Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Chanderi Trek - 7 Aug 2011

It had been just a day short for the completion of a week since I’d trekked Harishchandragad, and there I was, ready again with a backpack full of excitement (after all the scolding from my parents, “ghar parivar aahet ki nahi?, nehmi trekking trekking, pudhchya weli ajibaaat jaun nahi denar” J & all the parenting stuff). But that doesn’t bother me. I was ready for the trek, accompanied by my friend Austin & some new trek mates who Nilesh was to join us with.

La Route: The route starts from Vangani, a railway station between Badlapur & Karjat on the central railway line. Form here one has to take a rickshaw up to a village called ‘Chichawli’ for some 6-7kms (make sure to take the phone number of the rickshaw wala for your return journey as there are no autos plying from the village back to the station). The trek starts from this village.

spot the rainbow in the above pic:-)

The plan was to meet together at Vangani station at 7:30am, but I and Austin had some other plan. We decided to get going a day earlier & enjoy the night life, touring here and there (a different thing from your day to day lifeJ). We left our place at 10pm & reached Karjat around 2am. I was surprised to see a group of some 30 youngsters (guys & girls) playing on the station platform. It seemed they were there for a trek (most probably a picnic J looking at their tiny backpacks). After having some kadak chai & kurkureJ, we rested on the platform itself. While Austin slept with some psychedelic music playing in his ears, I managed to shoot some night at the railway platform. We had to return to Vangani to join the rest of the group at around 7am, so we left Karjat with the 6:15am local. I hadn’t had any sleep & was already wondering how I was going to complete the trek. We met the rest of the group comprising of Nupur, Ambika, Bincy, Prasad, Alok, Mahendra, Abhijeet, & my friend Nilesh. We had breakfast of Gujarati Thepla’s” & tea before heading towards Chichawli.

Reaching Chichawli, Nilesh had contact with a local named Ananda, who was going to prepare some kandepohe after we return back. The morning life in a village is a beautiful thing to see. The hens surrounded with all their cute little babies (the chicks are just TOO cuteJ) having some food, the cows & bulls heading towards the fields for grazing, the local dogs barking at us foreigners, the dung cakes welcoming us to break them apartJ and the cute little kids looking at us & smiling innocently as we returned some smiles. That’s what a simple life is.

It was around 9am when we left the village towards Chanderi. Alarming the rest of the surroundings with the Shivaji Maharaj Vandana, we started the trek. For the first few miles the trek goes through some small hills, up & down, straight for some 2-3kms. This is a simple walk through the plantation. But there were not many flowering plants as I’d thought earlier that disappointed me. But walking though the foliage & dirt was funJ.  As we halted on the top of a small hill, we got a chance to see a beautiful Rainbow that had formed amidst the drizzle & sunlight. It was a beautiful sight & I successfully clicked some fast snaps. Moving on we had a new comer on her first trek ever, who was stuck in the basic no no’s of trekking (having a good shoe). Her shoe split open into two, so I and Nilesh tried to wind a piece of thread to it. She somehow managed it for a few miles & then took off both her shoe soles (wise decision thoughJ). We’d walked for some 4 miles where we reached the water streams (which are the actual routeJ). Many a trekkers say of getting lost, but the road is all the way through the water, keep climbing upstream and you reach a v shaped junction that descends into another valley. A left from here goes up to the Chanderi pinnacle.

It hadn’t rained for the past night & we were thankful to the nature gods. If it rained heavily, it was definitely going to hamper the ascend ahead. The huge rocks were wholly covered with moss, and there were just a few places where we could anchor our claws to get some grip. The girls slipped at some patches & continued to do soJ. We had our new comer mate Ambika who slipped of on a huge slippery rock along with another mate. It was a confusing situation for me. At times like these, I get confused, whether to laugh or look into the matterJ. I had a laugh with myself J & tried to reach her. Not a serious fall though, it had all of us worried. Most of the times, incidences like these hamper the group confidence, but thankfully it didn’t happen to us. We continued to climb the rock patches that were pouring in water with force. The rock patch is a much demanding affair in the rainy season as it gets too slippery. But we all managed to make it. Climbing for an hour or so, we had made it through the rocks & into the thick plantation. There are a lot of insects that keep you bothering all the time (be prepared with some repellants). They stick to your body & bite you (not like mosquitoes that fly away when wiped off). These insects troubled me a lot, so I’ve made a decision to carry a forge with me the next time I come here for a trek & watch these insects burn to death in my forge & laugh at themJ.

Now we’d reached the point of diversion, the one which exits into another valley & the left that takes you towards the Chanderi pinnacle. While Austin & Ambika (who were really tired as seen on their facesJ) decided not to come up to the summit & lay down, the rest of the crew continued after a short break. The climb from here is more demanding than what we did before. Firstly, the route is a very narrow piece of land, just enough to place your feet, with valley on both your sides, and secondly, the wind blows here at high speeds that could blow you of in an open windcheater like a parachuteJ. It is preferable for people with less experience to do this part carefully.
    It takes around 20mins to reach the cave. The view from the region around the cave is just beautiful. The grass, waving with the wind, the fog that covers the surroundings, the fresh air that comes in & the feeling of being at on the top of a summit is always an awesome experience. The pinnacle can be reached with rope and harness. It is a technical job that has to be done with greater care.  

Spending some time at this place, we decided to return. Catching up with the rest of the gang, we descended down the same route. It took some 3hrs for us to descend. Reaching the village, we headed to have some good kandepohe & chai prepared for us at Ananda’s place. We changed into some good clothing (out of the dirty, mud covered ones that would prevent us from entering any mode of transportationJ). We returned to Vangani to catch up with the next local to CST.

Not a ‘so exciting’ trek though, but I still had a good time as I like to trek a lot. Trekking is always a good experience, it helps you to know team work more, it helps you to reach your limits, make knew friends, learn more from life. It’s a feeling of freedom, standing on the edge at the top of the mountain & spreading your hands and screaming out loudly as possible is one of the best things to do. Trekking helps you know how beautiful life is and shows you different shades of nature each time you visit a different location. It’s a beautiful feeling ‘that does matter in the end’.


Siddhartha Joshi said...

The pictures of ur treks are amazing man! I am super inspired to pack my bags and trek!!!

Nimish Sudhakar Patil said...

keep on reading siddhartha...

thank you.

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