Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Indrai Rajdeher, 26 - 29 Dec 09

Indrai Rajdeher
Avi decided long back to do these forts when Alekh and Erin will come in India. So when both came for vacation we decided to do Indrai and Rajdeher forts. We went by Avi's car till Chandwad and reached Indraiwadi, the base village of Indrai fort in the evening. We started at 5pm, the route to Indrai goes from back from where we starts. So take turn again climb up, and follow the route which takes you to the steps of Indrai. When we reached the fort by 7pm, it was getting dark. We couldn't find the caves initially but after long search we found the caves. As you go to the top plateau of Indrai you will see the path going to top and on one rock you will see arrow pointing to left. Follow that route and you will reach the caves. After reaching the caves we were relaxed. We then started preparing for Masala-Khichadi. Getting dry wooksticks, making chulha, giving 'Fodani' first and showing that to Erin so that next time she can make it was all fun. At last our khichadi got ready to eat. After dinner it felt even more cold and cave searching made everyone tired so all went to sleep. Next day we descend down to Indraiwadi and went to Chandwad to get some medicine for Avi.
By the time we were on the way to Rajdeherwadi it was evening. We stopped at one place where Erin was getting pictures. One villager came and chit-chat with him ended in staying at his place. His house in the mid of farm was small but with full of hospitality. They were so kind that they shared the same food which they cooked for themselves and ready to sleep outside as we might feel cold outside.
It was different experience for Erin and Avi was explaining her all the details. In the night it was amazing to sleep in the open watching all stars. Next we got up early and moved to Rajdeherwadi. We took three hours to reach from the base to top of the fort. Rajdeher is supposed to be difficult to climb but due to one 'Sadhu', now there is one ladder. So you just climb the ladder and you enter the fort. Entrance of Rajdeher fort itself gave me positive vibes.
The 'Sadhu' stays at the cave which you see just when you enter the fort. From that cave you go to the left side up and you will see lake one the way and caves with water. We had food and slept for a moment, it was so windy that we dropped the idea of staying in open. We went back to Sadhu so he asked us to go next construction. It was impossible to argue with him as he is having 'Mounvrat'[no-talk] for five years of which four years are completed. Other than opposition to stying with him, he helped with giving bucket, offering tea and snacks and again came to check whether we got settled or not and requires anything.

In the evening we went to the other end of the fort to see sunset. It was awesome to see entire range starting from Koldeher to Kanchana, Dhodap, Vikhara, Jawala, Rawala & Markanda. While coming back we collected dry cactus for chulha and again our we started preparing for Masala khichadi. This time Avi was teaching Erin how to cook and how to roast Papad on chulha.

Like Indrai even at Rajedeher it was damn cold so we immediately went to sleep after dinner. When I got up in the early morning, it was lovely to see rising sun from bed. Me, Alekh and Erin went out to click the snaps. It was beautiful morning and we four were relaxed watching rising sun. After getting fresh up we decided to move down so went give bucket to 'Sadhu' again. While leaving he gave us one paper on which he had written that he want to develop 'tiger-project' at the fort and he asked us to promote this activity. First of all Rajdeher is not so densed where wild animal can leave. Still since again we couldnt agrue[due to his mount-vrat] we jsut took that paper and came back. We took one and half hour to descend down. On the way we also enjoyed small waterfall.

At village, Erin wanted to visit school children so we went to visit the school. All school kids were very enthu to see foreigner so as Teacher and later on some Centre Head authority. Finally we left Rajdeher and proceed to Mumbai. It was a good hike as it was away from crazy crowd nowadays we get even at forts. I heard later on that Alang-Madan-Kulang got groups with 30 people and all. So on this background our trek was as if we were the King of the forts because only four of us were there on both the forts!

check the snaps at

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ghangad, November 28, 2009

Ghangad - Small but bit climbing
If you have your vehicle then you can do Ghangad in a day. Since it is remote place you have to depend on ST. Since we took our vehicle we started in the night from Mumbai and reached Lonavala mid night. From there we proceed towards Yekole village. It was beautiful to see moon throughout the route. We stopped in between to rest and decided to move further next day morning. Since long me, Bandya, Vaishali trekked together in Sahyadri.
Next day we reached Yekole village and started climbing. It is very easy to reach till mid of Ghangad as path goes through jungle. On the way one can rest at Garjai Devi Temple. From here after ten minutes we reach to a rockpatch where one requires a rope to climb the patch. Since Bandya was there I was relaxed. We all one by one climbed, I wanted Avi to come up but he was not sure about Prachet, his son. But then Prachet himself asked to go to top and then Avi decided to come up. Avi got harnessed Prachet was ahead from down Atul covered him and from side Bandya first took Prachet at top. It was just for two minutes but I was scrared to see Avi climbing like that with Prachet. But within two minutes they both were atop of rockpatch. There are caves and water tank on the way. After that we all moved further where ascend scree starts, as usual i was bit concerned but Nagesh was behind so could do it easily. We took two hours to reach top.
On top there is one water tank and few remnants of construction. We had food and then after half n hour decided to climb down. After rappelling down we went to right side of fort on the same level where there is one local idol is worshiped. Here one big rock from the mountain is totally have got separate and looks as if it is kept at side. So it is like big 'Nedhe'.
Within one hour we were at the base. From here we started out journey back to Mumbai.

