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Nane Ghat (830m/2724ft)
Date: 11-12 Sept. 1999

This sheer cliff is a well-known land mark, very clearly visible from the Konkan The walls of this pass jut-out from the  main  range and hence command a magnificent view of the great bend in the Sahyadri. To the north; one can have a view of Kalsubai, to the south Bhimashankar, to the northwest is Harishchandragad across the Konkan plains, with its cleft shattered pinnacles. To southwest; behind  Siddhagad, are seen the level tops of Matheran, the grate comb-like rock of Chanderi & pinnacles of  Haji Malang are also  visible. This is a pass which, once in history, enjoyed prime importance. At the Nane Ghat, the encryption steps, rock cut rest houses, cisterns show that as far back as the 1st century BC, this route was frequently used. Even now, it carries heavy trade traffic. From Ghatghar, which is the last road head from Junnar, One has to  walk 6KM to reach the pass. Good  water & caves with excellent views. A broad route gently leads down to the Konkan, & then a flat  walk to Vaishakhare and Tokavade(14km).  (From:  Trek the Sahyadris book of Harish Kapadia)

      We took a last train from CST st. for Karjat at 12:45am. We got down at Kalyan St. Then spend 3 hrs. at Kalyan St. & went to a Kalyan Bus depot & struggle to get a ST bus at around 6:30am to Junnar. We reached around 8:40 at Vaishakhare. Then we started our journey after a cup of tea in the rain. It was nice to see greenery everywhere. We reached at Naneghat around 11:30a. We had little rest & then Lunch in that same famous cave. Then we climbed the Nana's Angatha. It is really great experience to see the panoramic view. After spending some time we started our return journey around 3:30pm. We was on the road at 5:15pm. While marching towards Vaishakhare one kind Bus driver stopped his Bus in-between. So we went to Kalyan at around 7:30pm & then back to home. We were five in number. Everybody were fit since the trek was properly organised in terms of travel, walk, food & rest. So all we enjoyed.

Jivdhan (3754ft)
Date: 8-10 Nov 1999

This might be my seventh visit to Naneghat but this time my aim was to complete the long awaited trek of Jivdhan fort. I tried previously the same trek but due to unavoidable circumstances I could not complete it.

      Monday night we started from VT St.(Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus(cst)) to Kalyan Rly. St. After spending 3 hrs. at Kalyan St., we went by state transport bus to a place Vaishakhare which is in-between Sangamner & Kalyan. From where we started our actual trek at 7:45am of Tuesday. Then around 9:15am we reached at Naneghat.  After 15 Min. rest we started to a village called Ghatghar from here which is a base of the Fort Jivdhan. After reaching in the village we had a cup of  tea(my favorite) at one Villager's hut. We did little chat with respect to route of the fort with the fellow hut owner, we started from the village at around 10:15am & reached at top around 12:00 noon. We found dense jungle in-between as well did little rock climbing on vertical rock cut steps. We  spend 30 min. on top we got very good snaps of all nearby forts & huge pinnacles & rock walls & river from top view. My partner he was enjoying my way of the trail as well the nature very much. Since most of the time he only used to talk about those scene since it was his first time to see the beauty of Sahyadri in depth. The top has 5 cisterns. The caves have ankle deep ashes, which are believed to be those of the grains burnt in 1818. We could not able to recognised since it was dark inside. So after snapping & viewing the scenery we left place to Ghatghar village. We was around 1:00pm  came back to Ghatghar village. Then had lunch at the same village. It was really nice feeling when you eat food with those village people. We were sitting on the floor covered with the layer of cow dung. We spend another 2 hr's as rest, had tea & left the place for Naneghat which was another one hrs trek. On the way we found one Well, so as usual I couldn't stop myself to take a bath since we were tired. As per schedule this was like adhoc intrusion of something good to put more enjoyment in our trek. After bath we left the place to Naneghat. Around 5:00pm we came back in the caves of Naneghat which is also another good site. We found one group of trekkers already camped in the cave & also few out of  them were planning for the next day to Jivdhan. They were preparing their supper in the caves. About our food we did planned for whatever we carried from Mumbai. So after our arrival in the caves they gathered some info from me & were very much comfortable with us. We went to top of Nana's Angtha to snap sunset in our camera. Also I never forgot to test my flute lessons in front of dawning sun & his magic colors shades over the sahyadri Back to the caves the same group invited us for the dinner. Though we were having our own stuff, We thought to join them since they got a fresh stuff of Dal Chawal & Bhaji. So we shared our stuff like Cheese slices /Jam /Bred /Lasan chatni with them. It was nice to experience such food in the caves with candle light. So around 8:30pm we was on the mat since next day early we wanted to leave the place. In the cave early morning the atmosphere was pretty cold & I realized the same, as & when I was pulling the chaddar of  my partner since unfortunately I forgot to carry the same.  Next day(Wednesday around 6:45am) we started our return journey & around 1.00pm were back to home.
Bhorandyacha Nala

