सोमवार, १० डिसेंबर, २०१२

Sandhan Valley -The Valley Of Shadow & Ratangad Trek

Sandhan Valley

About Sandhan Valley :
Sandhan Valley, also known as Valley of suspense or Valley of Shadow, is one of the greatest canyons in the splendid setting of Sahyadri (Western Ghats). The water carved valley is 200 ft deep and about 15ft long. Sandhan valley is located on the western side of the beautiful Bhandardara region, near Samrad village.
The brilliant and deep narrow rock floored ravine is located between the two high walls of mountain range. At some plaices its width is less than 3 ft and at some places sun rays unable to reach the ground. Which gives it the name: valley of shadow.

Our story to Sandhan Valley :
From long time we heard about this name call Valley of Shadow - Sandhan Valley. After a long search about how to go where to stay..We start out trek on  Friday 7th December, 2012.
This time we deside to travel with our own vehicles sothat was easy journey for us. Samrad is the nearest village to saty fir this trek. we heard about sandhan valley that it has 2-3 repelling patches which can not be possible without any professional's help so we find one villager Datta Bhangre __________. He is same as our age who know every place in bhandardara lake. that was really very terrific experience while crossing this Valley. Around 8.00am after a breakfast we start our walk to Sandhan valley. 

Small water pool
           That was first time we all gone to do the repelling, so we all so excited.

It took around 1pm to cross the valley then we took stop near one small pool between the rocks; Here we took our lunch. later we decided to return the village via another root because it is not possible to cross valley return. In the return path we really got so much tired because of climbing in the rocks.

After 2-3 hrs. climb we came on base part of samrad village. We were carried 4 tents and 1 sleeping bag with us so there was no worries about goo night sleep...

About Ratangad :
Ratangad is believed to be one of the favourite forts of even Shivaji maharaj!. Ratangad is known as the jewel fort. It is situated in dense forests of Kalsubai – Harishchandragad range and offers a very beautiful view from the top. It is located in the district of Ahmednagar and is located about 4255 feet above sea level. Geographically Ratangad is at the banks of Bhandardara lake of Ahmednagar district.

The next Day  8 December, 2012 We started our journey to Ratangad in morning 9.30am. after 4 hrs. walk and climb we reached on fort at 1.30pm here datta cook a lunch for all of us. after lunch we did little rest. around 2hrs rest we visit Ratlubai Temple on ratangad.

Next day we pack-up out trek of bandardara and leave for home on the return path we visit Amruteshwar temple which is near Ratanwadi. Those who want to do only Ratangad for them Ratanwadi is base village to start their trek.

Note :
Sandhan Valley is not a mansoon trek, Ratan gad you can do in mansoon. For all trekker I request do not camp in the valley either you cross and stay or stay near Samrad Village. 

Some Pics by Group :



सोमवार, २० ऑगस्ट, २०१२


We always try to find some new places to visit mostly for trekking...our Senior Team member Purushottam ask us to come at his home in Junner, Pune.
Here we plan for trek two forts HADSAR and CHAVAND.

Team : Purushottam, Shivaji Rane, Dasharath, Gaurav, Vishal Khapre, Siddhesh, Prashant, Kiran and Bhushan(Myself)

Hadsar Fort :
Climb to Hadsar fort
History :
Fort Hadsar, also known as Parvatgad, was constructed during the Satvaahanas and was heavily inhabited during that period. It is located on the outskirts of Ahmednagar (known commonly as Nagar) to control the trade route passing through Naneghat. Documentary evidences show that 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. Like most other cases, main features of this fort were demolished by the british during their attack and later.

Ways To Reach :      
There are two major ways to reach the fort Hadsar.
One of them is the royal entrance whereas the other one is made by the villagers by carving steps in the rock. Both these ways start from the village of Hadsar. From Junnar any bus going towards Nimgiri, Rajur or Kewada takes us to Hadsar within 45 minutes. There is a well on the way where one starts ascending the hill from village Hadsar. Walk for a short while towards left on the plateau and a pass between two hillocks can be seen after traversing for about 15 minutes. Moving straight ahead in the direction of this pass brings us to the bastion in about half an hour. A simple climb on the rock will take us to the fort entrance. Two water cisterns dug in the rock can be seen on the way. To take the other route, instead of moving in the direction of the pass one has to circumvent the hill from left and reach the other side of the hill. About 150 steps from this point will take us to the main entrance in the pass. This being the royal approach is simpler than the other. About an hours time is enough to reach the fort from here. 

Time To Reach :       About an hours time is required to reach fort-top. 

