Thursday, May 21, 2015

Durgadi Janani Durg fort parallel to Varandha ghat

Durgadi Janani Durg fort parallel to Varandha ghat

Durgadi fort or Janani Durg(Now Named as Mohangad) was found out by a team of archeologists from Deccan college Pune in year 2010-11
It is located parallel to Varandha ghat and Raireshwar and Kolheshwar mountains near Mahabaleshwar
It is located in very dense forests of Javali which are similar to the forests in the koyna region.Around 15 to 20 years back, tigers were seen in this region
About the history of fort
It is believed that this fort should be more than 400  to 1000 years old since it has water tanks and caves  on top of it.During the period of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, this region was lead by Baji Prabhu and the construction of forts in this region was in progress(Durgadi, Kawalya ,Kangori forts) but unfortunately while fighting a battle at Pawankhind, Baji Prabhu lost his life and the building forts in this region didn’t continued hence in this region, you will find that almost all forts were in half stage of construction
It is believed that Durgadi fort was used as a watch tower to keep watch on routes in konkan like  Varandha and Kamtha ghat(Kamtha ghat route is not used anymore because this route is damaged in landslide after koyna earthquake around 1957)
How to approach Durgadi fort
From Pune/Bhor take a bus to Mahad(Going through Varandha ghat) and ask for Shirgaon stop(Tell the conductor that you want to go to Durgadi and before shirgaon, there is a left turn where you have to get down)
You will be able to see backwaters of Neera Devghar dam while travelling through varandha ghat route to mahad. Look for the milestone showing Mahad 36 kms
From this place, the road starts climbing uphill and now you will not be able to see the backwaters of the dam.2 kms before Shirgaon, you will see a board pointing towards left  “Janani Devi Mandir”.From this place, leave the Bhor-Mahad road and take the road going to left.
After 1 km walking, you will reach the Janani devi temple
In front this temple, there is a route going In dense forests, climb through this route.In 15 to 20 minutes, you will reach a halfway mark.From here, there are 2 routes.One route goes left and other route goes towards right side.
Follow the route towards right.From here, you will reach the top in around 45 minutes
Don’t go to the left side route because you will go deep in the forest and end with a blocked route in dense forests.We went by this route first but in 15 minutes, we found that this route is going downwards whereas we were supposed to climb the mountain but still we hoped that somewhere, we will get a route to climb up but we didn’t get it. Instead we were landed in a place where the route was blocked by big fallen trees and there was a small water pool in forest with pugmarks of wild pigs
From this place, we came back to the place where there are 2 routes and followed the route towards right and reached the top
There is nothing to be getting lost.Follow the route in forest.There is only one route which goes to the top through a narrow ridge.There is valley on both sides of ridge with dense bushes and trees coming in way.

Be careful at the top near the temple especially when you are climbing down from this point.If you slip here, you will land into the valley.There is no excuse for that

It was 3:00 pm hence we returned back fast till 4:00 pm to Durgadi village and later to Shirgaon, got bus  and came to bhor around 6:00 pm
About Bus timing: From Bhor , there are buses to Durgadi approx every 2 hours and last bus is around 6:00 pm whereas there are frequent buses from Pune to Mahad going by this route.Ask for buses going by Varandha ghat only to Mahad. From Pune, there are 2 routes to Mahad(Varandha ghat and Tamhini ghat)

Also this fort can be approached from Kiye/Gothali/Pimpalwadi village(base village of Kangori Mangalgad fort) after descending Varandha ghat, from varandh village,take left to go to these villages(Buses available from Mahad)
Here are the pictures
Janani Durg seen from Shirgaon village near Varandha ghat

View of Varandha ghat and Neera Devghar Dam from Durgadi

Dense Javali forests towards Raireshwar and Aswal Khind

Kangori Mangalgad fort seen while climbing Durgadi fort

Varandha ghat region and the forests seen below in the valley

View of Varandha ghat from Durgadi fort

Durga Temple on top of Janani fort

Be careful while climbing down from here.If you slip, there is no excuse

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

In Sahyadris, How much meters do you climb from base village to top

How much climb in meters you actually climb in Sahyadris during your trek?

I have measured heights of base villages in Sahyadris through Altimeter  and by using GPS device from Garmin which is the most trusted device and also from my altimeter app on Lumia Windows Phone.

