Tuesday, September 7, 2010
All this started with Priyanka’s Birthday party in Dadar. With around 15 weirdoes sitting around the table and passing silly comments on each other (not to forget the pilu song that was sung after every 5 mins as a special request from Apurva.) It was 16th august that it was decided to plan for this get together plan to Harishchandragad... the dates were not decided though.
Finally the dates were decided and the plan was put up... the first weekend of September, 4th and 5th, starting on 3rd night. I had 21 confirm names for the event only in 3 days after posting the event. Friday morning one of the 5 girls cancelled her registrations... (Lucille, you missed a lot of fun.)By afternoon three more were down. And the last hr said that two more girls will be missing the fun...
Finally at the meeting point I had 13 guys and two gals participating, a few new members and all others were Trek Mates India’s members from at least a yr.
Myself - Bhai,
Dilesh – one of the truth predictor,
Swapnil - Dhumps,
Pritam Kale - Patil,
Apurva - Pilu,
Jhanvi – Cormorant (paan kombdi) chi Bahin,
Komal –Janeman Janeman,
Rohit Patil – baal ki dukan,
Abhijeet – the Patni team leader,
Gunjan – the silent personality,
Vishal – BE2 square or the SF,
Saurabh - BE2,
Manoj Kalwar - The talwar wala person,
Ravi - indra,
Aniruddha Kelkar- Dhumpi ka new setting
... a total of 15 made the most awesome team for the best trek of my life
Starting with the 11.00 pm bus, it was tough enough to keep everyone off at least till I get the tickets. They had already started singing songs, (specially the pilu song, as requested by Apurva). I took the tickets and joined them... all Hindi, Marathi, and few mix songs were full of fun. The sound was enough to keep everyone in the bus awake till the khubi phata.
After ascending the Malshej Ghats, I went to sit near the ST driver, to show him where to stop and where we want to get down... (Trusting on these drivers at night will surely land you at least a km or two away from your destination.) After trekking this fort at least 20 times from this route, it would have been led to beatings from my fellow members if I won’t have landed them at the accurate spot.
Getting down on the roads, we were around 6 kms away from the base village, within next 2 mins all the torches were out, and all the legs were heading towards the khireshwar village. We reached the village by 2.45 am and everyone was damn hungry by then. Pritam had got two Chicken Tandoories and I had packed some chicken masala and chapattis for Saturday’s lunch. We finished this early in the morning... half of the group who were either vegetarian or had shravan going on were sitting away from us, munching some biscuits, chapattis with chutney, and don’t know what all. Never ever tried to imagine how people can be so cruel to kill so many plants for their food.
After a great session of all decent jokes and stories finally at 4.30 we decided to sleep. The wake-up time given to everyone was 6.30 am, and everyone got up at the accurate time... (don’t read the false comments, if any, posted by the participants. ;) ..). later we had some poha and tea for breakfast, then had an introduction round, and started for the trek.
The start for the trek was pretty good, I started Pakaoing every one with the plant names and their scientific uses, also Aniruddha helped everyone with identifying the birds and adding to our knowledge. Further we reached the Rock patch and slowly and cautiously climbed it with each and every member of the group helping me to climb the patch.
Crossing this rock patch means gaining the height that is needed to be on the top. Further the trek is more or less somewhat a plain road till the temple and the caves. We had some tea- biscuits /lemon juice at a tapri over here. I announced about this being the first and last spot where one can get range and suddenly I thought I was sitting in a call centre, with everyone busy with some or the other clients. Further we started the trek... in next few mins entered the thick forested area on the fort, here I smelt the worst ever markings of some wild animal. This might have been put up hardly an hr ago. Also heard some monkeys giving a danger call in the jungles. Everyone was asked to be in a group and walk together, and everyone did so. Further saw some civet cat droppings in the way. We headed to the caves and were there in next 90 minutes.
We just reserved for ourselves the best cave (Raja chi guha) and the best place in the cave. Further we had our lunch.. now it was again chicken for the non-veggies brought by Dilesh and some veg chatar-pattar for the veggies. After having tea we started for the Kokan kada site seeing, which is around 2 kms from the caves... We walked till there jumping and crossing some water streams, and spreading some seeds that we carried with us for the same purpose...
Had a view at the great Kokan kada, and started with our photo session, posing, and ultimately the group ended up dancing with the worst ever meaningless songs heard by many. Coming back to the caves the fort saw more seeds coming, which (alla tala ki meherbani se would turn out into trees in a next few years.) Inshah alla, hamare ladko ne bahut accha kaam kiya.. acchi mehnat ki hai, inki mehnat jald hi rang layegi --- the Haq style (sorry for spelling mistakes if any, no offence.)
Further in the cave we had a good mehfil with old and new Hindi and Marathi songs, followed by the ghost stories, which saw many scared faces and few drops from few eyes as well. Then we had our dinner (zunka bhakari, mix veg and rice)and went to sleep at around 11 pm. First time in my life I experienced a soundless night atop Harishchandragad, no foxes, wolfs, geckos, not even frogs... no sounds at all and so I had a very sound sleep..
