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Friday, 21 August 2015

Flashback - Trek to Manikgad Part- 2

We were at Talavli village. Looking for a route to get to Manikgad. It was very early in the morning around 6 am. No one was around. Suddenly we saw a group of ladies with pots on their head coming our way. It was a typical village scene shown in hindi movies, but nothing else happened like a hindi movie !!

We asked for directions and they moved on.

We went ahead in the direction which the ladies had gestured and started walking. After walking for around an hour, we were in the same place where we had started.

At least thats what we thought we were.

We looked around but there was no sign of the village. We didnt know where to go. So we decided the "celebrate" the moment.
Tired and Hungry - Lost

We could hear a stream of water flowing nearby. We walked to the water side and frolicked in it for a while. Splashing water on each other. Had a wash, completed our morning ablutions in the bushes farther than the water.

Since we had no food since the previous night (it was around 9 am) we realised pangs of hunger. Anyways we didnt have hopes of getting to the top. We just thought we would be lucky if we could get to a place where ST buses were available !

We were happy to see a cow herd walking towards us. We narrated our story with him and requested him to help us get to the nearest ST stand.

To our surprise he offered to take us to Manikgad. We were short of food and water. But we had come all the way simply to get to Manikgad. We took the offer.

This was the most thrilling trek I ever had. He led us from thorny bushes, uphill walks through slippery grass, and God know where all ! We never located a beaten path. It looked like the path he led his cows to the top :P

We could not match his pace. We were both panting but the gentleman had left his cows with a junior and he wanted to reach the top as fast as possible. So we managed to conjure up all the strength and kept up with him. At around 12:30 we had reached a place where there was a dilapidated temple, a shiv ling in it and a spectacular view of the valley. We asked him how much longer was Manikgad.

We were surprised when he told us we were on top of the fort (or whatever was left of it).

The view was really spectacular and we were happy to have completed the trek.

Between the 3 of us we gobbled up whatever snacks were remaining and decided to return. There was hardly any shade so there was no resting area.

He suggested another route to us that opened at Vadgaon and told us it was much easier.

Yes it was. the route was really well defined but much longer. But since it was a straight forward route, we didnt have much of a problem in getting back to civilisation. From Vadgaon, we could see Patalganga nearby and took a rick shaw to Panvel and then back to Mumbai

Even today, when the two of us meet, we discuss this specific trek and share a good laugh

All Treks are memorable, but some treks are more memorable than others !

Flashback - Trek to Manikgad - Part 1

So one fine morning an excited Shyam called me. He said he had found a treasure. It was an old album of photographs that had captured few of the most memorable moments that we had spent together.

Included in this were a couple of pic of our most memorable trek. This one was to Manikgad.

In the 90s when we trekked, we used to simply meet at Dadar Station Hanuman Mandir on saturday nights. It used to be 3 of us. Anand, Shyam and myself normally.

We used to enjoy a cup of paani kum chai at the corner Irani restaurant and go through the book "Trek to Sahyadris" by Harish Kapadia.

This helped us decide where we would go for a trek that night. Then we used to dig into our pockets for coins of Re.1 that could be used to make local calls at the PCO next to the ticket booking counter at Dadar Terminus. These calls would be made to our groupies who were waiting for our calls. The only instructions would be Name of Trek, Details of Train to be taken. E.g. If we were going to Kalsubai, the only instructions would be Kalsubai, Mahanagar Express.

One such trek it was just Shyam and me. We decided to go ahead and left for Karjat. We normally spent the night at the Karjat bus stand and had planned to go to Prabalgad and reached Chowk. There were some people at the bus stand who over heard us talking about prabal and warned us not to go there as the there was a lot of vegetation that had grown and was hiding the route. Also the place was infested with snakes. A Combination of both of the above made the route dangerous for only 2 people to go.

We referred to our book and thought of going to Manikgad from Talavli route.

We took a share rickshaw to Talavli

We took a share rickshaw to Talavli. We were happy that the adventure ended and we were safe. But really the adventure had just started !!