My Procedure was as follows
     1) You know the height of the mountain in Sahyadris from mean sea level(Information available in many trek related books and over internet). Record it.This is reading A             
     2)      Reach the base village and take the Altimeter readings(B).This is the reading of base village altitude from mean sea level.              
      3)      Now do simple mathematics of (A-B) and you get the actual climb
This actual climb is what you climb in your trek from the base village to the top and this you know even before you climb
Here are few readings which I took recently in some treks treks in past 6 months to 1 year as well as some data I had previously collected.Based on this,I have 

Mountain Name
Height in meters from mean sea level(A)
Height of Base village from mean sea level(B)
Total climb from base village to top(A-B)
1646 meters
Bari village 797 mtrs
850 meters
Kalsubai(From Udadavne)
1646 meters
Udadavane 680 meters
960 meters
1297 meters
Ratanwadi 650 mtrs
647 meters
Patta Vishramgad
1392 meters
Pattawadi 1000 meters
392 meters
Chondhe Ghat
700 meters
Chondhe 180 meters
520 meters
1471 meters
Kulangwadi 380 meters
1100 meters
 1567 meters
 Waghambe 650 meters
 917 meters
Ajoba Parvat
1375 meters
Dehne 205 meters
1170 meters
1403 meters
Kumshet 620 meters
783 meters
1532 meters
Shirpunje 720 meters
812 meters
1520 meters
Shirpunje 720 meters
800 meters
1198 meters
Shirpunje 720 meters
478 meters
Harishchandragad(From Pachnai)
1429 meters
Pachnai 830 meters
599 meters
Harishchandragad(From Khireshwar Malshej)
1429 meters
Khireshwar 710 meters
719 meters
Harishchandragad(From Belpada Malshej)
1429 meters
Belpada 198 meters
1231 meters
Nane ghat(From Konkan)
867 meters
Vaishakhare 350 meters
517 meters
Nane ghat (from Junnar)
867 meters
Ghatghar 800 meters
67 meters
1176 meters
Ghatghar 800 meters
376 meters
1267 meters
Amboli 700 meters
567 meters
1171 meters
Hatwij 750 meters
440 meters
Ahupe ghat(From Konkan)
1150 meters
Dehri 200 meters
950 meters
Ahupe ghat from Dimbhe
1150 meters
Ahupe 1000 meters
150 meters
629 meters
Dehri 200 meters
429 meters
982 meters
Narivali 180 meters
802 meters
1003 meters
Narivali 180 meters
825 meters
1005 meters
Khandas 100 meters
905 meters
Bhimashankar(From Pune)
1005 meters
Bhimashankar Temple 930 meters
75 meters(Nagphani point)
985 meters
Bhorgiri village 870 meters
115 meters
1295 meters
Palu 900 meters
395 meters
1247 meters
Hedruj Khind 1000 meters
247 meters
1275 meters
Hedruj Khind 1000 mtrs
275 meters
829 meters
Pachad 400 meters
429 meters
1398 meters
Rairi 750 meters
645 meters
1370 meters
Narayanpur 800 meters
570 meters
1396 meters
Paali 950 meters
445 meters
Rajgad(From Gunjavane)
1396 meters
Gunjavane 800 meters
590 meters
1406 meters
Velhe 770 meters
630 meters
1298 meters
Donje 820 meters
478 meters

Still more to come

Surprisingly you find interesting facts

1) Bhimashankar,Siddhagad etc are 1000 meters above sea level but still you climb around 800 meters in your trek whereas Rajgad Torana etc are having height around 1400 meters, but yet their climb is around 450 to 600 meters

2) Harishchandragad from Belpada in Konkan is the trek offering highest climb around 1200 meters from base village to top followed by Ajoba Parvat and Kulang.These trek takes around 4 to 11 hours of climbing.Same is the case of Ratangad and Dhakoba from Konkan(total climb of these treks is not mentioned from konkan yet) 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Raireshwar from Dharambe-Kankwadi Tiger route(वाघ दार)

Raireshwar from Dharambe-Kankwadi Tiger route(वाघ दार)

Raireshwar (1398 meters) is a big vast spread table top mountain of 16 kms length and 2.5 kms wide which is 6 times larger than Panchgani table land

रायरेश्वर चा इतिहास जर आपण बघितला तर छत्रपती शिवाजी महाराज जेव्हा १६ वर्षांचे होते तेव्हा त्यांनी स्वराज्याच्या आपल्या सोबतींच्या मावळ्यांबरोबर हिंदवी स्वयाज्याचा स्थापनेचे एक शपथ घेतली होती .ती शपथ ज्या ठिकाणी घेतली होती तेच हे स्थान म्हणजे रायरेश्वर

