I didn’t want to carry a poncho ( my laziness+extra weight I would have to carry+sweating under a poncho doesn’t help) so left it out and packed the rest of the stuff. Usually, it takes me at least 5-8 mins to reach from my house to the pickup point. You know with the traffic it seems a lot of distance, but that morning I was at the pick up in less than a minute!
At the stop, parked the bike, waiting in the parking for the bus, waiting, waiting, waiting …
Reached my bag picked up my cell and called to check how much time the bus had. After a few minutes the bus came I hopped in and I thought of getting some sleep. There were a few friendly faces I wanted to catch up with them, get some Intel on the fort and the time to reach.
A group from Mumbai was also going to join us midway on Pali temple road. Waiting for them we had our breakfast at a hotel took some selfies and enjoyed the heavy rain. The combination just works ‘a hot beverage in the hand and rainfall’.
After the Mumbaikar’s joined us we were quickly back on the road. Towards the base village, there’s a small river crossing on an equally small bridge, very narrow for a bus. The driver’s skills were amazing, we were easily through to the other side.
We were given info about the fort, that it was a check post and watchtower used to keep an eye on the trade routes. We were also told that the fort is no bigger than the Parvati hill in Pune, but the girls from our trek disagree.
More than halfway through the hike we reached a point where we had to climb between 2 huge rocks, I had seen this point online before and wanted to do a “mission impossible” style climb. I was wrong! Maybe on a sunny day, I might have tried.
The rain as always made it messy but enjoyable, climbing the gap we came to a small flat patch. Tall grasses all around and behind that, waterfall in every direction. Mesmerized by the view I forgot we still had to climb up further.
Beautifully hand carved stairs in big rock boulders with small holds to grab and go up. Water running through and the slime just helped to create some anxiety among us.
We wasted a lot of time here and finally, we were up, on top, there are old ruins, a temple, some water cisterns and lots of tall grasses and trees. You can get a 360° view of the valley from the tip of the fort. A river flowing from one side and the tiger point/old Mumbai Pune highway on the other. The horizon is covered with a green mask over it, clouds floating low, waterfalls gushing at full speed, mist smoothly caressing and drizzling rain.
Hungry as always we ate some tasty sandwiches and snacks. Got a little more intel about the fort, took some group photos and started our descent. There is also a cave behind the steps, which some of us from the group explored.
Back on the road, we went to Umberkhind monument which is a historical war memorial in the Amba river basin. Heavy rain and rapidly flowing river prevented us from going close to the monument. It had a different kinda calmness to it.
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