Sinhgad Fort - Khadakwasla Chowpaty - Panshet Dam

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 This is place you may want to visit with your Family, Kids or friends over the weekend. Best time to visit is during Monsoon or post Monsoon and Winter season. However, you may visit this place anytime. Avoid getting out in hot summer afternoon. Early morning and evenings are the best time to be there.

 How to Reach?

You need to get on to the Sinhgad Road. If you are traveling through the city, you can join Sinhgad Road after Mhatre Bridge or near Parvati / Sarasbaug.

If you are staying close to the Mumbai - Bangalore bypass, then you travel towards Pashan-Sus Road - Chandani Chowk - Warje - Cross Sinhgad Flyover over the Sihngad Road and Mutha river. Before the road diverts to the new katraj Tunnel bypass, get-off the highway to your right after making a U turn and join the Sinhgad Road. Make another left. You will now cross Dhayari Phata - Lokmat Office - Khadakvasla Dam - Gorhe - Donaje Phata. At this junction, road to your right goes to Panshet. Straight road goes towards Sinhgad Fort foothills (aatkarwadi) from where the climb starts (no steps but defined path). it takes around 90-120 min to reach the top.

There are city bus service available from Corporation / Shanivarwada / Abhinav Kala Vidyalaya on Tilak Road to Sinhgad, Khanapur, Panshet. There are State Transport buses as well from Swargate Depot towards Panshet. Alternate route to reach Khadakwasla could be to take a bus that goes towards Kondhve Dhavde OR NDA gate via Warje Malwadi and get down at the last stop. Take a auto to reach the other side of the Khadakwasla backwater towards Sinhgad.

Sinhgad Fort


An unmistakable landmark, the towering Sinhagad (Lion's den) fort also known as Kondana is located in the south of Pune city situated on a hill rising 800 metres above the surrounding countryside. The base of the fort is approximately 550 meter (1800 ft) above sea level, and its top is 1,350 m (4,430 ft) above sea level. The fort's location has been strategically important since at least the 14th century and has been the site of many important battles. One most famous battles was the recapturing of the fort by one important martyr of Hindvi Swarajya Tanaji Malusare. Tanaji is believed one of core true companions who established Swarajya led by Chhatrapati Shivaji in 17th century.

Today apart from its historical importance, Sinhgad has now become one of the most popular picnic spots around Pune. The Fort offers a fantastic bird’s eye view of the ever expanding Pune city and sweeping vistas of thickly forested valleys. Besides the three dams, Panshet, Khadakwasla and Varasgaon.

Enveloped with thick mist, exploring the ruins of the Fort is akin to a surreal experience, a walk in the clouds. Only a small section of the fortifications have withstood the ravages of time. Tanaji’s Samadhi, Tomb of Rajaram (Shivaji's younger son), Dev Take (sweet water tank) along with bungalows of Lokmanya Tilak and the famous Marathi poet G D Madgulkar are among the few sites of tourist interest inside the Fort. Also hot piping kanda bhaji, pithle-bhakari with Thecha (a traditional Maharashtrian dish) and cool sweet curd and buttermilk are the other major attractions for tourists at Sinhagad.

Sinhgad is also a favourite trekking destination and there are many trek / events organized in this region e.g. Katraj to Sinhagad overnight trek during Full Moon night, Enduro race, Competition to climb Sinhgad fort in shortest time Or maximum attempts in a day etc.

What to Explore?

    • Tanaji's Memorial at Sinhagad Fort - Formerly known as Kondhana, Sinhagad means ‘Fortress of the Lion’ and was once the most impregnable fort in western India. Legend says that 300 years ago Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s General Tanaji Malusare, scaled this sheer precipice with ropes and giant lizards. He was killed in the ensuing battle. A grieving Shivaji is known to have said, "Ghad jinkla, pan sinh gela" (The fort is won, but the lion has gone). And that, according to another version, is how the fort got its name Sinhagad.

