Thursday, 28 February 2013

Fort Ghangad

Ghangad is situated near Lonavla. You can see Tail-baila, Sarasgad and Korigad from the fort.

Route: Pune- Lonavala- Bhamburde- Ekole(Base village)

Earlier there was rock patch to climb the Ghangad top. But now there is Iron grill installed.
It is easy fort to climb now.

Goddess Garjai temple

shidi to reach to the fort

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Rajgad to Torna trek

Maharashtra is rich with its culture, mighty Sahyadri and the most unique hilly forts. Fort trekking is more popular these days and there is another form called range treks wherein trekkers plan for long distance trek for 2-3 days span. To name a few like Panhalgad to Visahlgad, Rajgad to Torna, Lonaval to Bhimshankar, Mahabaleshwar to Pratapgad etc.

I was also keen to do such range treks to test endurance and stamina.After some study with these routes.  I decided to go alone for the Rajgad to Torna trek. On Saturday  16th Feb 2013, I have  made this dream plan into real.
Beautiful Sunrise

I woke up @ 4.00AM. Left home @ 4.30 AM on bike from Pune. Reached to Gunjawane (Base village of Rajgad) @ 6.30 AM. Immediately started climbing Rajgad. Balekilla was totally under fog.
Rajgad- in the fog
Gained weight after marriage made me drained after every 10 minutes :). Somehow I reached at Padmavati temple. Clock showed 7.30 AM (Not bad time. Thanks to the weather ). Rested there for tea break. Suddenly rain started with its TOP SPEED.
@ Padmavati devi temple
I was conscious about my trek as whole fort covered under thick Fog. Fortunately rain stopped after 20 minutes. I started walking towards Sanjevani machi. Environment was awesome due to rain.

Pali darwaja from Sanjivani machi
Routes are properly marked to very less chance of missing the route. 

After descending second observation point @ machi , I searched for Alu Darwaja. It was just after Vyaghra mukh darwaja. Shiv Durga Samvardhan Sanstha has done very useful work of giving each point a name on Rajgad.

Way towards Alu darwaja

I descended down from Sanjevani machi. Full 'U' turn to  machi and followed the path going downwards. First two hills were roller-coaster ride due to Scree all over. After second hill, I reached to Pal Khind or Kolhe khind. . This route will take you to the Pali village.

@ Pali khind

Followed the route going up the hill. I came across a small hut. It is only hut in that hilly area. Confirmed the route and directions.

I started my further journey.Due to cool breeze all over, I was not tired of walking nor felt exhausted. I took small breaks in-between. Finally I reached to the base of Radtodi buruj. From here, the rock patch started.


Torna Rock patches 1,2

Rock patches were easy even novices can climb it. No need of ropes.
Shidi patch

I reached on the top of Radtodi buruj, time was 11.30AM. It took 3 hrs to reach on Fort Torna. Thanks to god for creating wonderful environment for trekking that day!!!!! Tracing the well trodden path I reached to last rock patch of Torna. It was Zig-zag in shape enough grip on rocks,no need of ropes here just be careful while climbing. Even newcomers wont face any problem to cross it.
Torna rock patch 3

Torna rock patch 3

Crossed the final rock patch and marched towards Konkan Darwaja. Reached to Mengai Devi temple @ 12.30 PM. Rested for one hour in the temple.

I decided to descend down Torna without wandering on the fort, as I need to take my bike from Gunjawane again.It took 1.45 hrs to reach base village- Velha. My legs were shaking badly :). Done Pet-puja @ Torna-Vihar.

To my luck , I got private vehicles on time from Velha to Margasani and secondly from Margasani to Gunjawane . @ 4.15 PM reached to Gunjawane. My return journey ended @ 6.30PM when I reached my home. Total 14 hrs continuous journey. The experience was mesmerizing.

Rock patches at the end to reach Torna are not difficult. I guess nowadays there are Shidi installed or traverse route created to bypass the rock patches. It is must do trek for fort lovers. Endurance trek for sure!!!

Some of the snaps taken on the way:

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Fort Vichitragad aka Rohida

Rohida or Vichitragad is situated near Bhor. Simple trek. Can be done in 3-4 hrs(including sight seeing).

Route: Pune - Katraj- Khed Shivapur- Kapurhol- (take right turn after kapurhol) - Bhor - Bajarwadi(Base village)

Temple of Rohideshwar and 7 bastions all around.

Rohideshwar temple