'' Darr ke aage, jeet hai; aur Kalavantin ke liye mann bhaybheet hai '' !!!
We believe in testing our limits and so should you. We actually aren’t the Khatron ke khiladi types but Kalavantin Durg just tests our jitters and takes testosterone rush to a completely new level of high!!! This time we decided to test our limits by climbing this in moonlight. Our Lakshya is seen below on the left with the Prabalgad on right ...
We started off with some fellow trekkers & friends at 4.30 pm on Saturday 7th March, 2015 towards Kalavantin Durg – the watch tower next to Prabalgad. Having done this many times during the day the route was in our head. Just ahead of the Shedung Phata a left turn takes you towards the Thakurwad Village which is the base point for Kalavantin Durg and Prabalgad We started the trek at 8.00 in the evening and the path was completely lit up by the moonlight since it was a full moon, but the only thing on our mind was, Mr. Moon, where be you? The Google Sky App comes pretty handy when you have to use the stars for navigation and from the Orion’s belt we could make out that the moon was exactly behind the Kalavantin Durg as of now, so we would have to wait atleast for the next two hours even to get a glimpse.
The road be singing the song with us, ‘Yunhii kat jaaegaa safar saath chalne se, ki manzill aayegi nazar saath chalne se’ as we trudged along the rugged paths of the foothills of Kalavantin Durg. With the occasional break and rock patches and steep climbs the uphill started taking us higher and higher with magnificent views of the lit up Mumbai – Pune Express way, Matheran & Panvel. The city does look beautiful when you are away from it.
So with the search for our moon going on we finally managed to reach up the steps of the entrance to the Prabalmachi Village and that’s when it just popped out from the middle of nowhere; it just sat there between the three heads of the Kalavantin Durg. Magnificent it was & no words could describe the trigger happy photographers within us as we got the picture perfect moment. The onward journey was just too fast to realize as we had got our incentive to reach the base village- food ~!!! The food here was arranged by a local guy named Balu and need we say the gavran tadka was just what we needed. Peethla, Peas & Brinjal, Dal Rice with Rice Bhakris just made sure that we weren’t moving anywhere for quite some time. But we weren’t complaining coz view the bonfire setup and the Kalvantin shining behind us in the moonlight and the city lights dancing in the forefront and some amazing people for company we were sure that we aren’t moving anywhere.The bonfire kept us warm and the stars and moon were an engaging company. What does it feel like to be on top of the world, to be in the midst of the city & yet remain aloof from all its worldly calling? The talks and laughs continued and we shared our stories of our previous experiences at Kalavantin Durg. We decided to rest our eyes for 2-3 hours before starting the climb and so to escape chilled air made our retreat into a beautiful cottage by the side.
The day started at 4.45 am with a wake-up call to everyone and by 5.00 am with the moon casting its radiance we started making our way to the ridge (V shaped formation) that connects Kalavantin Durg to Prabalgad. There were lots of loose rocks and you do tend to lose your way if you don’t have the proper route you could be lost in the wilderness so do make sure you ask the route before you head out. 45 minutes later at 6.00 we were at the last patch for climbing up from the ridge and we decided to catch a glimpse of the sun’s first rays before we climb the patch. So we waited there and explored a small cave that lies as a resting place in monsoons and then perched ourselves onto the rocks waiting for the morning sun rays.6.20 a.m. it is and the sun is out in its glory and we started hitting up the most scariest patch of Kalavantin Durg, a rock patch with almost a drop of 2000 feet down. A slow traverse and we were now at the steps of the final patch with each step almost close to a metre high. The steps brought us slowly to majestic views of the Peb Fort, Karnala fort, Haji Malang and entire Matheran ranges.In between we even hit an exploration of a cave explored by Kamran & fellow trekkers.
The final rock of almost 3 metres and we are at the top and just coincidence that 8th march was Shiv Jayanti and we found ourselves with a group which lit up a mashal at the top and carried it down and wavered the Bhagva Shivrayancha Jhenda as they left the cliff to scale a new one. At the top now it’s just us and as they say “the climb to the top is always difficult, but the view is great”! After a nice nap of 45 minutes, the sun starts hitting up on our face hard and we realize its time we head down again… The incentive this time was Omlette and Kanda Poha with sweet lime juice. Just as we were headed down a group of almost 65 MBBS students had scaled to the base point. The day for them just began and for us it just finished … but picture aabhi baaki hai mere dost !!!
The Highland AdvenTourist Signing off !!!