Friday, November 8, 2013

Kalavatin durg

Type: Trek
Base Village: Thakurwadi
Where: 170 Kms from Pune 
Route Taken: Pune-Shendug Phata-Thakurwadi
Time visited: Oct 2013, Oct 2008
Time to climb: 4 hrs.
Overall time: 7-8 hours
Difficulty Grade: 3  Endurance: 4
Food/Water:  Food/Stay is available at the Machi Prabal village which is halfway on the trek.
Parking: Small bus/vehicles can be parked at the base. The road is very narrow for last few kms.

Kalavantin View from Prabalgad. Beautiful view of rock cut steps.
(Note this photos was not taken by me and I found this on internet)

 View from Thakurwadi before the climb.

Trek routes
Travel via expressway. 20kms before expressway take JNPT exit and take U Turn to go on other side of highway  On left there is toll road for shendug. Next to it is very small road with an arch going to Thakurwadi. The road is pretty small towards the end.

The path is shown below--

Quick Tips: Slightly tough trek from en-durability perspective. Its best that you reach as early as possible before the scorching heat. The climate is extremely humid and sweaty unless its raining heavily. The water scarce but is only available at Machi Prabal village which is halfway through but its good idea to carry 2ltrs of water.

History as available on internet: The Prabalgadh fort was conquered by Shivaji from the Mughals in 1657, after he establishing himself in the Kalyan-Bhivandi area. The Mughals took control of Prabalgad along with Kalyan, Mahuli, Karnala and a number of other forts after Sambhaji's death. Kalavantin Durg is nothing but a watch fort supportive to Prabalgad.

Although we started early after a series of hiccups like Tyre puncture, we finally reached Thakurwadi at around 10am. The road is broad and is way climb till Machi Prabal. It should take around 2 hours.

As you start climbing you realize how much you have criss-crossed through winding path through thick cover of trees below.

A two hour climb and a rustic Machi Prabal welcomes you. Machi Prabal is small village with few houses.  

A clear sign indicate the two separate routes from the village. The left hand peak is Kalavantin.

After crossing Machi Prabal the trail runs though thick forest till the base of V from where the steps begin.

The trail through forest.

The last frontier- Rocky patch with huge steps.

The last climb.

View of Machi Prabal Below.

 Amazing panorama from the top makes you forget a 4 hours of sweaty climb...

We climbed down to have lunch in Machi Prabal by 3.30pm. After a hearty lunch we were back at the base by 5.30/6pm. Reached safely by around 8.30pm. It was wonderful experience.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Type: Trek
Base Village:
Where: 160 KMs (200kms via Sagmner-Akole) from Pune 
Route Taken: Pune-Sagmner-Akole-Harishchandragad
Time visited: July 2013
Time to climb: 3 hrs.
Difficulty Grade: 2  Endurance: 2
How to reach: Travel to Akole Via Sagmner. Its an 1.5 hrs drive/30 kms from there.
Food/Water:  Lunch, dinner and snacks are also available at the top.

Trek routes
1. Tolar Khind Route:  From Pune go to Alephata (100 kms) kms from Pune. From Alephata take road to Otur and then Khireshwar, which is base village. This will probably take 4-5 hours.
2. Rajur- Pachanai: From pune reach Akole via Sagmner. Then take road to Rajur and drive further down few kms to reach Pachnai. This is easy route with less rocky patches and should be around 3 hrs climb.

History as available on internet: 
The fort is said to have been in 6th century, during the rule of Kalchuri dynasty. Remnants of Microlithic man have been discovered here. The various Puranas (ancient scriptures) like Matsyapurana, Agnipurana and Skandapurana include many references about Harishchandragad.. 

For Harishchandragad you would need a stay if you are travelling from Pune. What we did was start on Friday evening after office. We reached Akole at around 10.30pm where one of our friends had his house.  In the morning we had pohe at his house and started for the fort at around 7AM. 

Akole is small town and famous for historic Shiv temple and Agastya Ashram. The Ashram has tranquil surroundings and situated just across the river.

The road to fort is midst the green hills on the way to Bhandadara dam.

There as diversion and you have to keep left. A roughly 1.5 drive and you reach at the base of the fort via Rajur to Pacnai village. There a car parking available and guide too with a rate of Rs 300/.

The weather was beautiful and one could see hundreds of waterfalls gushing down. A 10 minute walk led to the base of the fort. An old board declared that this was protected Jungle.

Waterfall on the way. The scene was beautiful, with river-streams flowing merrily and rice farms soaked in heavy rains.

The climb was a pleasant walk through jungles, flowing streams and under waterfalls,

Harishchandreshwar Temple
This temple gives insight of fine carving sculptures that could have prevailed during those times. The river Mangal Ganga is said to originate from one of the tanks located close to the temple. 

Carvings on the temple.

Kedareshwar Cave
This and old rock-cut cave and famous for half pillar standing from ceiling. The Shivlinga is surrounded by waist-deep ice cold water.

Saptatirtha Pushkarni
To the east of the temple is a well-built lake called “Saptatirtha with temple like structure around.

The major attraction of Harishchandragad is Kokan Kada but unfortunately there so much fog we could barely see. We decided not to venture that side. Taramati and Rohidas , the two peaks a top Harishchandragad, are also worth visiting as they offer beautiful views of the sahyadri ranges but again we dropped that idea too due to fog.

Hearty hot meal at the topmof the fort made our day.

We reached safely back by 4PM. And drove back to Pune by 11PM.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hadsar Fort

Type: Trek
Base Village: Hadsar, Junnar
Where: 105 KMs from Pune 
Route: Pune-Narayangaon-Junnar-Hadsar
Time visited: June 2013
Time to climb: 1/1.5 hrs.
Difficulty Grade: 1   Endurance: 1
How to reach: Travel to Hadsar village which would be 13kms from Junnar. 

Trek routes
A 10 minutes walk will take you to the base of the fort.  From the left face of the fort is an easy hike. Once you reach the top you have take a traverse and you will join a another road coming up through gully from the back side. A flight of steps will take you to the final climb.

History as per available on Internet: 
Fort Hadsar, also known as Parvatgad, was constructed during the Satvaahanas. Hadsar was one of the forts exchanged in the 1637 treaty between Shahaji Raje and the Mughals. In 1818 the British forces conquered Junnar and the forts in this region.

Hadsar is easy trek and can be done at anytime.

We had started from Pune around 7. The weather was clear and it had just stopped raining. After hearty breakfast at Purohit's we reached the base at around 10 AM. A 10 minute walk led to the base of the fort. We took 2 children working the farm nearby as our guide. They showed us the way to left hand climb.

Panoramic view from the top after the climb on the left side

From here you take a traverse and join the gully route which comes from the back side.

There is a huge flight of stairs from where it joins gully route.

The entrance twin doors are a tunnel-like structure.

The last climb.

A water cistern on the left once you reach the top.

Shiv temple along the sides of a lake few meters ahead.

View from the top of the hillock

While coming down finally it rained and it was truly refreshing. We reached back safely at around 3 PM at the base. After a good meal on the way we came back to Pune by 7 pm. It was wonderful change.