Location of Raireshwar
Raireshwar is located in Bhor taluka of Pune district and since it is a very long mountain hence there are many base villages from all directions
It can be approached from Bhor and Wai
From Bhor,there are many base villages .The easiest route is from Ambeghar->Korle and from here,there is a motorable road(it is not a tar road) from korle village till ladders.From ladders,it takes hardly 20 minutes to reach the top

From other base villages, you need to climb around 500 to 600 meters(Almost equal to Torana) and takes time around 1 hour to 2.5 hours.The other base villages are Rairi(रायरी),Kankwadi(कंकवाडी ) ,Dharambe(धारांबे) , Dhanivali(धानवली)
From Wai, Raireshwar can be approached from Kenjalgad
Raireshwar can also be approached from Konkan Poladpur Taluka through Kamtha ghat(कामठे घाट )/Aswal Khind(अस्वल खिंड ) parallel to Varandha ghat but the route is difficult and also in this regions, Bears and other wild animals are present.This route is not used because there are no villages for almost 10 kms in the forests.Mostly Raireshwar is trekked till Nakhind point(नाखिंद टोक ).Beyond that,  Bears and other wild animals rule

Our route
We choose Dharambe village near Nigudghar on the Varandha ghat route.From here,Raireshwar is around 600 meter climb.

From Nigudghar,we left the Varandha ghat route,took left,crossed the Nira river bridge and took the road to Durgadi which is on the other side of Nira Devghar dam wall and parallel to Varandha ghat road.8 kms from Nigudghar,you will see vast  spread Raireshwar to your left and on an sharp turn, an arrow pointing towards Dharambe village.From here, take left and go towards Dharambe village(1 km) .You can park your vehicles near ZP school in village

From the school, next there is an temple and few houses below,from these houses,through bamboo plantations, you have to take the route and further at the end of bamboo plantations,you have to take left.This route is the Tiger's route(वाघ दार ) to Raireshwar .There is no possibility of missing routes .In any case,you loose your route, always follow the water pipeline route till the final climb.Just before the final climb,when the forest becomes more dense , you have to leave the pipeline and take left .Follow this route in forests and you will reach a flat plateau with dense forests.From here, walk 1 km in the forests, you will reach the village on top.on top, plateau, there are around 50 houses of local Jangam people.Further,from these houses,200 meters walking distance is the temple at Raireshwar

People here do farming for 8 months totally on rain water , rice,Nachani and wheat(Kalyan Sona variety).Water available here is ample.There are water tanks which supply water to Rairi,Kaari,Kankwadi,Dharambe ,Dhanivali by pipelines.

Nandgaon Village Nitin Kudle's House

Nandgaon village

Dharambe village the starting point of Raireshwar trek


Route Till Halfway

Always follow these pipelines till a certain route

Dharambe village left far behind.Backwaters of Neera Devghar dam and the Varandha ghat seen from here

Raireshwar Top point seen 

Rairi village seen below

Long Long Trek.We have climbed more than half way till here.Now climb more around 200 meters and then walk to the end point as seen in the picture 


The final climb.From here, leave the pipeline towards your right and proceed towards your left in the forests

Final climb.आता तुम्हाला समजेल कि याला वाघ दार का म्हणतात .या अश्याच जंगलातून २ कि मी चालायचे , कड्यातून वाट काढत तुम्हाला माथा गाठायचा आहे . चुकून वाघ आलाच तर पळायला जागा पण नाही या जंगलात  
Village on top of Raireshwar..शेवटी एकदाचे पोहोचलो गावात 

हेच ते मंदिर जिथे शिवाजी महाराजांनी स्वराज्य स्थापनेची शपथ घेतली होती 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Ahupe Sakhar Machi trek

The area from Ahupe to Kondhwal is an area which comes under core area of Bhimashankar wild life sanctuary and mountains like Ahupe,Damdamia,Ghonemal are located in this area and are not much accessible.Dense forests and no human settlements for miles makes this trek a very challenging
Ahupe to Kondhwal is a 9 kms walk and further 4 kms is Bhimashankar whereas Bhorgiri is a 7 kms walk further from Bhimashankar so this total area of forest is more than 200 sq kms

We planned a trek from Ahupe to Damdamia and further to Ghonemal and hence from Pune, We started around 6:30 am and  reached Ahupe till 12:30 pm.It was a journey beyond Dimbhe dam backwaters.Ahupe is 48 kms from Dimbhe dam but takes too much time
We were 4 people I with Anirban,Kiran and Sudarshan.

