The monsoon had just knocked on the door of Mumbai and in the process it almost knocked out the city out of control. The whole city was converted into a huge water park where at a glance it looked more like city of Venice than amchi Mumbai, with houses, trains, roads all under water, Against this background just imagine what can happen when you tell your people at home that you would be going for a trek, Naturally all hell breaks loose "Arre koi jata hai kya itni barish me" "Dekho TV wale kya dikha rahe hai,bola hai ki zaroori kaam ho toh hi nikalna chaiye" but luckily for me, all the skills of convincing that I had accumulated over the years to sneak to treks has paid off and I was granted permission to go.
|Mumbai in rains|
Just like every avid trekker I too was looking forward to start my monsoon trekking season with something exciting. Its a well known fact that the Sahyadri mountains gets magically transformed from brown desert like fields to a canopy of green.
|Canopy of green carpet|
Before I start with our trekking moments, Let us brush up a little history of this Patta fort.
|Map of Patta Fort|
After the war at Jalna , Shivaji Maharaj reached Sangamner, Even though the moghuls who was chasing Shivaji with the large army they got defeated in the battle and on 16th Nov 1679(6 months before death) Shivaji Maharaj arrived on the fort and rested here for a month to recover from prolong illness hence the fort got it's name Vishramgad. This fort was earlier known as Patta killa. The residents of this fort was called Pattekar.
Height of this fort is 1392 mtrs(4566 feets).
|Early morning at Dadar station waiting for Kasara Local|
|Miss the train , Miss the trek|
|All set to go|
|Moving through the Kasara Ghat Highway|
|Mountains and overcast black clouds|
and the icing on the cake was the sight of windmills dotted along the horizon looked just like beautiful candles on a birthday cake.
|Windmills looking like candles on the cake|
|I have never seen windmills from so close|
Before anyone could change their mind I jumped out of the jeep and started clicking madly, in the meanwhile others also got into the act, "Ek baar engine chalu kar do toh gaddi akshar bhagne lagti hai " I say this because the whole atmosphere went photo- photo for few minutes.
|I am always ready for a picture|
|Base of Patta Fort|
All through out this drive from Kasara station to Pattewadi we were gaining height , perhaps that was the reason that prompted me to jokingly thank Ajay that he has ensured our door delivery to the gates of the fort.
|Arrival of the Team at the base|
Jokes apart, upon reaching the Pattewadi base village we had almost covered the height of around 3500 fts. with only 500-600 fts. to trek.
|Main entrance to Patta Fort|
|Fort of the Map|
|Brand new Hatti|
|Ab aise Darwaje ka kya Kahana|
|Newly renovated Stairs|
With these two eye sores I was worried that I will end up with sore eyes.( I know It was a PJ , Jaane do yaaro. Maff kardo !!) Climbing on the stairs we see a small cave of Laxman swami maharaj on left side.
|Laxman Swami Maharaj Cave|
|Secret Passage or Surang|
and little further to it is on the left is a small temple and on the right side is a huge shed. All this time we were moving casually because the climb was very easy and soon we reached the next level.
|View from next level|
Little traverse from behind the shed and walking up we reach next level. You can see the entire route in the picture below.
|Green coloured shed and the traverse from |
behind that takes you one more level up
Now this was interesting because the view from this point was amazing, on the extreme right the authorities have built small shack or shade where one can sit and view the valley.
|Shacks or viewing huts offering amazing views|
From this wall little above me I could see the bhuruj wall. As I walked towards it I realised that there was another Darwaja or Gate.
|Walk on the Rampant wall|
|Behind me is the Trimbhak Darwaja|
Keeping this gate behind you, one can see temple with a water tank next to it.This water tank is protected with the metal mesh wire. For me till here I never felt like I was on a fort I was desperately trying to get my connect with the history but this modern structures were disturbing me a lot.
|Ashtbhuja Devi mandir|
|On far left mountain top is our|
second viewing shack
we started to trek along the mountain and traverse towards that viewing gallery.
|Traversing toward the other side|
|View from the opposite side of the Plateau|
|Our lunch halt site, second viewing Hut|
For us yeah hamari film ka interwal point tha.Yes we all rested here for a while to take in the beauty of the mountains lying ahead of us. The view was simply amazing.
|Some tranquil moments|
The scenic beauty of the place was breathtaking, the breeze so ever cool that we all decided to have our lunch here only. As we had started the trek late therefore our lunch break was limited to 15 mins only keeping in consideration that there is still lot to be explored on the Top.
|Nikhil and myself enjoying our lunch|
On the Rocks !!!
After this lunch break we resumed our trek again and we started moving towards the top most part of plateau. Patta name is very appropriate for this fort because the top portion indeed looks like a long patta kind of thing.One can really feel the hugeness of the place.
|Huge Patta Plateau|
Far on the top at the extreme left in the picture above we can see another viewing hut and we prepared ourselves to reach there. It looked to far and high from where we standing, that my friend Nikhil asked me are you sure we have to go till there, I said it is part of this fort so naturally we will have to explore it.
|On the way to reach the Top most point|
|Hey do you see the top behind me !!|
|12 empty wall tanks on the left in the picture|
|Series of windmills|
Further looking far on the horizon, gleaming among the dark skyline we could see Kadwa Reservoir and just behind it curling like serpentine is Dharma river.
|Kadwa Reservoir and Dharma river|
on the right side is Auand patta and again series of windmills.We spent some time here, took some pictures and being a vishramgad , dedicated few peaceful moments for Vishram(rest).
Taking a small rest we all started our descend now, as we were descending the atmosphere was becoming more and more overcast, it was getting so dark that one gets the feeling the time must be like 7.30 pm. Slowly the dark clouds engulfed us and we could feel the chill of the clouds.
|Clouds engulfing us|
|Moving toward the renovated Palace|
Earlier pictures on google showed that this place was in shambles but the authorities are rebuilding and beautifying this place. I am giving here below few pictures for your reference.
|Inside the under constructed palace|
|Exterior of the under constructed palace|
After paying our respect to the statue of Shivaji Maharaj we all started our final descend and in no time reached the base of the fort where our jeeps were awaiting us.
|Descending from the palace|
We quickly boarded on them and in very very heavy rains we reached Kasara station. I must thank the gods up there for been so kind to us by providing us with the best climate through out the day and bring on the rains when it was time
In the end I smiled when I remembered the lovely lines of
Clouds come floating into my life,
No longer to carry rain or usher storm,
But to add color to my sunset sky.
Information you can use:
Patta Fort has 3 villages at its base:
Patta Fort has 3 villages at its base:
1) The village of Pattawadi is situated about 35 km from Akole,
the main Taluka place on the road going towards Taaked. From
Pattawadi village, Patta Fort is about a 250 meter climb.
2) The village of Taaked is located in the Igatpuri Taluka Nasik
District. From Taaked, Patta Fort is about a 600 meter climb.
3) The villages of Ninvi and Girwadi, also near Patta Fort, employ
a steeper and more difficult route. This route is between the
neighboring city of Avandh and Patta Fort. Ninvi and Girwadi
villages are beyond Darna dam and can be approached from
Deolali and Bhagur villages near Nasik.