Location good enough for 2 days trek.

Bhandar Dara, Ahmadnagar District.

-How to reach/Route:
From Pune (Nashik Phata) to Bhandar Dara (Depot) - Private Vehicle, ST is available.
From Pune (Nashik Phata) to Samrad Village, Bhandar Dara – Private Vehicle, ST is available but limited frequency even from Bhandar Dara (Depot).
From Pune (Nashik Phata) to Ratanwadi Village, Bhandar Dara – Private Vehicle, ST is available but limited frequency even from Bhandar Dara (Depot).

Caves, mostly full on weekends, or if U‘ve tents then probably U may stay @ the fort on a moonlit night, but snakes might accompany U.

-Points 2 visit on the fort:
Nedhe (natural hole to the hill),  or THE 'Eye of the Needle'(Susnset & Sunrise point), Trymbak Darwaja, Kalyan Darwaja, Water cisterns.

-Points 2 visit near by the fort:
Sandhan Valley (might take a single day itself, if u kind of expedition), Fall @ end of Sandhan Valley(main attraction in monsoon), The Thumb-like pinnacle(Khunta of Ratangad) facing Alang at 1230m , The Dada g, Baan Pinnacle.

-Best time to visit:
October to February, (some might disagree & say the mosoon is the best time but u might miss out many viewable points due to heavy rain & fog, including sun rise & set).

-my Story:
This was the time when the when I didn't go to jeet's flat rather the other way round. Yeah Jeet came down instead.
It was a starlit friday night, the moon had enlightened the sky with her brilliance. The lamp posts probably not even required & I was more than excited as we were head'g towards our trek to Ratangad with a chance of night trek on the fort.

We were joining the InVenture group, pune for the same.

Nov'09, 06

2000 Hrs
Came in Indrajeet to my flat.
We've got all the required stuffs for trek, Jeet has got his Jungle boots(Woodland) again ..OMG!!! but as directed by Vishal he kept them optional. So we went out for dinner & to get the torch cells.

2100 Hrs
called Aditya (InVenture group), no response..!
got the cells, called aditya again, no response..still!

called Sameer(InVenture group), conveyed our status..

2130 Hrs
came in call, Aditya...."Hey Avishek whts ur status"(arey yar yeh manager hai kya, pehli baar call kiya aur 'hi' bolne ke jagah 'status' pooch rha hai)
"will leave Shivajinagar by around 10 pm & reach nashik phata within 20 mins"

2200 Hrs
we were about to leave...came in call from Aditya..
Aditya:"yar we are wait'g for 1 member, yet to join might get late by 15 mins, 'll get u a miss call as soon as we leave so tht u may reach accordingly"
me:"no we'll leave now as we might'nt get auto later"

waited there for an auto for 15 mins... :O
walked all the way almost to reach the kasarwadi phata..(phew!!! sara khaya piya 5 km ke trek mein nikal gya...fir se bhuk lagi hai :( )

2230 Hrs
@ kasarwadi phata..Adi's call
"readching in 5 mins"
me:"yeah we r almost there..."

2245 Hrs
reached Nashik Phata..a 17 seater with three ppl stand'g outside wait'g for us
Aditya, Rishikesh, Sridhar(InVenture group instructors).

jumped in....broom broom....start of the journey.
I got the last row seat..seigh...'ll b a jumping jack through out the journey.

after 15 mins
Aditya: "guys all set!, anyone yet to done with the dinner?"
NONE!!!(yar mera to sara khaya piya trek karke aane mein nikal gya, ab aage kye trek karunga, wo bhi bhuke peth :( )
Aditya:"ok 'll stop for tea some time later"

FM channels go'g on nonstop songs....its friday night guys!
wanted to update my tweets but better save my cell battery for better purpose.

Nov'09, 07

0130 Hrs
halted for tea, the drive must get a break as well as a tea wd b energizer!
only 6 ppl came down
driver saab, instructors(3), me n Jeet.
Jeet got a tea & me... cream-roll(20 saal baad...raat mein khane ka maja hi alag hai)

Aditya: "guys the bill is on self, plz"
Jeet: "sure"

me: "Aditya how long are gonna travel more?"
Aditya: "yar abhi 2 ghante aaram se so sakte ho(2 more hrs ..so relax & sleep tight)"
me(araam se, yahan samne se aate huye gadiyoon ki headlight ke focus ne nind haram kar rakhi hai)

(trying to get my face covered or hide behind the luggage or sleeping bags to avoid the focus of headlights of the other vehicles crossing over)

0330 Hrs
going throught the ghats, cldn't sleep atall & after some time I was competely awake, hope to reach the base camp soon & exicited about the moonlit night.

0440 Hrs
reached base camp, 'Samrad Village'.
ppl started mov'g out to sleep, but I prefered to sleep in the vehicle as there was space & warm too ;)
had put an alarm of 0630 hrs.

0615 Hrs
got up after a sleep of sleep of 1 hrs 15 mins, a much reqd b4 trek.
back-water!!! shd I jump into .....the child within me jumped of joy..
did a small photo shoot of myself, jeet & the sunrise

0800 Hrs
its bfast time, toda sa kuch kha lena chahiye.. ;)
We two r too intelligent ;) so we thgt Y to get all the stuffs, so we dumped some unrequired stuffs which probably might not of any help on the fort in one bag & get the other ready for trek...

0900 Hrs
Got drinking water..hand pump, a grt resource to get clean drinking water in most of the indian villages.
After a brief & formal introdoc, we were handed over the map of the fort individually followed by a group photo.

Team consists of:
Ashwini Rathi
Avishek Arang
Girish Deshpande
Gunesh Desai
Hrishikesh Joshi
Indrajeet Mukherjee
Sanjeev Gothekar

Sudhir Harikant
Vishal Butte

Started the trek.
Yashwant Rao(villager/ guide), joined us!

Aditya, HRishikesh or Sridhar completely get'g us the info & answers to our each n everything queries ...history, locality!
Also Aditya was lett'g us know about what all programs they would be conducting in due course of time(Nov-Dec-Jan), that kept me & Jeet allarmed!

