Short and Sweet-Lohagad Hike


It was June 20th,2010 and after ten grueling sessions(okay,may be nine) in a crash course for my GRE preparations,it was only fair that i get a treat of the mountains in this year’s monsoons.

I had been reserving my enthusiasm and more importantly,days ,for the hike to fort Tikona.But by the first week of June,rains had begun their earth bound journey in Pune and it had started becoming difficult to just watch them from inside the room.

So when i came to know about the Lohagad hike,i jumped onto the chance..not minding the fact that i’d be going with a group of around 65 people..i prefer smaller closed knit groups..but what the hell,i might as well try going out with this trekking group called Yuvashakti about which i had heard a lot from my friends.

Taking the 6.30 a.m train from Shivajinagar,we alighted at  Malavali(base village for the hike i.e.roadhead) railway station,one stop short of Lonavala, at 7.30..The plan was to have a quick(which it wasn’t) breakfast and then visit Bhaje caves.The caves are  a very short walk away from Malavali..may just about 15-20mins..

Shivajinagar Railway station,Pune
Pune-Mumbai Eway..on the way from Malawali station to Bhaje
Bhaje caves

Being a native of the town which is famous for its Ellora and Ajintha caves,I was not adequately impressed by Bhaje caves(altitude 643m ).They lacked the grandness quotient.

the Buddhist Bhaje caves of Hinayana sect
bhaje caves
bhaje caves
bhaje caves

The hike would start from now onwards.Its not even  a hike actually.We just avoided taking  motorable road and instead walked through the shrubs n grasses.This exercise would have been pointless had it not been for the lush greenery brought about by the rains.

ominous beginning ?!
momentous(pun intended)
lohagad

Thus,we walked for about 2 hours to Lohakarwadi,the settlement at the base of Lohagad.Just before Lohakarwadi,we reached a plateausque region at the base of Visapur fort.This fort lies to the west of Lohagad.Once we reached Lohakarwadi,all that had remained between us and the top of the fort was a series of stairs.

 

en route to lohakarwadi
vispapur seen on the way to lohakarwadi
the fort
lohagad relics

Lohagad(1010m on my altimeter) has a long history with several dynasties occupying it at different periods of time:SatavahanasChalukyasRashtrakutasYadavasBahamanisNizamshahis,Mughals and MarathasShivaji captured it in 1648 CE, but he was forced to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 CE by the Treaty of Purandar. Shivaji recaptured the fort in 1670 CE and used it for keeping his treasury.(shamelessly copy pasted from wiki).

attempts at art
attempts at art
just near the top

The top of the fort afforded a splendid view of the nearby mountains.Visapur ,Tikona with waters of Pavananagr,along with the intermittent drizzle and the cloudy weather made for a picturesque panorama.There was a Muslim shrine(i hope thats what it was..i was too busy watching the surrounding beauty to pay attention to details like these) also here..

lohagad top
visapur seen from lohagad top
fort tung seen from lohagad top
view from lohagad
one of the water cisterns on lohagad

this plateau is quite huge.We had our packed lunch here and then moved on ahead to visit Vinchu kata(Scorpion’s tail).Vinchu kata is a ridge/spur that extends on the west side of the fort.The walk to and along the spur offers you some beautiful shots.

way to vinchu kata
vinchu kata

Here the group dispersed a bit and this was my most favourite part of the hike.I and Pallavi were walking almost by ourselves.I got a few nice angles from my lens..we even did some rock climbing with the help of our trek leaders ,while climbing back the spur.

walking back from vinchu kata

and then,sequestered from other people,we just lied down beside a tree..backs to the ground,eyes on the horizon..scanning the ranges ahead of us.It was peaceful and i got what i had come for.Bliss šŸ™‚

didint i tell u about the “bliss” ?!

This was the end of the journey for us.Walk back down the fort and further on to Malawali was inconsequential.We caught up with fellow hikers from the group.Chit chats,exchanging numbers,talking about treks,climbs,other significant and even more insignificant things. šŸ˜€

In Pallavi,i found that relatively rare entity called a female trekking enthusiast friend.Had loads of fun showing off my camera and her pre acquired injuries to people.šŸ˜›

So such was the beginning to the Hiking Season 2010.Keep watching !

Find the Complete album Here.

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4 thoughts on “Short and Sweet-Lohagad Hike

  1. its the kit lens only:18-55..we were at quite a long distance..thats y i cud capture the scene…have got many shots for stitching..hvnt done it yet though..

  2. Hi,

    Very nice website and I have become a fan of your writing šŸ™‚ A question, I hope you are able to help with an answer:
    I am a regular trekker, and have done plenty of treks in the Sahyadris and have summitted some trekking peaks in the Himalayas (mentioning, to indicate that stamina-wise, I am fine). However, I have no particular technical rock climbing experience. Are there any organizations/people who can teach me basic technical rock climbing skills? Also, in terms of training, what muscle groups need to be specifically trained from a rock-climbing perspective? And often, because of the nature of my work, I cannot travel on weekends – I am most often in the hills mid-week, when finding companions is harder. Any idea how I can train individually for a rock climb? I am wondering about these questions because I would like to have some basic knowledge before going for my Basic Mountaineering Course next year… hope you can help

  3. Hi Kalan,
    I have no clue how i did not read your comment untill now.
    Sorry!

    Well Girivihar and a few other trekking/climbing clubs in Mumbai do conduct rock climbing courses.You will need to google on that.
    But regular practice is essential once you get this basic training.For regular practice,you will need to go out in the natural rocks with experts..where are you based?here in pune,me and my coaches(informal) can find time for bouldering only on weekends..week days are really difficult,read impossible.

    It would be better if you join a climbing wall in pune/mumbai and go for regular practice there as the walls are open on weekdays.Though i admit artificial wall climbing is more of a power play that the real art of rock climbing which is more about balance and on time improvisation than muscle strength.True,u need a minimum threshold capacity in ur arms,legs,abdominal muscles,shoulders and back;but power will in no way,take u ahead in climbing.So have a minimum basic fitness which im sure u already have owing to ur abundant trekking experience till now and that and regular practice should suffice at least for the beginning.Later when u reach higher grades,it would be benificail and might be necessary even to increase that strength,.Once u make acquiantances at the wall,u might be able to find the people to go n try ur hand at natural rock.

    Best luck,
    ping me again in case needed.n hope this is of some blated help at least.
    Cheers.

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