Sunday, August 26, 2012

Durg Dhakoba Dara ghat trek

Dara ghat-Durga-Dhakoba trek


Dear trek companions and readers

It has been a fabulous trek to Dara ghat and Durga Dhakoba trek done by we 8 people.Durg Dhakoba is a very special trek for me because after completing this trek only,I have been able to achieve a milestone of completing  around 400 kms of continuous trek in Sahyadris right from Salher near Nasik-Dhule-Gujrat border till Raigad-Varandha ghat region near Mahad hence Durg-Dhakoba is a very special moment.
I am really thankful to my friends Kiran my school time friend, Jitesh, Sudarshan, Ajit,Ritesh, Prashant and Abhay showed interest in this trek and joined this trek and together made it successful.Also I am very much thankful to Shri Pandurang Patankar whose books in Marathi provided very much useful information about Durg and Dhakoba

About Durga-Dhakoba and Dara ghat
Dara ghat is a route between Konkan and Junnar-Ahupe area between Ghod and Mina river used by local people to descend to Konkan near Dhasai village and reach Kalyan.This part is a tribal area into remote and interior Sahyadris with difficult to access .Between Mina and Ghod river valley,there is a vast table top plateau all over near the Dara ghat from where Durg and Dhakoba peaks are the  projections on this plateau. Durga(1175 meters) is situated south of Dhakoba(1270 meters).Dhakoba is the highest peak from Malshej ghat till Varandha ghat region and it offers commanding and excellent views from Bhimashankar till Harishchandragad
How to reach this place
From Pune,reach Junnar and further from Junnar,Amboli is 22 kms away.From here,a broad route takes you to Dara ghat in around 30 minutes.There is no access to Dhakoba from Dara ghat.You have to come back to Amboli village and you will see a waterfall to left side of Amboli village, now follow this way along with the waterfall to reach a plateau .It takes around 1 hour to reach here.Further climbing,up,you will see a vast Plateau,Peak of Dhakoba to your front,a small lake to your left and Durg behind that lake.Dhakoba cannot be climbed directly frfom here.You have to travel towards Durg and somewhere in halfway when dense trees towards your right end, you need to turn right. From here,straight route is to Durg from here and towards right into the dense trees takes you to the place where Dhakoba final climb begins.It takes around 2.5 hours to reach Dhakoba top from Amboli.After descending Dhakoba,when you reach the junction point of Durg Dhakoba,left road goes to Amboli and straight route goes to Durg and descends to Bhivade village(Be careful to ask the route in the village itself and if possible,take some local person with you because in this vast plateau,searching route is very very difficult and especially in foggy weather.We lost our route almost 4 times due to foggy weather but we were lucky that we were able to meet a local person on that vast plateau who guided us to Amboli route otherwise we were almost on a route which was behind Durg and was leading to the difficult Khutedara ghat descending to Konkan.Just one turn we missed out and instead of going to east,we reached towards west dead end ).
From Konkan,Durg-Dhakoba has 3 routes
1)      Dara ghat (दारा घाट )
Dara ghat though ferocious for first timers, but it is the simplest route of the three routes.From this route,you have to reach Palu village near Dhasai which is around 25 kms from Murbad and further walk or by jeep/bus,you need to reach Palu village.from here,you have to walk on a narrow route on edge of Sahyadris and reach Dara ghat and then reach Amboli village to start the trek to Dhakoba
2)      Khutedara ghat (खुटे दार )
This route is from Rampur village near Dhasai and from here you can climb this route and reach Durg from here.This is a very difficult route and almost straight climb.This ghat name is Khutedara ghat but in Marathi,people spell it as Kuthe Dharu ghat(Meaning Where is the place to hold? कुठे धरू ? पकडायला जागा सापडणे कठीण )A straight climb,deep valley behind and in rock faces,you have to search the places to hold something in your hands to proceed further or to come you will now have an idea that if it is difficult to climb then how much difficult will it be to descend it and that too in rainy season?
3)      Doni Dwaar (डोणी दार ) अत्यंत खड्या नाळेतून जाणारी वाट  
This route is also the difficult route to reach Durg because from Madhwadi near Dhasai.It is a straight and steep exhausting climb to reach Durg but little bit less risky than the Khutedara ghat

We did this trek from Amboli,reached Dara ghat around 10:00 am,it was foggy and raining but we reached and then again we were searching a route for Dhakoba and one local lady helped us by showing the way towards Dhakoba
We reached the top plateau in around 1.5 hours and further,we reached Dhakoba top in one more hour.It was too much foggy and nothing in valley was visible.We waited for one hour on Dhakoba top till the fog was cleared so that we can see the Konkan Kada from top of Dhakoba and around 3:30 pm, we were able to see the Konkan Kada for just 30 seconds only and again it started getting foggy.Now we started to descend and after reaching the plateau,we decided not to proceed to Durg since it was around 4:00 pm.But due to fog,we lost our way and we were in the thick forests of Durg(Thus it was nature's wish that we should also do Durg you cant skip Durg if you visit Dhakoba).We reached almost the western rock face of khutedhara ghat behind Durg.On that vast plateau,We met one local person named Hanumant Virtane from Bhivade village the base village of Durga from Junnar side. He who guided us till the waterfall and we reached back to Amboli till 7:00 pm.It was another thrilling experience for trekking in dark through forests of Dara ghat area.
From Amboli,we reached home till 10:30 pm