Date: 21 July 2002

For Adventure Lovers, Trek to Naneghat via Bhorand Nala is a kind of eco- challenge. One can trek Naneghat by normal route & descend down to Moroshi village via Bhorand Nala or vice-versa. Ideal way out is the previous one which one can enjoy more. Especially in the Monsoon it is too good infact any Sahyadri mountain looks fresh & beautiful. You can feel the lower rain clouds. You will really enjoy the rain. One can forget his/her botheration /tension which a person accumulate day by day in our daily fast moving life. You can feel like you are part of this nature for some time. All your trek tiredness will run away like anything. Especially when you are at the top (Nana's thumb), the scene is too beautiful but little dangerous too. One has to take proper precaution especially in the rain. The Thumb shape rock is completely covered with rain clouds, you cannot see beyond five feet of range. If the clouds open you can see a sudden 800ft down deep konkan plateau towards Kalyan side(North). Sometime you may feel like you are watching the plateau through a small window of a gallery.

The bhorand Nala is at backside, towards left of Ghatghar village while moving from Naneghat just 500mt. from the Ghat. A narrow gully descends down almost 600 ft. Then one has to take left route from a small nala, the other one(right) goes to the village. The right side route actually one needs to find out the way, takes you to the Kalyan-Malshej road near to the bridge. While descending down one can find so many waterfalls, rock walls, dense forest at the base.

For us it took one hr. to trek from Nanegaht fata till the Naneghat caves & 3 hrs to descend via the Nala. I thought our new venture were successful by exploring this new route but a very bad seen at the end near the bridge at Fangne village. Two groups were having their liquor at two different places. Some of them couldn't able to walk near roadside. One of them fails down on the slippery rock plane near the bank & broke the bottle since lost his control. The other group left their un disposable plates near the bank with food remains scattered on the bank. One of the group while returning, the way they were driving, it was no good way. My mind started comparing the one group of school children (around 150 in nos.) they trekked the ghat in one Hrs. with plenty of energy & cheer. And at the backside all these young people doing unlawful activity & don't even know where they are. One of the drunken fellow were asking his another drunken fellow "from where these people are coming! Can we go?" There was no way to explain this people in this situation except our gesture (/body language) that we are not accepting you. I consider this article should put some light if it is effective.

Finally Nature is giving us such beautiful things & in return we should consider it's our duty to keep the nature as clean as possible.

Siddhagadh

7th Oct 2012

Trek to Siddhagadwadi

Moving back to India was not as much a challenge as finding some like minded and enthusiastic people who are into hiking, trekking, climbing, cycling or just running. With a billion plus population we are still a nation that enjoys nature from a distance.

My search took me to the site of Bhramanti (http://www.bhramanti.com) and after some navigation around the site I sent a couple of mails to the site admin and Rajan Rikame. Then it was all waiting.

Then one morning I got a mail from Kiran Sarode. It was about the hike to Siddhagad Fort. Cut short and soon I was waiting at the bus stop near SEEPZ on JVLR at 5:30 AM.

Bhramanti is obviously doing a great job providing an avenue to nature lovers as it was evident from the ten enthusiastic individuals who traveled together towards Murbad in 3 vehicles. We stopped by at Mhasa and has a small breakfast of Misal Paao, a spicy local food with bread.

From there we traveled another 12 kms to Narivali village and then parking our cars after a short event, the hiking team started for the hills. Unlike my prior experiences, I was already having a lot of fun. There are no formal trail heads or maps of trails. These are just village routes and once in a while you meet some villager who will willingly guide yo towards the destination. All for a polite greeting like 'Ram Ram'. Lord Ram does have his presence even in our modern day nature hikes.

I have mostly hiked in PNW and some really short ones in Arizona. These places do not have a tropical climate and rare, if any, algae. And here I was in a terrain that was wet and mostly muddy in the initial stages. However much I tried, I finally had my feet in about a foot of mud. With a load of tiny pebbles sticking in my shoes, we made it to a stream. I took my shoes off and cleaned them. That helped a lot.

We had a short break and pushed for the fort. We crossed the stream as the bridge had its approaches completely taken over by greenery and we did not want to part of a snake dance or rush one of us to some doctor. The day was getting hotter and I was in a misery. I really need to get my brown skin readjusted to the heat in India if I want to enjoy the nature here. Carry a lot of water and electrolytes. You will need them here. I have still to find out the kind of clothes one needs but synthetics do work well as humidity is prevalent in these regions for most of the year. But summers are dry and one would need to be more in cottons.

We stopped by at a clearing and we had a round of introduction. This trek was led by Kiran with Ravi as the deputy and the team included Sachin, Lalitesh, Mohammad, Vijay, Mr. Mahajan, Mr. Ranadive and Haribabu. Mr. Mahajan and Mr. Rajan Ranadive called themselves retired but I did not see any sign of it. They are really fit and have a long way to go. Matter of fact Mr. Ranadive is also known as a walking encyclopedia of the treks in the Shayadris, having started his treks from Kishtwar, J&K in 1976. A real veteran and my respects for him.

