Easily the most popular getaway, not withstanding that it's much closer than
the other forts, the Pashan lake and the lovely drive makes it a much adored
and a desired picnic and getaway spot. The Lion Fort, as it would quite literally
translate into, is located 25 kilometers South of Pune perched on a steep hill.
Once known as Kondhana, the proximity of this fort to Pune has been commercialized
to quite an extent. Buses are available from the Sarasbaug Bus Stand, which
drop you till the foothill.
However, a bike or a car should be preferred to feel the breezy drive and the
This 17th century fort has mostly fallen to ruin, but it is possible to literally
walk backwards in history and recreate the scenes of the fierce battle fought
by Shivaji's General Tanaji Malasure who died during the battle, to win the
fort for Shivaji with the help of the monuments and signboards posted in the
area. They have even created a monument at the spot where Tanaji lost his arm.
On the grounds too is a memorial or samadhi to the slain leader. It is said that
when Shivaji learned that his general had been killed in the battle he mourned, " We
have gained the fort but lost the lion" and it is thus that the fort got its
name. Also of interest nearby are the bungalows where Lokmanya Gangadhar Tilak
and Mahatma Gandhi met in 1915. The story of his climb to the fort from the back
with the help of a chameleon and then getting his army to the top is still the
guide's favorite one.
and dahi wati at the top are a crowd
favorite. Also, we recommend that you
try out the pithla-bhakri and the rustic
chicken curry. Sundays here are busy
with picnic groups, trekkers and tourists.
be accessed by the S.T. and P.C.M.T buses.
Alight at village Donaje and climb 2000 ft.
to enter by the Pune gate. A well marked path-partly
in steps -takes one to the top, through a series
of gates. An alternative route is also up the
ridge through the forests and leading right
upto the fort. The shortest ascent -only 1200
ft. is from Kalyan Darwaza, reached by taking
a bus to Kondhanapur,from where the village
of Kalyan is only 3 miles away.