दुर्गा आणि ढाकोबा हे फक्त एका भल्या मोठ्या पसरलेल्या  पठारावर दोन शिखरे आहेत . या शिखरांवर निवार्याची काहीच सोय नसते त्यामुळे पावसाळ्यात जवळ जवळ ५  ते ६ तास तरी भिजून हा ट्रेक पूर्ण करावा लागतो तसेच तुम्हाला पावसाळ्यात या शिखर वरती जेवण देखील करता येऊ शकत नाही त्यामुळे हा ट्रेक करत असतांना या गोष्टी पण लक्षात ठेवाव्या
या शिखरा नंतर दुर्ग च्या देवराईत दाट जंगलात दुर्गा माउली चे एक छोटे देऊळ आहे त्यात मुक्काम करता येऊ शकतो . दुर्गा वर किल्ला असा काही नाही पण खाली कोकणात उतरण्या साठी  डोणी दार आणि खुटेदरा घाट  अशा  काही प्रचलित घाटवाटा आहेत
हा ट्रेक सोपा नाही कारण या भागात जंगलात एका वेगळ्या प्रकारचे डास आहेत . हे डास चावल्यावर फोड येणे किंवा त्वचा लाल होत नाही तर हा डास चावला त्या ठिकाणहून रक्त निघते .परत पावसाळ्यात या मोठ्या पठारावर इतका चिखल झाला असतो कि अर्धे बूट चिखलाने माखलेले असतात.
दुर्गा ढाकोबा हे काही किल्ले नसल्या मुळे येथे पायर्या किंवा रुळलेल्या वाट नाहीत . हि शिखरे इतक्या दुर्गम ठिकाणी आहेत कि क्वचित एखाद दुसरा स्थानिक माणूस येथे फिरकतो त्यामुळे धुक्याच्या वातावरणात वात चुकली तर फारच बिकट परिस्थिती होते
त्यामुळे या सगळ्या अडचणी वरती मात करून हा ट्रेक करणे म्हणजे एक मोठे समाधान मिळते 

Here are some photos

At Amboli village the starting point of trek at 10:00 am

This place from where last year,I cant forget from where I had to return back unwillingly.Actually last time itself,I was willing to go to Dara ghat and further to Dhakoba but anyway this time,my friends with me supported me fully till the end of trek and thus the last year debacle didnt happen this time
त्यामुळे मागच्या वर्षी ची ती संतापजनक आणि कटू आठवण मला आज विसरता आली 

On route to Dara ghat from Amboli

Some moments at the Dara ghat route

A mountain formation on route to Dara ghat

Our group of 8 people(Photograph taken by Jitesh)


Scene at Dara ghat.A ferocious rock face

The route from Dara ghat to descend into Konkan towards Dhasai

We all at Dara ghat

Dhakoba temple on way to Dhakoba near Dara ghat

Dense trees on way to Dhakoba from Dara ghat

This lady showed us the route towards Dhakoba from Dara ghat

Further from here,the photos are taken from Mobile camera because after climbing up near the waterfall, my camera battery pack exhausted hence I have to rely on my Mobile phone camera of Nokia classic handset

Rock patch to climb the Dhakoba Plateau

Waterfall on our way

Cave and a waterfall on way to Dhakoba

Amboli village now left far behind near the dam seen far away 

Dhakoba peak visible for first time after walking for one hour

Finally on the vast Plateau with Dhakoba peak in front

Lake on the Plateau with Durg behind

Remains of animals like sheep,cows etc on Dhakoba Plateau.There are many leopards in this area and thus there were remains of animals eaten by leopards,foxes etc found all over the Plateau

A snake Saw scaled Viper(फुरसा ) resting in a rock

Plateau of Dhakoba and the rock face of west side on way to Dhakoba

Durg also left far behind now.We were climbing Dhakoba

Clouds sailing all over the Plateau

Final climb of Dhakoba

Finally on the top but it was very very foggy and it started to rain

Nothing was visible behind this point.But below this point,there is a 3500 feet deep straight valley.We were waiting in heavy rains here for the fog to dissapear so that we can have a snap of Kokan Kada of Dhakoba

Finally after 1 hour of waiting,we got just 30 seconds to get a snap of Kokan Kada of Dhakoba. (हे दृश्य टिपण्या करिता आम्हाला ढाकोबा च्या शिखरावर जवळ जवळ १ तास प्रचंड पावसात आणि सोसाट्याच्या वार्यात थांबावे लागले आणि फक्त ३० सेकंद आम्हाला हा फोटो काढण्या साठी  मिळाला  ) 

Again after 30 seconds,the weather became foggy

The route to descend was difficult and on vast plateau,and  in such climate,we descended towards our destination Amboli village

My friend waiting here and peeping out to see us.He  just lifted his head,waved
Bye bye my dear friend.Some time,I will come again


  1. This was an awesome experience. I would thank every one who make this trek a great success. Congratulations to Pankaj for completing his 400 kms of continuous trek in Sahyadris.

  2. Congratulations Pankaj. We are really enjoying the trek.

  3. hi friend.. i read your experience.. it was real amazing.. but i have a small doubt.. u said u saw kokan kada from dhakoba, but as per my understanding the straight distance btw these two peaks must be atleast 20kms.. also in this straight line malshej range is lies.. so in my opinion it wil be difficult that kokan kada is visible from here.. anyways but i am also planning now for this trek so wud like to explore it myself.. but pls chk that whether what you saw is really a kokan kada or anything similar to it..

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