A Thrilling and Memorable Trail Trek to Sudhagad

And finally that day came when we were supposed to join Prasad for trekking. Being the fantastic rainy season of 2012 ,though not too much rain, but perfect for trekking. Actually I was very eager to trek with Prasad as he trekked most of the forts in Sahyadri and knows a lot of hidden things around. But every time I missed the chance ,stuck in other works. But this time again he arranged trail trek to Ghangad-Sudhagad. Trek route was fantastic .so I anyway decided to go on with him.

But as usual, I got urgent work on the Saturday and screwed up the plan again. I called Prasad to tell him that I can’t make it, but he was insisting to join at least half of the trail, trek to Sudhagad. So after hell lot of discussion on phone I, Rhishi, Vasu decided to go and meet KSagar at Khopoli, then joining Prasad at Pali.

Accordingly KSagar was about to reach at Khopoli sharp at 8:15 PM. And we were going to start the journey from Pune at 7:15 PM, so obviously KSagar has to wait there and he agreed to wait (goodness of my dear friend).So finishing all the works we reached Shivajinagar at around 7:00 PM. Reaching Shivajinagar, we asked for Khopoli Bus and got to know that there is no bus for Khopoli till 11:00.So were not having option other than catching 8:00 PM Lonavala Local.We Started journey towards Lonavala.

Meanwhile everyone means us the three; KSagar and Prasad promised to text each other at the every moment to keep track of everyone’s location. As there was problem of mobile phone coverage. So KSagar was giving update at the every point he reached and we still being around Pune. And Prasad already reached Pali after completing trek to Ghangad and KSagar at Khopoli.

After one and half hour around 9:30 PM we reached Lonavala and next challenge was to get any vehicle for Khopoli from the highway. But giving lot of try, making hands to Trucks, tempo, etc. we didn’t get the lift from anyone till 10:00 PM. And KSagar was getting bored by waiting there at Khopoli. Finally one innova driver stopped his car by himself asking whether to go to Khopoli, We thanked god for sending this person to help us in the night.

Heading towards Khopoli, we were enjoying dense fog on the way. what an atmosphere was that! wow!! And taking just nominal fare of 30 bucks per head, driver dropped us right just in front of KSagar at Khopoli. Oh my god, so finally we meet there at around 10:45 PM in the clock .We finished the dinner and decided to go to Pali .Again repeat telecast of programme ”Stopping the unknown vehicles in the night”.

And this time it was more difficult due to getting too late in the night, being around 12:00 PM in the clock.Another challenge!!!!! But there was no option but trying to stop vehicle. Again no one was stopping to help us. At last there were two men, stopped for dinner with their car. KSagar asked him whether they can drop us at Pali. But they were going through another route. Thinking about what to do we stood there on the road and trying to stop vehicles. After some time the man with the car asked us to sit and he changed the route for us and decided to go through Pali for us. Again getting help,we thanked god and headed towards Pali…………………...

So we introduced ourselves to the person and got to know that he is network engineer by profession and working in Vodafone. And he was going to Mangaon for fixing the down site. We started chitchatting, discussing various topics like ghosts, their stories, girls, different companies, etc. covering the 40 km distance by talking ,laughing ,enjoying He dropped us near Pali at around 1:20 AM in the clock. It was heavy raining outside.

We tried calling Prasad, but he was not picking as we thought he slept.Earlier Prasad told us they were going to stay at Bhakta Nivas, so we started searching for Bhakta Nivas. Reaching Bhakta Nivas asked to watchman whether there is any group of 13-14 people stayed at the place. Looking at the register, got to know the room number and finally we meet .After around 4-5 years I was meeting to Prasad. So all went to bed.

Pali is around 35-40 KM from Khopoli and comes in the Raigad District, Sudhagad Taluka and one of the ASHTAVINAYAK GANPATI, so worshiped with great respect. So we started the journey towards the same. Somewhere it was raining outside.

