Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mission Gr 8! - Great Mission of 8 Forts in 36 hrs



Mission Gr 8! - Great Mission of 8 Forts in 36 hrs






GR8 Weekend - My Experience By Shankar





Shankar Yashwant Parab



Shankar_Parab@infosys.com
Thu, Sep 11, 2008 at 8:32 PM
Guys,

Just tried to write something.

Evadhe kaahi jamale naahi aahe khas.

Bagha vaachun. Khup lengthy hi zhalay….

Shankar



Few days back, after the initial Dham-Dhum of Ganeshotsav was over, I checked my Orkut account.

Got to see the updates from friends.

And the first name was Anna, aapla Shekhar Dhupkar ho.

“Record holder of 8 forts in 36 hours”

Chya maari - I felt like something I am missing. I was trying to remember.

Hmmm

Hmmm

Then I got. Arre I was also part of this mission.


GR8 Weekend’.


Great naahi – GR8 cha.

Yes, it is not typo error or I am not trying to use some slangs.

Actually it was a GR-8 weekend for six of us.

We had an AIM of trekking 8 forts in 2 days and we successfully achieved it.

How the idea arrived, how the plan was made, why only 6 people, which all eight forts …..

It will be altogether different story to write about all these details. Abhya has written some details about it in his blog.



The plan was to visit eight forts i.e. Chandan, Vandan, Vairat-Gad, Ajikya-Tara, Sadashiv-Gad, Vasant-Gad, Sajjan-Gad and finally Pandav-Gad.

And the team was – Anna aka Shekhar Dhupkar
Sardar Rohit Vaze
Abhijit Yadav uurf Abhya
Shirkant Shimpi aka Ghanta (Singh nako laavuya, coz “Singh is King” and our King or Sarkar is Mandar Sathe)
Myself Shankar Parab
And as mentioned above Sarkar Mandar Sathe

I can’t forget the two dear females without which this mission was literally impossible.
Yeah – Anna’s Maruti 800
And my dearest Discover-125 (The Disci)

The plan was to start on Friday night. 4 people in Shekhar’s car and 2 on my bike.

Before starting I was slightly unsure about driving my bike.

Coz except from some Mumbai-Pune trips, I haven’t took my bike for longer rides. And driving a bike while trekking 8 forts seems to be a challenge for me.



Devache naav ghet, I started at 9.00 pm from my home.

Took Ghanta from his house & we started our journey on bike towards Satara highway.

Shekhar & other fellows were going meet us at one of the hotel on Satara highway.

I had to refuel my bike, so I was searching for good petrol-pumps. But Ghanta was telling me “naahi naahi, aapla company cha petrol pump aahe naa, Tithe bharu petrol”

I was anxiously waiting for that Company owned petrol pump.

We were passing no of petrol pumps, but Shrikant was telling “haa naahi re, pudhe aahe”.

“Pudhe aahe”

“Pudhe aahe”…..

Finally we reached the hotel, but still we haven’t found Shrikant’s petrol pump.

I was frustrated, where is the petrol pump boss????

Shrikant was cool to answer “Pudhe aahe, pudhe aahe”



Shekhar & other 3 members arrived there in a short time. We had a coffee break there. I had my favorite choco milk.

We resumed hour journey in a short time.

Finally we got Shrikant’s petrol pump just after the hotel.

The petrol tank was full now and we all just zooooooooomed towards Bhuinj village…………

We reached the village Kikali near Bhuinj at about mid-night.

The village Kikali was very clean & neat. And we couldn’t prevent ourselves 
from taking a short walk around the village at the night time.

Zhopayachi Tayari



We slept in one of the temple.

The first day was going to be grueling & also was important to cover major forts of our mission. Chandan-Vandan & Vairat Gad.

Anna was successful in waking all of us at 4.30am. I also woke up (manatalya manta shivya ghalat… )

The base village of Chandan-Vandan i.e. Belmachi is around 4-5 km from Kikli.