Note: ST timing for Yekole has now changed to 9am. One takes one and half hour by car to reach base village, Yekole. It is better to carry food and water and if not regular climber then also rope.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sudhagad September 13, 2009

Sudhagad - To relax
Sudhagad this weekend. One workaholic, one busy, one cool and one crazy - four distinct personalities but got gel very fast. We decided to go to Sudhagad and started from Kalyan on Saturday eve. We reached the base village Thakurwadi in the night and started our trek. Gitu was doing trek after a long gap but she showed incredible stamina to cope with all. Sitting on the steps of the ladder at Sudhagad and experiencing the silence was wonderful.

Top of the fort was in fog so took time to found out the ‘wada’, the accommodation at the fort. We took three and half-hours to reach this place from base. The palace 'wada' was very quite as only we were there. After having food - Avi, Gitu and me started experiment with my camera. We were trying to capture midnight sky from no light at all. Avi directed the frames, Gitu for suggestions and I was to adjust technical requirements. Instead of tripod we used camera bag for long exposures. After an hour trial we finally got the expected shot of night sky from 'wada'.

Morning we woke up very late. Gitu and me went outside and it was still foggy. We all were in relaxed mood so enjoyed tea and snacks with chitchat and listening to Gitu’s cases from Women Liberation movement.

Sudhagad fort has many remnants of old historical structure. One can see TailBaila, Ghangad from one end. Bhorai Devi temple is main temple on the fort. We didn’t expected rain in the noon but it started with lightning and thundering. In the rain we explore ‘chor darwaja’ at one end. While climbing back the steps of ‘chor darwaja’ water started flowing from up and climbing steps against flowing water was amazing experience.

Sudhagad is very easy fort to climb and a good place to relax so children and any family person can enjoy this fort. One has to carry food or carry ration as one family stays near ‘wada’ so they can cook for you. Water is no problem for this fort. We started descending in the eve and reached the base village in the night. From there started our journey back to Mumbai.

Check the slideshow at :;jsessionid=abcB01ZSwxa3iet4ZIcpsor album at:

Friday, August 21, 2009

2009-08-21 Lenyadri Chavand


15th Aug 09 - weekend went to Chavand fort near Junnar with Avinash - Sumedha, Prachet (their son), and Chetan - Aarati. We left Kalyan at 7am and halted at Moroshi for breakfast.
Malshet ghat was scenic in the rain so my photo shoot started and since we went by Avi’s car we halted at many places on the way. We went to Lenyadri first, for me doing this ascend pre-trekking and post-trekking was huge difference:)
We took Manikdoh dam route so instead of going straight we took long route and saw many forts like Nimgiri, Hadsar, Naneghat and Jivdhan from car :) and then went to Chavand but since we all were hungry went to Junnar for Lunch. Finally we came to Chavandwadi at 5:30pm.
From sea level Chavand fort’s height is 3400 ft but from base one can reach the fort in hour and is easy to climb and for exposed rock steps there is railing now.
After an hour we reached the top by that time it became foggy and Chavand fort itself gives mysterious feel. We then started searching for caves but couldn’t found due to darkness and fog. I was damn scared while going through my height grass as I read about reptiles on the fort. Finally we pitched the tent near seven cisterns, which are also called as “Sapt Matruka” which has reference in mythology.
We all immediately jumped into the tent as wind started blowing heavily.
After so many months I stayed in tent on the fort, which was next to water tank and near to edge. It was awesome. We had thepalas for dinner and were feeling so cold that immediately went to sleep. Whole night windy rain gave the feeling as if the tent will bend. We all got up early morning but it was so cold outside that we preferred to stay in cozy tent till sun came op top. At last when Prachet completed his sleep and tried to go out we all got up. We saw village boys on the fort and then Avi asked one of them to show the way to caves. The caves are really down and one cannot make out from top where they will be. One has to keep in mind the direction; they are exactly opposite to Nimgiri fort. After that we went to Chamunda Devi Temple on hillock. It says from the name “Chamunda” the fort name became “Chavand”. Shivaji Maharaj named this fort at Prasannagad. There are lot of water tanks and remnants of construction. Even the front wall of the fort is in good condition till date.
We reached in noon at Chavandwadi and from there we headed towards Kukadeshwar Temple. The temple is famous for Hemadpanthi – rock lock – construction but since it was in unsafe condition ASI has dismantle the upper part of the temple. All beautifully carved stones are lying near the temple. From last two year work is going on and don’t know how long will it take.
We decided to have lunch at Junnar and then to go to Chetan & Aarti’s house at Nimgaon near Junnar. They have huge bungalow and farm containing Tomatoes, Chilies, Custard Apple, etc. His Baba is very enthusiastic about farming and showed the entire farm. His Aai gave tasty Kothimbir vadi to eat. Coconut, Biscuits & Tea was in row. We were already filled with late lunch so was feeling sorry to avoid all the tasty stuff.
It was peaceful to see sunset from outside his house. His lovely Granny and all asked us to stay back. But next day we all had to get back to our routine so decided to leave late evening. Our two days journey was comfortable & pleasurable with relax mind!