Next day we waked up at 7:00 AM. Decided to go to Sudhagad. There are two base villages from where we can start trek, one is Pachhapur (Thakurwadi) and another is Dhondse. And we were supposed to hike the fort from Pachhapur. There were around 13 trekkers with us and most of them were tired due to yesterday’s trek to Ghangad. So being 10 we started travelling towards Pachhapur. Pachhapur is around 12 KM from Pali. being fantastic lush greenery on both the sides of road,we were enjoying fresh air in the morning. निसर्गानी  हिरव्या रंगाची नुसती उधळण केली होती ...मस्तच ! On the way we stopped  at roadside farm(भाताची लावणी ) for cooking morning breakfast. We made Pohe(पोहे) and packed with Pohe we headed towards base village. 

Pachhapur is the same place where the Sambhaji Maharaj (the son Chhatrapti Shivaji Maharaj) and Akbar (the son of Aurangjeb) met. So reaching in half an hour we started hiking Sudhagad.

At the base we can see the Padas of Thakar so the name of the colony as Thakurwadi. As being the rainy season, it was most lush green and pleasant atmosphere around. As usual I started my little shooting machine to capture the images.

Sudhagad, one of the most beautiful forts in Sahyadri ranges. Mostly visited by trekkers as very easy level by endurance. And the most enjoyable of all the time. Here we noticed first rock patch but easily accessible by the ladder. Actually there are two ladders one is old one that is somewhat difficult for climbing and other one is so easy to climb. The new ladder looks like giraffe shape from the base.

Hiking ahead we were there at Pachhapur gate to the fort The Pachhapur Mahadarwaja being the steep descends from the top. After climbing the gate we got spectacular views of mountain ranges and little river flowing with rain water. Awesome!

So exploring the things, we headed towards Sarkarwada which is now in dilapidated state. Taking rest for some time and clicking the images there, we headed towards Panta Sachivancha Wada.

Reaching Wada,there were people might be member of RSS preparing for Navratra celebration.getting some knowledge about fort,we explored the wada.There are banner fixed by TrekKshitij trekking group displaying the information and  maps of the fort nearest places that can be visited. After clicking photos there we go ahead for exploring the Bhoraishwar temple and Chor darwaja.

So we were at Bhoraishwar temple, being the frame of Shivaji Maharaja and shiv ling inside. We did the photo session there and headed towards another chor darwaja . chor darwaja built in the historical time of Bahamani sultan. Its fantastic model of secret structure at the fort. We were exploring the different plants,insects, structures and side by side clicking photos. 

After that we were on the way towards the Bhorai Devi’s temple which was the main goal of the visit to the fort. Being the cool environment, raining, fog around, we were enjoying every moment of trek. We got the information about temple from Pujari. There is one big bell in the temple which is originally from fort Vasai. And that was brought by Chimaji Appa here on the Sudhagad. Similar kind of bell is there at Bhīma Shankar temple. So clicking the group photo in front of the temple we started walking towards Mahadarwaja. It started raining heavily.

According to history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, He was going to give status as capital of Hindavi Swarajya to Sudhagad before Raigad. The Mahadarwaja which is just duplicate copy of darwaja at Raigad. This is the gate to which one can reach at the fort from Dhondase which is another base village of the fort. 

And that was last point of trek to Sudhagad. So doing a lot of photo session there at the gate. We switch off the cameras and started our return journey towards Pachhapur. It was around 1:30 PM in the clock.  

We return to Pali from Pachhapur at around 2:15 PM. We grabbed some kanda bhaji and wadapav and headed towards Ganpati temple.

After that the plan was to go to the Kashid beach. After enjoying at 0 feet level we started our journey towards Pune and decided to take the dinner on the way…………….

It was fantastic, memorable trek with hell lot of co-incidence, good lucks, and new information, meeting new friends and enjoying the gift of the god from bottom of heart. 

Keep trekking,
Sandip Wadaskar