I was in sleepy mood while riding the bike, so didn’t notice how was the road, which turn we took etc. Anna was driving his car and I was just following him.

It was hard to find a proper parking place for our vehicles in that small village, but luckily we found one villager awakened so early. He showed us the place to park our car.

At 5.00 am, we started climbing towards the Chandan-Vandan.

Still it was dark. We reach one small temple on the route, but there after we lost the way.

Our aim was to reach the col between the two forts which was still visible in the darkness.

But as the Sun rises, it was clear and somehow we managed to reach that col.




First fort of the mission – Chandan Killa in back ground




At the col between Chandan & Vadan - Kuthe jayache agodar? – chandan ki vandan
From the col, both forts were quite near. Chandan was on left side & Vandan on right side.Actually we were at the feet of walls of Chandan fort. The path to reach Chandan fort is a long long traverse which took us at the other end of the fort where there are steps to go till the top of the fort.It was a very long walk and we were unsure about the route as well. I thought that we are running out of time on first fort itself. But we were lucky. That was the correct route. And we reached top of Chandan fort.Mandar has given an innovative idea of hoisting a Saffron Flag on each fort as a mark of our achievement.So we hoisted our first flag on top of the temple at Chandan fort.

First & the very important Chandan – successfully conquered

Climbing down Chandan Fort
After completing the Chandan fort, we immediately headed towards our second milestone Vandan fort.We again have to walk the whole traverse to reach the col & then climb the Vandan fort from left side.But now we were sure of the trek route, hence Anna was leading the group again with a very fast pace.
 
Anna leading on the traverse of Chandan – going towards Vandan
In no time we reached the col between the two forts again. From here the route to reach the top of Vandan goes from left hand side.Finding the route was quite an easy task. And we reached the steps which took us to the top of the fort. We were amazed to find the maha-daravaja of Vandan fort in very good condition. Coz in books it was written that there is not much to see on these twin forts.

One of the Darwaja of Vandan Fort
There is a dargah on Vandan fort which is newly created. But it is on other end of the fort (right side) which quite a long distance.So we decided to hoist our flag on left side of the fort only, so that it will be visible to trekkers as well while climbing the fort.But finding a place for flag was a difficult task as most of the part was covered with thorny bushes. Somehow we managed to fix the flag at proper place.And then Anna started in his clear voice “Praudh Paratap Purandar……” We were in great enthu to cheer for our great Shivaji Maharaj.




One step towards the completion of Lakshya – Fort Vandan



The Gr8 team with Safron Flag on Vandan Fort



We immediately started climbing down the fort.

We all were quite relieved. Shekhar was telling “25% of the task is completed”

But still I was not sure about the success of this mission.

We reached the col again. But from here we found proper steps which were taking us to the base village.

It was hard to believe that instead of climbing these simple steps, in the morning we took a wrong route which was quite tiring.

While climbing down, we had some discussion about the next fort.

Anna was telling about Pandav-Gad.

I was astonished to hear about Pandav-Gad. As it was for next day. But he explained me that Pandav-Gad is quite a difficult task. So if we can complete all major forts on first day itself then our task will become simpler for the next day.

He was having a valid point. I agreed.

But me & Abhya convinced him to first complete the Vairat-Gad which was nearer and simple as well and then go for Pandav-Gad.

So our next target was Vairat-Gad.


Once again The GR8 Team with Chandan Fort in back-ground


We reached the base village Belmachi at around 9.30. Villagers were astonished when they heard that we had completed both the forts in such a short time. But they were in a shock when they heard our plan for the whole day.

We enquired about the route for Vairat-Gad & started immediately for our next journey.

Vairat-Gad is on other side of NH4. We reached Pachavad, a small town on NH4.

Throughout this journey Shrikant was enquiring about the breakfast & was emphasizing the importance of taking heavy breakfast. He was right, but in this tight schedule most of us were not ready to spent time in eating food.

But at Pachvad, we found a good hotel which was ready to serve us breakfast in short time.