Check out the snaps

Monday, August 3, 2009

2009-08-01 Lonavala Bhimashankar

Bhimashankar trek [total distance around 80km].
no need to tell that it was wonderful trek with all cheerful people!
Thursday 30th July - night 11:30pm from Lonavala st stand to 2am midnight Udhewadi [stay at villager's house]
Friday 31st July morning 9:30am from Udhewadi till 6:30pm Kusur village
from Kusur to Talpewadi by Tempo - we avoided tar road trek [stay at Talpewadi school]
Saturday 1st August 7:30 from Talpewadi [our Mama-guide knew road only till Kusur so ] we took direction-guidelines from local villager and explore on our own,
which was fantastic part. Nagesh had compass and Nitin Bhosle already did research on Google Earth and also had map so keeping in mind North-west we headed to that direction. After certain point, where Peth Bhimashankar route joins, Mama recalled the route as he did that route earlier.
We reached Gupt Bhimashankar by 5:30pm and then to Bhimashankar.
Very crowded so we decided to move back to Mumbai.
One can see nature in its best and all form on this route.
Didnt carry my camera as this trek is famous for continuous windy rain, waist level flooded river and also being a lengthy trek we have to cover in time.
So concentration was on trek:) no regrets! as its amazing beauty beyond camera one has to feel and experience.
Luckily we got clear weather, so we could see the entire range and also as most of the people said didnt lost on Kusur Plateau.
So here are few moments captured in camera...

Monday, July 27, 2009

2009-07-26 Umberkhind


Sunday, 26th July 09 went to Umberkhind, a pass between Lonavala to Penn. It starts from Kurvande village, so the ghat name is Kurvande ghat and down it goes till Chavani village. We started at 10am from Kurvande village near Lonavala and took us four hours to reach Memorial spot. From Khandala it started raining heavily and fog was also on the way. So much that we hardly could see Dukes nose else one can see the entire Lonavala range. After descending through forest we reached the base of pass from where we could see the roaring Amba river and Chavani village at another border of the river. Since water flow was heavy we preferred to cross the river from the bridge. After twenty minutes walk we reached a place where there is a memorial today. Umberkhind is famous in history for Shivaji Maharaj’s battle technique where he defeated three thousand soldiers with his thousand soldiers. [lot of arguments on the number of soldiers from both the sides ] Then Raibaghan & Kartalab Khan surrendered themselves to Maharaj. They had to leave all their weaponry, horses & materials. Due to incessant rains Amba river was flowing heavily. So we couldn’t go up till the Memorial but have to click the snap from the edge of the river. Thanks to Alaka and Kunal who helped me to shoot in windy rain. Kiran & Bharat explained the history of Umberkhind. Alka and me sat for a moment on the edge of the river and it was as if river is giving her flow to us. We felt like we are moving and water is steady. Then we realized its better to move than we actually moved with the current.Again our walk started towards Shemadi village that is almost four km from Memorial. At Shemadi village we had our lunch, shared our experiences and started our Journey back to Mumbai. To go to Umberkhind one can go either from Khandala or from Lonavala. One has to reach Kurvande village and walk towards dukes nose. From Dukes nose take left and the route descends to Chavani village. It is easy and preferably to do in rain as one can enjoy greenery around. From Memorial to Shemadi village road will be boring in other seasons. One has to carry food and water as entire route is through forest. From Shemadi village one can get Auto rickshaw to Khopoli and from Khopoli highway or ST stand one can get further buses.

Didnt click much due to heavy rains.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Darya Ghat

Darya Ghat 18th July 2009
On Saturday been to Darya Ghat near Palu, Murbad. This is a route, which connects to Amboli village, Junnar at top. We started at 8am in the morning from Eshtyachi wadi, the base village at starting of ghat and reach the top at 12 noon. The total route is zigzag and crossing the waterfall coming from top. One has to climb boulders after jungle line. It was indeed fun as we experience rain in between, fog at top, and route where water from top were like showers.
We had snacks at top and immediately started our journey back as we were sure that while going down water level of waterfall will increase. We were very careful as water force and moss made it difficult to descend. We took halt for lunch near hut type shelter in the jungle. When we were very close to village, half of the group lost the main route and came down through another route. Finally we all came down and had readymade tea i.e. the powder in hot water. Eshtyachi wadi is just six home together place so one has to carry ration and has to stay the villages before this wadi as we stayed at Dehri, the base of Gorakhgad.
Since we went by private vehicle transportation wasn’t a problem but one can get jeep on Murbad - Palu route.
And yeah a different experiment in photography

- a creativity by Sanju and Sumit and I was there just to click the shot. Do check!