Meanwhile we just by passed the Sandhan Valley, its awesome. its a different trek program all together & might take time.

After reaching certain point rishikesh backed out as due to freshly operated leg.

wandered here n there with my cam(in built in mobile), every1 was gett'g as many photos as they want. it was complete leisure time, a free weekend, miles away from system, worksheets, mobile connectivity, polution, rush hours...
I switched my mobile mode to offline even!

We could see the other end of the Sandhan Valley, it was terminating to a fall, Oh My! how fascinating would it look in the monsoon!

Kept walking ahead.
It was great passing through the green lands.

1330 Hrs
reached top...the caves.
filled our water bottles with the drinking water source...
The fort is origin for the river Pravara / Amrutvahini

1400 Hrs
Jaal Krida time..
the water in the cistern was so chilled also we werent sure of the dept too
after half n hour masti in the chilled water it was time for Lunch

1445 Hrs
Khakra & Paratha time!!!
-aaloo bhaji
-mirchi loncha
-mug daal bhaji
-green chillies
(guys sry if i miss out smthg, I was too busy in wrapping up the thgs)
even the team was too busy tht none thgt of the 'royal supper snap' until it clicked to Sridhar!!!

tx to Jeet for the swiss knife tht helped alot .... in the due course

1530 hrs
nap time
I, Jeet, Sudhir & Gunesh thgt to b in the open arena while rest moved to the cave.
Ashwini moved ahead to get sm mindblowing snaps of the fort instead.
The heavy wind wasn't allowing me to get into full gear, while Jeet looked comfortable
Even Sudhir & Gunesh moved out to wander on the fort!
just then a bif stone fell off the cave wall..thank godness none lied down there...
but every1 awoke after that except the instructors...
every1 started their own expedition of the fort thereafter.

almost @same time we heard lots of ppl(probably a team of 15 or more)

I got up, asked Jeet if he wanna join in,
me:"where z ur cam"...got his cam
after so many random question Jeet finally got u:"ab tum sone doge hi nhin to main kya karun....."

as we started our expedition we've found two teams reach'g the top(we had been expecting them @least 30 mins back..but its was it was their voice echo which made us believe they r closer than they actually were)

they almost had a competition to reach the top earlier so as to capture the cave for night stay, but soon as the reached the caves all their excitment & energy seemed to persish as we already had captured the same ;)
(so early to bed early to rise does work boys....)

I, Jeet & Vishal returned to caves after gett'g snaps.
the instructors got up so it was time to rock n roll all over the fort...
We've put all our luggages in the caves so tht we don't face any space problem to sleep in the night.
Yashwant rao was there to start the preparation for our dinner so we headed straight ahead.

We have covered
-Water Cistern
-Kalyan darwaja
-Underground cave for sheltter(its said its more than 1.5 kms in area)
-The Eye(best point for both Sunset & sunrise view...)

its a rare combination to get a common point from where both sunrise & sunset looks grt..
we had spend more than 40 minutes to capture all the shades of lights while the sunset...no doubt a perfect spot for photo shoot..
wind blowing strong there, but aditya says its even stronger in night & monsoon..

we even had been to the top of The Eye.
We came back to the caves where Yashwant Rao was about to start cooking the dinner..Aditya, Sridhar & Sanjeev joined him.

1900 Hrs
Vishal, Jeet & I moved away from the irritating nuicances by other grp.
carried our torches & gone to the edge in search of peace....'yeh hasin vaadiyaan'
gazing the stars in the sky, in absence of the moon.
Vishal had sm grt mann Dev saab's collection to add to it..calm quite peaceful environment.

2000 Hrs
returned back to the caves..probably the dinner wd be ready.
-Masala Bhat
wht else is reqd frnds....this is the life!

2130 Hrs
sleeping time

2330 Hrs
felt choked up
disturbed Jeet's sleep

0030 Hrs
Jeet:"thik ho"
me:"yeah..i m perfect(ab jaike to nind lag rhi hai aur usmein bhi khalal...ofooh)"

0330 Hrs
Vishal still focsing his torch on spiderman.
Jeet:"spiderman spiderman..sssss"
me:"(Vishal) yar tujhe nind nhin aa rhi hai to @least us bechare makdi(poor spider) ki nind kyun kharab kar rha hai, kaam se kam use to chain se sone de ;)"

0530 Hrs
Jeet & I got up to hunt the fort @ early morn'g...
waO the moon completely on our head, no need of torch any more.
after our expedition of the fort we came back to cave.
the wind blowing @ grt speed.

0600 Hrs
(in the cave)Jeet's alarm (set in mobile) hit...
we thought to disturb the rest who were fallen asleep ;)

0615 Hrs
soon realising it wd b a grt sunrise to watch I came out with Yashwant rao along with the utensils to wash.
after keeping the utensils near the water cistern I moved to the edge to capture the sunrise

long photo shoot
the wind kept thrashing @ me ...

0645 Hrs
Sudhir, Vishal & Rishi joined in for photo shoot.

0700 Hrs
back to caves ...breakfast time

yashwant rao, aditya, girish every1 was into preparing the pohe
Jeet the cook somehow cldn't manage to keep himself apart from his proficiency. he jumped into the brooth about when to add salt to pohe.
& giving his final touch to pohe.

awesome pohe with some green chillies...

0900 Hrs
started climbing down

there are two steps patches..
another team already there
we asked them to hold on there.. (climbing down steps/ rock patch @ any fort is more difficult to climbing up...my opinion*)
all down...phew..Aditya maintained a calm desend as if he was climbing down his flats steps...

there after it was a simple trek through the jungle to the ratanwadi village of about 1.5 hrs.