Pretty soon we were in the algae country. Every step was a difficult one. Our deputy lead Ravi, provided me with tips on the terrain and boy, was that helping. I need to find some PVC based soles for my shoes and work out something lime a micro-spike like attachement for my shoes.

One thing about trekking the Shayadris; wear long pants and long sleeved shirts. There are enough insects around. Carry a mosquito repellant if you are an attraction for the bugs.

But the bugs were not so much an issue as the absence of trails or the way to put it really, the trails were in use by nature. The late monsoon waters had taken over most of the trails and we literally had to walk through ankle deep water with slippery rocks galore. A few more stops and we were at the gates of Siddhagarh Fort. My spiritual connection with
nature kicked in. We were not at the summit but realizing that I was party to history and a beautiful one, in itself was my high point.

We walked on and in about 20 minutes reached Siddhagarh village on top of the plateau. We were at about 2000+ feet above sea level. The top was another 750 feet but a steep climb. The trip was to reach the fort and not the summit. It was late afternoon by the time we all reached the plateau and decided that we would have lunch and head back.

Up here at the village we met with a lady who told us that most of the men folk work in the villages and towns far away and that they do not have a school. Apparently the teacher never came back. It is a paradox that they have satellite TV and electricity but no education. I hope someday we can turn around for another hike to find help for them.

In all my short outdoor life, I have never seen such layout of food on a hike. There were stuff like fresh cucumbers, assortment of breads from different places, puran poli, bhaji and believe me or not, freshly made bhel. I am not joking. Here was Haribabu making bhel on the mountain. But I loved it all.

Indra blessed us with a little shower and we headed back out. Unlike other hikes, coming down from the Siddhagarh Fort was a challenge in itself. The slippery terrain was not easy and the little rain had decided to go down with us too. The streams were fuller but we made down to the Narivali village in good time before the sun set.

Soon we were back in Mahsa and enjoyed some highly reboiled chai and hot Vada Pavs. Back in Mumbai, I said adios to my group.

I am really glad that I found a great group here and will be able to learn a lot from the hikes and climbs I intend to go for with them or should I say 'Us'. Look for ward to more.

Happy Climbing.
Written By: Deb Mohan



11th Aug 2002

It's a real man soon (monsoon) these days in Mumbai & All over Maharashtra. The day Chief Minister declared draught area in Maharashtra due to no rain; the next day rain started continuously till today. Add-on to this the Maharashtra Govt. asked for a grant of Rs. 1000 Caror for the draught relief to the Canter. Now most of the Mumbaities must be thinking that the amount proposed to get for the relief may be utilised for the flood relief, such a heavy rainfall!!!

If you forget all these botheration & decide to enjoy the day there is no way better that to go for a trek in the Sahyadri range of mountains. Offcourse there should be some exception like many people wants to get relaxed at home watching TV & sipping Tea but in the polluted Mumbai's air, some may want to see movies along with the friends once again in the polluted air, etc etc. So as per me or like minded people monsoon trek will be ideal way out to spend your weekend which will give you something better than described before. You will get atleast next 2-3 days of freshness feelings, sense of achievement, you will know your limits & level of cooperation. For nature lovers; they will hear & see various colourful birds which makes the nature more beautiful. For photography; sky is the limit if one can see in the monsoon.

Siddhagad is a fort in the Murbad/Kalyan region. You need to reach Narivli either by local State transport bus which starts from Murbad or by any other vehicle. It's better to reach early around 7-8am & start the trek. It's a well known square massif, standing very prominently away from the main range. Facing towards Siddhagadh on the left one can see Gorakshgadh & Maschindragadh. One can reach the fort from Kotwal Smarak. Two freedom fighters (Bhai Kotwal & Hiraji Patil) was shot dead at this place by Britisher on 2nd Jan 1943. In my mind I thought this trek will be a kind of tribute to those freedom fighter on the nearest eve of the 55th Independence day (15th Aug 2002).

The trek was organised by Sahyagiri, we were 16 in number. Due to heavy rainfall though we could not able to reach the balekilla but we enjoyed the rain very well & had lunch at Narmata Temple which is at the base of the fort. The temple is ancient & in the verge of getting no trace of all well carved idols & all. We did little survey around the temple. We had re-established a pillar stone which was rolled down on the main route from the temple. After lunch & little rest in the Temple premises we started our returned trek journey from another safer route than the one which we took while ascending. On the way while crossing the ghat little we had been to a place little above the pass where a broken canon exist & which was supposed to be a point from where the canon attack has to happened. On the other side of the point one can find the deccan plateau mountain range & down the konkan area towards Murbad. The sudden clearance of the fog gave us a clear view of the mountain range on the left side which was supposed to be Goraksh/Maschindra range. While returning from the route towards Kotwal Smarak needs to find out which is along the running stream

While returning I found one of the local guide putting the rappers of the toffee in his pocket which I suppose a very nice part of this trek. I hope if such kind of awareness happens everywhere then definitely such places will remain intact & clean.

Written By: Rajan Rikame

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