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PeAcE WiTh GuNs

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Trek The Party

I've been trekking these days. Last month, I went to Lohegad with a friend and last weekend, to Harishchandragad. I'll be going on a North India trip real soon and am looking forward to doing the "mother of all treks", Gangotri.

The mountains are something I've always wanted to go to. Sadly though, lack of company meant I couldnt do it as often as I wanted. Even then, we've been to forts like Daulatabad (near Aurangabad), Pratapgad, Shivneri, Lohegad, Harishchandragad, Sinhagad. I've also been to awesome places like Matheran, Malshej etc. which are good treks by themselves. Living in Pune is like being in paradise for a trekker. Pune is covered from almost all sides by mountains, most of which form a part of the Sahyadri range. Shivaji built and captured tons of forts in this area and we therefore really lucky to be living in Pune.

How did this bug suddenly bite me? Well, its just that I was talking to a friend in office and he showed me photos of all the treks they've been to. He told me about this book by Harish Kapadia called Trek The Sahyadris
. I just went to Manneys that very evening and bought a copy. Have been reading it since. Then got a friend to go along with me to Lohegad and we planned to go to Rajgad the next weekend but that didnt work out.

So this Thursday, we went to Harishchandragad, which is supposed to be one of the toughest treks in Maharashtra. We made an additional stunt of climbing in the night. LOL, that was idiotic, all right. We lost the way a few times and theres a vertical rock patch you need to walk across on 4 inch thick ledges
and that was REALLY FREAKY.

A tiring weekend this, but maybe this will be the active substitute to my football then. Who knows what the mountains have in store for us. This is what Calvin says:

Explorers are we, intrepid and bold
Out in the wild, amongst wonders untold
Equipped with our wits, a map and a snack
We're searching for fun
And we're on the right track !
-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs

13 Comments:

  • Very interesting, Guns, although I must admit that all the places you mention are just names to me (my geography is good enough for me to tell that they are in India but no more than that). How about some descriptions of these treks of yours? They can make really fascinating posts to people who have never seen such places (have a look at my post, Chimanimani - I think you'll see what I mean).

    By Blogger Gone Away, at 10:54 am  

  • I miss the Sahyadris so much! So try to make the most of opportunities when you are in the area. The chance might not come again for a long time.
    * *
    I was happy to notice a few months ago that Harish Kapadia's fantastic book is now being reprinted. We have been using my Dad's book from the 80s, which till late was being handled like a national treasure.

    By Blogger Hirak, at 4:15 pm  

  • Thanks guys for the comments!!

    I shall try to put descriptions of the trek here. I actually thought of doing that but then I thought maybe it will get too long and therefore boring. Anyhow, maybe I shall write a brief description soon.

    Hirak, all i can say is what I told my unit head last month...once a sportsman, always a sportsman. Maybe it goes for trekkers too. Why arent you trekking here again?

    -PeAcE
    --WiTh
    ---GuNs

    By Blogger GuNs, at 6:21 pm  

  • I once went 'trekking' on a hill next to our college with a few friends. Hehe, it was more like walking. Anyway when we reached on top (which was like in 15 min) we din know what to do, only thing we cud see was our college, no beautiful view, nothing!

    I should go on real treks.

    Good luck for you North India tour :)

    By Blogger Shradha, at 2:08 pm  

  • Shradz : Dhanyavaad gurujii !

    You had your college near a hill?? Wow...thats a great location to have a college, I believe.

    We'll go trekking next time you come to Pune. We'll go to Sinhagad which is a cakewalk basically but its absolutely beautiful at the top !

    -PeAcE
    --WiTh
    ---GuNS

    By Blogger GuNs, at 2:31 pm  

  • Dude i've been to lohegadh and harishchandragadh both. The second place is awesome especially the sheer 1000 foot drop...i forgot the name...
    During the rain just try to go to Naneghaat...its amazing....heaven...

    and gangotri sounds a nice option...just tell me how to go there and wht all bookings we have to do...

    By Blogger ~RAUL~, at 4:57 am  

  • Hey Raul !!

    You've been to both the places, all the way from Bangalore?? Wow, awesome!! You are from Bangy, aren't you?? Whats your history man??

    The 1000 foot drop is the Konkan Kada. It is AWESOME, no doubt. I've taken tons of pics of that place, even a short video clip. 'd be glad to mail it to ya if you're interested.