1100 Hrs
A visit to Amruteshwar Temple.

waiting for the vehicle, no communication, neither reliance nor bsnl :(
we got sm local pedas meanwhile
5 ltrs of milk used to prepare 1 Kg of Mawa & hardly .5 Kg of sugar added..awesome taste(perfect for ppl who don't prefer sweet)

we had some light moments to share with each other...& the best way was recalling the momnets from the movie 'RUN'
-kawa biryani
-choti ganga
-arey sala kidney nikaal liya hai re
-petikot baba

Aditya some how managed to get to Rishikesh & came with the response that the vehicle got punctured so we've to wait for some more time
Sridhar suggested:"we may enjoy the bath in the fresh riverwater!!!"

1220 Hrs
came in vehicle

1240 Hrs
reached Samrad village

Lunch ready for us!

the team finished it in 40 mins approx
nxt round Aditya, Sridhar, Rishikesh, Sameer...(arey kya char din ka khana kha ke uthenge...)
they took more than an hour...
meanwhile to kill time Vishal joined the local kids for cricket
we discovered a grt local talent who can b handy in both ODIs & Tests as well...

1500 Hrs
left Samrad Village
way back to Pune via Bhandar dhara> Sangamner> Rajguru Nagar> Chakan > Pune
crossed Bhandar dhara dam & ghat ghar

1840 Hrs
a tea stall:+17 cups tea ;)

reached pune 2130 Hrs...

Points to remember:
- try to get there as early as possible..best time leave pune or mumbai by friday late night, the early u start ur trek the better possibilty to get the caves booked for urselves.
Location good enough for 1 day trek.

Junnar District (around 12 kms from Junnar Bus stand towards naneghat)

-How to reach/Route:
From Pune (Nashik Phata) to Junnar – ST buses available (even a break journey to Rajgurunagar or Narayangaon)

ST bus, private jeeps available from Junnar Bus stand

If planning 2 day trek (including naneghat & nearby) & if U‘ve tents then probably U may stay @ the fort on a moonlit night, cattle would go down by evening, but snakes might accompany U OR else logging could be found @naneghat on payement.

-Points 2 visit on the fort:
Main Gate, Mahadev temple, climb carved Wall.

-Occasion Celebrated: both Me & indrajeet r back to pune now!

By now most of u might've got acclimatised by the way I start my journey. It was the Friday night & I moved to Jeet's house, prior to that we purchased the raincoats @ the end of the season, travelled all the way from Kothrud to Kharadi with gift wrapped dinner(jyada nhin bass halka fulka - dinner jara halka hona chahiye).
     - Chicken Afgani - Full - 1
         -  Chicken Tawa - Full - 1
         - rotis - by default (2 each only)

0500 Hrs
Alarm hit!

0545 Hrs
Watching bhigi billi @ 9xm, yes I was ready but w/o a bath 1st time ever - water too chilled for me that morn'g ;) but Jeet was yet to get ready, he was delegating with the other teams meanwhile!

0620 Hrs
By then I only knew tht we r around 9 odd ppl for
'had.. had.. hadapsar.. no Hadsar, yar kissika to sar',
two ppl b join'g us & together we would meet the rest @ millinium motors, wakdewadi which eventually changed to nashik phata!

We started off jeet's house & came in Dilip's call, Jeet said tell them we wd b reaching in nxt 20 mins!

I: Hi Dilip, we wd b reaching in nxt 20 mins.
Dilip: 20 mins! wakdewadi??
I: yes..(looked up to Jeet..wakedewadi in 20 mins from Kharadi the ultimate gaon... is he gonna drive F1 cars?)
Jeet: nhin baba adlabs, ask them where r they?
I: where r u now?
Dilip: Adlabs!!
I: ok we r reaching in 20 mins, (to jeet:) they r already @ adlabs!

First time ever in last 3 yrs I've seen jeet get'g late!

0640 Hrs
reached Adlabs seen two jat type guys, shakaal se hi UP/ MP wale lag rhe they!
phew.. I had a thought in the back of my mind .. koi budhe, pake huye aam honge(PM sort of - weekend masti karenge aayenge) but they r young n looks energetic!

0700 Hrs
reached Nashik phata, sari gadiyaan dekh li but none seemed alike wagonr but ST lal dabba... ppl shouting .. nashik-nagar
others yet to reach

Dilip: chalo bhai logoon tab tak chayi piee li jaye

in nxt 15 mins the other teams reached in & after a formal intoduction we headed towards nxt point as refered by Jeet..

Jeet:  ek ghante baad milte hai.. (as if ek ghante baad jo jahan ho wo wahin ruk jaye)

so team consists of
- Ashish
- Bhumika
- Dilip
- Indrajeet
- Swati
- Saurabh
- Vishal
- Zahabbyia
- Me by default

0830 Hrs
after crossing
- bhosri
- chakan
- rajgurunagar
we halted @narayangaon

we(me, aasish, dilip & jeet) stopped by bus stop as others were already waiting for us.

Narangaon Bus has a very significant role in our life(me n jeet)*

Vishal: (to jeet) chalo toda aage jaake aate hai, (just to chek if the snacks center is open) as both of them went ahead we gathered together to do the formal introdoc part 2 :)

the place near the stand was all mess, probably had rain fall last nite!

once vishal & jeet came back we headed for the much waited breakfast snacks (bhul na jana raat ko maine & jeet ne halka fulka khana khaya tha). We had

- The world famous Misal Paw
- kanda pohe ops I meant only pohe ;)
- udit dal wadi
- cut T off course (bhai trek ke liye energizer to chahiye na)

the stall had photos of esteemed puneites who took a break just like us.. alike veteran actor Neelu Phule g!

0900 Hrs
started ahead.
Jeet in complete F1 mood raced crossing 80+ kphs & me cherishing the nature completely with all the time in the world!

1000 Hrs
reached Junnar Bus Stand, halted there for a while, point of diversion to
- Shivneri(2.1 Kms)
- Manikdoh Dam(9.3 Kms)
- Malshej ghat
- Hadsar Fort(11 Kms)
- Naneghat(12 Kms)

1030 Hrs
reached Hadsar gaon
actually the guide (vishal) was more interested to go far to naneghat & start our trek from there, but soon the team changed the plan & he has to take a U turn & halt his car in hadsar village ;)

just when we started, I've learnt that there is an alternate way too

so after dilema which way to head & start we opted for the first way tht we took.