    • Rajaram Samadhi - This monument was built in the memory of Rajaram Maharaj, younger son of Shivaji.

    • Pune Darwaaja - Just after the parking lot. This is the first point where you start walking towards the Fort or Balekilla.

    • Khand Kada : After entering Pune Darwaaja, we come across this peak from where we can observe the region of Purandar fort and the rivers Mula and Mutha.

    • Kalyan Darwaaja : This is the entrance to the fort for those who come via Katraj via Kondhanapur. In older days, this door was used for communication between Sinhgad and Raigad.

    • Daru Kothar : On entering Pune Darwaaja, on the right we observe the building, which was ancient storage for grains.

    • Kondhaneshwar Temple : When we follow the way rightwards along the Rajsadar, we reach this ancient temple of Lord Shankar. 

    • Amruteshwar Mandir : This temple of Bhairav is located leftwards to the Konadhaneshwar temple, at a few minutes walk.

    • Zunjar Buruz : This bastion lies to the left after entering Kalyan Darwaaja and comprises the westernmost point of this fort. From here, we can have a glimpse of Rajgad, Torna, Lingana and Raigad and Purandar forts on the west.

    • Tanaji Kada : This pinnacle is quite thrilling and lies beyond Zunjar Machi. It is a great attraction for hikers.

    • Western point : This point, as it is named, is the westernmost and is the place to keep the watch. 

    • Kadelot point : This peak lies at a few minutes walk from the western point, and is the most suitable place to keep a watch on the extensive Pune city.

    • Bungalow of Lokmanya Tilak : The bungalow of Lokmanya Tilak is situated on the fort. He used to come here many a times. His works like Geetarahasya were completed here.

    • The tower of Doordarshan -Mumbai is also there on Sinhagad. This tower provides reception to Pune region.

    • Dev Take - famous tank with sweet and cold water - is popular amongst the tourists.


    How to reach on the Fort from the base -  

    The Fort can be scaled from its many approaches -

    1. Climb that starts from the Atkarwadi village is moderate and takes 2 hours max to reach the top. There are no steps but a defined path. You will get Limbu Sharbat, Buttermilk etc. enroute to keep up with your stamina. 
    2. Alternately, you can also take your vehicle to the top (free Parking facility available). First half is not that good. But last 3-4 Kms are smooth and recently tarred. There are zig-zag curves and U pin bends. So drive carefully. Recently, Forest department have started collecting Rs. 50 as toll per vehicle.
    3. Another option is to reach the Donje phata by public transport / your own vehicle and take a share jeep to the top. You may climb down in 45 min instead of taking the jeep again for return trip.  

    Tip: Avoid going there in the hot sun. Early morning or evening after 3:00 PM should be good time. There is pay-per-use Toilet facility available which is relatively (near Hotel Kondhaneshwar). Government has earmarked some Crores to improve the infrastructure on the Sinhgad Fort.

    Important Note : Road from the base of Sinhgad fort till the top has been opened. It was closed for 3 months due to strengthening of Ghat section from kondhanpur phata to Parking lot (3 kms)


    "Anand Melava 2011" @ Donje, Sinhgad

    Anand melava is the event organized by Sayajiraje Park Akluj.

    Its practical presentation of ancient Maharashtra, of over 100 years ago, on 27 hectars of land. A grand play which includes 550 artist will be shown. Another small skit "Gad Ala Pan Sinha Gela" will also be shown.. 
    Special Transport arrangements done by PMPML from the venues of Shaniwarwada, Sarasbaug & from Dhayari Bridge. Ample Parking facility. This would be great learning experience for kids and for adults.

    Venue : Donje Phata, Sinhagad Rd. Pune 

    Timings: 22th April to 8 May, 2011 from 3pm to 8pm 

    Ticket:  Rs200 for adults & Rs 100 for children. ONLY ENTRY FEE

    Catering : Delicious Food will be served by 40 caterers (charges are not included in the entry fee) 

    No Advance Booking is required.