Friday, July 3, 2009

2009 June Beas Kund trek & Mt. Patalsu Climbing

Intermount Adventure Mt. Shitidhar Expedition 2009
Team: Dipaali K Bhosle, Sumit Bhosle, Pradeep Chachad, Vaishali Haldavanekar, Rajendra Nehete, Padmaja Prabhu, Tushar Yeole
Support Team : Bhola Thakur, PyareRam, Kishan, Mahindra, Dorji, Tek Bahaddur, Shambho, Kumar, Doulatramji - Burwa, Manali

In month of March, Vaishali suggested the Mt. Shitidhar expedition and I was thrilled to do first peak climbing. Vaishali with the able guidance of Mr. Pradeep Chachad aka Bandya did first hand research and then decided the itinerary. Then the traveling, whether to go by train or air since I have to save my leave I preferred to travel by air. Vaishali is always of opinion to go together for expedition & her opinion is cent percent correct, which I realized through out the trek. I didn’t felt much that time as I must travel with all but when we all started meeting and our preparation started I thought I wish I should have gone with all by train.

In the office, I told most of the people about my expedition. I was behind Shridhar to get 8GB card and also bought extra battery as a backup. Shiridhar’s 8GB card and mine 4GB card total 12GB and two batteries. I was totally geared up to shoot for expedition. Shirish also guided me & Sumit about how to cope-up with climate and medicines for high altitude.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
We-me, Tushar & Padmaja decided to go to Mumbai Chandigarh by flight, site seeing at Chandigarh and then bus journey to Manali. Chandigarh was 40 degree so it was totally hot and dry. I could maintain my enthusiasm till Rock Garden but after reaching Sukhana Lake I was completely down by heat. I also avoided the boating and chosen to seat and watch the lake and surrounding. Was surprised to see condom vending machine at the entrance of lake area as first time I saw such machine. Rose Garden is beautiful but we hardly got time to have entire look.

Our bus left on time and late night it halted at one dhaba where food wasn’t at all tasty. But since I was hungry I patiently accept his late order and the food. Sleep in the night wasn’t very comfortable and also eagerness to reach Manali made me restless.

Thursday, June 11, 2009
Morning Bandya came to receive us at depot. It was damn breezy while traveling by rickshaw. We went to Burwa village, which is 8km ahead of Manali. Here we met Mr. Bhola Thakur -local trek organizer, who along with Bandya organized this trek.
Bhola’s house at Burwa is peaceful place.

After getting fresh we went to upper side of village where apple farms were in cultivation stage. Kishan, Bhola’s younger brother who is teacher accompanied us and gave all the information about cultivation. We went up till where road to next village Mazdah is under construction. There was one big rock and Bandya tried to climb it then I went from easy route to the top. Walking on the rock ridge was different experience altogether.

On our way back we came from school side, all students were used to camera and were posing as we clicked. Just before our house-yes it was now our house- there was Ms. Sumitradevi’s house. She was weaving yarn on handloom I always wonders how they do this. But instead of doing it I preferred to click her engrossed face through those threads!

Evening we went for Manali site seeing – Monastery, Hadimba temple, Vasishtha Kund
were now with more crowd compare to four years back when I came here for the first time. Sometimes you just get lost in the crowd I felt the same at Mall Road. Night at Burwa was very comfy.

Friday, June 12, 2009
Next day morning I was eagerly waiting for Sumit & Vaishali. They along with Rajendra came and fun started… We had late lunch and in evening we had acclimatization trek at Jogini falls. The waterfall is massive and I just couldn’t control myself from going there. Vaishali was warning me not to take risk before expedition but still enjoyed going by side of fall.

After trek we started packing for our expedition and took the stuff, which were really required. Vaishali packed and distributed chocolates and dry-fruits. Bhola asked Bandya the price of Hand gloves, which he bought from Avi Industries. When he learned that it costs Rs. 700 he started laughing and told the same gloves one can get at Rs.150 at old Manali market. From that moment we started calling that gloves ‘700 hundred’.
From two sacks, I packed my big sack with all woolen clothes and snacks. The Beasn-laddu and salty ‘Shankarpale’ - waffors you can say- given by Mom was enough for everyone including our support team. Sweet and salt requires when you are trekking.

Saturday, June 13, 2009
Start of our expedition, Vaishali and we all prayed for our successful expedition.
Our kitchen stuff, tents, sleeping bags and other stuff got filled in one small tempo.
We left Burwa by jeep and got down at Solang Nalah. From here our trek started.
We climbed the Solang valley through boulders and that reminded me the start of Nali route at Harishachandragad in Sahyadri. When I read itinerary I felt why we have such a short distance every day but ones start ascending in Himalaya and realized that oxygen level makes you breathless and slows your stamina to climb. But we maintained our speed neither very fast nor slow enjoyed surrounding beauty and most of all got time to clicked the snaps.

By noontime we reached Bakhar Thach, our first campsite. As soon as we reached the tent it started raining heavily and we were worried about the weather. But fortunately by evening the sky was clear. Rajendra was overwhelmed with joy and couldn’t control himself skiing in snow. That day was his birthday, Doulatramji – our cook arranged cake for him and Rajendra was touched by that kind gesture. We all celebrated that evening with cake and pakoda.

Sunday, June 14, 2009
Since we all were well acclimatized and fit Bhola decided to move to next camp at Beas Kund. Here first time from the start of the trek we crossed the snow. It wasn’t like that I saw the snow first time but every time I touched the snow I bowed before the nature, which makes me realized the mystery, the strength, and the optimism within the nature, which drags me to her every year. Every year it’s a new learning. Now I know why Saints go to Himalayas.