The hotel guy was true to his words. We had a quick but very good breakfast.

The time was around 11.00 am. We rushed towards the base village of Vairat-Gad i.e. Kapse-Vadi via Sartale.

Kapasevadi was also a small but neat & clean village.

Vairat-Gad – from base village
A Huge Tree on the trek route of Vairat-Gad



We immediately started the trek at around 11.30.

Though it was a month of August, there was no sign of rain and Sun was scorching like anything.

According to books, Vairat-Gad was the simplest fort among the forts selected for first day.

The height of the fort is not that much, but the whole trek route is steep climb of 70-80 degrees.

The steep slope & scorching sun was taking toll on us.

I felt like the simplest fort is going to be the most difficult fort or what??


Some how we reached half of the distance. Mandar’s condition was too bad. The only positive thing was the Glucon-D packet which we were carrying.

Mandar was taking frequent breaks, so we decided to split. Mandar & Anna to walk as per Mandar’s speed. And all others to go ahead & search for good place to mount the flag & get ready.

So four of us started walking towards the top of the fort. Just before the top, there is a water tank. The clean & cold water was refreshing.

After drinking that water, we just rushed to the top of Vairat-Gad jumping & roaring.


Vairat-Gad has a flat plateau, similar to Visapur fort.

And view from here is just great. We were able to see the forts which we have just seen Chandan-Vandan.

Shekhar also showed us Ajinkya-Tara. Shrikant was able to trace Pandav-Gad just in front of range of Mahabaleshwar.

Rohit did the honour of mounting the flag on Vairat-Gad.

We also saw the temple or Math on Vairat-Gad. The people there have kept the fort very clean.


Rohit – mounting our Flag on Vairat-Gad


Shivaji Maharaj ki Jay….
Hurriedly we returned to Kapase-Vadi.

Time for lunch now. But instead of going to any hotel, we just finished the Tamarind-Rice brought by Mandar.

The rice was amazing and to finish the meal we had crispy bars as a sweet dish (courtesy Sardar Rohit Vaze).

The stomach was full again. We were quite happy after completing 3 forts. But still there was one more hurricane task before us.

The Pandav-Gad.

We immediately headed towards WAI which was 12km away from Pachwad.

There are two routes to climb Pandav-Gad. One goes from village Menavali. And other from Mandhar-Dev.

Mandar & Shrikant had visited Pandav-Gad from Mandhar-Dev side. So we decided to take the Menavali route.

One of the huge doors of WAI city



Anna was not ready to reduce his speed. Within few minutes his car was vanished from our eye-sight. But me & Abhijit were enjoying the ride this time. With a speed of 60km/hr we took our own time to reach the WAI city.

I had visited WAI during my school days. But was not able to recollect anything now. The whole city seems to be changed a lot now.

We headed towards Menavali village.

In Menavali, we reached a Chowk where there was a sign board showing direction for Nana Phadanvis Vada which was on left side.

We took a right turn there & soon we reached a muddy road.

I never liked to put my bike on such bad roads, but was not having any other option.

We crossed almost 3-4 km distance, but then the road was closed. So we parked our vehicles at one side & started our trek.


We were able to see one mountain top, but when we enquired we came to know that the actual fort was not visible from there. And what we were seeing is a half way distance where there are some houses of Koli people.

Huuuh.

Most of us were exhausted. And the half way distance which was visible was almost at the height of Vairat-Gad.

I was slightly worried.

But not other people.


Can you see the nests hanging on this bush – A colony of some beautiful & tiny yellow birds

We started our trek at 3.15pm. We met one villager uncle just after walking some distance.

He told Anna that we will reach top earliest by 6.00 pm.

Anna was furious as that villager literally challenged our capabilities.

We just started climbing that mountain with whatever possible route.

Our target was to just complete this trek by 6.00 pm.

As we were approaching the Koli people houses, the top of Pandav-Gad was visible now.

