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Monday, October 31, 2011

Trek To Rajmachi - a Chhan Chaan Trek... By Aashish R. Chawla

Here I am hitting the dirt trek with another first to my list of modest achievements. Yes Friends !! I am talking of my first night trek- Trek to Rajmachi from Lonawala 

It all happened because one of my very good friend Suresh who wanted to go for trekking but he had a condition that he doesn't want to do one day trek as he felt it becomes very hectic to wake up early in the morning and come back late at night and then go to office next morning.Due to this condition apply situation I decided we will do this Lonawala-Rajmachi-Karjat trek.

With  all the excitement which is very usual in my case when the moment someone pronounce the word trek .
Both of us geared up ,packed all the stuff needed for the trek we dashed off to CST station.

Time was 1.30 pm when we reached CST station and we were suppose to board 2.30 pm Sinhgad Express. We were dismayed to see serpentine line at the ticket counter,but we survived the scare and managed to get the Lonawala tickets well in time but the catch here was that either we make a dash to catch the train so as to get the place to sit or we could eat our lunch and board the train just few minutes before the departure 
however in the  latter case the chances to sit would definitely vanish. Both of us opted for the former option and jumped into the train.Despite sacrificing  our lunch we were frustrated to see that the train was almost full but somehow after doing seat hunting we found a place to sit. In the meanwhile our organiser Jagdish had also joined us.So the pack of wolves were off to hunting I mean pack of trekkers were off to trekking.. En route other co trekker kept joining us. The train was becoming crowded as hell with not a microinch of space to stand.The train went rumbling thru the tunnels after tunnels and finally we reached Lonawala at 5.34 pm
Our Arrival Time at Lonawala Station


Jaise ki har ek trek me hota hai...
Koi na koi late Zaroor hota hai....

and this trek was no exception we waited out for the latecomers passing our time by clicking photos
Early Birds

Inteha ho gayi Intezar ki....ai na kuch Khabbar mere yaar ki....


After the impromptu photo session and the delayed arrival of the late comers we boarded auto riksha to Tungarali Village. In fading light we collected ourselves and had an introduction round minus the instruction round(Perhaps Jagdish thought we all are quite intelligent and don't need any instructions..Lolz)

We started our trek from Tungarili Village and after walking for hardly 5-7 minutes we reached at Tungarali Dam where again there was a small bout of Photo session.




Suresh and me at the Tungarali Dam 

Small Bout of photo session at Tungarali Dam







We continued our trek.... from here the city of Lonawala was looking very beautiful. It was now quite dark and we all had to use the torch lights for finding our way.We kept on walking for about one hour but soon realised that somewhere down the line we have lost our way. Everyone collapsed on the road waiting for Jagdish to come or direct us to the correct trail. So this lot of intelligent trekker came out with varied solutions to make Jagdish know our location. Someone suggested that we call out aloud, then some one suggested that we light the torch towards the sky, mobile network was unreachable and so was now Jagdish for us. Luckily for us a biker from village passed us and he informed us that we have missed the turn behind so off we all retreated grumbling that 1 hour is lost and that much more to walk now. Amidst all this commotion also no one forgot to take pictures."Koi apne chere per Torch mar ke Bhoot ke effect ki picture nikal raha hai toh koi shadow pictures nikal raha hai" Innovation in photography was at its best height..


Lost!!! but hungry (me) and tired (Suresh) (note the sweat on his shirt)

Pooja and Nikhil wandering Now what next !!!! 
So we retraced our trek and came to the proper trail . From here onwards our Agni pariksha started because we were walking in pitch darkness, village road uneven and occasional streams crossing our trail. Most of us were now getting tired the speed of most of trekker were dropping. Suresh slowly lost the speed and was now trailing the group. I too was feeling quiet dehydrated. It was here I got into a conversation with Nikhil and Pooja. Nikhil is an avid biker who loves biking along coastal region while pooja like my friend was a first timer trekker..

Walking for almost 2hrs now nearly everyone looked like victim of fatigue , I could see people cracking due to tiredness and most of us had only one common question for our organizer...How far to go now????

