There comes a time, when you wish to do things by your own terms. Maybe start your own company, build your own fence or in our case, organize our own trek. Taking the path less traveled without any supervision, finding an undiscovered creek, getting lost, finding the trail and maybe finding a bit of ourselves (sic)
And so, here it was – A trek to Purandar and if this mountain couldn’t tire us enough, then to the neighbouring one – Wajragad as well. Aishwarya, an integral part of our trekking group researched and found that this maybe an easy trek and we did NOT want to come back without body pain. That has become the criteria. If our limbs ain’t hurting, then it was a simple trek! After a lot of planning, 7 of us (Amit who I met at Devil’s Canyon and Mark at Bhairavgad came for this one) in 2 cars headed towards the stunning Purandar.
Purandar is frequented by non-trekkers too and till one point you can drive up. We obviously chose to hike and the first 45 minutes of it was a well carved out path which led us to a small church like place. Quite a few old structures including a few deserted houses at this point gives it a very historic appearance. A few steps lead you to the top of the fort where the wind is strong and the view breathtaking. A few Army Men were warming up to start their practice, something we do as entertainment is a part of their regime.
From where we stood, we could see another fort at a higher altitude. As we started trekking again, this part, became more adventurous. Here were the unexplored parts and we loved it. Fobbin, led the way, climbing moments before we did and figuring out the right path to take. The place was beautiful with remains of an old fort. We walked through walls of old houses where probably army men lived and kitchens with wood stove, we walked on the walls of the fort, rocky steps, through palatial doors, through clouds, we sat on grass and rocks and the tip of the fort which was almost lost in the sky.
Soon, we start our descend to the point from where we had to take a diversion towards Wajragad. Over 3-4 hours of hiking made us hungry (not that we hadn’t munched on junk all through the trek). Fobbin, the clean one, went looking for a shop where he could buy mineral water for drinking and washing our hands. We in the meanwhile found a fresh puddle of rain water and carefully cleaned our hands and started our lunch. Fobbin who walked for almost half a kilometer was surely annoyed when he saw this. Aishwarya had brought some delicious French cheese which was the highpoint of our lunch.
With no real break, we headed towards Wajragad. Clay like mud started sticking to our shoes. With every steps, our legs felt heavier. After a few steps, we would pick a stone and scrape 3-4 inches of mud from our shoes and after walking for a little longer, we reached the fort of Wajragad. We could not gauge the beauty of the place because by now the visibility was less than 7 to 10 feet. We sat there, staring at the clouds and wondering what lie beneath. Within minutes, the clouds opened up to show us a beautiful valley with lovely colors. A few flowers, lots of greenery, some rain made this site something which will stay as a picture in our minds for a long time to come.
On our way back, we stopped at a small tea shack and then headed straight down with very few breaks. Zoheb, who almost missed this trek had worn wrong pair of shoes for this trek. Shoes play a crucial role in giving you the confidence to take risky steps and so, Zoheb coined a new trek jargon – “Controlled sliding” which helped him descend without as many falls.
We had a bad and scary encounter with a few goons on our way back but all is well that ends well 🙂
Date: Jul 8, 2012
Time: 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Place; Purandar and Wajragad, Near Wai, Maharashtra, India