The top seems to be quite far from there itself. But there was no question of returning back, we just kept walking.


We asked about the route to some of the Koli ladies there.

They showed us the direction. They also told that they can see us walking from the base, so if we took any wrong path they will yelled at us.

On next house there was a small boy who was also showing the way by screaming.


We crossed one small temple on the way & then started the game of screaming & shouting.

The boy was screaming & was telling to go straight ahead. And the ladies were yelling at us to go towards the top.

In between, we all were confused there.

In that increasing chaos, finally we decided to follow the direction of ladies rather than listening to some small boy.

It was a steep climb. But finally we reached the board which was showing that Pandav-Gad is a private property. Anna told me that this place is owned by MAPRO company & there is a bungalow of some Parshi parson at the top of the fort. 

Sign board showing that Pandav-Gad is a private property 
 
Thake haare SARKAR Aani haa ANNA – 4 kille chadhun suddha tevadhach energetic  
From here onwards, Shrikant took the lead as he had previously visited the fort. We straight away went to the topmost position of the fort. The old flag was really in a bad condition. So we decided to put our flag at that place. It was a quite difficult task to put the flag there, but we all managed to do that. And when we actually saw the flag waving with the winds at such a good position, all of us were really satisfied.


Hmmmmm – mast naa??


I am talking about our FLAG,,, not about ROHIT

Enthu at its peak – Kille PandavGad

Thickkk jungle – on the top of Pandav-Gad


Pandav-Gad from houses of Koli People
The time was 5.00 pm now.

But due to clouds, the sunlight was decreasing.

So we just rush towards the base of the fort.

We covered most of the distance running only. As the whole path was covered with lush green grass, so it was a fun to walk on that grass.

Anna saw that villager from one point. He was still seating there.

From that point Anna started like a bullet train & stopped only at that villager just to inform him that “Still there are 5 min to 6.00 pm”…. J

We all were thoroughly exhausted, but equally content.



The day’s major task was over. We had covered all the four big forts of our expedition in a single day.

So now we knew that our second day is going to be a cake walk.

We came back to Menavali village. When we were searching for some hand-pump to wash ourselves, Abhijit called all of us to riverbank to show something.

And when we went there, I was speechless.

Such a beautiful Ghat. I had read in books that Ghat in Wai & Menavali are very beautiful, but now I was actually experiencing it.

Nana Phadanvis Vada on one side, small but beautiful temple on other side.

The fading light & the quite atmosphere was making the place really wonderful.

We also came to know that this is a same place where the movie “Swades” was picturised.




One of the magical evenings – on the ghats of Krishna River at Menavali
I had always cherished such wonderful evenings, which are quite, peaceful and something different. And I am lucky to experience such evenings quite a number of times.
It can be a sunset near Karhateshwar temple (Ratnagiri) which I saw by seating on the edge of cliff. Or sunset on the beach of Harihareshwar with sister. Or the sunset at the top of mountain near Talcauveri (Karnataka) with few close friends…


The list is quite big. J


Another wonderful evening
When we were in Menavali, one of my batch-mate in Infosys called me & congratulated me. J
Nothing great. We have just completed four years in Infosys. I wished Mandar as well, as he is also my batch-mate.
It was just a co-incidence that we celebrated completion of four years by trekking Four Forts on that day. J
Now the task was just to reach Karad, the home of Abhya.
We hit the NH4 in no time. And then the road was like “Makkhan”.
Simply superb.
I really enjoyed riding my DISCI on such nice roads.
We had a nice dinner at Hotel Assal Satari on NH4 near Satara city. According to Anna & Abhya, the food was not that ‘Assal Satari’, but we all enjoyed it.
Riding the DISCI within its limits (70-80 km/hr), we reached Karad by 11pm.
Anna was also enjoying driving his car, with Shrikant in deep sleep at co-driver seat. I am sure he must have enjoyed the whole journey.
All the things were ready for us.
Mandar & Shrikant were asleep immediately.
Remaining four of us had a chat for some time.
I always thought that we should not sleep after such a wonderful day. Not sure the next day after the sleep might not be that good.
Same was the feeling again for me. But the toiling day showed its effect, and I was also fast asleep within few minutes.