We climbed one gradual slope and then boulders walk. There is one tower by army.
One has to cross that tower and then you reach a place where there is route to heaven.
I mean it. No, I haven’t seen it but if heaven means bliss then it was indeed pleasure the moment you look at that Beas Kund area. From every side the snow clad peaks and in the middle huge area and in that you are staying! I am totally in love with this place.

After our lunch we went to near by waterfall thinking that’s the Beak Kund. We clicked lot of snaps in adjacent snow area. In the evening, Mahindra- our guide told us to wear Koflach –snow- shoes for practice and to go to Beak Kund, which was bit away from our campsite. The shoes were really heavy and initially couldn’t seat or bend properly.

By evening it became very cold and everyone wore starting from thermals to windcheater. The tea, garamagaram pakoda and then soup was like must have in that climate.
Rajendra was very quite on first day at Beas camp. He was with us physically and mentally still sinking with beauty of nature. When I said ‘with us and still not with us’ in Marathi then all started laughing at me as it sounded different and funny. But then he got mixed up with all of us. He and Bandya danced and then he started enjoying in the group.

Monday, June 15, 2009
We were bit relax as we were going to stay at the same camp to acclimatize at high altitude. Morning it started drizzling and we all got cozy in kitchen tent. Our support team went up to move some stuff up on higher camp. Bandya asked to get out and get ready for short trek towards higher camp so that we can get used to climb at high altitude.

Initially I wasn’t in mood to get out of the comfort zone and get wet in moist as in the morning I changed my clothes after two days. But again… once I started crossing the snow it was fun. I was thrilled to walk over snow layer beneath there was water roaring.
We reached up of Beas Kund and it started snowing. Bandya asked everyone to descend but then he and Rajendra decided to go up till the higher camp glacier. I asked him to join them and then he asked everyone to come up. Rajendra with his Pranayam knowledge taught me how to have slow breathing and relax when one takes halt on the trek.

Camphor was very useful throughout the trek whenever I used to feel breathless or uncomfortable. Thanks to Shirish! The moment we were closed to higher camp we realized the change in environment. Our ascending became slow and slow and while descending we felt like having headache. We saw our support team descending and then they started skiing and descending on the glacier.

By the time we reached campsite it again started drizzling. We had hot lunch and then all decided to stay back in kitchen tent and started singing songs. Bandya and Sumit tried and tested walky-talky. In the evening, I was glad to have Popcorn at the height of 13,500ft! It wasn’t difficult to make but certainly not imagined so was very happy to get something, which we eat at Mumbai or in city. Everyday, our day used to start with bed-tea then breakfast and tea, Lunch, evening tea and snacks, soup then dinner and then hot milk before sleep. I used to eat double what I eat usually in Mumbai.
Doulatramji, our cook used to cook tasty food and I simply loved it!

That evening it started raining constantly then followed by snowing. Rajendra & Bandya enjoyed that snowfall with dance and Sumit instantly started shooting with handycamp. Sumit was also enthu to click the snaps in snowfall. Bandya covered Sumit’s camera with his Poncho and Sumit clicked some excellent snaps. Vaishali was restless with continuous snowfall. As she was aware that if it continued till night the climbing to higher camp and to Mt. Shitidhar would be difficult and may get cancelled. She was very upset with changing climatic conditions and she also came to know about weather forecast from Bhola that next two days weather would be equally bad.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Whole night I could feel that porters are clearing the snow from tent. Morning I got out of tent and it was different world. Our tent was in snow. It was delight to watch that paradise. But that also made our move to higher camp doubtful. I asked Bhola and he sadly said no…but when snow will get clear? he said let’s see!
Vaishali was still upset but then started accepting the fact and talked to everyone.

Bhola asked to have practice of climbing in incline patch of snow with Koflach shoes. We somehow got out and went to a patch where Mahindra was giving training to everyone. I thought it would be easy but it was tricky to balance one’s self in the snow. Mahindra asked to climb on toe and while descending get down on heel. He also showed the technique of how to lock our fall with ice-axe. When I was about too comfortable in descending the snow it became windy and started raining. Bhola asked us to get into the tent immediately.

Whole day Bhola and his team were watching Mt Shitidhar area. In the evening they saw the UK team from higher camp & Japanese couple coming back from mid of higher camp, which wasn’t good sign! Whole day we passed our time by clicking the snaps or playing cards, which Bandya brought from nearby Shepherd. Our moving up became more doubtful. Still we packed our sacks for higher camp thinking climate may get clear by night.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Next day morning when I got up it was very late. This means we are not going up.
We all were uneasy but Bandya was very disturbed as we called off our move to higher camp and summit to Mt. Shitidhar. I wish we should have gone at least to higher camp because route to higher camp was on bit vertical ridge that could have been experience to learn. But one has to accept and respect the nature. Going to higher camp means close to summit and still coming back that would have been more painful. I console myself like that…

Bhola and team decided to go to higher camp to get back material, which they kept on higher camp. Bandya and Rajendra wanted to go with them but Bhola didn’t want to take any chance. Since we were doing nothing Vaishali asked our cook Doulatramji for suji.
She took all the dryfruits, butter and Sumit helped her in preparation. We had tasty Shira as a sweet dish for our lunch.

