Friday, May 22, 2009

Gliding @ Gliding Centre, Hadapsar, Pune

Gliding @ Gliding Centre, Hadapsar, Pune

17 May 2009

Shankar & Vishal

That’s Shankar

Now Vishal


And Last ….Shrikant


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gorakhgad Trek

Gorakhgad Trek

( 15-16 May 2009 )

There was lots of gossip about Gorakhgad on mails. And after long discussion Rahul and Vishal finally hijack the postponed Gorakhgad trek plan and managed to do it successfully with joy and memories.
We all together prepared our selves at 9 PM on Friday to move further in Vishal’s brand new car
The plan was very thrilling and yummy… coz we had tasty chicken to be cooked on barbecue with us and whole night to spend under sky.

After a long journey and hunger we were looking for a place to take rest and to barbecue. And finally we found one bridge at 40 Km distance from Karjat. River was dry so the place was neat and clean to cook.
Rahul had a great experience of 4-5 Tandoori parties so he was well prepared. 

We helped him with energy coz we were very hungry.

And imagine how tasty the chicken with ghee at that situation was !

Drums of heaven on the way

Serving all hungry people

3:30 am we finished our meal what to call it breakfast or dinner ?

After meal we had rest near river water till 4 am and then we moved to Gorakhgad.

We reached near Gorakhgad at 5:30 am. On right side is Gorakhgad and on left is Machchindragad. And immediately we started our trek.

Trekking in dreams.?

We were assuming it as a normal trek but it wasn’t that easy. Though it was early morning but we were sweating.

Siddhagadview from Gorakhgad

At the entrance of Gorakhgad there are ruins of, Mahadev temple.

Gorakhgad Pinnacle

The stairs were damaged so we walked very carefully.

After crossing the entrance there is a nice view of Balekilla.

Carved caves inside temple.

Huge caves inside fort.

View of Machchindragad Pinnacle from top of Gorakhgad

There are around 10-12 water pools but just three of them have water in it.

Some Patches are little bit difficult to climb

The end of good and happening treks must be diving in water to release and relax.

End of Auto rickshaw strike by Rahul.

The place where we spent that enjoyable night.

Group of Gorakhgad trekkers.
Shankar, Vishal, Rahul, Shrikant, Pradyumnab ( L-R )

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Gorakhgad ...

Not so lovely name to go on date with, like Rajgad, Lohgad, Sinhgad etc, until you come across the pictures of this tall pinnacle kinda fort. Its really beautiful.

This date was nowhere in the calendar instead there was one in the month end. But when Vishal asked what I was doing on last Friday, with subject line 'Gorakhgad Trek', I thought he is going for it & asking about my availability. Me being universally available all time, told (rather asked), 'I'm going to Gorakhgad, are you are guys joining me?" On this he thought what a coincidence and asked me what is the plan. So out of nothing I made a quick plan and shoot it in the group and immediately got declared with not so coveted name, 'pirate' of the trek idea. Well that was not the intention since the month end plan was wiped out from my memory disk by that time. So we thought of continuing with the proceedings and had a small plan for a simple trek.

By Friday evening we were ready with all the logistics taken care of. We had Vishal's brand new Waganor. After picking up 3 chicks (please refer to the bird category) we picked Shrikant & Shankar from Aundh. was all boys night out. One could imagine the ambience inside the car. It was just wild.... everyone was brimming with enthusiasm and masti. So I took out the camera to capture this wild bunch of guys. There LCD screen showed a very gloomy message. I virtually banged my head on the hood of car ( virtually, just because car was new and I care it more than my dumb head). Sheepishly I declared (in a quite low tone) "Boys, we've a situation here". The message was 'No Memory card' in camera. Damn.... we were doomed, no photos! Since it was the only camera with us. It was me who told everybody 'No Camera' in things to pack as I was carrying mine. Now why the hell we'd trek if there is no camera. Everyone started giving me killing looks and I had no place to run. So my scared mind started running all around to trace the missing card. I executed all my search alogos and boy they gave me the exact results within seconds. The card was lying in the camera bag and my heart attained the normal beat rate once again. So wiping out my sweaty forehead (and palms too), I clicked away whole 'on your mark' stage. Then with a bang we hit the road and came straight on to Highway within minutes. We took some cold drinks in between to cool down our high adrenaline levels.