How to reach Ahupe
From Pune
From Manchar, take the road towards Bhimashankar, you will reach Ghodegaon(12 kms) further 10 kms is Dimbhe colony.From here you will see wall of Dimbhe dam to your right.From here you will see a small road going towards right and left towards Bhimashankar.From here, leave the  Bhimashankar road and turn right towards Dimbhe dam wall. From here,Ahupe is 48 kms

From Konkan(You have to climb 600 meters trek )
Reach Dehri/Khopivali(Base villages of Gorakhgad).From here climb the plateau between Gorakhgad and Ahupe ghat. You will reach Der Maata temple just below pinnacle of Gorakhgad.From here , climb down into the valley and a steep route in dense forests and through the waterfall will lead you to Devrai of Ahupe after 2.5 hours climb approx

From Bhimashankar
Take a bus from Manchar towards Bhimashankar and just 5 kms before Bhimashankar, get down at Kondhwal Fata.You will see a Tar road going towards your right and a board written Ahupe 15 kms.
Follow this Tar road (After 2 kms, this is not a Tar road and this is a normal bullock cart road in the forests)
6 kms after walking, you will reach Kondhwal village.Further walking on this road, you will reach Ahupe which is 9 kms .Our Trek route was exactly reverse of this.From Ahupe, we were following the route towards Bhimashankar and reach Damdamia

आहुपे कडून दमदम्या /भीमाशंकर कडे कसे जायचे ?

आहुपे  गावात आल्यावर आपल्याला डावीकडे  एक आश्रमशाळा दिसेल , त्या शाळे पासून डावीकडे एक बैल गाडी ची वाट तुम्हाला जंगलात गेलेली दिसेल . हीच वाट आहुपे -> कोंढवळ -> भीमाशंकर पर्यंत जाते (१५ कि मी ). या वाटेने जंगलातून कधी उतार तर कधी चढ करत  तुम्हाला खाली साधारण ३०० फुट खोल दरी  दिसेल आणि दाट आणि भले मोठे पठार त्या दरीत दिसेल . या पठाराला साखर माची म्हणतात
हे पठार ओलांडून पुन्हा कोंढवळ कडे निघाल्यास पुढे "भट्टीचे रान " हे ठिकाण दिसेल . या ठिकाणी Forest check post आहे आणि सुदैवाने कोणी माणूस येथे असला तर तुम्ही दमदम्या ला जाणारी वाट विचारू शकतात . या check post पासून उजवीकडे जंगलात गेलात कि दमदम्या आणि खाली कोकणात सिद्धगड कडे उतरणारी वाट ज्याला बैल घाट म्हणतात त्या वाटेने जावे लागते आणि सरळ गेलात कि कोंढवळ-घोनेमाळ -भीमाशंकर   पर्यंत पोहोचता येते

But instead of Damdamia, we reached a different mountain

It is a total different story
"चालती का नाम गाडी " या चित्रपटात एक किशोर कुमार ने  गाणे गायलेले  आठवते का ज्याच्यात शब्द असे पण आहेत " हम थे  वो थे और समा रंगीन समझ गये ना , जाते थे  जापान पोहोच गये चिन समझ गये ना  "
या जंगलांनी ,  तिथल्या वातावरणाने इतकी भुरळ पडली कि आम्हाला जायचे होते  दमदम्या ला पण पोहोचलो खेतोबा ला 
पण जे होते ते चांगल्या साठीच होते 

साखर माची पर्यंत पोहोचल्यावर जंगलात खूप आत आलो होतो आणि तीन डोंगर एकदम एक सारखे दिसत होते ,आणि सगळे आमच्या उजवीकडे होते जिथे आम्हाला जायचे होते  आणि या मध्ये दमदम्या नक्की कोणता हे ओळखता येत नव्हते कारण विचारायला कोणाच नव्हते , भट्टीचे रान दिसत नव्हते  तसेच सिद्धगड पण दिसत नव्हता ज़र सिद्धगड दिसला असता तर दमदम्या  ओळखता आला असता कारण सिद्धगड आणि दमदम्या हे एकमेकांच्या शेजारी आहेत त्यामुळे  आम्ही असे ठिकाण शोधत होतो कि जिथून सिद्धगड पण दिसू शकतो 
त्यामुळे आमच्या उजवीकडे असलेल्या पहिल्या डोंगर कडे निघालो . अर्धा तास झाल्यावर आम्हाला खाली दरीत साखर माची आणि लांब सिद्धगड दिसला आणि तेव्हा कळले कि त्या तीन एक सारख्या दिसणाऱ्या  डोंगरांमध्ये सर्वात शेवटी व लांब असलेले डोंगर म्हणजे दमदम्या पण तिथे जायचे म्हणजे ती दरी उतरून साखर माची च्या पलीकडे जायचे आणि त्या जंगलात कुठे तरी उजवीकडे वळणारी वाट धरायची पण विचारण्या साठी कोणी माणूस दिसत नव्हता. आम्ही पुन्हा साखर माची कडे निघालो 
दूर लांब  वर त्या जंगलात आम्हाला एक मावशी येताना दिसल्या .आम्ही लगेच धावत तिकडे पोहोचलो .  त्या मावशी कोंढवळ येथून आहुपे कडे चालल्या होत्या त्यांना आम्ही दमदम्या बद्दल  विचारले पण दमदम्या खूप लांब होता कारण आता दुपारचे तीन वाजले आणि मग परत यायला रात्र होईल असे त्या मावशींचे म्हणणे होते 
त्यामुळे आम्ही ठरवले कि पुढच्या वेळेला  रात्री एस टी ने आहुपे ला यायचे आणि मुक्काम करायचा आणि पहाटे भीमाशंकर कडे याच वाटेने निघून  दमदम्या-घोनेमाळ  चा ट्रेक करत भीमाशंकर कडे यायचे