Grrrr,


Grrrrrrrrr,


Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,


Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


I am not snoring boss, it is our SARKAR… J J J














I think that’s the end of Day-1.


****************  *****************




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------






On next morning, again it was Shekhar Anna who woke me up before 5 am. (Trek chya divashi zhop naahi yet kaa yaala??).

We wanted to get ready by 6.00 am.

Sarkar was last to wake-up, just 15-20 min before we started our journey.

This was injustice; Anna woke me up before 5 and allowed Sarkar to complete his sleep. (Anyaav aahe haa… L )


We had a nice tea at Abhya’s home. Abhijit was really shy to introduce us to his parents. J



One more thing, we were able to see one ‘Bhardwaj’ bird from terrace of Abhijit’s house. A really good sign to start a day!

I don’t believe in superstitions, but on first day of trek as well we had seen Bhardwaj from my bike, so felt like it’s really a good sign.

We said ‘Tata, B’Bye’ to Abhijit’s parents and started our journey for the first fort of the day.



Abhijit was sitting behind me on my bike. As only Abhijit was knowing the road to Sadashiv-Gad, our bike was leading and Anna was not having any other choice than to follow us.

(Ha ha ha , finally Anna was behind me, at-least for some distance J )


Sadashiv-Gad is around 7 km from Karad city.

We reached there by 6.30 am I guess. Sadashiv-Gad has steps till top of the fort. Thanks to some generous donors & villagers.

As this fort is very close to Karad city, it is spot for Morning Walk (or Morning Climb) for many Karadkar’s.

When we were climbing the steps, we were able to see many people returning from there morning walk.

In a very short time, we reached the top of the fort. Now, we were searching for some good place to mount our Flag.

We found that, the main Flag on the fort was torn because of wind. So we decided to put our Flag there only, removing the original flag.





On the top of Sadashiv-Gad



The flag was on huge bamboo stick, so considerable time was spent to mount the flag properly.
But finally it was done.

Anna started the famous slogan again which was motivating all us from the first fort and there were many people apart from us to say ‘SHIVAJI MAHARAJ KI JAI’!!!




With our Saffron flag on Sadashiv-Gad


We quickly visited the Shiva Temple on the fort. 

In the Shiva Temple on Sadashiv-Gad


And immediately we rushed towards the base of village. In less than 20 min, we all reached the base of fort. The time was around 8.00am.
Time for breakfast. Abhijit’s mom had given us Pohe. We finished those at one of the fruit stall. We also had some cool Nariyal-Paani.

Literally the second day was going like some picnic.

Thanks to the hectic first day, I was feeling that the second day was going to be a cakewalk.

Breakfast Time – Thandgar Nariyal Paani



After buying some fruits, we headed for Vasant-Gad.

Vasant-Gad is near village Talbid. Talbid is a village of Hambirrao Mohite who was Senapati of Shri Shivaji Maharaj & Sambhaji Maharaj.

Especially Sambhaji Maharaj had a great help from Hambir Rao Mohite when their own relatives were against them.

We took NH4 again and were going towards Satara. After driving for about 0.5 hrs we reached a diversion for Talbid village. 

Vasant-Gad from Talbid village


Don’t disturb – Sarkar visava ghet aahet


Just before starting for Vasant-Gad\

Aamacha driver – Shekhar Anna


The fort seems to be really simple to climb, as for most part of the route there are steps. But Sun was testing all of us. Though the time was just 9.30 am, we were feeling the heat like 12.00 in the afternoon.

We took sufficient water with us and started climbing for the Vasant-Gad. It was fairly simple walk, but still we took few breaks as Sarkar was really lagging behind.

It took around 1 hour for us to reach the top of the fort. In between we saw one small Ganesh Temple just before entering the fort.

