Kamalgad-Pandavgad 11-13 February 2011
Since long I wanted to do Kamalgad and Pandavgad trek as I read lot of about ‘Geruchi vihir”, well on Kamalgad and Menvali village, one of the base of Pandavgad. Finally took leadership for YHK trek and been to this beautiful duo at Wai region near Mahabaleshwar. Needless to say, my camera was on passive mode as I was more worried about timings and reaching top.
We left at 11:30pm on Friday night from Dadar by private bus and reached Wai at 5am. When we reached Wai hardly anyone on the road so we followed the straight road going to Dhoom dam and Vaygaon. Then I realized that all the village name I read going towards Vasole is not this. They at one village we found one villager got up so we asked him the way going to Vasole, so he informed us that we have taken the another route of going to Kamalgad. Since Dhoom dam is on both the route of going to Kamalgad we took the road going to Vaygaon. Then we came to Wai village, where one can see river side temples from there we went into the Wai village and then took left route, the road going to Vasole
Village. After reaching Wadivali village we took left turn and pass through Washivali village. After reaching Vasole village a boy from one travel bus told us that since its 17 seater small bus it can go up till Tupe Wadi. So we went straight and then took right turn going to Tupewadi. By the time we reached Tupewadi, it was 6am. We requested one lady to cook poke and make tea with the stuff which we brought with us.
At 8:15 we all left for Kamalgad, the route goes from wadi and once we reached dry stream there are arrows which leads us to Kamalgad. We also saw “Mhatariche Dat” i.e. old lady’s teeth i.e. the stones on some distance at the top. The route goes on the ridge so if u see Kamalgad at your front then take right side, proper trodden trail goes till the top. After reaching the top of ridge there take the route going to left i.e. the route going to Gorakshnath temple, Dhangar Wasti on plateau.
Mangesh was behind and since he has the attitude of I can cover you all I wasn’t at all worried about him. Nitin Bhosle was very angry about his behavior of lay behind in spite of several calls and waiting for him so many times.
When we moved up from Dhangar Wasti towards the top of Kamalgad we found a small rock patch of hardly 10 feet. Pagan was not ready but Girish helped her and we all came at the top of the fort.
We then saw Mahabaleshwar from top, Pandavgad, Dhoom Dam area; it was beautiful to see water all around. We also went inside the dry well which was 40feet inside, cold and our hand became maroon colored like we have put up mahendi.
Mr. Mangesh came after sometime and asked me like why I didn’t kept my cell on, since there was no range I didn’t kept my cell on. He also told proudly how he came straight on the ridge and climbed the rock patch and reached plateau. I was not at all surprised by his behavior.
After spending an hour on the top we came back to plateau level front of the Dhangar house and had our lunch. We also asked them for water. By 1:30 pm we started descending the fort and to avoid yellow grass descending ridge took another trail which was bit lengthy but we reached village by 3pm.
From Tupe wadi we left for Menavali village, another attraction which I wanted to visit since it is picturised in many movies. We had tea at the Menavali stand. In the village you will find most of the houses with rangoli, front of the door. It is beautiful place with river flowing, the built ghat and also temple on the ghat. There is also palace of Nana Phadanvis from Peshave era. I enjoyed my photography here and enjoyed watching the water flowing slowly as if it is calm and content.
We halted at Wai to buy Pohe from stores and then also pre pone our visit to Ganapati Temple at Wai.
All enjoyed tasty vadapav and had hot tea. I didn’t felt like am on trek as if it was picnic.
Then we proceed to my cousin sister’s place at Dhavadi village, base of Pandavgad. My cousin wasn’t there but her in-laws were very helpful. NItin Bhosle, Pavan, Maria, Prakash and me all were busy in preparing Khichadi. My cousin’s mother-in-law was curios on how we are cooking.
Mean while another cousin in the same village came to meet me and I went with her to her place.
Here my cousin’s relative told me about Mr. Wadia who was in mind from the moment I read about him online.
My cousin’s place, every Sunday children from village comes to recite ‘Manache Shlok’ by Saint Ramdas.
So next day morning, Sunday I asked everyone to leave at 8am. We had Pohe and tea and one of our relative came to show us the path till road. We reached the second house and asked the villager how to go top, this is the first time I found any villager arrogant and he said search on your own. The path going from this house follows that and then takes right trail going toward the top.
When we reached top Mr. Wadia was giving all the fake stories like this is not a fort and just hillock come into existence in Deccan development. He saw leopard and villagers have poisoned the water tank. If villagers have poison the water tank then why he has taken the pipe line from the tank to house.
He says he is the third owner and now he has sold the fort to Mapro and he is just a caretaker.
He didn’t mention the first two owners of the fort.
When we asked him the path going to the top he also was uncooperative and said see if you can find, I don’t know. The villager staying down is his servant. We found something fishy as we hardly saw anyone staying on the plateau or even nearby areas of so unhelpful.
When you reached the so called bungalow of Mr. Wadia follow the trail and from first water tank take left. Even if you go straight doesn’t matter you will take full circle to the top and the path will finally lead to the entrance of the top. Here we saw the temple of Hanuman and also Pandjai Devi. There are water tanks on the top but they were dry. We again came at the entrance and had snacks.
Here again Prakash was missing and even otherwise I don’t put my cell on I finally put cell on so Mr. Prakash was started descending down. I asked him to stop at plateau level near bungalow. I also told Mangesh that you passed the wrong message by being too behind and not being in group.
When we reached the plateau the four members were waiting there. I told everyone about being in group which I instructed them in the very beginning of the group. In spite of that they were late for different reasons and since Pandavgad is like go from one side and come out from another side in circle they four thought we started descending down.
I wasn’t interested in arguing with them so just told them that moral of the story is be in group and we all started descending down. Dharit’s knee was injured so we waited for him at the base near road.
Finally we all reached the village back at 2pm. If one follows the right trail Pandavgad can be reached within an hour.
When we reached cousin’s place, her mother-in-law insisted to have tea and then I asked everyone to have it as otherwise it shows disregard to their hospitality. Very sweet couple with spiritual back ground my cousin is really lucky to have such peaceful life.
We left Dhavadi village at 2:30pm and had our lunch at Vele village just before Khambatki Ghat.
9pm and we reached Dadar and I was happy to have smooth trek. But driver came out with demand to have to-and-from kilometer charges from where the bus came i.e. Vikhroli to Dadar. Since earlier I never paid like this so I argued with him and his owner a lot. He also called up Vanraj travels from where I booked the bus but I wasn’t ready to listen. Next day when I told Anil about this he said to pay the difference according to them and I did the same. But this was something new learning to me as am still thinking why we have to pay for – from where or which garage the bus is coming and not only that also return fair of the same.