Kolhapur

Kolhapur is a city, I always like from bottom of my heart.  My friend Arvind from IndiaTravelVids YouTube channel asked if I am interested to participate in a Kolhapur Travel video.  I immediately said yes.  

I am always excited to visit Kolhapur. It’s a historical city, with lots of lovely places. Visiting Kolhapur in this monsoon season is an awesome experience. Greenery everywhere, Panchaganga river is flooded. 

Non-veg food is the specialty of Kolhapur with many eateries offering  Misal and local delicacies. 

Here is the output from travel to Kolhapur. 

Top 20 places in Kolhapur. Enjoy! Let me know your feedback in the comments. 

Sinhgad fort – History and Information

In an earlier post I had shared video of my bicycle ride to Sinhagad  . Sinhagad is my favourite place to visit. This time I visited Sinhagad  fort with my friend Arvind to create a informative video about fort , its history specifically during period of Shivaji Maharaj and Marath empire.  Video is posted on India Travel Vids channel on  youtube .  

   

It’s a marathi narration there is also a hindi version at this link.  This video is becoming popular on youtube . It received 200K+ views in just two months. 

Please let me know your remarks about the video in comments . 

English summary of content in video – Source – Wikipedia

Sinhagad, Sinhgarh, or Sinhgad (The Lion’s Fort), is a fortress located roughly 30 km southwest of the city of Pune,India. Previously called Kondhana (Marathi: कोंढाणा), the fort has been the site of many important battles, most notably the Battle of Sinhagad in 1671. It was also strategically located at the center of a string of other forts such as Rajgad, Purandar and Torna.
Perched on an isolated cliff of the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri Mountains, it is situated on a hill rising 700 m above sea level. Given natural protection by its very steep slopes, the walls and bastions were constructed at only key places; it has two gates – the Kalyan Darwaza in the south-east and the Pune Darwaza in the north-east.

One of the most famous battles for Sinhgad was fought to recapture the fort by Tanaji Malusare,a Mard Maratha Koli and a general of Shivaji in March 1670. A steep cliff leading to the fort was scaled with the help of a monitor lizard named Yashwanti,known as a ghorpad in marathi. Thereafter, there ensued fierce battles between Tanaji and his men, and the mughal army headed by Udaybhan Singh Rathod a Rajput sardar, that had the fort at the time. Tanaji lost his life, but his brother Suryaji took over and captured Kondana.There is an anecdote that upon hearing of Tanaji’s death, Shivaji expressed his remorse with the words: “Gad aala pan sinha gela” – “We gained the fort, but lost the lion”. The name Sinhagad, though, pre-dates this event, and can be seen in written communiques from the era. A bust of Tanaji has been established on the fort in memory of his contribution to the battle. It was also strategically located at the centre of a string of other forts such as Rajgad, Purandar and Torna.
Sinhagad was called ‘Kondana’ after the sage Kaundinya. The Kaundinyeshwar temple, the caves and the carvings indicate that this fort had probably been built two thousand years back. It was captured from the Koli tribal chieftain,Nag Naik, by Muhammad bin Tughlaq in 1328 AD.
Shahaji Bhosale, as the commander of Ibrahim Adil Shah I, was entrusted with the control of the Pune region. His son Shivaji, however, refused to accept the Adilshahi and initiated the task of setting up Swarajya. He gained control of Kondana in 1647 by convincing Siddi Amber, the Adilshahi Sardar who controlled the fort. Bapuji Mudgal Deshpande played key role in this activity. In 1649, it had to be handed over to Adil Shah for Shahaji Maharaj’s release. Shivaji Maharaj recaptured it back in 1656 again with the help of Bapuji Mudgal Deshpande,who convinced Fort commander by giving land in newly created Shivapur village and peacefully gained control of fort. This fort saw attacks by Mughals in 1662, 1663 and 1665. In 1664, Shahistekhan, the Mughal general, even tried to bribe people of fort to hand over the fort to him but he was unsuccessful. Through the Treaty of Purandar, it passed into the hands of the Mughal army chief Mirzaraje Jaysingh, in the year 1665. In 1670, Shivaji Maharaj re-conquered this fort and then it stayed under Maratha rule till 1689. After the death of Sambhaji, the Mughals regained control f the fort. The Marathas, headed by Sardar Balkawade, recaptured it in 1693. Chatrapati Rajaram took asylum on this fort during Mogul raid on Satara but Rajaram died on Sinhagad on the 3rd of March 1700 & in 1703 Aurangzeb conquered the fort. In 1706, it once again went into the hands of the Marathas. Pantaji Shivdev of Sangola, Visaji Chafar and the Pant Pratinidhis played key role in this battle. Then this fort remained with Marathas till 1818, when the British conquered it. British however took three months to capture this fort, which was longest it took them to win any fort in Maharashtra.