Ganesh Temple – just before entering the fort



When we reached the top of Vasant-Gad, we were searching for a good place to place our Saffron flag.

Mandar is always imaginative in giving some intuitive ideas. He showed us one bastion of the fort on right hand side of the fort.

The place was quite far from the actual entrance of the fort, but the position for Flag would have been very nice as it would be seen from a long distance.

So we immediately went to the bastion. Abhya & Ghanta were busy in taking pictures of no. of cattle present there. The cows & there cuffs were also really cooperative to give good angles for some nice photography.

In between Shekhar Anna tried his climbing skills to climb a 25 ft wall of bastion. Initially the climb was easy, but the last part was quite tricky as there were no crevices in the rock to hold.

Earlier we all were shouting to confuse Anna, but later at the critical part of climb we were just holding our breaths. Thankfully Anna really showed a great skill to climb that rock.



Shekhar – trying his climbing skills

Anna - successfully climbed the bastion of fort



On the bastion, we started the preparation for mounting that flag. Abhijit suggested putting the flag in one of the crevices in rock & then tying a string to it.

So we did that only.


Preparation for mounting the Flag on Vasant-Gad



Sarkar swatah jaatine Dhwaja chi chachani ghetana…



Again it was a time for Slogan now and Anna was ready as ever

Vasant-Gad completed – just 2 left now


Plateau of Vasant-Gad


Without wasting much time on fort, we started our return trek.

And what a miracle. Sarkar Mandar Sathe, who was always the last person to climb the fort, started like a rocket.

He literally went down running the whole distance.

And when he reached bottom, we were at just a half distance. We all were amazed.

Can you see Sarkar??? – if you can see our car parked, Sarkar had already reached there J


The only picture where my Bike is present … L L



We wanted to see the Memorial of Senapati Mohite, but it is under-construction.

Senapati Hambirrav Mohite Smarak – under constuction



We immediately started for the seventh fort of our mission, yeah the Sajjan-Gad.

Rohit expressed his desire to ride my bike. I gave him the keys & I was the pillion rider now.

The distance is around 70 kms.

The road was good & Rohit’s driving was also good. But I never like seating at the back.

The ride was too uncomfortable for me. I guess, seating at the back on bike is not my cup of tea.


On the other side, Sarkar & Shrikant were having a good time in sleeping at the back seat of Anna’s car.

Atleast the pictures says that… J


Scene in Anna’s car while going towards Sajjan-Gad

Shrikant & Mandar – enjoying the comfortable travel J J







And bichara Anna driving the car since start of the trek… J J



We reached Sajjan-Gad at around 1.45. But we missed the Maha-Prasad just by 10-15 min.

The atmosphere was too hot. We all were sweating like a hell. So once we reach the fort, we took some rest in the shadow of tree.


The gate of Sajjan-Gad

 
The GR-8 Team at Sajjangad fort  
After visiting the main temple & Samadhi of Saint Ramdas, we went to the other end of Sajjangad. There is one Maruti temple at that end of fort (don’t remember the name now). The view was spellbound. On our right-hand side we were able to see one dam & its reservoir. And just in-front of Sajjan-Gad, we were able to see the ghat road going towards Thoseghar.


The view from Sajjangad


On the top of Sajjan-Gad

Hyo aamacho Photo-grapher – Abhya (gharache naav Abhijit Yadav)


The road for Thoseghar was partially closed due to land slide. We can see the place of land slide as well in the above picture.

I was carrying my small binocular with which we were able to see the place very clearly.

We returned to the main door of the fort where there is a huge flag. We fixed our Flag on one of the corner.

But for slogan we all went to the main gate of the fort.

And Anna narrated the Slogan second-last time in a roaring voice.

Seventh Fort Sajjangad – now just one left…



Now we had completed seven forts of our mission, and only one fort was remaining.

i.e. Ajinkya-Tara.