    Contact : Mr Mahadev Andhare,  
                  Tel : 2222 2222 
                  Gorhe Budruk Donje, Sinhagad Road, Pune - 411041  

    Panshet / Varasgaon Dam

    Khadakwasla, Panshet and Varasgaon are the three major dams near Pune which provides water to entire Pune city. Panshet is a getaway of extremes. Either you unwind with long leisurely walks taking in the magnificent panoramic views or indulge in adrenaline pumping water sports like skimming the lake on a jet ski or a speed boat. There are two water sports centers, one at the Varasgaon reservoir called Dolphin Aqua sports (offers Kayak, Wind Surfing, Paddle Boat, Speed Boat, Motor Boats) run by the Baron Resort and the other at the Panshet reservoir named Panshet Boating Club (Speed Boats, Water Scooter, Paddle Boats, Banana Boat, Motor Boat, Rowing etc.) operated by a private operator With no other organized activity to distract you, Panshet, with the backdrop of the majestic Sahyadris, is an idyllic place to get tuned to the simple joys of life. There is one restaurant at the Panshet dam where you can enjoy Kanda bhajji with tea or Pithle-Bhakri. Baingan Masala or Gavran Chicken Handi. Panshet dam was built in late 50's. It became infamous in 1961 when the dam collapsed and the entire water grabbed Pune city. 

    (Tip: Please insist on the life jackets. There was a mishap in 2010 when the speed boat overturned in Panshet Dam killing 2 people. They were not wearing life jackets).


    History -

    Construction of Panshet earthen dam began in 50s and it was constructed / repaired almost 4 times. Panshet Dam burst in its first year of storing water on 12 July 1961, when the dam wall burst, causing massive flooding in Pune. Although this caused a significant loss of property, there was little to no loss of human life. Between June 18 and July 12, 1961, the recorded rainfall was 1778 mm. The rain caused such a rapid rise of the reservoir water level that the new embankment could not adjust to the new loading condition.
    Panshet flood incident would be completing 50 yrs in July 2011 and those memories are still fresh amongst minds of Punekars who have witnessed furious flow of Mutha river that submerged nearly half of Pune on that day. The gushing flood water rendered homeless hundreds of families in just a few hours, besides damaging popular landmarks of that time like the then newly reconstructed Lakdi Pul (Sambhaji Bridge) and Omkareshwar Temple to name a few.  
    Source : SakalTimes

    Khadakwasla Dam

    While returning from Sinhgad / Panshet, one cannot fail to notice Pune’s answer to Mumbai’s Chowpaty. Khadakwasla dam with rows of food stalls lining the waterfront is a regular spot for outings. The Khadakwasla dam constructed in the pre-independence period and the backwaters of Peacock Bay with a backdrop of undulating hills are very picturesque sights. So is the view of Sinhagad rising tall at one end of the lake. The National Defense Academy (NDA) is also located here. A dip in the lake  followed by hot tender ‘bhuttas’ or piping hot Onion Pakoda or spicy bhelpuri is an excellent way to spend a few leisurely hours.

    This place is now being developed as a real Chowpaty with cost of 25 crore.


    Suggested Places for having lunch or Day picnic

      • Ghadge Botanical Farm: Just after hitting the road to Sinhagad after Donaje is Ghadge Botanical Farm (Tel. No. 24471690), a good place for day picnics with swimming pool, artificial waterfall, game room and gardens and a restaurant. There are lots of Resort hotels at the Foothills of Sinhgad Fort which provides food & accommodation.

      • Krushnai Water Park is new Water Park opened with its breath taking rides and huge surrounding is located at the Sinhagad Foot hills. The park has been built on 5 acres of land and has the standard water rides and pools. Rides include - Cyclone, Multi lane, slides, Baby pool With Titanic, Dip In Pool For Adults, Lazy River, Octopus, Tunnel, Pendulum, Dry landing, Wave pool, deck for rocking Rain dance.