"So whts the difference in both ways"

"nothing there aint any direct steps to climb down so better we climb up this way & then get down the other way"...simple

Dilip started the cam in video mode, but the jungle made him be more protective aur jungle ki khaufnak wadiyoon ko par karte huye sab bad chale ....(..wahin jahan kooi aata jata nhin) ;)

Dilip was so inspired by the zeal & enthu that he taged the team.. Indian army

@ a point we halted to
- admire the nature
- take a couple of snaps
- O! did I mention to get hold of our breath too ;)
just then the weather was gett'g better n better

when we discovered that... that...

here comes the first twist of the day...

Jeet discovered that he some how managed to misplace his hand towel (a pink one). I've to go down again to 've a look @ it... so I did tht honestly just has a look & turned back ;)
(I always wanted to b on a treasure hunt but not for a pink towel!

Zohabia dropped her(Bhumikas') bag as I didn't had my own bag!

so nice of U dear! :), but jeet had to get hold of tht as I was too busy in searching his pink towel!!!

As soon as I returned back empty handed & climbed up a couple of rocks I saw every1 standing infront of a big rock patch.. a wall

thts so nice of them they r wait'g 4 me :)

but y is saurabh & vishal staring the wall... & wait is saurabh trying to do a spidy stunt...OMG! he actually is

nthg clicked to me ...best thought came to my mind don't analyse just reach to that point then we'll see what next...

as soon as I reached there I found its a deadend & the only way to the fort is clawling the wall..

r we ghodpads.. recall'g the ghodpad story of Tanaji...

in the meanwhile Saurabh was almost there 10-15 fts up hanging with reflecting complete confidence & comfort.. feel @ home

wht nxt vishal was analysing & guiding properly

we decided that if all gals make it then we all r go'g in this way else....

saurabh found a place just in the middle so as to make sure ppl make up to tht place @least, so nxt was swati

jeet joined in with vishal to guide & when jeet is tak'g the pain do I need to ;)

I joined the merry band with aashish, dilip, zohabia, & bhumika

it seems that every1 except jeet & vishal were njoy'g the moment they were crack'g jokes & even panicking :)

we had best jokes coming out of aashish, meanwhile swati made up there!

then it was zorabia nxt, after few hickups she managed it ... up there

although most of us noticed but it was bhumika who pointed tht Zohab's legs were shievering (actually there is a point from where the iron rods carved by the local ppl starts the grip is not easy there & also at fair distant). nxt was Bhumika & to our surprise she proved to b Michale Phelm among us by the time Zorab reached up there crossing saurab along with swati, Bhumika was almost there right behind her

dilip & aashish were next the only two whose climb was video shoot

as they would b climbing up & there aint much space to stand tall swati decided to move around to realise this aint the end of the world yet another rock patch was waitn for us up ther

so finally it was me jeet & vishal down there & I was gett'g ready in my tuexedo suit ;) aadmi teen aur bag 4, bahut nainsafi hai, although vishal said he would get both the bags but I knew that who so ever comes last it wont b easy for him so I had to get hold of myself

as for us there were vishal & jeet guiding us our foot rests but there won't b any1 doing this job for vishal

after transfering a couple of stuffs to the other bags making sure that each bag has @least some food/ water for backup purpose I started climbing up with both the bags & locking the bag buckle near my abs to get as proper hold but it didnt took much time where most of us were gett'g stucked!

it was very scary even the rappling seemed lot easier than this. although I keep doing hip-hops but a wrong move while do'g hip-hop won't cost so expensive which in this case would & to add to it climbing down was a bad idea not bcoz it wd hit my reputation but it was almost impossible after u reach certain point! :) so ..... get'g going son!

phew after a couple of pause to get hold of my nerve.... I made it...!

I must agree Saurabh showed a great temperment & paitience hanging in there, nxt is jeet..
after lots of hich-ups Jeet decided to climb down, & eventually made it, vishal almost performed a dive catch to get hold of Jeet climbing down, but they decided to go another way to the main gate..

only then to our surprise same in two villagers & I was expecting them to give yet another trial @least now but they opted out

saurabh climbed up by now but just when he was about to reach the scarf slipped off from him..this one was orange in color.

but the villagers got tht for us & to our surprise they hardly took 3-4 minutes whereas we all took more than an hr & half together!

Me & saurabh were climbing up the wall one of the villager warned us as any of the rock may fall, so they directed us a safer option which to our surprise made me go pale walk'g through the edge of the patch, a slight disbalance & needn't worry balanc'g anythg else ever in my life ;)

after chit chat'g with the villagers for a while I turned around to get a shock number of buffalos do'g jaal krida up there (3 water pools)

how the hell on earth did they managed to climb up!

so wht next, what all tourist spots do we cover here, only a mahadev mandir & the main gate of the fort, as told by the villagers, "keep on go'g the west..."

all of sudden The BABA within Dilip got 'jagrut' jai ho baba dilip..

all sort of jivan ke fhalsafe were com'g out of his mind & his aura was aspiring for us too!

it for sure gonna take both vishal & jeet 1.5 @least was what we assumed, soon wandering here n there we reached mandir we aggreed to keep mov'g so that we catch jeet & vishal quickly & they needn't cover all the floor!

then we 've found a water pool... the water was so muddy in color & bhumika was dying to jump into ... unlike zohabia, rest of us were neutral to it!

Bhumika's die hard wish died too soon as swati observed a snake in water...(better let the wish die than self ;) )

meanwhile Dilip wanted to shoot snaps in all possible pose & mood for impressing different gfs & updating social n/w profiles.

then we reached the hilltop point .. right infront of the main gate u can easily see any1 within the range of 5+ kms...

& there was a water stream flowing down fro the hill top, the wind flowing was throwing the water back to us, reminds me the lohgad trek.. this was the time i thght to enjoy the fresh water :) & gett'g some snaps..nadiya jharne pahad.....

the crew were still look'g out for both vishal & jeet in the manner which reminds me of Dilip Kumar of Mashal:
"e bhaaaiyeee... koi hai..."

