Sinhagad Valley birding

Asian Paradise Flycatcher – Female

It is every photographers dream to capture this beauty in their camera at least once. This dream can be fulfilled only in Sinhagad Valley. If you are still struggling with the name of this beauty then let me elaborate, it is Asian Paradise Flycatcher. This bird is so beautiful that the shutterbugs cannot resist the urge to click the photograph. Watching Asian Paradise Flycatcher playing in water is treat to the eyes. This bird is called “Swargiya Nartak” in Marathi. That means heavenly dancer. It is really amazing experience to watch this beauty fly in and out of water body with long beautiful tail and bright colours. This amazing thing can be experienced in Sinhagad Valley.

Sinhagad Valley is amazing place for Bird watching and bird photography. It is famous for variety of Flycatchers . These tiny little colourful birds are very beautiful and active during early morning time. Since these birds are hyper active, they are difficult to photograph But in Sinhagad valley it is made easy by creating perfect spots / Perches to capture this beauty.

Asian Paradise Flycatcher Male

I have visited this place in Jan 2019 and once again in Feb 2020. We were lucky to see the pair of Paradise Flycatcher but could not capture the image first time but clicked lots of Flycatcher variety. In my second visit in Feb 2020 I could capture this beauty very well.

You can easily reach this place once you reach Sinhagad fort base. There is village called Atkarwadi where you will see fork shape road. One road to right goes up the fort and to the left it goes to Sinhagad valley.

This place is regular for many migratory birds. We spotted Red whiskered bulbul and many varieties of flycatcher and other local birds like spotted dove and red vented bulbul etc.

Oriental Magpie Robbin

Black Naped Monarch OR Black Naped blue Flycatcher

Tickels blue Flycatcher

Above images are Oriental Magpie Robbin and Black Naped Monarch or Black Naped Blue Flycatcher. These are tiny but amazingly colourful birds.

In the above images you can see the perch created for the birds and the photography enthusiasts waiting for the birds.

You can see various moods of Asian Paradise Flycatcher female in the collage below. In one picture she is sharing perch with Oriental White Eye.

You can also walk around after the bird watching/ Photograpgy to see the paddy fields in the valley. Nice view of Sinhagad fort can be seen through valley. Below pics show the fields around the valley. You can also click other common grassland birds around these fields.

Following is the list of birds sighted in Sinhagad Valley.

Best time to visit this place is post monsoon. Normally the migratory birds arrive here during Dec – Mar in the year. If you are planning to visit this place on Saturday / Sunday or any public holiday, please park your vehicle outside the entry lane. You may have to walk little bit but you will be able to save yourself from the traffic jam. Normally it is expected that you reach this place by 6.30 am in the morning so that you can watch or photograph the birds.

Happy clicking.

Sinhagad Fort : Must visit in monsoon

If you are looking for a weekend gateway near Pune, Sinhagad fort has to be on top of your list. “Walking in the clouds on the top of the world” is what you experience here.

Sinhagad Fort is well known place for Punites. Hence it is needless to mention how to reach this place. Normally everyone follows the famous route vis Sinhagad Road РKadakwasla Dam & then onwards to Sinhagad fort. However I follow  a different route which is completely scenic & through jungles.

The route – Drive on Satara Highway for 6 KM from Chandani Chowk –> Then Turn Right towards Khed Shivapur Kondanpur Road –> After 1.7 KM turn right onto Sinhagad Ghat Road¬† and then you reach Sinhagad Fort parking place. Total distance from house in Kothrud is 36 KM. Once you turn onto Khed – Shivapur – Kondanpur road, you are all the time accompanied by lush green fields, green cladded hills and clouds touching the hill top. Complete Road is full of scenic beauty. Some of the photographs clicked on the way are posted below.

Once you park your vehicle in the parking lot, many hoteliers will chase you for food order. But you get all the items even on the top of the fort. Hence no need to order anything here. Before you start the climb, look for the valley seen from the parking level. Beautiful view of lush green hills is visible. You can click some pictures & then proceed to climb.

Then you start the little climb on to the top of the fort. It is just a walk uphil & not really trekking. There are nice steps to climb. First you encounter Pune Darwaza 1 You can enjoy hot Bhutta or roasted corn here. This is favorite photo stop for all the visitors. If you are visiting on Sunday or on a public holiday then you encounter a traffic jam here like Mount Everest. See the pics below.

Once you reach plateau, you experience the low visibility due to clouds at low level. It is really exciting to walk in the clouds. Here you can spend some time walking across the ends. The end of plateau you see deep valley once again green hills. It’s a treat to eyes to watch different shades of green and yellow. Once again a photo stop here and then you can walk towards the Kalyan Darwaza. The walk is once again through the clouds surrounded by beautiful architecture of the fort.

Once you are back from Kalyan Darwaza and all other places of interest on the fort, you can enjoy delicious Kanda bhaji and Hot Pithala Bhakari. It is amazing experience to enjoy your hot meal sitting in the fog and watching the rain showers.

While returning home you can go via Khadakwasla dam and enjoy the view there.

Historical background of Sinhagad – Sinhagad is a hill fortress located at around 35 km southwest of the city of Pune, India. Some of the information available at this fort suggests that the fort could have been built 2000 years ago. The caves and the carvings in the Kaundinyeshwar temple stand as proofs for the same. Wikipedia.