While we were still discussing the logistics, my Dad threw a surprise – ‘I wouldn’t be able to come with you guys as I am travelling back tomorrow morning to Mumbai’. Phew…after a lot of hard selling & some emotional atyachaar, we finally managed to convince Dad to stay back…Yippie!!
So the entire gang – my parents, wife & kids, my sister’s family; total 6 adults & 4 kids…we were set for the excitement!
The start itself was exciting – an XUV 500 waiting for us at the parking lot with my uncle behind the wheels…we were certainly on a ‘Rise’!
Sinhagad is just 25kms away from Pune – we were late to start our day but we didn’t worry as it was a short journey. Settling in well in our XUV, we soon reached Khadakwasla (famous for its dam & favorite amongst love birds to spend some quality time in solitude). The water levels were down, & there was loads of commercialization around the place – however, the damn retains its scenic beauty at the foothills of Sinhagad Fort.
With a brief stretch of bumpy road, we had a relatively smooth drive upwards otherwise. The entrance of the fort is famous for its ‘Pitla Bhakri’ & we got our first taste of this authentic Maratha Cuisine with a touch of ‘Taak’ (buttermilk). Having treated our tummies, it was time to put our feet on the job. The ascent began along the stairs as my oldies took a break every 60 seconds! Mind you, my Dad was ahead of me, just love, love his spirit & zest!!!
While my Dad found a quite spot with ample shade, I found it a little awkward to put our camp there and went in search of a better place (or atleast I thought I would find a better place) – I returned to the family & announced that I have found a cool place to hang-out…Little did I realize that while the place was good & flat & offered a great view, it had no shade/cover for anyone.
Grumpy faces all around, we tried our best to put a fix for the shade problem but couldn’t do much. It was Mid-day & the Sun was beating down on us like a house on fire. We braved the Sun & opened the Pandora’s box – dishes kept coming out of this giant carry-bag as we had a sumptuous (and ofcourse HOT) meal. As soon as we were done with the meal, we wrapped-up & moved back to the same spot which my Dad had chosen initially.
The spot thankfully still was available & still offered ample of shade. Re-doing our arrangements, we settled in there & had our next round of dishes – this time it was some amazing cake (the same cake which got my Uncle high the previous night 😉 ).
Kids were enjoying themselves & I made a quiet exit with my wife to further explore this historic fort. The fort offers a lovely view of Khadakwasla Dam, the Sahyadri mountain ranges, outskirts of Pune city (concrete amongst the natural beauty). We came back quickly & finally started our descent (aren’t these terms ‘ascent’ & ‘descent’ sounding like we did some trekking? It indeed was for some of us 😉 ).
Tired to death, we chose to take a power nap as soon as we entered the XUV. The drive back home was fairly quick & it just took a nice shower & ‘Kadak Chai’ to get us going again.