I thought Y not go around & discover anything for me ;) I crossed the main gate & found vishal & jeet down there... whereas the crew were expecting them to come other way!

there was a small rocky passage beside them but it wasn't easy this way too saurabh jump in to guide in the mean while I 've got the newspapers to work as temporary bloting papers.. as jeet wasn't gett'g hold of bcoz of The Woodland shoes he had to drag himself over the newspapers, saurabh creating gateway for him to pass through his legs but wht scared me was jeet was too heavy compared to saurabh he may get saurabh along with him...

touch wood.. but where is the wood its only green grass, bush or rocky patch expect the 'Wood'land shoe!

finally all 4 (jeet, vishal, saurabh, me) made it to the up safely..

took a break & then...Lunch time...

recall na "raat ko kafi halka fulka khaya tha" ;)

we had almost every thing possible bread, butter, biscuit, thepla, khakra, paratha, achar, orange juice, thak(chach) & cadbury too(kuch meetha ho jaye - desert)

after all done we were all set to wander again & then start get'g down..so we were sure it won't take much as nthg to look @

the water pool where bhumika was dying to jump into but realised soon enough she got company(snake) & mahadev temple!

so I & jeet got into our rain suit & it started raining completely creating a fog effect

as we were heading the temple
Jeet: arey ab kya wahan jake mattha tekenge!

meanwhile baba dilip felt like to hear "Dil kya kare jab kisise pyar ho jaye" & a buffalo felt the same.. i guess!

so swati & bhumika were the only one to peek into the temple! rest of us stayed behind

the buffalo kept coming closer n closer
& jeet in hi usual bodylanguage... hudd hudd...hadd hadd...
but most of us felt that its time to discover yet another thriller...
as I was about to keep Jeets cam in his bag

Jeet: yeh camera rakhne ka time nhin hai

& in no time we all started running in all directions!

Not atall actually get'g whats happening & why as the buffalo chased all of us?

It would 've been the nightmare coming true..

even @ this point of time we weren't serious enough...doing the famous act "BachaO act from OSO!"...

with no idea who is where I got behind a cactus tree & called saurabh, swati & bhumika as its best covso er we can have for time being

Saurabh decided to distract the buffalo so tht swati & bhumika can take cover & runaway!

but unforunate the buffalo was too smart to get hold of the situation he rather followed swati & bhumika...

after me & saurabh escaped out I trying to b over smart landed up between a group of 5-6 buffalo(this part of the story is completely in dark for rest of the team.. what happened to me or to the buffalos is still a secret & let it b the same ;) )

soon we reached the main gate & were relaxed but to our surprise the buffalo was right there @ the main gate hold'g the post completely blocking the way to our exit.

we could neither run away nor cld jump off the wall it has got height & rock patch with algae all around

after a long wait finally the buffalo allowed us a pass.

doing a tauba
-neither would we feed a buffalo again
-nor would we sing or dedicate a song to him

it took around more than an hour to climb down making a round trip the village!

passing all the buffalos, we had a glass of water @ a villegers home & every1 wanted to 've a photo with the lamb but when the lamb got near Jeet I was gett'g worried for him, not the lamb yar but the Jeet ;), a lamb may get the real face of Jeet after this tiring trek it would b a gud dinner!

sooner we saw the road & none of us wd 've been happy ever again to see a coaltar road

wrapper up with quick photoshoot on the road & freshening up in the current water stream

left hadsar village.

took a break @ junnar - tea stall near bus stand!

it took some time to sort out if we wanna 've dinnner together or not but majority was to celebrate the occasion with the last supper (only for this trek) ;)

Jeetmeet you @ first restaurant after the 2nd ghat.
"O! no what if its a veg restuarant", was my quick concerned!
Vishal: I m on the driving wheel, trust me ;)

we skipped the 1st restaurant just bcoz nthg specified
(Veg/ Non-Veg)

had a gala feast together!

Departed thereafter for individual's home..sweet home!

2330 Hrs
got into Jeet's home, wht I was look'g fwd to was
to boil 2.5 Lts of water to get a warm water bath!!!!

b4 I got to sleep

Points to remember:
- if not on a jungle trek the woodland shoes are not the best fit gadget
NB: if u r on a trek where u expect many rockpatch & water flowing down making it slippery & creating algae, better keep ur woodland shoes home.
- don't take Pink Towel on a trek, they can only b handled properly by the ladies ;)
- don't feed buffalos on trek
- don't sing or dedicate songs to buffalos

@2150 Hrs
got a call from Jeet, "Hey meet me near durga cafe 4 dinner!". Although it was late enough but I agreed.

@2226 Hrs
got a call from Sharayu, "hey were r U". "I m in bus, near sndt", phew that made her quite for a moment. I knew that I m gonna b crushed down for being late, but it was all to be handled by Jeet as he was responsible.

@2255 Hrs
even after some of the rapid fire calls to make me arrive on time I was late for I guess 10 minutes & ppl out there were popping up as if pop-corn. Ppl eagerly waiting for me: Tabrez,  Sharayu & Anand. Anyways presence of Jeet made me escape the situation.

@2320 Hrs
though it looked to me as if I was late & pointed to me that the trip is getting late for me, I've realized that a few more are yet to be there.

@2235 Hrs
After waiting for around 20 minutes "A herald  of Ganesha & Shivaji" was a surety that the troop is all set to move ahead.
The troop consists of more than 45 people to b escorted by Yuvashakti, Pune. Sooner we crossed the outskirts of Pune city. Tabi got a brilliant idea to start munching the "bhel". We've crossed Wai phata in an Hour & half. Tabi was getting innovative ideas to sleep in a "lal dabba" & Sharayu struggling hard.

@0230 Hrs(15th Nov)
it was ghat all over but wasn't all, just after crossing satara the actual fun had doubled. We were nJoying the roller-coaster ride as if we were on high tide.But in All we were appreciating the effortless spirit of Anand to hang on with his inconsistent sleep in "THE lal dabba", hats off ....

