Sunday, 11 May 2014

Pass over the Naneghat..

"Wooohooo..." everyone were excited like hell !! It was fully chilling with fog, drizzle and wind that blew too strong to stand still casually. I had to make effort to keep my balance. Fortunately fog/cloud had drifted beneath us after 10 mins of waiting.. I quickly started my camera in video mode. Even though not a full clear view of the valley below but a glimpse for some seconds itself was enough to make us enthralled !! I guess we screamed for more than a minute. Nobody else were present near by. The visibility itself was not more than 5mts. May be by our screaming sound another group came over to the top who were just some distance below expecting the clear view but it had already again covered by clouds. The heart full joy it offered will not be forgotten for life, even though it was not one of the greatest hill-tops, still excellent climate made us the day :) Delwin was visiting for the 2nd time who guided us through the trek (and of course guide as such not required. The trekking path will guide us automatically). We had been climbing for almost 2 hrs 15 mins before reaching to the peak. Descent should not take more than 1 hrs 15 mins but in monsoon it's not that easy. Need to be careful because chances of getting slipped is high.. [Check out the video recorded below :) :D]

Naneghat - one of the most popular trekking destination of Maharashtra in Malshej ghat region where we see a unique  mountain pass, caves rather than a fort (which is quite normal in maratha region). Its a simple-medium range trek which require 2-3 hrs for uphill depending upon the breaks we take. According to wikipedia : Naneghat is a mountain pass in the Western Ghats range near Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra, India. During the reign of the Satavahana (200 BCE–190 CE), the pass was extensively used as a trade route between Kalyan and Junnar. Literally, the name nane means "coin" and ghat means "pass". The name is given because this path was used as a tollbooth to collect toll from traders crossing the hills.

Rakshith, Delwin, Karthik & Akshay at the starting point
We planned to start early from mumbai to cover 165 km to reach the starting point of the Naneghat. We had a reliable contact, Sunil for a cab to book when we need for our trips (he's from kulupwadi near borivali east, mumbai). A really decent fellow, if he can't come himself he'll arrange another for sure. As planned Qualis reached our apartment at 6 am on 28th July 2012 for which we had made the usual deal for 300km/day at 9rs/km + 300 rs BATA for the driver. We took the route to the base of Naneghat from our place Thane - Kalyan - Murbad - Tokawade and 4km further from a place called Vaishakhare where a diversion appears with a board Nanghat. And that's the starting point for our adventurous ascend to the Naneghat Peak :)

Oh yeah.. we need to cross that peak too.. !! Lovely :)
There was another route which was nearer to Pune or Ahmednagar. But it was a round about for Thane/mumbai people. The advantage of that route is.. no need to trek at all !! Yeah.. it will take us right to the next end of the mountain pass which I mentioned at first. And from that pass, it was just 500mts to the peak. Anyhow we were very enthusiastic for the trek rather than lazy drive till that end. Always trekking makes us feel deserved to see the beautiful view from the peak which makes mind peaceful.

Resting, Energizing-up en-route :)
Chilled sweet water source at a stage. No mineral water can beat its taste :D 

Calm wind, cloudy lush green surroundings, soothing fog, now and then the drizzle touch.. WOW !! The best weather ever in which we did a trek. That's the reason this trek will always remain special.. For 2 hrs we crossed steams, plains, forests, mountains, enjoying the nature which was at its best (also takings pictures ofcourse..). At one stretch we did not even sit for a min to take rest. Err.. don't think we were full of stamina and spirited to finish with competition but as we tried to take rest, were not allowed to by the most irritating creature of the planet.. mosquitoes !! :P As we approached the peak the one who totally exhausted was Rakshith.. He had sat down giving up to move any further. He had started to feel dizzy a bit too.. After eating some biscuits, banana and water.. along with a bit of rest, encouragement slowly he followed us.. And thus in a while we reached the 1st destination - the mountain pass and caves :) Everything else captured to explain !!

Almost there to the starting of mountain pass and caves.
Protective railing in front of the caves.
Me at one-end of the mountain pass. Right rock cut stairs is to the 2-3 caves where trekkers usually take shelter over-night. At the monsoon peak, this pass will be half filled with water flowing !! Yeah a bit dangerous at that time to cross.
Yes, the cars at the other end of the mountain pass (from Junnar route). Just see the visibility due to fog :) 500mts from here, it's the peak of naneghat !
At the peak 'The Hobos' (hehe, just a name we made up for our group :P) where this blog article started :)

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