    Gangotri is in Uttaranchal and the best way to reach there is to go to Haridwar or Rishikesh first. You get buses to both places from Delhi. From there, its 4 or 5 hours further to Gangotri. To get to the famed 'ugam' in Gangotri, you have to trek 14 KM right amongst the highest mountains in the world.

    You can get a membership of YMCA or the Youth Hostels Association. You can get cheap dorm beds for around Rs. 50/- per night or so.

    Oh, btw...you might wanna read these articles:
    Myths about hosteling

    Why hostels are good

    I'll post my REAL route when I actually come back. I havent concretized how I am going yet. Am going to wing it (as always).

    -PeAcE
    --WiTh
    ---GuNs

    By Blogger GuNs, at 5:38 am  

  • Hey buddy could you please mail the video clip of konkan kada to anup_gk@yahoo.co.in ? and could you tell me the routes of going there (preferably from mumbai,kalyan and karjat) I will be very thankful. I guess i never mustered the courage to trek to harishchandragadh due to its fearsome reputation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:10 am  

  • Anup :Hi Anup,



    Thanks for visiting my blog. I am a Puneite so we obviously trekked from the Pune side of the fort. I do not have any of the videos that we took at Harishchandragad but I do have some photos including a amateurishly stiched panorama of the Konkan Kada.



    You can find very good info on this website:

    http://deepabhi.tripod.com/harishchandragad.html



    I hope that is helpful. As for the "fearsome" reputation you mention, the only fearsome thing is the exaustion because it takes four to five hours to reach the Konkan Kada. If you do it in summer during a day, you will be dehydrated possibly. We trekked there in April (peak summer) in the night. Ironically, at night, we almost froze to death due to the icy cold winds from the valley.



    Make sure you get your gear right. Carry warm clothes no matter what time of the year you visit (if you are going in the night) and enough water if you are going in the daytime. Besides that, you will also need very good torches to make your way through the forest in the dark. Make sure they last you for your entire journey.



    Other than that, best of luck. Tell me how it goes.



    -PeAcE

    --WiTh

    ---GuNs

    By Blogger GuNs, at 7:07 pm  

  • Wow, i can't believe that you actually replied so fast. Thanks for that. I am planning to go on march 1& 2, just tell me if i can find potable water on the top and do we need a guide to lead us or is there a proper path? As for the site you mentioned i do not trust it since it's last update date is June 1999 which was a long long long time ago. Awaiting your reply..
    Regards
    Anup

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:19 am  

  • Anup : When we went there, there was a poor guy with a little shack selling basic food like poha, biscuits, tea etc. There are people who carry food/water all the way from their villages to the top and sell them in little shacks there.

    Its awesome to see these people literally strolling up the paths whereas people like us are almost dead with exaustion by the time we reach the top. This guy and his wife had two little kids, utterly impoverished and malnourished. It felt like a shame to not help. We bought tea and poha from them and gave away all miniscule rations that we had left to the little kids.

    The smiles on their little dirty faces was a sight that probably surpassed even the majestic view of the Konkan Kada.

    Back to the point : You will get water at the top but you will need A LOT OF WATER while reaching the top and I didnt find any source of water or habitation on our way up. I am not sure of the Mumbai side though. Be safe and carry enough water to last you for a 5-hour trek.

    -PeAcE
    --WiTh
    ---GuNs

    By Blogger GuNs, at 12:03 pm  

  • Hi Guns [(?)!],
    Your passion is an interesting one. And being in Pune is really a heaven for trekkers. Friend, I am visiting Kalsubai this weekend. Can you, please, help me with the route and transport systems and timings available from Pune? I would appreciate any help.
    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Saraf.
    gpsaraf@gmail.com

    By Anonymous Gaurav Saraf, at 7:06 pm  

  • Gaurav : Thanks for the comment. I have not visited Kalsubai myself so I cannot offer any suggestions. I though can recommend some sites which you can visit.

    http://deepabhi.tripod.com/kalsubai.html and
    http://www.trekthesahyadris.com/ should help you out enough.

    You should also consider buying Harish Kapadia's book "Trek The Sahyadris".

    -PeAcE
    --WiTh
    ---GuNs

    By Blogger GuNs, at 3:05 pm  

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