Early in the morning we woke up at 7.30 am, just to see cats and dogs pouring down all over. Now it was time to explore the rest of the fort, but then we decided to have our breakfast and then go discovering places, we again had poha (the best till date made by Badri) and tea, packed our bags, and started for the harishchandreshwar temple. Now the saptatirtha kund attracted the swimmers and so the swimmers were now jumping in the waters getting them clicked in many different poses. After enjoying the waters for around half an hour, all of us moved further to the temple and then to the Kedareshwar cave, where we had a good history lecture from our history teacher, Mr Dilesh Virkud.
From here we started descending down, which saw me slipping down once, and then Rohit, Pritam, Komal just followed the leader. We had some photo sessions on the way and thus were moving at a very slow pace, reaching the Tolar khind at 2.30 pm. From here I had to run all the way down till the base village to order for the lunch. I, Manoj and Aniruddha started the run, both of them just practising for the Mumbai marathon dream run, aniruddha in next 10 mins had a muscle pull and so was out of the TMI dream race. Me and Manoj continued the race and reached the base in almost 30 min.. ordered for the lunch and then waited at least an hr to see the next member.
Everyone was at the base till 4.00 pm and then started the best return journey ever...will be writing about it in parts...
4.00pm: we called a sumo from the base village, asked him to get his vehicle at 5.00 am and take us till the highway, 6 kms from the village. He said he will do that and asked us to be a bit quick, so that he can go for other work at 6 pm.
We changed, and wore good dry clothes, had our food, and got ready for the sumo ride by 5. Meanwhile Dilesh was in a good mood and the bugger had to say the worst sentence in the trek... it goes like –“wow , enjoyed the trek, more due to the rains, it should rain more. And it should rain till we reach Kalyan”. And Within next 5 minutes it was raining.
5.30 pm: We are still waiting for the sumo, then we sent a local to call the sumo driver, and got to know that he has already moved out for some work. Now Rohit and I quoted - ”saala, kalti diya... iska toh tyre puncture hoga aaj.” Apurva said “not one, all his tyre should burst and also the Stepney”. Rohit again thought this is not enough and prayed that the engine should go down as well.
6.00 pm: We started walking with our Winchesters and barsatis towards the highway, from where we could get some bus or trek for kalian. Me and Komal Played Dongar ka pani enroute, also football plans with Rohit, and many other games with others made me a good bakra while walking back.
6.30 Pm: the same cursed sumo came and the driver now said that he is done with all his work and now is ready to drop us till Kalyan... we had a chat amongst us about what’s to be done and how can 15 ppl accommodate in one sumo. Finally it was decided that we can put our bags on the top and can adust ourselves in the sumo... and we did that, the driver said that a few us would have to get down and wait for him as he and the rest of the ppl can go till the petrol pump and come back and then we could start for the journey. 8 of us got down on the highway, the sumo went ahead and it again started raining. For half an hr we waited on the highway in the rains till the sumo came back.
7.10 pm: the sumo came back, we got in and started our journey. It was cloudy in the Ghats and we had some very good turns and curves in the ride.
7.30 pm: Rohit and mera bhavishyavani got true, and we were now back on the road with a flat tyre. The second quote also got true, and now the break liner was creating some problems. We again wasted an hour solving the problem, further it was decided that we move till moroshi, get the vehicle repaired and then move ahead. So next 30 mins took us till the moroshi village, which is just after descending the ghat.
9.00 pm: We were at moroshi and the sumo was to be repaired, the mechanic said it will take at least an hr to get it repaired, so we opted to move ahead with whatever bus or truck we get. Tried for around half an hour but, no one stopped for lift. Meanwhile we met two traffic cops over there and this our hopes increased. We asked them to help us stop some truck, so that we can at least talk about reaching our destination. After stopping and talking to 3-4 trucks, the cops had a chat with one more truck wala... I was amazed to hear that talk, where the cops asked the truck driver to drop them till murbad. The next thing we saw was the cops getting in the truck and move away leaving us over there.
10.00 pm: finally a truck stopped... but we could see all onions loaded in it. We couldn’t risk waiting for one more truck, but had to dump ourselves behind the two seats behind the driver. 10 ppl went in and the space couldn’t accommodate the rest of the 5 ppl. Now the rest of 5 were to sit on the truck top with our windcheaters on. The bags were already on the top, and so were we. We started the best truck at 10.15 and wished we reach Kalyan before 12.55 am, and get the last local towards Mumbai. The five on the truck top were me, Dilesh, Pritam, Manoj and Rohit... all Thums up lovers. Dilesh took out a 2l bag from his bag and now we were partying on the truck top.
Later we had lots of rain to wet us all, and a banner brought by Dhumps to sleep helped us save ourselves from the rain.
1.00am: we reached the Kalyan stn just to know that the last local is out of our reach and there is no other chance to move ahead. Now we had to wait till 3.30 for the first local. A few of us wanted to go early and so the meru taxi was called up. 4 of us left for their destination and the remaining 11 stayed. Again the banners and plastic sheets came handy for some to sit and for some to have a good sleep.
3.20 am: we were at the ticket counter for our tickets and heard the announcement of the first local. First time in my life I found a local running 7 minutes before its scheduled time. And thus we were left on the station waiting again for the next local which is 37 mins from now. Finally we got the 4.07 local and I reached home at 5 in the morning.
Home sweet home. Oh my home... sorry to say, Harishchandragad is better than you.