Saturday, October 6, 2012

Trek from Torna to Rajgad

This post is a lengthy one, so if(haveADHD() || haveNoTime()) {break;}
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Warning: the post has a lot of unnecessary info, smileys and specific details. You may skip or skim through.

So, after a lot of additions, deletions and modifications, there were only 4 of us (me, being the only girl in the group) who reached Kalyan station to catch the 'Chennai Express' at 12:40 am on Saturday, 29th September, 2012. Me and Pravin 'hardly' spent half-an-hour at respective homes after getting off from work, packing bags for the trek. Not to forget, Juili's birthday sursprise was taking motiCHURAche laadu at 12:10 am to her place! My preparation blog for this trek was Althoguh the post talks about Rajgad-to-Torna trek, it helped to know how we'll be going. Of course, we had the expert trekkers with us, so wasn't worried at all! :D

The train journey on a trek is always trek-style journey. We are ready to sit 'anywhere' during a trek! Random chit-chat may reach any level of randomness as we sit, adjusting ourselves in the maximum comfortable position possible. It's a wonder how someone dares to sell Lonawala chikki and chai at such time in that crowded general compartment! So, after a few vain efforts of getting some sleep in the train, we reached Pune station at around 3:00 am, went to Swargate by auto (pataofied autowalas for Rs.120), started playing cards at the back of the ST depot, cursed the wadewaale kaka for not giving fresh wadas, had some pearls of wisdom (copied lines) from (A)Sahasrabuddhe and later on, slept for 1-2 hours there on our mattresses. Tushar and Sagar joined us in the morning, when they must've learnt how 'whatever-ish' bakbak they're going to suffer from in our safar. The expected ST for Velhe scheduled at 6:30 am did not arrive till 8, and we chose to go by Jeep (6 huge people stuffed on 4 seats at the back, Rs. 80 per seat. One can enjoy the amazing songs the Jeepwala guy plays. Not.). The good thing is, even bus ticket would've been approx Rs. 60, and we still reached Velhe as per the schedule, at 9:30, had misal-pav (saw a Land Rower!) and started on the path to Torna with a 'Ganpati Bappa, Moraya!'

Torna (, even better info at  is comparatively a very easy trek and can be completed without a guide for sure. You'll need to carry water, as the only spot for water is either the base village or the top, where there's a tank. Also, the path consists of a few walks in a well-grown forest, 2-3 rock patches that can get slippery in the rain, so it'll be better to climb in daylight. (We had a Moti kuttiya with us, who accompanied us when we climbed up, later on got named Bebi, and followed the only instruction to not obey what we say. We also saw a brown cute daringbaaz rabbit on our way! ^_^ ). We all took only 2.75 to 3 hours to reach the top, where there's a Mangai devi temple where we had our lunch + buttermilk from a localite and slept for an hour or two. The discussion with buttermilk-wala consisted of his friend trying to earn big bucks for guiding down the path to Rajgad [] (which we didn't fall for) and the buttermilk-guy decided to help us as he was going to head on the same way to reach his home.

It is said to be a good omen if it starts raining at the beginning of something. Our journey towards Rajgad began at 4:00 pm with a 'scotch-like' rain, mild at the start, turning wild midway, and ending in a smooth buzz. :) We came to know from the Taakwaala that it was raining after 15 days, which made us feel like the rain was meant for our trek :D It is an amazing feeling to see the clouds forming silhouette as the sun tries to appear through them in the pink sky, winking continuously with the flashes of lightening. Somehow, rain has the ability to make the grass at all the sides look greener! The picturesque journey was a treat to our photographers with Cannon's 14MP camera! :D We also met a group travelling from Rajgad to Torna on our way.

A quick heads up : the path is not risky to climb down, it consists of total 11 small hills where you either have to climb and descend or take a traverse. Having a guide helps a lot, as there are some tricky misleading ways on the route. Also, according to our time estimations, it was a better choice as we couldn't have afforded reaching too late due to following a wrong path. (Although, despite of Tushar's "we have to reach in time", we( ;) ) had the plan to delay as much as we can, so that the moonlight night trekking would be achieved.)

So the Taakwale kaka left us with proper guidelines for the road ahead, and we took a halt directly at a proper road to eat something, which is where the actual Rajgad trekking path starts. The time here was filled with "autowalyala vichar, Rajgad yeta ka", Yashraj's "mavshi, amhi 'Torna' hun aaloy" ego booster, "Nakki apan dhagaat ahot, ki dhukyaat, ki kanishta stariya dhagaat :P " and "MH 42 ahe te, MH12 nai!" ityaadi pakavgiri.

