2 people. Solo travellers pay Rs.5000/-. The price includes well-researched handouts, trained English-speaking guide, air-conditioned car, driver, bottled water and any entrances.
What to wear: Please check the weather and dress accordingly. Sensible shoes are recommended. Do ensure you have adequate sun protection. This is a great tour for those interested in photography.