Saturday, 11 June 2016

Quick Trek to Ghangad, Lonavala

As monsoon begins, many trekkers booked their calendar for treks nearby Pune and Mumbai. On late Friday evening, we (Me, Friend Himanshu & Vishal) decided to go for a trek on Saturday. The weather was set perfectly fine and we decided to for Ghangad fort.

Trekkers for Ghangad fort were me, friends, Himanshu and Vishal.

Ghangad Fort
Ghangad Fort

About Ghangad:
Changed fort located in Lonavala region and the base village is Ekole. Fort is close to Korigad fort and Tel-bail Wall Mountain. This fort was mainly used to keep a watch on the surrounding area. Not much is known about the history of this fort. This fort can be cover in half day OR combined with Korigad for the day trek.

To reach the base village of fort from Pune is Pune – Lonavala – way to Ambi valley - Peth shahpur – After 1-2 km drive, take right turn for Bhamburde village - Bhamburde village – Take right after Bhamburde village – Ekole village

11th June 2016: Ghangad Fort:
               We woke up early morning by 5.30 AM and left Pune by 6.30 AM. On the way, we picked up our friend Vishal and joined Old Pune-Mumbai highway due to less traffic however we came back to Pune via expressway. The drive was wonderful with light rain and cold morning breeze. We took our first pit stop for breakfast at Manshakti center. We enjoyed tasty Vada-Pav as it was drizzling outside. After breakfast, we began our journey towards Peth shahpur village near Ambi valley city.
              After driving through the fog while enjoying the beauty of nature we reached the base village Ekole by 8.45 AM. Without wasting a time, we began our trek. There is sigh board pointing Ghangad route. After small walk towards a hill, we joined forest route laid with rocky steps. After 10-15 min, we reached Garjai temple. Temple area consist of deepmaal (Stone pole to keep oil lamp) and old time Shilalekh (Inscription). There is a small route on the left side which takes you on the fort.

Route to Ghangad from Village
Garjai Temple, Ghangad
Garjai Temple, Ghangad
Way to Fort from Garjai Temple
Way to Fort from Garjai Temple

               After few meters climb, we reached the entrance gate of the fort. The entrance gate is facing towards East direction. After crossing gate, you can see a large cave. People can use this cave for overnight. On the right side, you can see huge rock inclined on mountain wall. Rock was a part of the mountain which slide down creating nature tunnel. We decided to visit this part while climbing down.

Entrance Gate, Ghangad
Entrance Gate, Ghangad

                On the other side (left side after entrance gate), you can see a ladder. As per history, there were stone steps which were destroyed by British after capturing fort in 1818. Now Iron Ladder was placed so trekker can climb up on the fort. Be careful while climbing a ladder. At the end of the ladder, there is small metal part penetrated in rock to move further.

Ladder to Climb Ghangad...
Ladder to Climb Ghangad...Be careful in Monsoon...Himanshu looking at Vishal's Climb

                There is Water trench at the end of a ladder which content drinking water and available throughout the year. After Ladder section, we climbed some rocky patches to reach the final entrance gate of the fort. Entrance and other structures are in ruined condition. Be careful on rock patch in monsoon. Shivaji Trail group installed metal rope on rocky patches which make your climb easy.

Water trench at Ghangad
Water trench at Ghangad
Rocky Climb on Ghangad
Rocky Climb on Ghangad

               Fort area is quite small and can be covered in just 30 minutes. You can see the main bastion of the fort on the left side after crossing final entrance gate. This was used as a watch tower. We took right side route after entrance gate to explore fort area. There is one water trench which is in ruined condition. At the end of this route, you can see two water trenches.

Entrance to Fort on top, Ghangad
Entrance to Fort on top, Ghangad
Huge Bastion on Ghangad
Huge Bastion on Ghangad
View From Ghangad
View From Ghangad

               View from this point is simply breathtaking. You can see Tailbaila Mountain, Sudhagad fort, and Sarasgad fort. We took rest here and enjoyed the different moods of Mother Nature. After capturing nature in camera and group photos, we continued our trail. Walking for few more minute, we reached Fort's bastion. We decided to leave the fort and came down quickly.

View of Tailbaila
View of Tailbaila
View of TailBaila
View of TailBaila
Climbing down from Ghangad

               After crossing Ladder, we saw natural tunnel / stone arch. There is a small route at the end of the stone arch which takes you to water trench. We saw water trench and returned at the entrance gate. Kindly avoid this patch in monsoon even though metal rope is installed in rock for support.

View from ladder at ghangad
View from ladder at Ghangad
Rock arch at Ghangad
Rock arch at Ghangad

               We climb down remaining fort with lighting speed. We left Ghangad by 12 PM and took a lunch break at Manshakti center for Misal Pav. After heavy lunch, we join Expressway and reach home safely.

View from Ghangad
View from Ghangad

Ghangad Fort
Ghangad Fort

Expenses:
  • Car Petrol: INR 1000/- (approx. 14 Lit and 3 people in car)
  • Toll: INR 91/- (Pune to Lonavala one way from old highway)
  • Breakfast: INR 150/- for 3 people (2 Vada Sambar, 4 Vada Pav and 3 coffee)
  • Lunch: INR 285/- for 3 people (3 Misal Pav, 2 Sabudhana Wada and 3 coffee)
  • Toll: INR 117/- (Lonavala to Pune one way on Expressway)
Things to carry for Ghangad trek:
  • A water bottle to carry at least 2 liters of water
  • Some dry food and packed lunch, No suitable food stall is available on Torna fort.
  • Windcheater / jacket / Barsati during monsoon trek.
  • First aid kit
  • Do carry instant energizers like Glucon-D or Tang.
  • A towel or napkin and 2-3 old newspapers
  • Camera to capture best nature movement
  • Better avoid wearing Gold and other ornaments. No need to carry heavy cash.

Thanks for reading this Travel Blog. Happy traveling.

Pritesh Kulkarni
Pune

1 comment: