Another sunday was approaching and my desperation for the trek was gaining momentum and upon that this awesome delayed monsoon was making it mandatory for me to be among the nature,luckily I had an invitation to go to Harishchandra gad.A dream trek for any trekker but it was my bad luck that instead of being in the mountains I was sitting in a courtroom attending the judicial proceedings(my occupational commitment).
|If its Sunday you will find me here
Kya kare kabhi kabhi kam bi to karna padta hai…waise hi sab logo ne mujhe puch puch ke badnaam kar diya hai…yaar tum to hamesha trek per hote ho kaam per nahi jate kya...well this explanation is for them and agar phir bi koi shaaq hai to bol deta hu…Bhai mujhe maf karo…me toh sirf Sunday ko trek per jata hu , jab aap log maje se sunday ki neend nikal rahe hote hai toh mai 3.30am uthkar trek per jane ki tyari kar raha hota hoon.
Anyways lets move forward from here as now I had to compromise on a day trek so this invitation to join Ulhas Valley came as a whiff of fresh air for me and I jumped the band wagon and was on my way to Ulhas valley.
The program was such that we were all suppose to meet at Dadar at 5.30 am. I called up Subhashji and Sanjeev ensuring that everyone of us is on time and we all reached Dadar at 5.20am .Walking out of the station at such wee hours has its own share of activities with newspaper vendors unloading the newspaper to be sorted, vegetable sellers arranging their wares etc…really mumbai never sleep. after walking a little distance we reached Visava hotel where we saw a motley of few teenagers with bags behind their back I jokingly commented subha subha jute pahan kar ,piche bag dhalkar aise khali sadak per koi trekker ke sivaye doosra nahi ho sakta ,lagta hai apne log hai . and I was right !! .
|our organiser..trek suru hone se pehle hi iske kapad uttar diye
As Our trekking group Trek O Phy had arranged for a pick up vehicle so all of us moved towards the bus but as few of the people have not reached so we had a delayed start.Our bus left Dadar at 6.30 am and we were now on the way to Lonawala. As I had slept very late at night so I thought I will catch my cat nap till we reach Dadar but hardly my eyes were closed when I was woken up by Rugved with a steaming hot Poha. How I wished ki yeh scene ko thoda aage fast forward kar do yaaro…mere ko thoda sone do… per breakfast time hai toh hai …so I had my breakfast of Poha.
|Lovely ghats !!
Our bus kept moving through the lovely ghat sections and just when we were approaching the Lonawala intersection we could see a lovely waterfall in the distance we were informed that is the place where we have to go...Bas aur kya excitement begins…
|we got down here(outside Kamat resturant)
Our bus stopped just outside the Kamat hotel under the expressway.Everyone quickly got down, here few people had come from Pune they too joined us.
and we all started moving back from where our bus had come and took the first right turn which took us to the compound of St Mary’s church
|Ground outside St Mary Church
where we had a brief Introduction and instruction round.
Finishing with the intro round all of us started moving to Shooting Point from where we have to take a right turn.But seeing such a lovely valley in front we all first went to have a glimpse of the lovely Ulhas valley.
|Photo session ki inning
and then followed first photo session…Photo session ki inning shuru hi sehwag style hui..instead of sixers idhar photo pe photo ke shot liye ja rahe the,Ab mere se bhi nahi raha gaya akhir me insaan hu na …so kuch pose maine bi mar liye auro ke sath Ab hona kya tha Amol sir and Gaurav has to literally drag people out from here..I was wondering Bhai abhi to poster dekh kar yeh haal hai…picture dekhne ke baad kya hoga
|Lovely view of Valley..ab koi aage kaise baade !!