@0330 Hrs
the roller coaster stopped. we landed @ "Bamnoli"( around 35 kms from satara).
it was my friends again to welcome me down there... "my dear loving Dogs".It was a full moon nite .. awesome!!! we didn't want to waste that by sleeping, but Mahesh & Shahank wanted every one to rest as it would be a hectic day ahead, in the mean while Sharayu was more interested in getting info abt the Himalayan trek whereas Tabi was more into munching the bhel again @0410Hrs.They have arranged to stay overnite in a garage.

@0635 Hrs

got up early after a long time, couldn't sleep after 0530 hrs as it was somewhat chilled but getting up early was making me feel good.

@0830 Hrs
the breakfast time ..."KP", Tabi got it 3rice, not sure was it really tasty or was he really hungry!!!

@0920 Hrs
some other trek teams alike amateur trekkers from mumbai too had joined.
we had dumped two bags & carried two along with us.even after having bfast early had to wait for the boats to kick off :(one need to get a clearance from the forest dept to travel across.after 10 minutes the first ferry (ferry no. 6) took off carrying 25 ppl & there after 20 more minutes the other ferry carried rest of us (15 ppl) ... ferry no. 19.it was a splendid back water, almost crystal clear @ the banks & bluish all around, surrounded by greenery & hills.

@1100 Hrs
reached the base of vasota.

@1115 Hrs
assemble & kick off. It was a bright sunny day with the breeze blowing. The grass was soft enough to get us a feel of velvet.we had just started the walk & it was time for snaps.... click click ...click!!!! waise bhi ab to do ke saath ek aur model free.. free!!! well Anand was not only an additional free ka model but also a camera man with a spare camera. So Me & tabrez were free as no load to take pictures but can concentrate on our shots.

a hanuman mandir besides the free flowing water resource, it was refreshing that means me & tabi are now in business ;). yaar koi pani bharte huye model ke fotu le loo.....
we were the tail-enders...after some time there was a pass towards right a way towards Nageshwar, but we 've chosen the path left to the top. Mahesh was more worried that we'll create a gr8 gap & might leave behind so he was just hanging around us to make sure that we don't miss out the track while following the trail. But we were more busy in our business.then came the flora patch which reminded us of next Yash Chopra's spot..in the mean while I even got a couple of snaps... trying out amateur's luck. Sharayu was happy by now as she was sure of extra batteries for the camera.

@1330 Hrs
got @ the top. Tabi was getting frustrated.... "is this all we r in to see". "But dear we ain't in to view Tajmahal", is all that I cld 've quoted to make him calm down a bit.after some more snaps its Lunch time!!!! Tabi wasn't any more into it the bhel might 've made him feel that way. We had chapptis, theplas, & bhendi fry (tx to anand), some salad, & huge no of bananas(2 dz) which 've got spoiled due to the weight & being packed into the plastic. After the lunch ppl were basking a bit, & some were enjoying the Tadpole act of the two kids.... playing & fighting each other, throwing tadpoles @ each other.

@1430 Hrs
Lunch time over.
we decided to split into two teams so as to cover the two points in a better manner:
1. Vinchu-kada
2. Babu-kada

Vinchu kada reminded me of Vinchu kata of Lohagad, but the kadas were almost a copy of kokan kada the one @ harichandragad. Had an individual fotu shoot and in the meanwhile we have discovered that the batteries have expired & even the extra pair too. Oh Oh!!!time for get kicked of by sharayu as she was counting on them. Anand suggested we better get an early alarm just in case to survive ;)

@Vinchu-kada; ppl just forgot to see the view & were more busy in calling their near & dear ones due to the full n/w coverage.

@ Bapu-kada got a call from jeet, he was on break from the training which didn't made him join the troop.
 - it is being said that a person named babu was being thrown away from this point, to be lately made it named after that.now was the best time for Tabi.....we were getting down.

Sharayu played a song by Atif aslam, "hum jis gali me ja rahe hai..."
& along with us were those two ghost kids they were just jumping around us& in no time we were back @ the basegot a face wash in the flowing water... it was cold & refreshing. Tabi's final quote to Mahes,"jaate waqt hum sabse piche they aur laute waqt sabese aage!!!"

@1620 Hrs
waiting @ base for the ferry
. Tabi was the one to even utter a word, he was damn tired or was he!!!!

@1800 Hrs

back to Bamnoli.
once again I was among my favorite frnds dogs, as if they were eagerly wait'g for me to get back. It was getting darker. We had lot many task to be done:
1. get the bags from the locker room ;)
2. shift the individual stuffs in their respective bags
3. get hot sips of the tea
4. finish off the carrots as if in serial Karamchand jasoos!!!

in the mean while Tabi made it possible to coin out to get back to pune among others as we were sure about the last bust to satara is @ 1630 Hrs. So ppl had started looking out for other modes of transport.

what were we busy into...? me , anand & sharayu ... ahem!!!

after finishing off the carrots it was playing with bluetooth ... sharayu had a crush over her new mobile ..... "yaar blutooth se transfer hoga kya? n/w nahin hai na..". Anand trying to join us with a new concept of multi-bluetooth device sharing ... in a single go...
hu cld I leave them behind & why the hell should I leave them all aloof...
after all they r my frnds ;)

I too was trying to act smart to receive a file thr' bluetooth even though the memory is set to phone memory which is too small to receive a file of that huge size... where as anand managed to recieve the same file twice, & now wanted to move that apart ;)so it was a shame for me .... but this time I banged it on target. Tabrez was getting into hot discussion as now there is getting two groups:
1. Who wants to stay back to nJoy the nature.
2. Who wants to leave so that they can 've a splendid Sunday back in pune.

After lots of ifs-n-buts we landed up into a final decision to have our dinner first ;) "aakhir paapi peth ka sawaal hai bhai..."