We decided to go Shepherd’s place after lunch, as we wanted to get playing cards and Bandya also described about his hukka. Vaishali was keen to see that hukka and have that experience. Shepherd’s place was small shelter of stones kept on one another.
First Bandya had few puffs and then he handed over to Vaishali. She was ‘Bindhast’
and used full ‘Dam maro dam’ style but couldn’t inhale a single time but she fulfilled her wish. Shepherd was bit rude and asked us to go it because of extreme weather he became like that…where he has to struggle for everything then why he will care for us who just came there to have fun for few days? My favorite subject Psychology always helps me to analyze people. Through out the trek I was quite because it was always new learning about human behavior. Sonali, my trek friend once told me that you could make out people very well on Himalayan long treks. How true was that…

Thursday, June 18, 2009
We started our journey back to Burwa. Since we came late we decided to have Maggie and this is the only item that is my last option to have as a meal. Sumit started making fun of that but then I added garlic shev on that and had Maggie in between shev.
In the evening we went to Manali market to have all chat items. It was mouth watering
to see all chat items especially Alu Tikki getting fried in oil on that big pan. Yammmyy!
After that whenever we went to Manali having Alu Tikki was default ritual.

Friday, June 19, 2009
Since we couldn’t attempt Mt Shitidhar Bhola suggested for Mt. Patalsu. The way to Mt Patalsu was through Solang village. Vaishali fooled small girls at Solang village saying that Sumit is hero and innocent girls believed that and clicked the snap with him. The whole route to campsite was through jungle. We decided to enjoy the beauty and have leisure trek, as sun was clear. We halted several time to have snacks and snaps. Bhola was in search of water and where he found stream close to that was our campsite. I was really glad to have such a huge plateau where one can feel like ‘I am king’ and ruling this place….
Or as if God gifted this place as a play garden for his children….
This was the longest trek we did till that date as we climbed 5000ft at one stretch
Here I decided to pitch tent and with Mahindra and others. How easy that was…
Having tea, soup & dinner at that lovely campsite was amazing experience. I went totally mad for that place. I was excited to do summit to Mt Patalsu and slept with the same thoughts!

Saturday, June 20, 2009
Next day morning we had heavy breakfast of Puri Bhaji. With us Bhola, Mahindra and Shambho accompanied for Summit. One cannot make out the summit of Mt Patalsu from the front side of mountain. As snowline started it became slippery as snow was with the grass and that made me scared of falling down. That full patch I was holding Rajendra or Sumit’s hand for support. But once snow ridge started Bhola asked Rajendra to leave me and encouraged me to walk on my own. Initially I was worried how to climb the snow but then learning at Beas applied here and then I was okay to step on snow.
The summit of Patalsu was much behind and away from the point that we thought is our summit! Mahindra was warning us about not to go on the edge and also make a mark where there were gaps down next to stones. Even though initially I was scared, I actually enjoyed ascending in the snow. There was hardly any distance to summit and Bandya asked to come ahead as I was blindly following Rajendra. With all carefulness I went up on my own. That was a moment I reached summit. Hats off to Bandya…only that patch crossing on my own…reaching the summit…boosted my confidence to another level…
That recalled me Sir Edmund Hillary’s statement that… its not that we conquer mountains but we conquer our self….

We all greeted each other, I especially thanked to Vaishali as it was her initiative to do Peak expedition. So I was there… Soon we started our descend back to campsite.
Again while descending I was holding Mahindra’s hand but Bandya asked him to leave me and let me walk on my own. Then I got used to descend on heel but again when snow grass area came I became conscious. Finally I got so used descending on the grass so much that instead of side route I straightway came down.

Evening was relaxed. Since one shepherd stolen kerosene, [also Bhola’s shoes], Dorji cooked food on chulha. Bhola and Shambho went to that shepherd’s place and don’t know what all they said and did but they got the shoes back and money for kerosene. Bhola himself was surprised by this stealing incidence as this happened first time. That night we had campfire but instead of singing I preferred to listen to songs by others.

Sunday, June 21, 2009
Morning we had tasty aloo paratha and started our journey back to Burwa.
Again we decided to make mximum time pass. I felt really bad to leave that place and going back to civilization. Noon at Burwa again having bath, cleaning clothes and in eve we went to Manali…for me again to eat Chat.

Monday, June 22, 2009
We all decided to go for rafting at Kullu. This is the first time we traveled internal roads by public-private transport. I was surprised to see that you can bargain your tickets in private bus available for public transportation. We reached Pirdi, a place 4kms ahead of Kullu, which is a starting point of Rafting. I wasn’t scared or nervous, as I didn’t thought much of fear of waves and raft going up & down. I was thrilled once it started. I was screaming as the water used to drench me. I thoroughly enjoyed rafting!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Me, Padmaja & Tushar left for Naggar in the morning by private car. I was keen to see all the wooden carving done at castle and temples in Naggar like Tripura Sundari Temple, Gauri Shankar Temple & Jagati Pat Temple. The food at castle was not up to the mark.
We came back to Manali bus depot as Vaishali, Sumit, Rajendra and Bandya was leaving for Delhi and back journey to Mumbai.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
We thought of going to Rohtang but we were not sure about coming back in time so it was skeptical to take chance when we had our bus to Chandigarh in the evening.
So we preferred to stay back at Burwa. Food at Sher-E-Punjab was okay.
Again in evening we went to Manali Market. I ordered for Khadi sweatshirt and Ladaki style kurta at Gulati’s shop. For a change we had Chinese food.
The same house was quite today as half of the team left…

Thursday, June 25, 2009
First time I was happy to start return journey to Mumbai. I must confess this time I did missed my friends, Mom & my house. No doubt Burwa to Burwa trek was indeed pleasure but any outing is joy when u do with like minded people and whole as a group…. the first peak expedition I have lot of learning so as to face life more rigorously…!!!

