Western Ghats Running Foundation is a Pune based non-profit foundation which organises SRT Ultra Marathon, & Sinhagad Epic Trail. WGRF and their volunteers are committed to develop and promote the sport of trail running in India. Funds generated through trail-running marathons are utilised to protect and conserve the Sahyadri mountain ranges. Apart from marathon working costs, funds acquired through current and future events will be released to support the cause and programs of Maharashtra State Forest Department, and Maharashtra State Archeology Department for forts and forest conservation purpose.
Pune is the cultural capital of Maharashtra, because of the city’s rich and magnificent history. The Sahyadri mountains of Western Ghats, have played a vital role in stamping the cultural evolution of Pune since the last 2000 years.
The golden era of Pune and the rest of Maharashtra, began during Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Swarajya conquest of 1700s, when he established his Maratha empire from the mountain forts of the Sahyadri range. Since then on, Pune became the centre of all revolutionary activities till the Indian Independence Movement of 1947. Sahyadri ranges were the hub of modern civilisation during this period. The nearest forts of Pune which are Sinhagad, Rajgad, and Torna are located in the south west overlooking the mighty Western Ghats that enter into Konkan region. Chhatrapati Shivaji’s aptly made Rajgad the 1st capital of the Maratha empire, owing to its central and strategic location. Witnessing many mountain based guerrilla battles, these 3 forts are still standing tall despite going through heavy destruction, and are unlike any other forts in the rest of the country.
These 3 forts are a pivotal site of study for historians, authors, poets, writers who want to ink the history of and geography of the region. One will occasionally find the local trekking community with a camera, hunting for that perfect photograph in these mountains. Adventure seekers of Pune take immense pride in hiking and climbing up these forts and relive the glorious history of these forts in their remnants.
The magnum opus of ultra trail running marathons - SRT Ultra takes place on the ancient route that connects Sinhagad-Rajgad-Torna forts, more popularly known as “SRT”,
One of India’s most loved ultra trail running routes, the SRT mountain ridge has been used in the past as a catalyst in commuting, trading, and farming apart from being the battleground for many kings who ruled the Sahyadri range.
Today, SRT route is considered as a heritage walk by the outdoor community, with the magnificent Sinhagad, Rajgad and Torna forts symbolising rich history, vibrant culture and glorious past of the great Sahyadri mountains of Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.