        Water Park has enough lockers, clean showers, changing rooms, bathrooms and restrooms. It has the Restaurant which cater to the good vegetarian food. Theme parties like Arabian Nights and Professional DJ from Goa.

        Entry Fee on Weekends / Public Holidays was Rs. 300 for adults & 150 for Kids (Includes Vegetarian Lunch) - subject to change without notice.

      How To Reach :

      Krushnai Water World, Opp Hotel Madhuban, Donje Village (Sinhgad Foot Hills). Stay straight on the Sinhgad Road, cross Khadakwasla Dam. Few Kms ahead, you will reach a junction where road to your right will go to Panshet where as one narrow road on your left will take you to the Donje Village (Sinhgad Fort).

      • Plezar Point Water Park & Resorts (on your left), a small water park at Ambiphata, five kilometers before Panshet. Water pool's max depth is 3.5" so its safe even if you dont know swimming. It offers Day picnic options for Families and Groups with A small restaurant that serves Pure Veg Maharashtrian fare, Water Park With Variety Of Water Games (Separate water pool for children and adults, Two Giant Water Slides,  Mushroom & Rain Dance),  Volley Ball, Ropeway, Baby Electric Train, Indoor Games (carom, Table tennis), Lush Green Lawns, resting shades &,Waterfall. The Entry+Breakfast+Tea+Lunch+Water Park At A Minimum Cost,Of Rs 150/- Per Person (subject to change). Timings : 10 Am To 7 Pm.

        Plezar Point At Ambi Phata, Opp Venky Ltd Near Panshet Dam, Panshet, Panshet Road, Pune - 412107   +(91)-9373005519, 9822072457   +(91)-24488281 (Pune -> Sinhgad Road -> Khadkwasala Dam -> Donje/Panshet Phata -> Khanapur -> Plezar point -> Panshet /Varasgaon Dam)

      • Shantivan Resorts, Panshet Road (on your right near the backwaters) - Shantivan is yet another picnic place. Located on the banks of Mula river (backwaters of Khadakwasla Dam) 13 kilometers before Panshet, the property spread over six acres is a mix of manicured lawns and wooded areas. There are a few cottages but it is more of a one-day picnic place. Very reasonably priced. For booking Contact HQ at - Sr No 35/15 Sujata Farms Chandrasen Apts, Opp President Hotel, Prabhat Road, Lane No 8, Pune - 411004 +(91)-(20)-24388305,65205553,65205551,65205552

      • Chimbalkar Farm Resorts, Panshet Road (on your left) - It has Serene Raindrop location and offers 15 Luxurious rooms with River View, Indoor Garden Restaurant with exotic cuisine (Veg and Non Veg) Enjoyment of landscaped garden with Children's play area with babyPool, Hill top swimming pool. Nursery for sale of select plants. A scenic spot overlooking design and planned eco-friendly resort. This resort is also used for Shooting of Serials and Films. For booking, contact - Chimbalkar House, 1205/4/6 JM Road, Opp Sambhaji Park, Pune- 411004 (Mob : 9822039509, 9422332244, 9422332255).  
      (This resort is closed as of May 2010)
      • Abhiruchi Farmhouse Resort, Panshet - Situated at the backwaters of Panshet at a distance of 5 minutes from Panshet Boating site , Abhiruchi can be good option for a outdoor picnic with friends and families. Resort has following facilities - Cool breeze & view of the  Panshet Backwaters, Well designed swimming pool and water sports facilities, Self contained Single and double room cottages giving breathtaking view of Hills and Valleys, A big hall to accommodate more than 100 people at a time for various family programmes and get-togethers, Delicious Veg. and Non-Veg. Cuisine, A separate play-ground and sports facilities for children, Boating at the Backwaters, Nature trails and Treks through lush green forests.

      Where to Stay?

