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“Sudhagad Fort Trek”


Long waited trek for me, because I read too many times that Sudhagad is exact replica of Raigad and before making Raigad as Capital Chatrapti Shivaji Maharaj thought of Sudhagad as capital of HINDVI SWARAJYA, but due to prime location of Raigad they choose it as capital. This is one of the hill fort in Maharashtra which is situated near Pali village in Raigad district. Sudhagad was also called as Bhorapgad. Maratha’s took over this fort & named it as Sudhagad which means Sweet One in marathi. This fort is 620 mt (2030 ft) above sea level.
  On Saturday morning at 7:00 AM on 1st August 2015, we started from Pune Balgandhrva. This time the leader in the group was AMOL KOTKAR. He planed all the things of trek such as break fast, lunch evening tea place, base village from where we were starting actual trekking, he is very helping hand to all of us and source of huge knowledge.This time we have some enthusiastic persons in the group such as Shweta Pokle, Sonal Ubalkar, Vinay Deshmukh & extra.

  Amol dada was guiding to driver about the way to reach base village Pachchapur, during this journey from Pune to Pachchapur we had our breakfast, introduction of everyone & small round of ANTAKSHRI game. We reached Pachchapur around 9:30 AM where we distributed lunch boxes to everyone to carry it their self. 
  Finally actual trek started then, Amol dada decided to enter in fort from Pachchapur Darwaja, so we all started walking in that direction of fort. After leaving three to four farms we entered in Sudhagad forest. After 20 to 30 min walk we reached the first rock patch, where IRON LADDER was there to get up & down. There we had our photo session. Previously there was only side railing & very small ladder was there, you can see that as well. Before reaching ladder there was railings on the hill, on the right side you can see Tail-Baila valley and so many waterfall views, it was simply awesome view. On the left side you can see the Sudhgad Ghera  full of dense forest & Sarasgad Fort. After 20 min photo session & side scenes, we started walk again towards Pachchapur Darwaja. 
  After walking for another 30 min we reached the stairs which leads us to Pachchapur Darwaja of fort. There we had small photo session again. After reaching Darwaja on the right side there was Two Story TEHALNI BURUJ ( Pillar constructed for observation under fort area).  We saw very much attractive constriction on stairs, also an exciting way to reach bottom part of pillar. Form this buruj we can see top view of stairs we used to reach Darwaja and that was awesome.
  
While walking few guys were taking rest under the trees in fresh air, enjoying the amazing nature in relax an awesome feeling. 
  
  As Amol dada decided to have lunch at Bhorai Devi Temple on the fort, we started heading towards temple at 11:00 AM, during this walk we can able to see the TAKMAK TOK or ZULTA KADA on the right side of sudhagad. We reached final Pathar of fort at 11:45 AM, where we saw the lake. If you see the top view of this lake on Google Map its shape is like HEART and pathar shape is also like HEART. On this pathar you can see so many houses whose final base is remaining now nothing else. Few Palaces walls are also there. From here if you lead towards right side you will reach Bhorai Devi temple. Near this temple few villagers are living, who are taking care of temple. If you are planing to have overnight trek then you can stay there, obviously by taking villagers permission. We asked there for the way to Bhorai Devi Temple & then we reached there. Temple area was maintained like garden. Walking track was there to reach temple, on right side of track small lake was there. Before bhorai devi temple there is another small temple whose side walls are of tree woods properly arranged. God statue was created on the rock so beautifully. After taking its snap we reached Bhorai Devi Temple. It was maintained very carefully & neatly.
   The Shilla Lekhs around the temple are simply awesome, different different structures are created on the well cut rocks. Those shila lekhs are not maintained properly, some are broken in that. Inside the temple very big bell was there & some sudhagad information charts were there. After taking darshan we had started our lunch & suddenly rain also started. So few people went inside temple, few went under tree & we were seating in small roof created in front of temple. Some guys having lunch under umbrella. After lunch we were exploring surrounding area of temple, there were too many beautifully constructed tombs. On temple door DIP STAMBH was there on which an awesome elephant structure is created. From back side to north east you can see the TAIL BAILA fort walls clearly. we had small photo shoot here as well. Don’t be action hero while doing photo shoot take care of your self. From this side you can also able to see the fort wall which leads to DINDI DARWAJA. This door was created in such a way that until & unless you reach there you won’t see it from any where.In front of this Bhorai Devi temple there was Hanuman Temple is also there. We took darsan there as well. 
  After taking the permission from our leader Amol we went to explore more about the fort I, Sonal, Vinay & Shweta. From there there we headed towards dindi drwaja & remaining group started descending. Way to dindi darwaja is very slippery so be careful. After 15 min walks from temple we reached dindi darwaja which is built same like Mahadarwaja on Raigad  & this way out from dindi darwaja lead to Dhondse Village. Here we realized what great architects was there at that time to build such an amazing DOOR way to fort. Very beautiful structures were created on this door. One thing we were unable to found at this place was CHOR DARWAJA. After taking some snaps we headed back to temple.
  As we four were full of stamina we decided to go at TAKMAK TOK of sudhagad, during this walk we saw too large GODAUN like structures which is called as Hatti Paga. Then after crossing some open space we were leading towards Takmak Tok. Before the last point of takmak tok it was very inclined way to reach there so go ahead very carefully. Once you reach there it was really an unbelievable feeling the name called ZULTA KADA (Moving Rock) you will seriously feel like that there. From this peak you can see the Ghangad, Korigad, Amba river.
  As we were there in Monsoon it was very dense forest & water falls like the “Mahesmati View in Bahubali”. Also you can hear the voice echo clearly here. At takmak tok take every step very carefully, it is very amazing, awesome as well as dangerous place. After having some snaps we moved back to temple. While coming back we saw one Mahadev Temple, we took darshan there as well & started descending. In the mud near the temple we saw very big Mushrooms were there. we four after having some snaps there as well started back trek to catch whole group, so we were little bit fast & in next 20 min we reached our group at IRON ladder & we took rest there. 
  Finally at 6 PM we reached the Pachchapur village & we started back journey to Pune. We enjoyed back journey as well with lot of dance. We had tea at Food Plaza on Pune Mumbai Express way & at 8:45 PM we reached Pune, in this way an amazing trek of my life ended.
Note:
  1. Photo Credit goes to Amol Kotkar, Bhushan Awagan & Rahul Chandure.
  2. Such an amazing fort everyone should visit at least once in life.
  3. During monsoon be careful some places are slippery & in grass may be reptiles were there.
  4. Before going on trek do some research what to explore there.  
Please leave comments below for others if you have been to Sudhagad or you have any questions related to trek.