 Fascinating Spots :
The entrance gates of the fort of Hadsar are epitomes of the medieval architecture. Twin doors in a tunnel-like entrance way, steps carved out of the rock. Passing through the main entrance, the path is divided into two. One leads to the top of a hillock and the other to the second gate. Immediately after the second gate a water cistern, with potable water, can be seen.
Walking towards the elevated area in front of the cistern leads us to three huge stores carved in the rock butting the cliff. These are not suitable for a stay, though. The rock also has images of lord Ganesh carved on it. Towards the right, there is a big pond with a Mahadeo temple and a huge Nandi. The hall of the temple has six corners, three of which have idols of Lord Ganesh, Garuda (Eagle) and Lord Hanuman respectively on them. The pond in front of the temple gets completely filled in the monsoon. A stonewalled well-like construction can be seen at the center of the pond. Adjacent to the temple lays a strong bastion.
Descending from the right of the bastion-wall, a cistern now filled up with sand soil can be seen. Proceeding little ahead leads us to a carved-out cave in the rock. This was meant for surveying purposes. A splendid view of the Manikdoh dam and its surroundings enriches this place. The whole range of Chavand, Naneghat, Shivneri, Bhairavgad and Jeevdhan is visible from here. 

Chavand Fort :

Climb of Chavand
Chavand is a hill fortress situated 30 km from the modern day town of Naryangoan in Junnar Taluka of Pune district. The fort, which rises 1036 meters (3400 ft) above sea level, is located in the Sahyadri mountain range. 

History : 
The fort was looted and destroyed by the British upon siege. This is one of the forts known as the 'Famous 5'. Chavaand, Hadsar, Shivneri, Jivdhan and Naneghat form the Famous 5 trek. The fort has remnants of construction that are more than 800 years old. Medieval period Malik Ahmed founded the Nizam Dynasty in 1485. He was the first Nizamshah who acquired the fort of Chavand after the dissolution of the Bahmani Empire.
The seventh Nizamshah was Second Burhanshah. His grandson Bahadurshah was imprisoned here in 1594. Bahadurshah was the nephew of Chandbibi, a renowned personality from the same period. She played an important role in helping him to achieve the throne.
In 1636 Shahajiraje, father of Shivaji Maharaj, signed a treaty with the Moghals, in which the Moghals got Chavand. Shivaji Maharaj named the fort as “Prasannagad”. 

Ways To Reach :       The way to the top of the fort goes along the village school, from the western side of the fort. From here, it takes about 45 minutes to reach the entrance door. From here the footsteps take us to the plains, on which we can see the remnants of many constructions.

Time To Reach :       45 minutes

Fascinating Spots :
  1. Saptamatrika (The seven cisterns)
  2. Human made caves 
  3. Temple of goddess Chamunda 

Climb for both the Forts were really adventures mainly while Hadsar fort....

Some Pics from group :

सोमवार, १६ जुलै, २०१२


 Bhimashankar Temple

Bhimashankar is one of the 12 Jyotirlings of India, a pilgrimage place approximately 3500 feet high up in the hills. The area around Bhimashankar is covered with thick dense jungle. It is approximately 127 km from Pune and 200 km from Mumbai.

History :
There was a demon Tripurasura who did penance in the jungle of Bhimashankar very long ago i.e. in Tretayug, to please Lord Shiva in order to achieve the gift of immortality.
Lord shiva, who is specially known for his kindness towards his devotees, was pleased with Tripurasura's commitment towards him. So as usual, he blessed him with the power of immortality with a condition that, "He should strive in the best interest of people, or he may be sued permanently for violating the condition. "
With the flow of time, Tripurasura forgot the condition to which he was abided, and eventually started harassing people as well as other deities. There was a chaos for which all the deities approached Lord Shiva for remedy. Thus in order to sue Tripurasura, Lord Shiv prayed to Goddess Parvati (Kamalaja Mata) in order to help him to accomplish this task. Accordingly Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati underwent a new form which is popularly known as "Ardha-Narya-Nateshwar" and killed Tripurasura on Kartik Pournima which is known as "Tripurari Pornima". After the death of Tripurasura his wives (Dakini and Shakini) went to Lord Shiva with a question of their existence without Tripurasura. Thus Lord Shiva blessed both of them, with the power of immortality which he did to Tripurasura. Henceforth the real Bhimashankar is known as "Dakinyam Bhimashankaram".

How to get there :
We took a train from Mumbai city to Karjat station. After the 90 km journey, you can hire a taxi, tumtum or use bus transportation (ST buses) to reach Khandas village which is roughly 40 km away. Once there, tourists have the option to trek by the Ganesh Ghat route or Shidi Route to reach Bhimashankar.
We took Shidi Route for thrilling experience

Our Story to Bhimashankar Temple :
Date - 14/07/2012 We all took the last Karjat Local to gather at Karjat Railway Station. The local reached Karjat @3.00am. After a couple of hour rest we get the Tum-tum (big scale rickshaw) for Khandas (small village at the base of Bhimashankar). Then we start our journey via shidi route. it is really good and adventures route to reach Bhimashankar Temple. Only 2/10 of group were going by Shidi ghat hence it was good one. Right from the start of that route, the medium climb was on every 30 minutes of walking, We encounter a waterfall in and a river over waterfall that was obvious we had fun in this waterfall After crossing this river, again the small climb continues and after 1 hour of trek is finished, we encounter the first ladder affixed in rock. The scene from this is immaculate from this point. Going hand in hand After crossing the first ladder,there are rock patches all over hence after careful climbing of 1 hour and after crossing the remaining 2 ladders, we reached few huts on a flat plateau After reaching here, we reach halfway mark. At this point,the route coming from Ganesh ghat meets the Shidi ghat route. This point is the halfway/Interval of the trek At this point, we had tea/snacks and food, again the steep climb starts.These climbs were like a never ending story.It continues on and on. Finally after 3.5 to 4 hours hours of walking from the base village, we finally reached the open ground on the top nearby the stairs of Bhimashankar Temple.We started the trek around 10am and reached Bhimashankar top around 3.15pm.