After deciding that we'll go by Express way to save the time, Vishal missed the left turn to Eway, heavy regards to a heavyduty tanker. So we continued with our beloved old Mumbai highway till Somatane phata & touched the express way at last. When Express way started getting boring, we checked out the echo quotient of the tunnels on the way with our screams. It was quite good and awakening for the people inside the car, but startling for outside ones!! We reached Karjat by midnight and now kids were getting anxious to get their hands on fingers licking chicken. So we spot a small river bridge and checked the place river side. It was more than what we asked for. Hence we fixed the place & started preparing the barbecue. Within minutes it was hot to receive the marinated chickens. The sight was quite interesting when everyone got the first glimpse of the tandoori kabab. Water levels of the river raised with 4 mouths drooling over the chicken. We enjoyed the hot-hot yummie chicken tandoori till 3 AM and rested a while by river side under the moonlight.

Then before anyone could crawl under the sheets of sleep we shook our bums from the rocks and got into the car. This part of journey was quite confusing with no one knowing the route and nobody was awake outside to guide us. Thanks to Shankar that he at least knew the village names coming  in route. Fortunately we reached without any U-turn till Mhasa by 4:30. Here we had our first U-turn when we drove on the road to Murbad, but with the help of a early rising villager we got onto correct direction towards the base Village 'Dehari' and reached there by 5 AM. By 5:30 we were on our feet to the fort who was standing tall and shining bright in the early dawn light. With local guidance we started the trek. To climb this fort one has to first cross a smaller hill on its right, which is just behind the village temple. The foot trails are quite prominent and takes you directly to the foot of the fort. At the base there are ruins of a Shiva temple, from here we could see the straight rock face to enter the dragon. But it has still retained its rock steps, which cautions you to climb with care. After climbing through the rock face you are welcomed by a small gate carved out of one the rocks. It takes you inside the fort which has very limited space atop with one more pinnacle inside. This one too has steps to reach the top of the fort. There are some caves and water tanks on the fort all around. The biggest one is on the Machchhindra pinnacle side of the fort. After reaching this cave everyone just went off like a toy on low battery and slept wherever they dropped.

After a brief nap of 30-40 minutes Sun was making his point clear that it was his day and was shouting aloud 'Its Summer, you foools...go take covers'. So taking the clue we obey Sun god and started descending down with limited water source. While coming down we were welcomed by the path full of scree and loose soil. How we climbed in morning was the question (may be we were under Morphine kind of effect due to no sleep and long drive throughout night). So cautiously we came down, some with support of hands on the grounds or sometimes our rears on ground. But we survived it and without a single casualty returned back to the base. In the temple we finished off the perishable stuff and hit the road. Now the Konkan summer was showing its full prowess, but after such a greaaaat trek & a memorable night we could take it on our terms.

On the way back, we saw a small stream of water, so there went the brakes, car went standing roadside and we inside the water. Though the stream didn't allow us to have some swimming strokes, it was a greaaat masseuse which washed away all our fatigue (and also the dirt we accumulated on the trek). After a brief water therapy we were as hungry as small kids coming back from school. We decided of having only local food, no hotel ka khana. But couldn't get a house where we could have our dream come true. So instead we tried a local restro and surely luck was with us.... we got everything we wanted. Once again there was chicken, this time gaon ki murgi. We drifted away from the konkan after a fulfilling lunch. Then it was plain journey back to home with little talks with friends. Then I drifted off to dream land and was only awaken by the irritating, honking swines running on Pune roads. In the end we dropped the people one by one at their nest and carved one more memorable chapter in the book of Sahyadri.

Well, I'm quite sorry if I've bored you with my long, dragging trek story. The blame is not mine, the onus is on the fingers who doesn't  have the skills elegant of typing..I mean writing. So please bear with me.