आता आमच्या कडे  ३ तास शिल्लक होते त्यामुळे दुसरे काही ठिकाण पण आम्ही बघत होतो कारण आम्हाला आहुपे गावात संध्याकाळी ५:३० पर्यंत पोहोचायचे होते  
त्या मावशींकडून आम्ही दुसऱ्या वाटेची माहिती करून घेतली जी आहुपे च्या सर्वात उंच ठिकाणी(११५० मीटर ) जाते ज्याला स्थानिक लोक खेतोबा म्हणतात . त्या वाटेने आम्ही निघालो  

We walked almost 6 kms in forests from Ahupe and there were 3 mountains which were looking same and all were on our right side it was not possible for us to identify which is Damdamia.There was nobody in this forest to tell us hence we decided to search from all possible directions.We explored first mountain towards right and after climbing it,we realized that we were very far away from Damdamia.After climbing this mountain, we were able to see Siddhagad far away and since Siddhagad and Damdamia is close, we realized that we were diverted to a different direction.In the meantime, very far away,we saw one lady in forest whom we asked and confirmed about Damdamia.But now it was very late because it was almost 3:00 pm we had to descend down towards a plateau and then climb Damdamia  thus it will be almost night time to reach Ahupe so we decided to do it next time by coming early in morning to Ahupe
Now we started our journey back and then we saw a small route going towards left in the dense forests.We asked the lady once again.She told that this route is towards Khetoba temple and it is used by people to descend into Konkan via Sakhar Maachi Plateau and since it can be reached in around 1 hour hence we decided to go here and then come back to Ahupe.So the lady going to Ahupe went ahead and we took left into the dense forests and after climbing and walking through the huge plateau filled with igneous volcanic rocks , we reached the Khetoba temple in around 45 minutes and that to without panicking on a huge plateau with many confusing routes in dense forests and nobody to guide us.
We reached this place which is the topmost point(1150 meters) in Ahupe-Bhimashankar region

So after this, we reached the topmost point of Ahupe in next 10 minutes and further around 4:30 pm , we again started our journey back to Ahupe , we reached back to village around 6:00 pm and started back to Pune around 6:30 pm

Trek Map of Ahupe Region

Just Before reaching Ahupe.Flowers like Kass Pathar on our way

Trek Route to Bhimashankar from Ahupe village

Plateau of Ahupe and the village seen below

This was the topmost point where we reached instead of Damdamia

Inside the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary.We spotted a Giant Indian Squirrel here

Far to our front the Damdamia mountain.This Place is towards Sakhar Maachi  siddhagad having a huge plateau and very rarely with any human settlements for miles.This is the core area of Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary

Towards Sakhar Maachi into the core area of Bhimashankar

Our route to the Ahupe topmost point after dropping idea of Damdamia 

Ahupe topmost point

A view of Siddhagad to front

Siddhagad (Front) and Damdamia(Left) where we intended to go initially

Khetoba temple on top of Ahupe

A view of Sakhar Machi village below Ahupe

View of Ahupe Plateau till Dhakoba-Nane Ghat area

The small hill to front from where, we left the Bhimashankar route and entered the forests to come at this place

View of Konkan from Ahupe. This is one route to descend down in Konkan

Damdamia(Left 1003 m) the mountain from where britishers fired cannons on Siddhagad(982 m) in 1821 because from Konkan, britishers were not able to capture sidhagad hence they brought cannons on top of Damdamia

Gorakhgad and Siddhagad from Ahupe.We reached here till 6:00 pm evening