In any other trek the process is clear that one has to reach the base village and start ascending,reach the Top and then descend but this trek was unique because here as we were going into the valley so first we had to descend and then ascend to come to the top from where we actually started our trek.I have given below a diagrammatic explanation (please excuse my amateur attempt as I am not good at drawing) of the route taken by us after doing our intro round outside the St Mary Church ground via shooting point to our mini nalachi vat should I say.
|Diagram depiction of route
From the diagram given above you can see how we moved from the Intro round site to shooting point and then into that slit in the mountain.
|Mano Dharti Fhati..aur hum sab andhar
Now here a very interesting thing happened as we were walking some one asked from where will be starting the trek,Pat came the reply ‘woh samne jo jhadi dikti hai na usme se neeche jana hai ” and then I heard a loud cry from some female member behind me “are you kidding…chal kuch bi bolti hai, woh to nalli hai ” and I thought “Bingo!!!, of course woh nalli hi thi aur hum ko wahan se hi uttarna ha hai lady”
Well one look at this start point of the trek reminded me a lot of the Amar chitra katha comic, read by me in my childhood where the earth split opens into two and Lord Rama’s wife Sita walks into the earth. “Hum logo ke sath bi kuch aisa scene tha” only difference was we were suppose to come up again.
|Descend is full of rocky section
Making our way through the bushes we started to descend through this waterfall route. The descend is full of rocky section and one can see the steep slope of rocks, as it was raining getting the grip on the rocks were getting tricky. One has be be very careful so as to avoid from slipping,getting down was indeed becoming a task specially when few of the group member is having a tough time negotiating the the steep slope it leads to all others stopping behind that person aur pata chala ki subah station per ticket ki line toh nahi mili per yahan uttarne ke liye line zaroor lag gayi.
|Lo ji uttarne ke liye line zaroor lag gayi !!
Ab ek musibat khatam nahi hui ki saamne doosri pehle se se tyar thi, But for few trekkers its a delight that we encounter such rock patch and agar usme rappelling kar ke uttarne ka maaja mile toh we say…Pura paisa wasool !!!
Yes atlast we came across a rocky patch where getting down without rope was not possible.I loved this part with one hand holding the rope and our feets finding the holdings in the rock to balance our body and above that the waterfall water hitting you…
Wow!! What a feeling.!!.. Dil bole OLE OLE …
|Paisa Wasool !!
This whole rocky section seemed to be endless but Maaza bi to endless tha.we kept walking until we reached a small area where this small waterfall was there so I stole an opportunity to have a Nano photo-break.
Here I wanted to add a small incident took place. When I was posing for a click someone mistimed his footing and a loose rock came tumbling down kissed the ankle of Sanjeev who was clicking my picture and next to Sanjeev at that very moment Subhashji had bent down to pick up something from the ground when this same rock brushed his cheeks..Phew !! that was really close because had that rock not kissed Sanjeev’s ankle it would have definitely stuck Subhashji on his face. We were all shaken for a moment but moved on from there.
Walking further the descend was getting more trickery. I too had my fair share of slip and fall.Perhaps that is the reason I think Munmun Meenakshi named her photo album of this trek as Gharsar patti Trek..LOLZ. but all this was a fun and before we knew Gaurav declared that we have reached our Water fall.
|The Water Fall
The Word waterfall was was like a magic potion for everyone because it just lit up the faces of participants they just dumped their bags and jumped into the refreshing natural massage machine.
Everyone had a whale of time at the waterfall splashing water on each other,getting clicked, standing on each other’s foot without realising ki neeche patthar nahi pair hai … Bas ek hi dhun thi PHOTO !!!PHOTO!!!.
But in the end we all enjoyed.. woh ab kisse ke pair par khade ho kar tha …ya phir kisi ke khande par… KI Farak Phanda …kyo sahi kha na dosto !!!
Once the waterfall fun was over everyone had lunch and now back to the same treacherous climb.Few girls were finding the climb difficult but then there is always trekker funda of Sathi hath badana where everyone takes care of each other and we all emerge winner.
It was 4.15pm and half of the trekker have reached the base while the other half struggled to reach the base and made it by 5.30pm.
We had our evening refreshment and were ready to board the bus back to mumbai.What fun and craziness happened in the bus while returning may take one more blog from me because Ghana ga ga kar Gale ki wat laga li….per ghane hai ki katam hi nahi hote…
I am giving below the beautiful video shot by my friend Sanjeev Tankariya which captures the entire journey and the mood of the trek.
All in all another Sunday well spent (Dosto please note it was sunday… baad me bologe kaam kab karta hai…
|Thanks to all !!!