VIKATGAD (trek near Matheran)
We did this trek near Matheran, one of the best I have done near Mumbai. Vikatgad is another Shivaji fort, supposed to be difficult to get to ('vikat'). The trek starts from below the point where you drive up to Matheran and during the monsoons, this place is completely green.
We thought we could trek up ourselves, and so started across the meadows, getting lost within no time. Thankfully we met some kids who were willing to take us up there. We asked them to take up through the short cut, which turned out not the best thing to do! Well they did take us up the short cut, which was short just for them, not us! We actually just climbed up next to a waterfall, over rocks, and with the rain it was all slippery and with no concerns for our clothes, or shoes we just kept climbing! Was actually fun, finding our way through nothing. The climb was steep and we had to sit and crawl and climb anyway we could. Wah re Shivaji, you did know how to make it tough to reach there:))
Well we did it all thinking, that from the fort, there was a shorter way to come back via Matheran itself, from where we could have come back in an easier manner. Little did we know. While on the way up, we met a group of kids (collegiates actually) also lost. So we took them also along with us, up.
The trek was awesome, along steep hills, on a narrow path with gorges on both side, rocky waterfall sides, everything. Unfortunately when we reached the top, there was this huge rock which could not have been climbed without rock climbing instruments! The kids went up easily but we couldn't, and that's when we realized that we would have to come back the same route we went back and without reaching vikatgad! It had actually got cloudy and dark at the top and we had actually thought of getting helicopters to rescue us! While coming back, it was quite a risky trek though. One guy was actually slipping such that he had to be caught off by another, else he would have gone down the hill. Anyways the view from the top was amazing, so, actually making the risk worth it!
On the whole though, a very very tiring but fun trek. Would love to do more of these, don't think everyone shares this enthusiasm though!
This post was originally published on travelfreak.