@2130 Hrs
we had succeeded in getting a tempo 407 ready to commute us to satara for Rs. 800 which seemed to be a fair deal.
started my regular world famous allergic sneezing ;) as the tempo was carrying bricks & the dust was still there & Anand being afraid of getting affected pulled up his jacket hood which made sharayu get her snap of this night..."draculla Anand ;)" ... a professional one.

@2330 Hrs
reached satara. I looked out terribly for water to get a face wash else I was too uncomfortable to travel due to the allergy.

@0100 Hrs(16th Nov)
reached swargate.
Tabrez & Anand were damn hungry I was too dull to eat due to allergy & throat infection. Now was the time to share the bacha khucha khana. Anand brought banana chips tabrez took the muffins only three but Anand managed to get one for him, sharayu left with munching the banana chips. Tabrez left with a separate auto. Me, Anand & sharayu shared an auto, but Anand was doubtful abt the fare ;). reached room by 0130 Hrs.

the trip ended with a sound sleep on my bed finally.

The only regret of the trek: this being the first trek where I'ven't done a portfolio shoot of my dear frnds : stray DOGS ;)


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@0545 Hrs
got lucky enough to catch the auto for Pune Stn...
The Three Stooges.. me, Indrajeet & Umakant(* name changed....... 'll let u know the real name in due course)...
Ahem!!! did i forgot to mention the holy cause...
well we r on a fly to catch a train ......

reached stn...
Shobha & Swati already waiting for us...but Ratul yet to reach....in the mean time Rajesh Jawale & Avinash Jain joined & & & Tipur & Sudhir still having their bfast @ rm & yet to get launch for the stn

The train is abt to get the green signal
we r running here n ther.. there comes Tipur the Gr8 & Sudhir bhai
& we didn't bother to 've a bite of the bread n jam there itself
indrajeet has gone to book tickets & gosh its all a mess....
we r running here n ther all across the platform just to make sure tht we don't miss even a single.

"Coooooooooooo Chuk chuk!!!"
there it is.... pals...
we are all set for Malvani... {base to Lohgad} the previous village to Lonavla...

hu r we....well the team consists of a bunch of
old ppl from chapter I
: Indrajeet, Ratul, Tipur & me..
newbiees: Sudhir, Shobha, Swati, Rajesh, Umakant... (aa ss aaA the real name is yet to b declared!!!)....

reached Malvni.... it already started raining in bits n bytes...
now was the gr8 idea which has hit swati...
"hey open the Umbrella... its raining"..
an umbrella on a monsoon trek ***
it was green & glossy all around, the water rolling down from the top along with the moss where actually getting converted to Waterfalls

get going with the Waterfall...
it's huge & mind boggling & has
fascinated us towards itself..
we've gone against the wind.. water flowing down & slop...
it was fun to fight against the nature for a while...
but surely cld've been dangerous... 'd either of us has met any accident...
"swati is still holding her umbrella.....against wind & rain in against water flow"
& there goes the umbrella...
we cldn't 've hold our laugh...
man it was tough already we were holding each other to support cross the water flow..
we 'd a photo shoot up ther... & then got back to the route we were here to follow...

got a tapri
'd our bfast: wada pav, bread jam, corn bhel, tea etc
& ofcourse sm snaps again

our nxt destinatn: Bhaje Caves
shobha got exhasted in the mean time while climbing the steps to the caves...
tx to Glucose D ... "yeh jaan mein jaan daal de peete hi"
accompanied us 2 grps of small children one from chinchwad & another from nigdi & a dog...
again was a photo shoot...

just few steps short to the final destination:
tea break
when we turned around we'd seen the fort through the clearing fog

now was the time when we've discovered that one among us is Komal Nath....
& to our surprise it was none other than Umakant...(now I've got his real name)
well this was what swati assumed his name to be....not sure what made her interpret that

now was the time when I felt like to trek a bit as till now 'd a feeling as if I was more on a picnic in a garden.. so I opted to set on the journey through a different means, along with me was Komal Nath through the bushes, crossing the moss, some running some time brisk walk.... we 'd climbed the fort steps..

The destination .... awaiting for us

there I've seen a scenery of my life time

memorable incident #1:
"water flowing upside rather flying upside..."
yeah that's true though hard to believe...
lemme put in more logical manner...

it was a terribly windy day & @ a height 2k+ ft the free falling water was thrown away in the opposite direction ... i really wish I cld've been in a position to picture or vedio shoot that.

memorable incident #2:
there was a pool of water, me & tipur ran towards it & the rest were damn terrified as they were interpreting that we might jump into the pool... which surely wd 've been a stupid idea when it was simply flooded, all of them ahouted @ us to make sure that we don't ....
but to be honest i do 'd that idea in my mind once...

# I don't understand how were Shivaji maharaj aware of the water resources @ the peaks @ each fort.

memorable incident #3: Vinchu kanta
the peakmost dead end.
the thin footpath sort to the end of 2k+ft
just enough by an inch for a single person to walk down the ramp

when we were all set to the point hardly 20mts away we've found that there 3 ppl already @ the end. The footpath was can be defined as "ek taraf pahad to durri taraf khayi {2k+fts}"

but still they opted to come back even though we were half way down.
some how managing we reached the point...

The Point: watching down 2k+fts just down our feet was an awesome feeling.

we were lucky enough as the fog just cleared to get ur the rare view.

We: Me, Tipur, Ratul.. the lucky chaps ho made it ... indrajeet was standing behind just to make sure that things are alright... & ladies didn't even bothered to try.. they were tired enough
shobha & swati had got cramps & were on Glucose...

the drill down back to pavellion
Antakshari & bhangda too accompanied us along with the photo shoot.
chilling down back under the water fall: Tipur & Shudhir

the train back to Pune stn.

@ 17:45Hrs
reached back pune stn.
were planing to 've dinner together but swati & shobha had to leave
so rest of us just had some snacks there itself & ended our journey....

frnds my appologies if I missed out any thing as I'm writing this mermorising all the events almost after 2 yrs..


