Sinhagad is a fort that stands as a testimony to the bravery of the Maratha warriors under the leadership of Tanaji Malusare, the general of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The previous name of the fort was Kondhana. The massive fort has been the site of wanton bloodshed and great massacres in many a battle. The most famous among them is of course the 1670 battle where Tanaji Malusare sacrificed his life and the Maratha warriors captured the fort. Chhatrapati Shivaji termed Tanaji as “sinha” (Marathi equivalent for English “lion”) and renamed Kondhana as Sinhagad.
The fort lies 30 km southwest of Pune and the construction stands 800 m above the surrounding area. Strategically Sinhagad held immense importance in the Maratha regime as it is located right at the center of the series of other forts like Purandhar, Torna and Rajgad. The fort perches on a cut off cliff of the Bhuleshwar range in the Sahyadri Mountains. It’s altitude from the sea level is about 1350m.Among the chief features of the fort, steep slopes, huge walls and bastions are a few important ones. There are two entrances to the fort: Pune Darwaza in North East and Kalyan Darwaza in the South East.
“Torna” (Tornagad) or “Prachandgad” was the first fort captured by Shivaji Maharaj. He captured this fort and started his journey to build the Maratha empire when he was just sixteen years old (in 1643). This shows his valor and determination to construct a new empire.When Shivaji Maharaj took over this fort from Aadilshah (Sultan of Vijapur) this fort did not had too much construction on it. This fort was not given more stratagic importance by the Aadilshahas. After capturing this fort, Shivaji Maharaj started to construct some buildings on the forts and fortification for the fort.
The fort has two temples on it. The first one is of goddess “Toranjai” and the second one is of goddess “Menghai”. This is one of the tallest forts in Maharashtra. So, this has always been a center of attraction for the trekkers. This fort is located at about 60 Km from Pune. To visit the fort you may reach the village Velha from Swargate bus stop of Pune via Nasarapur.