When you achieve something after hard work, you get a feeling of accomplishment that makes all the hard work worth. On a fine Sunday after trekking for almost two and a half hours, when I was eating some snacks sitting under a tree, I had exactly the same feeling. We Indians love food and we can always go an extra mile for some good taste. However when was the last time you heard people go to a fort for enjoying the local food sold there? Hundreds of localities go to this fort with a primary agenda of eating the local food – “Pithla Bhakari”. Although the fort is great reminder of great Maratha history which we have forgotten or worse even didn’t know, it’s totally worth a visit just for your taste buds.
Sinhgad fort was one of the most important forts for Maratha Empire when they were battling first with Mughals and then Britishers. You can read all about it in books or read on internet, but you can witness the strategic built of the fort when you actually stand inside it. It will be astonishing to imagine how the fort was conquered despite all odds. I was told few stories there but it made me read more about those when I got back.
We were six friends who were on this trek together but this trek was special because of the seventh member who was on her first trek. The seventh member was a three-year old daughter of two of our friends who not only enthusiastically trekked with us but had the maximum energy left when we reached the top. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj would have been proud of her :).
The base village is half an hour drive from Pune. Although you can drive till the top of the hill, it will be more fun if you can trek to the top. We started the trek after parking our vehicles at the base. On the route there are small shops setup which sell refreshments and keep you going further. There are some beautiful sites on the way as the entire area is surrounded by hills. As we started early in the morning, the sun didn’t trouble us much during the climb. The trek level can be considered easy if you have done some treks earlier.
Once you are near the top of the hill you can start seeing the walls of hills and the magnitude of size of fort. After reaching the top you have a lot of stalls lined up to sell fresh fruits and other refreshments. It will taste too good specially after all the hunger that gets generated after the trek. But the real fun is when you enter inside the fort.
I was filled with joy when I saw the setup there. In an open area under the trees, arrangements were made to sit on the ground and eat local food. I don’t remember when was the last time I ate like that. You forget about all tiredness when you are served the snacks along with delicious curd. After having snacks we roamed around the fort for an hour and then had our lunch as if the snacks were not enough :). We relaxed for half an hour and then started to descend.
The descend although looks easier is actually tough to execute. We have to be more careful as chances of slipping are higher and also there are more jerks on your knees if it’s a rocky surface. By the time we reached the bottom of the hill, sun was at its peak. We were thanking ourselves for finishing the trek in time and be able to proceed towards home. The fatigue was guiding my eyes to close and I obeyed to it. I wish to have more Sundays like this.