Monday, June 19, 2006

Trek to SiddhaGadh

I normally dont like waking up at 5:30 in the morning, except when i'm going for a trek. This time the aim was to reach Siddhagad top and return on the same day. Me and Kaa started at 6:30 from the hostel, while we were walking in the cold(read chilling) morning wind we decided to go to maddu and have some grub b4 actually leaving for the trek. i had a dosa and a coffee, and a dal-wada too :)
the local to kalyan was over-crowded, too crowded for a sunday morning. From kalyan, we took a bus to murbad, lack of sleep from the previous nite helped me take a gud nap even in the roller-coaster ride of the ST bus. We had to wait for about half-an hour at murbad, b4 getting a bus for the base village Narivali. This ride proved to be more bumpy than the previous one.
Finally at 1030, we alighted from the bus and started the trek. It was cold even then! We walked for quite long on a bullock-cart track, it was so dusty that we even forgot the original color of our shoes!! Towards our left there was a hill with a shining something on top of the cylindrical pinnacle. We came up with all kind of weird ideas about what that shining thing could be. One of our guesses proved to be correct, it was a temple atop the gorakhgad fort.
The combination of cold breeze and strong sun-light was like having a hot-water bath, so relaxing and refreshing!! The cart track suddenly ended into a dry river bed. After walking on the stones for sometime we decided to explore in the vertical direction, we climbed some 30 mts(vertically) and reached a rock wall. I went up a lil bit using some of the rock climibing techniques that i had learnt in manali. For once I felt that I had taken a wrong step, and i shouldn't have tried climbing the wall. After going up a little further it was concluded that we were on the wrong route, so we had to retrace. We could hear a wood-cutter in the distance, we thought of going to him and ask the route. So we started following the sound of his axe hitting the hard surface of the wood. Luckily we found the river bed again. We decided to play safe and followed the gradually sloping path. After a 5 mins walk we reached the actual path, well there were white arrows so we knew it was the correct path. We even found a yellow cap lying there with "Parth" written on it. We picked it up hoping to return it to its owner, if at all we find him at the top. We were wondering how nice it would be to have trees like mango tree, banana etc on such a hill, coz whatever treks i have done i have never seen a tree which i can attach to a name from my database. After a brief walk, we reached to the entrance gate of Siddhagad Wadi, a village on the first plateau of the hill. We were surprised to see electrical connection at such a height, even more surprising was BSNL's signal. All of our wishes were coming true, there were mango trees, hundreds of them! Even the village seemed quite developed, with TV and all. We had water(cold and tasty :) ), and asked for the way to the top. By the way it had taken us close to 2 hrs to reach siddhagadwadi from narivali. One of the village females sent her two sons, Abhay and Sanchit, to help us find the way. Since there was television connection in the village, I aksed those kids if they watched hindi movies and whether they liked Shahrukh Khan. They said something in marathi which I couldnot decipher. I guess they gave the same answer for both of my questions :)

Having found the way(the right one), we continued with our journey to the top. I tried calling one of my friends, thanks to the BSNL signal. But I don't know why people don't pick up their phones!!
Anyways, the climb was steep and full of scree. Well, I must admit that I like such kind of climbs, i get bored of walking endlessly on flat lands. We even found a banana tree on our way. A woman was getting her daughter's hair trimmed by a man who first appeared like a barber to us. The man had a beautiful home built in one of the mountain caves, more about it later. We continued with our climb, we met a group of six middle-aged men, who had come there from gorakhgad. We could still see the shining temple of gorakhgad. We had found the owner of the cap, but sadly we no longer had the cap :(
It didn't take us much time to reach the top, probably an hour from siddhagadwadi. We could see a water-reservoir, a village and a concrete road on the other side of the mountain. It was already 2:30pm, so we decided not to rest for a long time. There were a few tanks on the top, we used the water to cool ourselves and relax our aching feet. After resting for about half-an hour, and being satisfied by the view from the top we started back. While climbing down, We met that guy who was earlier doing the hair of the little girl. He invited us to his cottage, we had already fallen in love with his nice little hut. I have always dreamed of having a home like that, away from all the chaos and all the worries. He offered us tea. We went inside, the place was painted white from the inside(for obious reasons), it had a cemented floor, portraits of various hindu gods, a "taanpura" and some basic amenities like a bedding, a watch(showing the correct time!). The tea was quick, and tasty. The guy spoke amazingly good hindi. He told us that his name was Jeevan Patil, and he once worked in a Mumbai based industry, Amber dyes. He left the job 8 years ago and after a lot of searching came to this mountain where he now has his own small but beautiful shelter. I guess he earned his living by cutting the hairs of the villagers. He kept on saying again and again that it was the home of the god, he found peace in staying there, without any worldly worries. No family, no relatives, no friends, just he and his faith in god! I don't believe in god but if god existed at such a beautiful place then I wouldn't mind sharing my home with him. Impressed by his life style, we thanked him for the tea and bade him good bye. Jeevan suggested us to take an alternate route while going down, remember the reservoir and the village we saw from the top. The village's name was Jamborde.
We halted for a while at siddhagadwadi, asked for water(from a different house ofcourse). We asked for the way to Jamborde and started again. For a long time we couldn't find the way for climbing down, still we carried on. After 30 mins of walking we cud see the village which we had spotted from the top, and also the place from where the down climb started. It was steep and rocky so less time consuming. We met a man on the way down, who within minutes did more than what the govt. does for improving tourism in the sahyadris. He gave us his address so that we could contact him if we come again to this place. He said that he can provide with food and guide for a group as big as consisting of 40 people. His friendly nature touched me!
We reached the road finally but we had 4kms walk ahead of us to reach the village Jamborde from where we would find a transport. It was boring but had to be done. We took some short-cuts too since the road was too circuitious. Kaa slipped on one of those short-cuts :)
We also went to the reservoir, felt like taking a dip but was running out of time. So I convinced myself that I'd come again and then do the swimming. We took an auto from Jamborde to Mhasa and then a jeep to Murbad. I reached IIT at around 9pm, had fundoo biryani at SP hence officially ending the trek :) By the way, I forgot to tell u that this idea of having SP's biryani for dinner came to me while I was on the top. All in all a totally different trek, got to learn a lot, wish to go there again in future.


At 6:18 AM, Blogger kaa said...

what memory yaar!!..u remember each detail. But u did'nt mention that Mr. Jeevan Patil refused to take any money for the tea he had offered us, saying, "len den toh madar*&*& logon ka kaam hota hai".

At 7:38 AM, Blogger Rags said...

arey usi time pe likha tha...publish abhi kiya :D
aur haan ko paise wali baat likhna bhool gaya :)

At 1:02 AM, Blogger kaa said...

kaun se paise vali baat ??

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