I often go for treks, hikes and camping, many of the times I am asked by some of our groups members that, which was my best adventure? Well to tell you the truth every next trek is the BEST trek. It might sound corny but for me the best things about the journey is the unexpected. Every trek, every camp has a different vibe and I’ll be deceiving myself if I said I don’t love each one of them.
Recently I went for a hike at Kalavantin Durg which ended up, we detouring its neighboring peak – Prabalgad. What an Adventure it was.
Before we begin into my journey, let’s know some history of these two peaks
The Kalavantin Durg is built at a height of 2300 ft. It is said to be one of the dangerous forts in Maharashtra, due to its steep climb- a 60o climb to the top of the summit, where one has to climb a 2ft stairs as there are no ropes . In Shivaji Maharaj’s reign this fort was named after the queen Kalavantin and was used to secure the neighboring location as a lookout point. Forts like Chanderi, Irshalgad, Matheran forts can all be seen from this summit. Many caves are enveloped around the peak some are roughly oblong and some have a prefect square-like entrance, appreciating the architectural and combat tactical sense of the builders.
The road to the base village of both summits is definitely a mesmerizing one. You get to see different types of flaura and fauna. On our way to the top we met hikers motivating each other, jokingly yelling ‘jaagte raho’ to boost the confidence of us trekkers. The greenery on this trek is really breath-taking, but it is advised to the reader the difficulty increases with the spectacular view it presents itself with, during the monsoon seasons. So be aware! There are those beautiful crystal clear waterfalls found on the travel to the base village i.e Thakurwadi village. Thakurwadi is basically a campsite where you can trek a day before, stay for the night and visit the peak early in the morning. Tents are rented here at flexible rates ,and delicious home-cooked food is served to the guests staying at Thakurwadi. It is a 3km climb from the base to the top of kalavantin durg. The roads which we call ‘paulwat’ goes through the dense bushes and rocky pathches, climbing over every other tree towards the base of the kalavantin peak, where the stairs start. From the top we could see cluster of mountains covered in the fog, and our next destination PRABALGAD.
The Fort is a rocky plateau and it is slightly above Kalavantin Durg. Prabalgad was previously called Muranjan, this fort was used to be under the Mughals until Shivaji Maharaj took the control in 1657. At the time the fort was governed by Sardar Kesar Singh, it was the only fort to put up a good resistance. On seeing the signs of defeat the women in the fort performed Jauhar, a tradition of self-immolation to ensure a honourable and respectful death. Singh died during the battle in October 1657, and Shivaji in the act of kindness gave his mother and his grandchild a safe passage.
There were 2 routes to reach this plateau fort and we decided to try the risky one, it was narrow road and on other side the valley! We went through a cave, water fountains on our shoulder ahead of us we could see fog. As mesmerizing as it was the trek was DIFFICULT we could barely try to walk after the first climb. But the sceneric view from the top was worth it. There we could see the pinnacle of Kalavantin standing below us. On our journey towards prabalgad a dog assisted us, showing us shortcuts to the top of the plateau, and in the end we rewarded him with oreos. These things sometimes makes me think that dogs are really smart than we give them credit for, the best guide one can ever find.
The only thing that disappointed me in this journey was the plastic wrappers thrown in the jungle, mountains everywhere even after the installment of bins. I hope as knowledgeable citizens as we are we could bring out a change in the mindsets of such foolish people and protect our Environment, after all Greener is Cleaner.
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