Check images at :

Saturday, May 30, 2009

2009 May 30 Gorakhgad

आधा अधुरा गोरखगड़

Monday, May 25, 2009

Songiri Fort May 24, 09

On Sunday, May 24, 09 been to Songiri fort near Palasdari, Karjat. We caught the first Khopoli train and reached Palasdari at quarter to seven. We had tea biscuits at Awalas village with the kind hospitality of Mr. Mahadev Pawar, a house next to General Store. From here we started ascending towards Songiri.
With a stretch one can reach till pass within two hours from bottom. Before pass there is small and easy rock patch. From pass one has to take right to go to top. The top of fort is very small and has only one dry water tank. The entire area is with few vegetation and in this period as if waiting to transform.
While descending we took a path towards Kondhane. But since we were not sure about the route and scarcity of water we decided to go to a Beed village, which was visible from the top. We reached the village in an hour. We were so thirsty that had jars of water at Mrs. Jogi's house. From Beed we took an auto-rickshaw to Kondhane village and went to Kondu's House. After testy food we relaxed a bit and started our return journey back to Mumbai.
In short a small and easy trek. This trek will be indeed beautiful in the monsoon with passing through Ulhas valley.
Check the snaps...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mrug Gad April 12, 2009

After a break of month and half last weekend been to Mrug-Gad, a fort on Khopoli-Pali Road.
The fort with height of 1750ft is easy to climb. We left Mumbai early morning and reached the base village 'Bheliv' at 9am. One has to take left turn at Jambhulpada village to reach the 'Bheliv'. The fort looks really small from the base but with the temperature around 40 degree and the heat of burning jungle made this climb very exhaustive. It is called as Jungle trek but in summer there was hardly any shadow. After climbing small narrow ascend - sort of chimney climb - we reached the plateau from where the steep steps starts and reaches the fort. We took an hour to reach the top. Only at front side is bastion gives the feeling of Fort else rest all sides are open. When you enter the fort the local Godess is at right side of the fort.
At the first plateau of the fort there is one small cistern. From here you can still ascend to next part of the fort where you will find one water cistern at right side of the fort.
Going further you goes through the two open water tanks. This entire part looks like remnants of any palace. When you reach the other end of the fort you can see one ridge, 'Machi' going towards village side.
After having some snacks we decided to descend down, as heat was unbearable. While going down we took another route just next route of chimney route, from where we came. Again there was a small rock patch and we fixed the rope, as there were amateurs in the group. If you are regular trekker then there is no need to put rope as its safe to descend and there is no direct fall. When you descend from this patch one route at left goes to small tunnel in the rocks, which goes deep inside, and the end is unknown even to villagers. Ascending scree is always easy than descending that’s why we took two hours and half [which also includes descending rock patch & the tunnel exploration] from top to base village. All were totally down even with Glucon-d, Salads, Oranges and enough of water.
We had lunch at base village and skipped the idea of getting into the water, as even the water was too hot. While coming back we took the Old Khopoli-Mumbai route. If one wants to do one day trek then Mrug Gad is definitely good option but would suggest to do in rainy season or winter.

Check out the snaps...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rajmachi : Durg Sahitya Sammelan 14-15 Feb 09

Last weekend been to my favorite second home, Rajmachi! The occasion was first Durg Sahitya Sammelan. To listen to Shri. Babasaheb Purandareji live was unique experience!!! Also first time clicked Rajmachi with my D80 camera. Few snaps clicked by Bipin..yes with me Tushar, Bipin Mehta, Harshal Mahajan, Ranjana Dudhalkar & Shriram Joshi were there to trek from Kondane village.
Here are snaps...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dhak Bahiri Feb 7, 09

