Sinhagad Fort…Under the Sun…

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A trip to Pune is always on the cards with family & friends around the city. My Pune trip this time was just a routine one, until my uncle got high on an amazing chocolate cake post dinner. ‘Why don’t you guys make a quick dash to the nearby hill station of Panchgani tomorrow?’ He only got few mummers in response – realising we weren’t very keen on Panchgani, he threw an irresistible offer of going to the Historic Fort of Sinhagad via Khadakwasla.

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.

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