At this point I want to bring to notice of the future trekker that the Trek schedule will say the trek is easy to medium level but I would say that first timer should not do this trek only because of endurance factor. I agree that the difficulty level is not much but overall it does test the endurance level to the hilt.. After walking for almost 5 and half hour we reached Rajmachi village at around 11.30 pm.

For almost everyone of us the sight of village was like oasis in the middle of desert. we felt that we have reached paradise not because of village sight but more due to our tiredness.We hardly had any energy to eat our dinner but seeing the unlimited puran poli everyone got into the business of dinner.

Puran poli Dinner Special

Dinner Village istyle !!!

arre jaldi serve karo yaar!!!!


The time was 12 o'clock at night.The itinerary had mentioned that we can have camp fire after dinner Par idhar energy level ki toh wat lagi padi thi upar se subha 5.30 baje sunrise dekne srivardhan fort jana tha"  most of us opted to go to sleep and some braveheart went ahead with the camp fire program.

I had hardly hit my head to the ground when someone shook me and said"Aashish sunrise dekhne jana hai na" I relied sleepily "Haan subha aaonga" the voice said "toh chalo 5.30 ho gaya hai" I stared at him with a kind of look yaar joke mat karo...and then I blabbered "arre beech me raat nahi tha kya...direct day kaise ho gaya"


Dawn breaking out at srivardhan fort





Early morning at Rajmachi had its own magic. The sound of the wind blowing outside our house was something out of the world experience for us and over this there quite chill in the atmosphere.we all took out our torches and marched like dutiful soldies toward the SRIVARDHAN FORT.After walking for about half an hour we reached the top.The dawn was just breaking out ,the climate was very pleasant and very very breezy. The sight at the top was nothing short of a picture postcard.







we all had an extended photo session at the Top,









 we explored various corners of the fort for about an hour Though the fort is in ruins much still looks very attractive.






 We started to descend from here to the village where the steaming hot tea along with the kanda Poha was awaiting us. We finished our breakfast and started to climb the shorter mount of Rajmachi toward the Manoranjan Fort which was hardly 15 to 20 minutes climb. here again the Top held a very pretty sight.there are quite few ruins up here and also few water tanks. all of us again went crazy clicking photos here.








We all came down from Manoranjan fort to village Rajmachi and further moved to Uday sagar Talav as they say no trek to Rajmachi is complete without taking a dip in the lake.but the best part here was that very few knew swimming so most of us chilled out with our legs dipping in the lake aur thodi masti aur maja....








After chilling out at the lake we moved on to the Ancient  Lord Shiva temple just behind the lake.







We moved from the temple to where we were staying had a fantastic lunch and were ready to head back to mumbai via kondane caves to Karjat.


Tirednes had partially engulfed us especially with 51/2 hr night trek, lack of sleep at night and further mountain hopping to veiw Srivardhan and manoranjan Fort the descent was actually challenging.
Descent most of the portion was very steep and getting down was becoming equally a difficult taskMy friend Suresh was cursing me now because he had blisters on his toe due to this marathon walk and over that this painful descent was killing him. He been a first time trekker had a very tough time. I think he was fully crippled by the time he reached Karjat.


Another first timer Pooja was also having a terrible time getting down the hill specially after the sole of her shoes just came apart but she bravely held out , went to the store bouught Fevistick , did a little bit of fixing job and moved on. the best part of Pooja descent was the different shades of expression on her face. Seeing a flat ground walk her face used to lit us and the moment the descent became steep one could see a noticeable frown on her forehead but I must say It was a valiant effort on her part that she finished this trek .....in one piece !!!!


we reached kondane caves after walking for around 21/2 hrs and from here within an hour we reached kondane village where we had our evening tea. Tum Tum was waiting there to take us to Karjat Station a 35 minutes drive. We missed 7.41 train by whisker and wait out at the station for 8.44 train. nikhil, pooja and me cracked jokes till the train arrived and by 10.30 we reached Dadar....


Reached home with lots of memories .....of a chhan chhan trek to Rajmachi



Members of Chhan Chaan trek

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK GIVEN BELOW FOR RAJMACHI  TREK PHOTOS
complete photos of Rajmachi trek

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