Lingmala Waterfalls – Mahabaleshwar

Lingmala Waterfalls Located near Mahabaleshwar

Mahabaleshwar is one of my favourite  destination. Being close to Pune its a good place to visit even on weekends. Leave aside crowded days, it’s perfect place to unwind. I had been to Mahabaleshwar many times but never visited Lingamala Waterfalls. I have always seen this waterfall from distant Panchagani to Mahabaleshwar road.

This time I was going to Club Mahindra ( Sherwood) Mahabaleshwar. Google map showed a shortcut to this resort from Panchagani . As I took this route, I realised this is the same road that goes to unseen , so far , Lingmala waterfall. Plan quickly changed and decided to stop and see this beauty.

Beautiful road though dense jungle takes us to this waterfall. After parking vehicle there is about 500 meters walk & steps to go to waterfall . Actually there are two waterfalls here. One is a mini waterfall where you can enjoy going in river and can go near water to get wet. One route goes to this huge main waterfall where water falls from 600 meters with roaring sound. Beautiful view of valley ,  waterfall , blossomed flowers makes mind fresh.

View of valley from Lingmala Waterfall – Mahabaleshwar ( Satara Road )

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bicycle ride to Sinhgad fort

Sinhgad fort is in vicinity of Pune city .  This is a huge advantage to Pune citizens. People go to Sinhgad for trekking , hiking , bird photography and having breakfast of Kanda-Baji & Pithala Bhakari .  There is a motorable road to the top of Sinhgad fort. This is a beautiful road for riding bikes & bicycles.

In the last week of April 2016 , I completed a bicycle ride to Sinhgad fort.  We created a video of the ride .

See Video blog of cycling below

Or click on YouTube link  https://youtu.be/Q9NMXIrXaAA

Let me know your feedback in comments below.

Kalavantin Durg

Kalavantin Durg ( कलावंतीण दुर्ग ) is also called as Kalavantinicha Sulaka ( pinnacle ) . This fort is actually not a separate fort but it is an extension of prabalgad. Prabalgad lies on the Prabal plateau between Matheran and Panvel and can be seen from the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

File photo of Kalavantin Durg from Wikipedia
File photo of Kalavantin Durg from Wikipedia

Kalavantin Durg has always amazed me . I had only seen photos of it’s beautiful view from Pabal gad . With start of monsoon , this was the first trek we decided to attempt. Girikujan a pune based trekking club arranged a trek to Kalavantin durg. We ( Rahul Bagal, Santosh Vasekar & Aniruddha Sune ) immediately enrolled for it.

On Sunday 21st Jun 2015, we started in a bus at 6:00 AM from Kinara hotel , Kothrud Pune. There were about 30 odd people joined this trek.

It was raining heavily all over the pune mumbai old highway. On old highway after Shedung toll , we took a right turn and reached base village Thakurwadi. Just before thakurwadi a road goes towards fort. There is a small area where we can park our vehicles . Treak starts with beautiful view of prabalgad and kalavantin durg.

View of fort from base

initially it’s easy walk and then climb starts . There is a good road for couple of kilometers. Then the pathway becomes narrow. There is a board about information of fort. On the way carvings of Ganapati & Maruti can be seen.

information about fort Road to top

It was raining all day so I could not capture many photos.  So this post has very few photos of trek.

We reached at prabal machi and had some breakfast. We carried our own food with us.

