Near Pune is the famous fort of Sinhgadh, so remanded by Shivaji after the fall of his dearest friend and commander, Tanaji Malusare, whom he called the lion or sinh. Determined to take the fort one dark night from Ude Ban, the Mughal commander, Tanaji climbed a sheer precipice with the ingenious help of a ghorpad or iguana, which could take the weight of a man. Tying a rope to the ghorpad, which went up to the top and clung to the rock, Tanaji and his soldiers climbed up the rope by the only unsuspected side, the sheer vertical precipice of the fort, and captured it. But Tanaji was killed and the saying goes that Shivaji exclaimed, `gadh aalo pan sinh gela’ (the fort is ours but the lion has left us).
Raigarh Fort near Mahad was the capital of Shivaji and has ruins from which the strength of his empire can be gauged. Just outside Mahabaleshwar is the picturesque fort of Pratapgadh, built by Shivaji minister, Moro Trimal Pingle. It is best known as the Fort where Afzal Khan of Bijapur was killed by Shivaji. Vishalgadh, Purandar and many other forts of the Marathas are also well worth a visit.