Enjoy !!!!
Thanks & Regards
Rahul Chandure

“Palasdari Fort Trek”


  

On Saturday morning of 5th September 2015 we started our trek to Palasdari Fort also known as Songiri Fort, situated near Palasdari village in Karjat. We all are started from Pune Balgandharv stop at 7:00 AM in private bus. We were total 29 trekkers on that day to enjoy the life in nature, while travelling towards base village, we had small BREAK FAST of IDLI & CHUTNEY. Then did small round of introduction, at last during the journey we played ANTAKSHRI. Around 9:00 AM we reached the base village, then we started the actual trek.

   We parked our bus in front of first home of village & then to one of the person from that house we asked the route to Palasdari Fort, even though we have collected all necessary information of fort and its routes from internet. He shown us the way to Palasdari Tunnel through the farms, while reaching that tunnel from village we crossed one small river flow and one railway track, after crossing this all around you can see only RICE FARMS because of that all routes to reach palasdari tunnel are confusing. So what we did was made three groups of two two guys and sent them through all the routes to find the correct route to reach that tunnel. Even though we can see the tunnel then also it was bit confusing to reach there. After sometime we were at such point from where we need to make our way our self to reach that tunnel so I and few guys started upward directly from there. I have wooden rod with me, with the help of that road I was making the route for other guys following me. While i was tracing the route few of my friends were following me coming from behind and a honey bee bit one of my friend at his hand and on his leg. So trekkers after him stopped there and turned back. I & six guys started upward fast and reached another railway track, then from there we took left to reach palasdari tunnel. There is one lineman cabin near tunnel, so we waited there for other trekkers in our group. After few min other group leader with all remaining trekkers came there and she said there was lineman ladder to reach this track.

   As it was rainy season and this fort is not popular trekking place & due to dense forest route to start are vanished. Grass in forest at the start point is more higher than normal human height, so we were unable to find the starting point to climb the fort. Then we asked the lineman seating there about the route but he don’t know about fort anything. Luckily few villagers passing from there so we asked them about start point of trek from there.They started telling stories like yesterday also one group came here for trekking they started from where you are starting now & at one stage they didn’t got the way to go ahead then they came back. So rather than going from here go through the long route which starts from the exact opposite hill of palasdari tunnel. But I and other leader decided to go ahead through route for which we have information which starts from in front of tunnel & from over the tunnel it proceeds. We confirmed it with the snap shot we took from one of the blog. 

   As we were aware how to find the regular walking route by checking human footprints and by checking damaged grass on ground we started the trek I was leading the group and other leader was at last of the group. There one group of six people from Mumbai joined us. We have few screen shots of one blog with us to which we were following for route. As per that blog we need to reach one rock patch in 15 min but it took 40 to 50 min to reach there, & we need to do small rock climbing there. After climbing that rock patch be careful because on right side you will face to valley directly. After one and half hour from the start we reached the first  PATHAR of the fort, where we took rest for 15 to 20 min. Even though it was rainy season that day was too hot & as we were in Karjat it was too much humid.

   From there started the new challenge, we all were surrounded by grass which was double higher than us. Now there we searched for proper route to reach the BALE KILLA. While searching for route I found the half dead snake, then I shifted that snake to one side to clear the way of my group. Finally we found the correct route. There few guys in our group decided to stop at first PATHAR. They said they will take rest here only and will wait for us to come back, they are not cming to BALE KILLA. Due to hot day and humidity drinking water carried by every one was finishing & we reached the second PATHAR in next one hour. We were there at 1:00 PM, from there as per the blog we were following need to take the right turn, so we took that and started the remaining trek which will finish in next few min. Be careful route here is also vanished. After sometime going on that route we were in the open space where no trees was there to take rest & direct sun rays was torching all of us, everyone of us started dehydrating.

