Eat your way up the fort

Jun 25, 2013, 01:32 IST | Kartiki Nitin Lawate

The Guide suggests you head to Sinhagad Fort in the rains to indulge in trekking and to savour the myriad dishes available at the fort

Monsoon is the perfect time for trekking and what better place to head to than the Sinhagad fort, which is located close to the city. It’s a must-visit for trekkers as well as foodies.The fort is 25 km away from the city and is an attraction for tourists and history lovers.

Sinhagad Fort. Pics/ Ashish Pol

There are various delicacies that you can enjoy there, ranging from the Roasted Corn (Rs 20) to Jhunka-Bhakar (Rs 30), Kanda Bhajji (Rs 30), Bharet (Rs 30), Dahi in an earthen pot (Rs 20) and Tak (Rs 30). While the food may seem to be a tad costly, it is due to the fact that the villagers have to lug the food manually to the fort from the nearby village Kalyan Darwaza. “Every morning at 7 am we reach the top of the fort by travelling for almost 3 miles. We bring all the raw material every day and cook here,” says Shivaji Chavan, who has been running a food stall here for more than three decades.

Women preparing Bhakri at the fort

Chavan adds that the Dahi is a crowd favourite and it is made in a special way. “After cleaning the pots, we put them in hot water and then add the dahi, so that by morning it is ready to be served and tastes sweet as well.” The shops open by 7 am and shut by 8 pm as darkness descends. The best time to visit the fort is early in the morning when the sun is yet to rise. You can start your trek by savouring the corn available at the bottom of the fort, then climb up and try the Kanda–Bhaji followed by Jhunka-Bhakar. 

Bhakri with Dahi
Bhakri with Dahi

Back in time
Sinhagad Fort was previously called Kondhana and the fort has been the site of many important battles, most notably the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670. It was also strategically located at the centre of a string of other forts such as Rajgad, Purandar and Torna. Perched on an isolated cliff of the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri mountains, it is situated on a hill rising 1,312 metres above sea level.  Given natural protection by its very steep slopes, the walls and bastions were constructed at only key places; it has two gates -- the Kalyan Darwaza in the south-east and the Pune Darwaza in the north-east. 

Work in progress
The road leading to Sinhagad fort will be undergoing construction for the next few months as the Public Works Department (PWD) is working on strengthening the Ghat section leading up to the fort. Hence, people will have to take the Khed-Shivapur Road instead of the regular Kadakwasala Road. For road-widening purposes, some portion of the Ghat has been dug up as well. 

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