The time was around 3.30 pm now. We all felt like our expedition is almost over as Ajinkya-Tara has tar road till its main gate.

We all were happy but equally hungry also. As after the breakfast, we haven’t ate anything solid.

We returned to Satara city & on the way we bought famous Kandi-Pedhe to celebrate our success.


But I guess we just forgot one thing that ‘No expedition is successful till it is fully completed’.

We decided to skip the lunch till we visit our last fort Ajinkya-Tara.


All things were going just fine, and suddenly some noise started from Anna’s car.

We were on the slopes of Ajinkya-Tara. But after some initial inspection, we thought of taking the car to garage first & then going to fort.

Luckily we found one nearby garage. The time was around 4.30 something.

We all were praying for the car. After spending almost half an hour, the mechanic told us that one cylinder of the engine is not functioning at all.

It was a big setback.

We never thought that this kind of situation can occur.

But the mechanic told that the car can go till Pune, but don’t put extra load on the engine.

We were quite relieved.

Abhya dabya – zhopun railaa kay be??


Sardar Rohit – kay bet aahe???



Now our first aim was to complete our mission.

So we drive back to Ajinkya-Tara. It was not possible to take Anna’s car till top of the fort. So four of us were packed in auto-rikshaw.

Me & Shrikant went ahead on my bike to see a place for hoisting a flag.

Ajinkya-Tara – The Final Destination



The slope of the road till Ajinkya-Tara fort is quite demanding. My Disci was also feeling pressure to climb that slope.

Both of us immediately went to search for a good place for our flag and we found that the main gate is only the right place to mount the flag.

In 10-15 min, other four guys arrived there.

I assign the task of hoisting the flag to Anna & Mandar due to their height advantage. J So remaining four of us were free to relax a bit.

Anna & Sarkar – tying the Last Flag on the Last Fort of our Mission


Hmmm – kahitari chukatay…

Yeh Dosatiiii, hum nahi chodenge ……

Hmmm – no more climbing now… just chillax
The flag was mounted now.

The dream which we all six dreamt was in reality now.

We all were really really happy. Anna narrated the Slogan for the last time. And after the Jayghosh of Shivaji Maharaj, there was a cheer of Hip Hip Hurray…..




Hip Hip Hurray 


We came back to Anna’s car & immediately started our return journey for Pune.

We took a break in-between for a long awaiting meal. We stopped at one dhaba & ate till our stomachs were full.


And finally we were on the road towads Pune.

While coming back, I was confused many a times. Once we lost Anna’s car from our sight somewhere. I thought, as usual Anna will be way ahead of me.

So I also raced my bike till we reached Pachvad. But there was no sign of Anna’s car. We called Abhya & found that they were just reaching Pachvad.

Anna’s car – so slow??

I was not having any clue. But the condition of Anna’s car was worsening as it was travelling more & more. I was just concentrating on driving my bike.


After Pachavad, I just drove my bike to its limits. Reaching 90-95 km/hr.

And then there was no stoppage till we reach the Katraj tunnel.



One by one, the GR8 team members were reaching there destinations. Rohit & Abhya got down at Sinhgad Road. Sarkar left us at Chandani Chowk. Me & Shrikant went till Shekhar’s house as his car was really in bad condition now.

From there we drove back to Aundh.

After dropping Shrikant at his home, finally I came back to my place at around 11.45 in the night.


The GR8 Weekend was finally over.

Lying on the bed, I was just thinking that we all thought that second day will be a cake walk. But again the luck showed its presence in our life.

Thankfully Anna’s car reached his home safely.



I don’t know how to end this log.

Shall I thank everyone??

Like Abhijit for doing all research & arranging for our night-stay?
Or Shekhar for driving the car for whole distance & leading the group on each trek?
Or Rohit for always keeping his smile alive & for giving some crispy comments in between
Or Shrikant for always keeping the atmosphere humorous
Or Mandar for all the support & for giving some innovative ideas to make this expedition something different

I don’t think so….

Coz I feel that









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