   Finally we reached the top most point of fort at 1:45 PM. First thing you will see there is KHIND valley facing from the gap between two hills, the view was awesome. Hill shadow was coming there so we took rest there for few min, again one problem was there at time only maximum 4 person can stand this much space is available there. Then we went on left side hill, where we saw one water cistern & even though we were short of water we were unable to take that cistern water, because it was not in drinking condition. From there we went ahead and saw the BHAGWA flying on the corner BURUJ. Then we enjoyed surrounding area views of fort, here also grass is half the height of human being. So we took each and every step carefully. After 10 min we decided to descend the fort as we were started dehydrating. here at the top one of my friend got injured on his feet while simply walking there. He said it is bearable.
  Then we all started descending & at one big tree we all rested & we found one strongly injured OX there, few group members were scared & that OX also scared he left in the forest. Then we started again and at 2:30 PM we reached the place where we left few members from group. There we got to know that they went down. By this time we all were heavily heating by sun rays & as well as we don’t have single sip of drinking water with us.

   The biggest challenge started from here, we all are tired, dehydrated, missed in dense forest of palasdari. Here where ever we see we found the routes but not sure which will take us down, so few members sat there and few went on different different routes to search the correct route. So at one point we were at one rock patch we thought we were on right path but we are not, luckily we found one small water fall there, so i drank water there & as it was at the edge of rock patch, i didn’t allowed anybody there & said pass the bottles. Everyone drank enough water there and filled their bottles & we started again. After few min we again confused for route, too many ways to get down. Then again same thing few members sat there and few went to search the correct route. Here first time in my trekking life I got tired and tensed that how to take all guys down the hill, due to this tension my heartbeats were raising. The drinking water was finished again this time one thing was good that we were in forest because of that sun was not affecting any of us.We reached at one very small water fall whose breadth was too big but due to lack of water it was small. 
   As every trekker is fan of BEAR GRILLS I am too, in one of his MAN vs WILD serial he said that if you were lost in forest & you are not able to find way out then where ever you get the waterfall follow it, that will take you down the hill and be careful sometimes it will lead you directly to valley. So by looking forward of water fall & calculating where it goes I decided to go down along with it, also I had one thing in mind all the way down we will not have shortage of water any more because we were following the water fall. As it was a bit difficult route to go down, only 8 guys came with me & other 12 guys decided to go with other leader who went on another route, now we were splited in three groups one with me total 9 guys, one with another leader around 12 guys & one who already descended the fort. We were in touch on cell phones.

   As I said we 9 guys were on water fall route, at one point we got the clean water, we sat there & drank enopugh water. Seriously telling I was too tired at that time I slept on the place where I was seated. At that place some voice was coming to my ears but I didn’t even mind to check what it was & suddenly one of my friend came there & said Rahul what was there near your head & he pushed that reptile like thing away. It was already 4:00 PM in clock at that time, we all took rest there for half hour. To get some energy & proteins we were looking in our bags what we have to eat, we found two chocolates, as it is good source of protein all we have one one bite of that chocolates, one guy have bread with him we eat that also one or two each. After eating and eating few foods, we got some energy and confidence. We started again now we can hear railway sounds & even we can see the trains passing through track, we got happy now. Then we reached the end of waterfall, where there was too mud. Now we can see the light poles on the track.As we were not at track level we need to climb little bit to reach track. So we started the direct straight climbing & in 5 min finally we reached the track.

   We were 700 to 800 meter ahead to palasdari tunnel, we too right turn to reach that tunnel and at 5:00 PM we were at the lineman cabin from where we started, we sat there and called other groups to know where they are. After 20 min they also reached there in very tired and dehydrated condition. From there we started back towards village. We got missed again and luckily we got one villager there we followed him and at 6:00 PM we reached village. Everyone was hungry at that time so every one started eating the lunch we left in bus. At that time I and another leader in my group were the happiest person on the planet with the thought we took everyone back safely & in time. I said her I don’t want to eat anything, I am going for swimming. Then I went for swimming & there i relaxed myself in water & came back to bus. At 7:00 PM we started our back journey to Pune.

  Then we forgot everything what we faced today & started dancing on music in bus like mad & finally we reached Pune at 9:30 PM with smiling faces. In this way one of my thrilling trek got completed.

NOTE:

  1. Photo Credit goes to Rahul Jagad & Rahul Chandure.
  2. Whenever you are going for trek in dense forest carry ribbon & chock with you to mark the route with which you climbed so that it is helpful while descending.
  3. We heard that this forest is having “wild boar” & “leopards” in it so be careful while trekking here.
  4. I personally suggest monsoon and after monsoon two three months are not good to trek this fort as all routes are vanished, otherwise the easy trek you will make difficult from your side like we did.
  5. Carry the enough water while trekking Palasdari Fort.
Enjoy !!!
Regards,
Rahul Chandure