On Friday, Feb 6, 09 we left by Sanju's Sumo for Sandashi the base village of Bahiri caves. After two hours journey we reached the village and slept in the school varanda.
We asked the very first house when we enter the Sandashi, to make tea and snacks and also for guide. The alarm rang at 4:30am but it was very chilled so none of the trekmates were ready to get out of the sleeping bag. Finally all got ready and went to have tea and 'pohe'. We had to wait for guide for an hour so again all started craving for sleep. At 7am, once guide came we started our trek towards caves. The path is beautiful as its goes through jungle. The guide took us through the path which goes towards waterfall side and to back of 'Kalakrai' pinnacle. The stromy wind made just impossible to stand steady in the pass. As if there is no way and only valley front of you or as if you are going to descend down the valley. But once we started we could do it cautiously and safely till the start of traverse.
It was like one adventure after the another. Where and how we are going? you can see the starting path and can walk smoothly but then the actual rock traverse starts and you have to be very careful about your hand holds and foot holds. The two organisations from Pune, Vedh Sahyadricha and Safe Climbing Initiatives (SCI) have fixed bolts here where you can catch by your hand and just take foot holds. So now its become little easy to cover the traverse. After traverse the climb starts but its easy compare to traverse as you have to climb the verticle steps and then you have rope and wooden support for ascending till cave.
Ooff, you feel really thrilled when you look down and see from where you have come... We took three and half hour to reach the cave with all breaks including drinking 'Madi' from villager, on the way.
We all had our pack lunches and also enjoyed sandwiches made by Nivedita and Apurva. Carrots, oranges and cucumber is must when you are doing this type of climb.
Sanju carried all that weight in his sack for all of us. After half n hour sleep at 1pm we started descending as Chetan was warning from the start of the trek the rock was really hot. Looking down the fall made scary to Nitin but then Mangesh came and helped him to descend and finally the last person, the guide reach the stright base of the rock patch after half an hour. Yes, instead of again crossing the traverse we decided to descend straight down. From there we hault at place where there is remnants of temple of God Bahiri. Here again we had salad and desert, Puranpoli by Makarand Bapat. Trek hard eat harder is nowadays funda of unit's treks.:)
From there we took three hours to reach village. There is a water source before plateau which guide showed us but it was just small stream which will last only for a month.
After coming back to village we got freash up and had hot tea which was badly required after straining trek. How will we miss 'Vada-Pav' for any trek in Karjat region?
At junction, we had 'Vada-Pav' and then zoomed by Sanju's driving or rather racing skill...

Here are some pics by Mangesh Sannake, Makarand Bapat, Apurva Barve & Snehit Joshi.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Vasota Nageshwar Republican Day 09

Stay in Vasota jungle and Republican Day celebration at Nageshwar caves is memorable experience. We, YHAIK group celebrates Independence Day & Republican Day with Nature. This time we decided to celebrate at Vasota-Nageshwar. We went through Parel-Satara bus and from Satara hired jeep till Bamnoli. The entire route from Satara to Bamnoli is picturesque. We could also mark a difference of the same route as we been there in September. The variation of nature is amazing and once again was serene with the entire beauty.

After reaching Bamnoli one have to struggle for permission and also for launch. Since we were bit late we had to convince F.O. about our stay and how can we manage on our own with our tents. Finally we got the permission and proceed to Met Indavali, the base of Vasota. The entire launch journey is a unique experience. You feel as if you are going to different world. After hour and half we reached the campsite at Met Indavali. After pitching our tent we started our trek to Vasota. Even after doing all timepass we reached the top of Vasota within two and half hours.

The deep jungle valley surrounding Vasota is astonishing. One will really get lost if gets into forest without any information of direction. BabuKada really makes to recall of KokanKada and top of that Old Vasota is like tiara on the jungle. Simply marvelous…

We took an hour to roam entire fort and then had our lunch. By the time we started our return journey at four the sun also started going back to home. On the way stream side we freshen up and then directly came to campsite, as it was getting dark.

Courtesy to Tanvi and Sameer we got delicious Rice and Curry while we were enjoying the Flute performance by Nagesh. He also sung old melodies, which were comforting with the jungle calmness.

Going for loo and cleaning utensils at lakeside were only daunting work in that darkness where you could hear all the yowling sounds. It was very thrilling too and we were actually waiting to see at least one animal but in vein, we could only hear them…

Next day early morning we started out trek with local guard through stream route, which goes to the backside of Nageshwar caves at ‘Kund’, water-tank. The entire route is bliss as you are totally in the shadow and ascend is too gradual. On the way we met the group who got scared on the way from Nageshwar to Vasota and created whole chaos! After three hours we reached the Nageshwar caves.

The other public at caves also participated for Flag Hosting. The tribute to Tiranga in the caves, in front of deep valley was awesome experience. We feel really proud for our Nation when we sing our National anthem all together even with people unknown to us!

Since the guard advised us about sunstroke at first patch while descending Chorvane side, we decided to move quickly from the caves. The scree route at the start makes your speed slow and that’s where one takes time to descend. But once you clear the first patch then you just have to walk and walk and walk…
One also has to carry enough of water as sun directly heats you and there is hardly any shelter or water source on the way. After four hours descend we finally reached the base village. None of us were in mood to have lunch but still had some thepals and went to catch ST for Chiplun. After reaching Chiplun had some snacks and got to seat in the crowded bus as we reserved our tickets well in advance.
Three cheers to all of us for wonderful celebration of Republican Day!!!
Check the snaps at :

The timings:
Parel Satara – 6hours
Satara Bamnoli – 1:30mnts
Bamnoli Met Indavali – 1:30mnts
Met Indavali Vasota – 2:30mnts
Vasota Met Indavali – 2 hours
Met Indavali Nageshwar steam route – 3 hours
Nageshwar Chorvane – 4 hours
Chorvane Chiplun - 1:15mnts
Chiplun Mumbai – 6:30mnts