One thing I forget to mention here we were with one big group from Vile Parle, Mumbai (Mount Hunters) They use to come here every year in monsoon. They had done all arrangement to stay in some Dharmashala. Their company were very good and all fun. we played some game also while visiting Nagphani (see Image). 

Gupt Bhimashankar

Another day of our trek, we went to visit Gupt Bhimashankar It has hidden shiv ling under the small river waterfall (see image) That was the last option which we visit and return to Dharmshala for rest and had some food for start our return journey to Home.

Some Pics From Group :

सोमवार, ३० जानेवारी, २०१२



 Harishchandragad is a hill fort in the Ahmednagar region of India. Its history is linked with that of Malshej Ghat, and it has played a major role in guarding and controlling the surrounding region.

History :       The fort is quite ancient. Remnants of Microlithic man have been discovered here. The various Puranas (ancient scriptures) like Matsyapurana, Agnipurana and Skandapurana include many references about Harishchandragad. Its origin is said to have been in 6th century, during the rule of Kalchuri dynasty. The citadel was built during this era. The various caves probably have been carved out in the 11th century. The carvings on the temples of Nageshwar (in Khireshwar village), in the Harishchandreshwar temple and in the cave of Kedareshwar indicate that the fort belongs to the medieval period, since it is related to Shaiva, Shakta or Naath.

Later the fort was under the control of Moguls. The Marathas captured it in 1747. The last warrior named Joshi became a martyr in the fight against the English in 1818. 

Our Story To Harishchnadragad :
Team - Rohidas Ghadge, Purushottam Gaikwad, Shivaji Rane, Gaurav, Siddhesh Kadam, Prashant Nesarkar, Vishal Khapre, Kiran & Me(Bhushan).

Harishchandragad is situated at the top of Malshej Ghat is about 91 Km. from Kalyan Railway Station.

As Kalyan is a main railway junction one can easily reach Kalyan by train. We had board last train from Dadar to Karjat i.e. 12.55 pm train to Kalyan. We have reached Kalyan by 2:00 pm. After that we board a state transport bus going through Malshej Ghat which drops us at Khubi Phata which is 2½ hrs. journey, from Khubi Phata we walked towards Khireshwar along Pimpalgaon Joge dam, which is the base village of Harischandra Gad. After that we took rest for couple of hours and at 7:00 am we took our breakfast. (Always carry some dry food for such treks... Bread, jam, biscuits etc)

We started our journey at 7.45am to Harishchandragad. In the start there were two ways by mistake we took left side way which was wrong decision (kindly take right side path) later we made one big right turn to come on correct path with the help of one dry river rock patch. 

At 11am we reached one place called Waghbil here we take a pause and again start walking on our way after 1 hr. walk we were on the plane surface of Harishchandragad. We arrange our lunch with the help of one village (there are lot people who can arrange the food for trekkers) some trekker make their own food. After a nice lunch we went to the most interesting point on this fort is this cliff(Konkan Kada), which has always fascinated many people from many years. The cliff faces west and looks down upon the Kankan. From here, one can have a breath-taking view of the surrounding region and the setting sun. This cliff is not just vertical; it is an overhang, almost like a cobra's hood Here we had chance to see bi rapping arrangement which was help by some pune rappelling group. It was good experience for me at least and we all decide to do that in our next visit. In the night Rohidas and Puru cooked our dinner which was very spicy…thanks to them.

Kokan Kada

Next day in the morning we come across a huge cave. This is the cave of Kedareshwar, in which there is a big Shivlinga, which is totally surrounded by water. The total height from its base is five feet, and the water is waist-deep. It is quite difficult to reach the Shivlinga because the water is ice-cold. But we took the experience for blessings. Again we go for temple and return to the same villager for lunch. After a small lunch we started our return journey with the same way.

Kedareshwar cave

  There are lot Fascinating Spots.  
 *Saptatirtha Pushkarni

*Kedareshwar Cave
*Kokan Kada (Kokan cliff)
*Taramati peak
*Nageshwar temple
*Harishchandreshwar Temple

Map for Reference :
Notes :
In monsoon, proper care should be taken while trekking in the rock face in monsoon particularly during night where one can experience heavy rainfall with thunder strikes. 

Some Pics By Group :