Saturday, July 02, 2011

Travel and Adventure: Sinhgad ..... 1

Previously called Kondhana, the fort's location has been strategically important since at least the 14th century and has been the site of many important battles.


One of the more famous battles was the recapturing of the fort by Tanaji Malusare, a general for Shivaji Maharaj, in March of 1670 in what has been called the Battle of Sinhagad. It was after this battle that the Kondhana fort was renamed Sinhagad after Tanaji, whose nickname was 'the lion' (Sinha). Having spearheaded the attack and fighting valiantly Tanaji's life was lost in capturing this important fort.


More recently, during the 20th century, Lokmanya Tilak, the Indian freedom fighter, built a bungalow atop the fort and Gandhiji is said to have asked for water from it whenever he was imprisoned in the nearby town of Pune.


Distance from major cities:
Mumbai - 220 km
Pune -28 km
Villages at Foothills: Atkarwadi, Khanapur, Kalyan
Altitude:4320 ft (1317 m)
Latitude: 18°21'56"N
Longitude: 73°45'20"E


The fort was referred to as"Kundhana" in a Persian sonnet viz. 'Shahanama-e-Hind'; which dates back to 1350 A.D. It was known as 'Kondhana' after Rishi Kondhinya. The Kundinyeshwar Temple, the caves and carvings, all indicate that the fort has been built 2000 years back.


Shivaji Maharaj's father Shahaji Raje, as Adilshah's commander was entrusted the control of Pune region. But Shivaji Maharaj initiated the arduous task of setting up Swarajya. In a clever move he gained control over Kondhana in 1647. But in 1649, it had to be handed over to Adilshah in barter of Shahaji's feedom. Shivaji Maharaj soon captured it back. Unfortunately a Mughal army chief Mirzaraje Jaisingh seighed Kondhana in 1665 and conquered it. In 1670 Shivaji Maharaj reconqured the fort and it stayed with the Marathas till 1689, until Sambhaji Maharaj's death. The Mughals then gain control. The Marathas again captured it in 1693. Rajaram Maharaj breath his last on Sinhagad on March 3, 1700. Aurangzeb conqured it 1703 and it was again taken by Marathas in 1707 until the British captured it in 1818. One of the important events associated with this fort is the legendary climb by Tanaji Malusare which helped Marathas to conqure the fort on Feb 4, 1670. The fort since then came to be known as Sinhagad.

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