Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shivneri Trek / किल्ले शिवनेरी

Having done Rajgad and Karnala recently, I was willing to do one more trek before summer heat comes into power. The Rajgad trek members were all willing and set for another trek. We had some different plans this time, e.g to fly kite on the fort. So we were looking for a fort with very easy climb. Shivneri was the destination supported by almost all, and so it was decided; Shivneri. It is a well maintained and well preserved fort. It has two routes to the top, one route that passes through seven doors is actually a properly constructed stairway, and another called 'Sakhal Dandachi Waat' is a nice trekking route with 20-25 ft rock patch at the top which is fairly steep. We chose the easy option. We also wanted to stay on the fort.

The number of people coming for the trek fluctuated from 5 to 10.... to 8 again and then settled on 6. We wanted to go by car and had just one person out of 6 who could drive. So we had to accommodate 4 people on the rear seat. We started in the afternoon, and it took us 3 hrs from Thane to Junnar. The road after Kalyan is just superb. Its just a 2 lane road but a very smooth stretch of tarmac which tempts you and offers you great driving pleasure. The landscapes on both the sides are a treat to the eyes.

A 'U Turn' right at the beginning of the trek

Junnar is a nice town with a lot of hotels, and other infrastructure. Since we were going to stay on the fort, we reached straight up till the starting point of the stairway. It rather turned out to be the 'Turning Point'. It was 9 pm. The fort was closed. 2 Guards welcomed us and gave the bad news that stay on the top of the fort has been prohibited after some incidents that happened in recent past. During the last 15 days when we researched on the internet, had talks with people who have been there, and even a Junnar native, who works in Mumbai and goes to Junnar every week; not a single source had this information. We tried to convince the guard but it didn't help. I found out LATER after I returned to Mumbai and told this to the Junnar native; that though the fort entry is closed after 6 pm, it is India; and everything is possible. It was too late when he shared this crucial information. Anyways.

We made a stay in Junnar in a hotel opp. S.T. Stand. The fort is just 3 kms away from the town. We started the climb at 7 am after a nice cup of tea. A tea stall just opp. to the ST Stand serves fantastic tea. So we started at 7 am and reached the top at 9:30-9:45 am after numerous photo-halts. We saw the major attractions on the fort and ventured into our plan of kite flying.

It was a hard struggle as the winds were flowing from multiple directions making the kite go haywire. Sudden nosedives, 360 degrees, and all the possible stunts that the kite could do, were done. We did manage to take it to a decent height 4-5 times with some sudden support from the wind but it lasted for a few seconds before the next suicide maneuver. So; not SUCH a good idea I'd say. May be the location wasn't right. 

Then we just passed time chitchatting, and taking photographs. We had our food right inside the Badaami Lake which is a dry lake in this part of the year. We came back through the same route in just half an hour. 

Fort Height 3500 ft.
Difficulty Level - Very Easy.
District - Junnar
Remarks: The fort is more like a picnic spot so make your mind up for a picnic more than a trek and expect a lot of crowd if you are there on a weekend. 

A lot of things did not go as planned this time around; but still; we had our fun in abundance. What was important for us at the end is that we visited the place where the great Shivaji Maharaj was born. 

Jai Bhawaani ! Jai Shivaji !

If you wish to view some more of the photographs taken by me, do visit my Flickr Photostream at:

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