On prabal machi there are few homes and they may provide food & tea.

View from Prabal Machi

Kalavatin pinnacle was getting closer .  Pathway became very narrow. We  were going through woods and water stream. Then we came to main rock tusk . Beautifully carved stairs on rock & valley on another side. One with fear of height can not think of climbing it.  Slowly one by one we climbed to top of the fort. There is a small plateau and a rock patch at the top of it .

top most rock patch

Climbing this rock is not very easy. There are many notches & can be used for grip. Our group leader & experienced members did an excellent job in guiding entire team to climb the rock patch and stairs.

Getting down from stairs was very thrilling. It started raining heavily. Drops of water were hitting face and going into ear. Without loosing focus , very slowly & carefully we stepped down all stairs.

This experience can not be stated in words. See below video to get a gist of it.

Hiking down was now a very easy task after lunch at Prabal Machi.

Thank you Girikujan for arranging this awesome trek !

Physical fitness for trekking / hiking

Maharashtra state is having many beautiful forts for hiking & enjoying nature.  Are you planning to go trekking for first time or after many years?  Wait!  To enjoy all the nature by climbing these forts, one need some level of physical fitness.

Unless you are doing regular exercise & not overweight, I recommend following before you try any trek or hiking.

  1. Jogging – Jogging for continuous 30 minutes. Can you do 30 minutes of jogging without getting exhausted or excessive fatigue? If not then don’t try long hikes immediately. By doing regular exercise get up to that level.
  2. Go for small hill climb and climb it fast & see if you can handle it. Or at least see if you can climb 7 story building two times in 10 minutes.
  3. For the first trek choose a smaller fort and near to city so that you get medical help quickly.
  4. Drop in sugar level may cause Fatigue, Feeling faint. Carry water bottle & glucose for quick recovery. Keep yourself hydrated with water.

Obesity and overweight is hurdle between you and nature. If you are overweight and willing to lose weight, I believe in low carb diet way; be like Paleolithic man. Human species evolved since millions of years by hunting, eating fruits and vegetables but no grains or sugar. In last ten thousand years with invention of agriculture our food drastically changed to grains (carbohydrates – sugar). “During several million years of evolution, early humans only had access to low-starch high-cellulose carbohydrate plant food. But we learned how to grow high-starch low-cellulose carbohydrate… which we call wheat, rice, corn, potato, etc.” – This is the problem. Steve Gibson is a computer researcher and a smart scientist. He has done good research on this subject and presented his thoughts in a podcast. It’s a new healthy lifestyle.

You can listen to podcast in MP3 format to understand this new lifestyle and science behind human biology.

The Sugar Hill” – Parts 1 – http://media.grc.com/TheSugarHill-pt1-64kbps.mp3 

The Sugar Hill” – Parts 2 – http://media.grc.com/TheSugarHill-pt2-64kbps.mp3

You can also watch these podcasts on youtube

TWiT Live Specials 124: The Sugar Hill ( http://youtu.be/_vfK5U9qKaI )

TWiT Live Specials 125: The Sugar Hill Part II ( http://youtu.be/_KKT7XFxQWg )

Rajgad Fort Pictures

We have done multiple treks of Rajgad fort . These photos are taken in Dec 2013. This season is also good for trekking. There will not be that beautiful greenery like Jul , Aug , Sep but good weather make climbs  easier.

View from Balekilla remains of structure

Nedhe is Marathi word of eye of the needle. This hole created by wind erosion of rock.
Nedhe is Marathi word for eye of the needle. This hole generated by wind erosion of rock.
Beautiful orange tint due to rising sun.
Beautiful orange tint due to rising sun.

View on the way IMG_1619

View of SInhgad fort from Rajgad fort
View of SInhgad fort from Rajgad fort

Flag Post Gate of Balekilla Machi View from BaleKilla IMG_1645 View of Machi from BaleKilla

View of Raigad fort from Rajgad fort .
View of Raigad fort from Rajgad fort .

Rajgad fort View of Balekilla from Machi 20131221_092423 Rajgad Steps View from Rajgad Balekilla 20131221_104052