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Sunday, 14 February 2010

Sudhagad Overnight - Ascent

Sudhagad was one of the most beautiful places that I have been to. The scenery was so beautiful and there was a valley sighting in all directions.

It would have been brilliant to capture sunset and sunrise at this place. Imagine sunset with one set of mountains in the background and sunrise with another. I could only imagine. But I wanted to check it out myself. In the monsoon it would have been tough as the whole area is like walking in the clouds. However winter seemed to be the best time to do so.

And yes we had to go overnight. So we had to carry provisions for cooking, vessels and the like. I knew that there were some implements available at the wada at the top, but was not sure whether they were in good condition.

We were four of us. One of my friends came to stay over at my place. And we started early in the morning. In order to be able to take the right ST bus we went to the ST stand at night and were told that the first bus to Pali was at 7 am and to Wakan phata was at 630

I remembered though that there were plenty of buses going to Ratnagiri/ Deccan via Mahad that would have gone via Wakan Phata. To the risk of my group feeling let down if there was no bus that early, we assembled at the Mumbai Central ST stand at 445 am

And yes there was a bus waiting for us as well. This was the Indapur ST and would take us to Wakan. We got into it.

On the way we had some piping hot bhajias and chai at Pen ST stand and got off at Wakan. We took a ricksha to the base point Thakurwadi at Pacchapur and started the trek after posing for a couple of photos.

It was quite hot. The cold that we had felt at Pen had disappeared as we started going uphill. We were also carrying a lot of load and we were not used to it. The valley on both the sides was also breathtaking and the view of the tak mak point of Sudhagad was beautiful.

There was no habitation on the way. It was a continuous slope though there were no tricky parts to it. It was a very simple gradient. We were passing through a jungle with valley on the left and the huge motif of the fort on the right. Then suddenly to the right we saw a staircase of the Pacchapur Darwaja. As soon as you complete the staircase the view on the right hand side is again very nice. Some things have to be seen to be believed.

We were also tired here. So the packets of glucose came out and the water. We had some 8 litres of water. We were told that there was potable water at the top but we had to conserve it as much as possible. We had the water with the glucose. Then we resumed the climb and started moving towards the fort. On the way we stopped to get another nice view of Tel Baila and the river passing by in between. We took our own time to reach the top.

Other trekkers would have taken about 2 - 2 and a half hours to reach the top. We took around an hour more. But it was a very enjoyable trek. Amazing scenery in all directions. Something that is so rare.

We reached the top and stopped to take a breath. We had lots of water here, thinking that we would get potable water on the top.

We started out towards the wada and found it after a huge walk. The surface area of the fort is quite huge and no wonder Shivaji Maharaj had shortlisted it as one of the places to build the capital city of Hindavi Swarajya.

We got into the wada and settled down. There was a choolha there that was freshly used. There was a room we were told where utensils etc were kept along with the mats.

The best part was a solar powered lamp that got lit automatically as the sun set and would stay lit till around 1 am

It was a nice place and much better than we had anticipated

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