Though it was friendship day this Sunday yet none of my regular friends had planned anything therefore when late in the night I got call from Swapnali, I immediately agreed to join her for the trek to Bhaskargad Trek.( Honestly I am a sucker for any offbeat kind of trek, so it was simply impossible for me not to go)
|Lure of Offbeat Destinations|
because I have been trekking quite long now and know the importance of the timing. But then dosto me aise nok jok chalti rehti hai. Friends you would be wondering what's the big deal about 5.20 am Kasara local, well the fact of the matter is that that if you miss this train the next one is almost at 7.00 am and due to this the whole trek can go for a toss.
Anyways we caught this train, I been the first one to reach Dadar station, After all who can withstand the wrath of a women.Rest of the gang also joined in and we were six people altogether. It was 7.45 when we reached Kasara. As we had not made any booking of Pvt Jeep prior hand so we had to depend on the local public transport. Talking about local public transport let me tell you that there is no direct transport to Nirgudpada, One has to take a jeep till Khodala Village and then take another jeep from there to the base village Nirgudpada.We rushed out of the station and boarded the local jeep, the driver kept cramming the people to the extent that the jeep may explode.
16 people in an 8 seater
|Bundled together in jam packed Jeep|
16 people in a jeep !! and no idea kiska kya kider hai ... obviously pun intended.But friends Trek ke yeah hi majje hai, all the discomfort of the world only encourages us to be more tough and courageous. All the jerks and bumps not withstanding the journey through the Kasara ghat is one of the most amazing journey full of lush greenery, flowing rivers, multiple waterfalls and overhang of the clouds all around only add to the aura of mystic and beauty.
|Lush greenery coupled with flowing river|
|Everything surrounded in a mist|
|Jeeps waiting at Khodala Village to go to Trimbakeshwar|
So we boarded the jeep and continued our journey further, Nirgudpada comes 20 kms before Trimbakeshwar so one can take jeeps going to trimbakeshwar. Our journey took another 40 minutes and It was around 9.30 when we reached the base village.
|Base village Nirgudpada|
|All set for the trek|
Let me tell you Nirgudpada is a base village to another very famous Fort, Harihar and the proof of its popularity is the number of jeeps and buses parked at the village.
|Buses and Jeeps crowding the base Village|
|Trekker Traffic jam at Harihar|
Thankfully for us no such worries, because we were not with the crowds, we were on our way to Bhaskergad aka Basgad Fort. Neglected and lesser explored by the regular trekkers.
Once you reach the Nirgudpada, one has to walk little backward and you come across the fork road,
Left side road is the one which is coming from Kasara so we should take the road on our right from this Fork junction and as you are walking you will see Harihar and Fani Dongar on your right too.
|Fani Dongar from the road|
|Who would not like to take such pleasant walk|
|Basgad or Bhasker Gad fort on Top left side|
We took our sweet time clicking pictures
Actually the scenery on both the side was so eye pleasing ki photo ka break toh banta hi tha
|amazing eye catching views|
as we were not knowing the route so we kept inquiring with the locals whenever we happen to see some hut.
|Checking with locals about the route|
|Katcha road after the tar section gets over|
A little walk from here and we come across a bridge and just 100 metres ahead of this you have to take left detour to start the trek.
|Katcha road and the bridge|
|Your trek starts from this muddy trail|
|View after a little climb|
This muddy path is just a gentle climb initially with some rocky sections but can be trekked easily.
|Moving to the left from the plateau|
|Time to refresh|
|Mesmerizing beauty of Fani and Harihar|
|Taking right turn we come across a large clearing|
|Switch back climb|
and keep walking towards the left and while you are doing so, most of the time Fani Dongar and Harihar will be on your left and keep your eye on the top and once you reach the top another plateau is there.
|walking on the plateau toward the rock formation ahead of me|
|Gigantic Rock Formation|
|Traversing from the right|
While traversing this path we have to be very careful because at few portions there are stream water flowing and crossing them becomes an extremely risky,
It's a different matter that we were not carrying rope with us but we took help of each other and managed to cross. In summer crossing this kind of stone section may not be difficult.
|Helping each other cross the slippery patches|
After traversing for few minutes we came across the entrance steps. This steps are cut through the mountain stone, The steps are quite high almost 2 feet each, these stones steps are currently in a very bad state and with moss on it it has become all the more slippery.
|Slippery stone cut steps|
|View from the top of the steps|
|OMG !!! how I wish |
I was little taller to conquer these steps
we gradually climbed and entered a narrow stone wall passage ( I think keeping this passage narrow must have helped to trap or control the enemy from entering the fort).
|climbing through narrow passage|
|In ruins, Neglected !!|
This narrow passage section is in complete ruins today. after passing through this passage we come across the main entrance of the fort. The only peculiar thing about this fort entrance is that it is buried in the soil perhaps due to negligence over passage of time.
|Main gate partly buried in the soil|
|Small steps after entering|
|Main gate as seen from top of stairs|
|View after coming out from that stairs|
After coming out from that stairs We saw that there is a little more section of climb to be undertaken to reach the topmost portion. So making our way through the overgrown grass we climbed further and reached the top. All through this walking and climbing among the overgrown grass the worry of snake popping it's head was always on my mind, I treaded carefully and thanked my stars on reaching the top.
|View from the top is always beautiful|
|Fani behind that Harihar and behind that Bhramgiri|
|Nature at its best|
|Natural water pond with |
Hanuman idol behind it
I offered my prayers and thanked for the safe trek.
|Our restless friends and |
Swapnali watching them
Sitting on Top of the fort and having lunch with friends is the most fulfilling experience, Some discussion , some time management strategy for the descend and we were over with our lunch and bid adieu to the top but not before Selfie le le re (La Salman Style)
|Le le le le Selfie lele|
back finishing the descend in almost 1:15 minutes and then relaxing in the stream which was flowing.
Return transport is a big issue from Nirgudpada, we were lucky to get transport from there to khondala village and jeep back to Kasara to catch 6.18 local to CST.
We were told that there is a bus at 5 pm from Nirgudpada for Kasara, But we didn't wait for that. If you have any information regarding bus please help me to update.
All in all a lovely Friendship day trek. Special thanks to Tushar Patil for ensuring that we find the way and don't get lost.