@0030 Hrs…
I was @ my frnd Indrajeet’s room,
with my team (Germany) for 3-4 position @ WC2006- Germany vs Portugal”.
The Ist half was as dull as gloomy Sunday…
But The IInd half was simply superb.
Though Germany made It by 3-1…but I wasn’t part of the Victory.

@0415 Hrs…
The Sun came up too early…

@0545 Hrs…
reached swargate “Hotel Natraj”..
Oohh !!! did I missed something..
We r supposed to head towards TORNA Fort for Water Rappling…
First Accent Grp arranged the activity.
So nxt came Tipur, Snehal, Ratul (was busy in look’g for a park’g place for is bike), followed by Sharayu(Team representative) & Nikhath

@0630 Hrs…
All set...to Velhe(village @ the foot of Torna Fort).
but Oops wher’s the person we contacted(Salil Kulkarni).
So only after our Team representative’s special request, the conductor made the bus to wait for few more minutes..
Dur’g the journey we planned to trek to Sinhgad on our way back to home….

@0830 Hrs…
landed on my first dream trek (read as professional trek).
As 5 of us followed the Grp(First Accent), whereas 2 of us (RATUL & INDRAJEET) were eager enough to xplore a fountain..
but they missed the camera too much.. & as of us we missed the fountain.
After hav’g snacks (pohe & tea) we headed towards the much waited event..
We trekked almost 20-25 mins. Cross’g the land, streams, steep & muddy elevations we manged to reach the base where the activity was planned.

Our guide:Sachin, Vikas, Salil, Bhushan, Avanti, Rupesh..

My Experience:We were fully equipped with Harness, Carabina, Decender, Gloves & Helmet..
We assembled for Salil to introduce us to the other instructors. They conducted a small session regard'g water rappelling awareness & equipments.
Bhushan had given the demo during the session.
After the session was over we were taken back to the point from where we were supposed to rappel down.
Salil was the first to rappel down, to be precise a live demo.
After few others tried their luck, the next one was ....
Who !!! ..... meeee.. phew!!
WaOoo I found myself stand'g @ the edge of the fall..
Prior to my jump Sachin instructed me his last words.
When I was @ the Edge, don’t know wht it was, won’t lie tht wasn’t comfortable, “The Moment”.
But soon after I’ve stepped down 6-7 steps..
I realized tht I wasn’t able to reach The Rock Wall to get the support then I recalled what Sahil told us, “Get’g down is completely in our hand, no matter if U r n’t reach’g ther U can go straight down!!”.
Tht..z..iT I justed locked myself to hang ‘round ther for a moment..looked @ every possible things I c’ld view @ that pt. Then feeded the rope to the descender to descend.

But pals trust me, ”reach’g bottom was not @all a relief, rather the hang’g out in the middle was more xcit’g, thrill'g..
One can actually feel the Adrenaline Rush
”. Finally I can say,”I’ve discovered a soln to my altophobia!!!

But the adventure didn’t stop straight away, it lead to another xcit’g chapter, while climb’g down to the village we’d more fun..
One can feel the eye sooth'g scenes, greenery..
@times we can actually C the clouds close..
I wish we'd 've more time to do all those Jal-Krida
@least I along with Tipur made the most of our time...
but must agree to the fact what eye can C & make U feel, Technology can't(digi-cam)..
After all those stuffs we had daal-bhaat, bhakri, loncha, kanda, for lunch.

@1430 Hrs…
Luckily we got the bus to return, else we’d to wait an Hr more. According to what we've planned @ runtime, 4 of us (Ratul, Tipur, Indrajeet & me ofcourse) head’d towards Sinhgad & whereas Sharayu, Nikhat & Snehal preferred to go back to Swargate.
In the meanwhile Sharayu discovered that she missed her spectacles in the hotel, so Indrajeet along with her ran back to get the specs, but all in vain
(eventually she found that her specs was with her only, which we came to know ultimately the nxt day in office).

@1500 Hrs…
reached Vinjar....
along with Indrajeet, Ratul & Tipur, I’ve said , “chao” to our frnds & moved ahead.
Cross’g Vinjar, we’d to go through Dungragaon where lied multi-faced demons.
The Gr8est of them was mud that was similar to marsh.
Ratul’d a pair of Woodland shoes, so didn’t had that much of the problems in cross'g them.
So he was almost on a cross-country race. In the meanwhile, I’ve found myself, got stuck in the half pitch, rescue’g Indrajeet from those demon mud.

Other demon faced: heavy streams, bad light, rain, jungle & dangerous mosquitos..
battl’g out those demons somehow we managed to reach the peak in 2 Hrs but buddy tht wasn’t the end. We were exhausted after trekk’g almost straight upwards, th’ Ratul said not to leave the trails, I preferred to hack out new short-cuts (which Ultimately made us to reach the top in quite a lesser time). BUT…

@1700 Hrs…
We discovered: It was a Cruel Jungle & we didn’t have equipments & gears (not even the Torch) & it grew dark, we’d hardly managed till 1800 Hrs. So decided to return back fac’g those demons again!!!

@1800 Hrs…
We managed to return back to the base, Vinjar bus stop.
Phew!! Returned in almost half the time to climb up.
Waited for the bus for almost 2 Hrs but ultimately returned in a milk wagon.

@2220 Hrs…
reached swargate…
For the first time ever in my life I've walked bare foot for more than 100 mts & that too in a A grade city alike Pune, to get an auto as the shoes were baddly drenched.

@2300 Hrs…
reached Indrajeet’s home…

@2330 Hrs…
started most waited WC2006, Germany, Italy vs France..( 18th FIFA World Cup 2006 at Berlin Olympic stadium)
parallel to that we started our dinner…
Ummm!!! the chicken was delicious.. who says they r suffer’g from Bird flu..

I was completely with the WC’06 Finals Ist half.
The IInd half started with some lighten’g attack by the French (Henry) but soon got dull, leav’g a fully exhausted kid (me ;) ) to go in his dreamland.
But 10X to Umakant a frnd(colleague) & Sumonto Da (Indrajeet’s room partner) who saw to it tht I B a part of the Italy’s 4th World Cup title