We had just finished our Bhramgiri Trek (You can click on this link to read), the source of Godavari river. We rested a bit,snatching few moments for early morning breakfast which extended from chapatis to pickle and nimbu pani and tea.It was now time to move towards our next destination, DurgBandar Fort. We left the temple premise and started walking along the railing towards the Shiv Jatta Mandir.
The colossal plateau offers some of the most amazing views
each scene unfolded just like a picture book in front of us.
The undulating mountains left me speechless.
But just like a true traveler I cannot afford to fall in love with the place, got to move on….. Kyo ki Nazaaro ke liye rukh gaya toh Manzil bura maan jayegi.
Enroute to Bandardurg we first come across the Shiv Jatta Mandir. Its a small temple on the opposite corner of the Bhramgiri Temple.
|Shiv Jatta Temple in other corner
|Outside view of Shiv Jatta Mandir
|Inside view of Shiv Jatta Mandir
Now there is a folklore associated with this temple. It is believed that after the sin of Gau hatya (Killing Of the cow) was committed by Rishi Gautami he was advised to pray to Lord Shiva who will absolve him from his sins by releasing the river Ganga so as to wash away his sins, pleased with the penance Lord Shiva gave river Ganga to him, however Ganga was very attached to Lord Shiva so she refused to let go his hairs where she resided.Lord Shiva was infuriated and he started his Tandav Nritya and dashed his jata(Hairs) on the stone,frightened by this the Ganga appeared there.(Source of the story Internet)
Another thing that I noticed were these small stones kept one over the other, The locals told me that people do this so that there wishes are granted.I remembered seeing this at Bhimashankar Temple and yes even at few of the Himalayan treks that I did.Its all matter of Faith….Jider baat Vishwaas ki hoti hai…. toh koi logic nahi chalega
|Peculiar Stone stacking …its all about Prayers and wishes
Next to the Shiv Jatta Temple is a small water cistern or well, I was told that it has a potable water, Seeing the water I wont take the chances but on lighter note I would say as Indians we can drink any kind of water and nothing can happen to us.(Disclaimer: Don’t take this observation of mine too seriously 😃)
|Water well next to Shiv Jatta Temple
It was now time to move on from here to our next thrilling experience, hence we started to walk between the Shiv Jatta Mandir and the water well as seen in above picture, but towards the back side of the temple to our next destination, that’s Durg Bhandar.
|View from backside of the Shiv Jatta Mandir
The walk from here was through dense vegetation with the valley on our left side our walk was through thick vegetation as we had gone after the rainy season.
Walking through the thick vegetation though irritating and dangerous due to danger of snakes giving a sweet little peck on our feet 😅 ) but felt interesting due to the presence of lovely yellow flowers all around us.
and picturesque surroundings and the inviting looks of the dome shaped Bhandardurg ahead.
|That’s the place where we want to go….Bhandardurg
Here I come
this walk through the vegetation lasted for hardly a 10 minutes and we come across a small water cistern and little further walk as we start to really feel the presence of being near our destination and we see the dome shape of the Bhandardurg ahead
|Sanjog here trying to capture the
Dome shaped mountain of Bhandardurg.
Our trek is like walking on top of the mountain till we reach the stone steps.The picture below will help you understand our trek.
This walk abruptly comes to an end near a narrow passage with stones steps going down 20-30 steps and giving almost mystical experience as you descend to the bottom.
|Mouth of the stone steps going down.
|Narrow stone stairs
Climbing down these narrow stairs were making me feel very claustrophobic, I actually hate close spaces but thankfully I was immersed in the eerie feeling of the place that I didn’t realised when I had reached the bottom of this stairs but before I could let out sigh of relief I saw this small hole like stone doorway through which I had to crawl to get out of this place. Hey Ram! ab yeh kya naya stunt !
|OMG ! Am I got to crawl through this….No way
yes that’s what my first reaction was.. Omg! am I to crawl through this…No way 😰, someone from the gang tapped on my shoulder and said “buddy this is the only way! well, ab marta, kya na karta, so Chal pada” a little crawl and I come out on the other side in a bright sunlight.
|Uff…out in the sunlight again
Standing here I could see long ridge on which I had to walk to reach the outer side.
|Ready to walk on this ridge
Walking on the ridge is always a thrilling experience as you can feel the breeze and the thrill factor is always on top form.As soon as this ridge walk ends We see another small entry door , something similar that we left behind so crawling time again 😄😄
|Crawl time again
Crawling through this small entry door we again reach the narrow passage of stone stairs. so this time we got to climb to reach the top.
|Climb thru the dark stairs
Coming out of this narrow stairway we reach the top of bhandardurg but still little walk through narrow stone cut rocks were awaiting us.
|Narrow stone cut rocks
Walking through this narrow path was quite awesome because the view of the lake and the civilization below looked very beautiful from here
There is a small bastion , where we all assembled together and had mini breakfast break with a group selfie thrown in and some personal photo shoot.
|I was here….Moment !!!
It was now time to go back and the return journey was quick albeit the monkey scare that we got on our way back to the base.It was a fun trek which can be easily done in a day.