Rajgad trek path was a great experience. First of all, it was muddy due to the rain, there are some tough patches as well ahead. Initially, we thought the fog will shift, but it went on growing thicker! There are two small hills and a complete traverse to Sanjeevani machi to be travelled to reach on Rajgad.With the growing fog, the light started to dwindle and we ended up using our torches and climbing cluelessly ahead. Clueless, as we couldn't see anything ahead of the next-to-next person on 5m distance, and even when you use your torch, the only thing you can see is the person-ahead-of-you's shadow on the fog! :P Thankfully, once after a long time, the fog shifted and we could see the 'Sanjeevani' Maachi clearly ahead of us. Here onwards, the path was not dangerous at all! So we put off the torches and finally the fog had shifted and we could walk on the moonlit path, as planned! ^_^

Rajgad, is a MAMMOTH! To compare, only Sanjeevani Machi could've been a separate small fort in itself, which is the same case with Balekilla, Suvela and Padmavati maachi! So we climbed up the Sanjeevani maachi, to walk ahead to cross Balekilla and reach Padmavati maachi. Here I must mention, Sanjeevani had to hear the most editable and vulgar jokes till date and all the ghosts deading there would've been scared with our high pitched voices and in my case, laughter as well! :D It took 20-25 mins to reach Padmavati from Sanjeevani, where we found the stay spot, Temple flooding with 80+ people! One of them suggested the 'Kacheri' uncle's place, which we hired for some Rs. 250 ( :P ). It's a good place indeed, with padavi, proper toilet, a kitchen and a hall, where 6 of us and 6 others from Hyderabad were staying. :)

Here, Me, Tushar, Sagar started to work on the cooking expedition! Milk powder takes a lot of time to dissolve was a lesson learnt :P It's a wonder how Sagar, a first timer on trek could still help, after the tiring day! Everyone enjoyed the taste of 'kanda-masala' maggi thanks to ME ["bas, bas, taaliyaan bas bhi karo.. nahi nahi, thank you kehke sharminda mat karna ab!"] and (doodhal) tasty chaha thanks to Tushar :D While we were at it, Sumukh, Pravin and Yash were done with clean-up and anthruna.. and most of us went to sleep as they were too tired due to trekking entire day. :P Ahem, I had to shut up and sleep with the fear of undirmama and the thandi which grew as the night progressed.

In the morning, we got up at about 8 am, started to cook tea and the remaining maggi.. after that, we went to explore the fort! We had no time to spend on Suvela, so quick Balekilla darshan, photos and a complete view + ghoshana video (where mi "Jay!" pan kela nahi :P ) and a call at home, when Sagar's phone started beeping was all that followed next! Padmavati maachi has a great lake, it felt bad to leave without any masti in the water.. :( We began walking down the fort to reach Gunjavane, from Chor Darwaja at 12:30 pm, after getting limbu sarbat and taak. The good thing is, we hardly walked at all! Most of the path was covered running (and being dragged while running ahead of restricted speed limits :| :P ). We reached the base village in 1.5 hour and found a temple-kum-school to cook pohe and the rest of the maggi (yes, again, maggi) and Yashraj found a lot of hirwal on the Odha, where he and the guys spent almost 0.75 hour in bhaandi ghaasna. XD

There, we took a bus at 4:00 and reached Swargate at 6:00. During the journey, we saw all the trek pictures and Sumukh did stupid things like clicking the hair on his calves and the 'Tumchya saathi kaaypan!' and the takkal of that uncle who was sitting on the seat next to us. From Swargate to Pune in 25 minutes and catching Indrayani train at 6:35 was a race work, well accomplished! :D

It is a different logic altogether, why you prefer to sit in the door, after a trek, even when you have empty seats.. stuff in 2 people in a small door to sit without caring about comfort.. share headphones and don't even listen to the songs as you're talking and laughing.. leave with the feeling, "trek kitti lavkar sampla na" after 2 full days spent in tough work.. in the end, trekking is pretty illogically incredible experience! :)


  1. Hey nice post gal, a few typos but that's ok. A pic would have made it more good. Anyways liked the way you used marathi words in between and your way of describing is awesome...would like to read some more of your trek stories...
    Happy writing and happy trekking :)

    1. Thanks a lot! And had no time to edit, chalta hai kabhi kabhi! ^_^