      Well, this is a good destination typically for a One-Day-Trip, however there are few hotels / resorts available if you plan to spend your weekend away from the crowd -

      Additional Places you may Visit in this region -

      1. 'Neelkantheshwar' Shiva Temple on a hillock (Click here)

      2. Lavasa  (Click here)

      3. Pabe / Kadve Khind to Velha

      If you are bit adventurous and have 2-4 wheeler, then you would definitely like to explore this route.  We did it once and were absolutely thrilled. Forts like Torna and Rajgad are merely 25 KM away from Sinhgad-Panshet through this road. Road is narrow and there are two ghat sections with steep climb. You will hardly find any traffic here except for few motor bikes from local villagers. This place is also famous for leopards sights (Bibtya) however they are very rare to see. Safe to visit in broad day light but not at any other time.

      How to reach - Stay straight on Sinhgad Road – Cross Khadakwasla – Sinhgad (Donje Phata) -  Proceed towards Panshet – Cross Khanapur Village – Just after the village, you will see signboard of Torna/Velhe/Pabe/Anandvan. Make a left on that small road (Tar) and stay straight to cross Anandvan Farmhouse Plots – Khamgaon Village intersection - Take the road towards your right to Pabe khind. You will have to cross small ghat section at Pabe Khind. Once you are on top, you get to see Rajgad fort on one side and Torna on other. There are small waterfalls in the monsoon. Continue further on this road and you will reach 'T' junction just after Pabe village. This is the Nasarapur - Velhe which connects Velhe talika to NH4 at Nasarapur after katraj. Make right on this road to reach Velhe (base for Torna fort).

      Just before reaching Velhe, there is road on your right which goes towards Panshet Dam via Kadve Khind.




      4. Torna - Rajgad - Lingana Fort

      Coming Soon .. 

      5. Kelad (Mini Mahabaleshwar As described in Pune Sakal)

      After reaching Velhe village, road on your right from the bus stand goes towards  Gunjavani / Chaphet dam – Pasli – Kelad )around 20 Km). This road was recently done in 2009. At Kelad (Devraai near Bordi Village), there is beautiful temple of Keleshwar Mahadev. Tar Road ends just after Kelad village. Walk / ride straight for another 1 KM (road is not tarred yet) but jeeps can go - cross the bridge over the nallah, climb a very small hillock and you are at the edge of cliff … what u see down below is the coastal Konkan (Mahad region). This place is called as “Madhe Ghat”. Situated at the height of 1700 ft, "Madhe Ghat" is an ancient historical route. Shivaji's great warrier Tanaji Malusare died while fighting on Kondana (Sinhagad)fort and his dead body (Madhe in Marathi) was carried via this route called to his native village in Konkan. Hence the name. Also, the work of a proposed road to Mahad from Pune via Madhe ghat is going on which will save the distance & time. There could be lots of small waterfalls around during monsoon. Take help from some local villagers / guides to explore this place.


      6. Konkan diva

      Coming Soon .. 

      Photo Gallery


      Khadakwasla Dam en route to Sinhgad Fort 


       Road to Sinhgad Fort

      Moving closure to the fort

      Lots of bad patches and few hair pin bends. So drive carefully!

      Govt is spending 25 crore on the restroring the glory of Sinhgad Fort and other amneties

      Pune Darwaja

      View of the small villages and Khadakwasla Dam from teh top

      Daru Kothar - Place to store firearms and ammunition

      Bungalow of Lokmanya Tilak

      Samadhi of Tanaji Malusare - Man who fought for the fort. Gad ala pan Sinh gela ...

      Plenty of water tanks used to provide drinking water. Devtake is still the source of water on fort


      Post monsoon is the best time to visit the fort. Especially its bloom time for wild flowers during Sept-Oct


      Many places to explore on the fort


      Sinhgad Trip can not be complete without taste of "Ranmeva" or hot onion pakoda and Zunka-Bhakri


      Boating at the Panshet dam backwater