This is one trek which I can categorize into marvel. To update you all about trekking, I am die hard fan of nature and love to explore the unexplored. I enjoy the thrills and stunts involved in trekking equally.
The love found its origin in college days, when trekking meant climbing mountain up and down. The spark got converted to fire when I joined Selectica. This is where I started trekking regularly. Starting from few easy treks to some thrilling ones, it all got nurtured at Selectica.
Recently, when since I switched my Company, luckily enough, I found a trekkers group in and around people of my company. We are the ones who love the extremeties. Sahynadris provide us with lot of opportunities to test ourselves.
Last year it was Prachitgadh, an over night trek amidst reserved forest. Trust me for one thing, life has a different dictionary in forest, especially at nights. Will update a blog on Prachitgadh soon. Vasota was another such trek. After Prachitgadh Vasota was all, on everyones mind. And finally, after exactly 1 year we could make it.
Planning for such an expedition is always a fun. Scanning everything available on net to generate the required energy is pretty common. And to our likings, the information we collected suggested us that we are going to have time of our life. The mention of rich wild life present in the forest nearby added spice to the expedition. We all started dividing things to be accumulated for it. The plan was to reach the base of Vasota by morning, climb Vasota fort by afternoon and leave for Nageshwar which is a cave cum temple. We should reach Nageshwar before the sun sets, spend night at Nageshwar and decend down the next day on the other side of mountain ranges. The plan looks flawless on paper. But one should never under estimate the fact that no one had ever been to Vasota before. All we knew was experince of people who have been there. Mind you, different people have different experiences of same places, so never really bank on such unsaid links.
Weekend was chosen for the trek. We were to leave Pune on friday night, and reach Satara by around mid night, spend the night at some lodge and catch a bus to Bamnoli at 6:00 AM. Bamnoli is the place where we had to take permission of Forest Officer to trek at the serene land of nature. Vasota happens to be surrounded by reserved forest on all four side. So permission is required to conquere it. Much was heard about this reserved forest. We all were absolutely sure about the great time ahead.
Everything happened according to plan and we finally reached Bamnoli. Only to find me fully asleep. Staying awake in morning is something which I could never achieve in recent past. Bamnoli is a small village located at Backwaters of Koyna Dam. From there to base of Vasota is an hours journey in boat.
We could get the permission to go to Vasota and at the same time were warned about the visit of Forest Rangers tonight. The idea which was communicated to us was dont stay at Nageshwar Caves in night. And we thought we would follow the order. Finally, the journey started. We were in the boat in middle of cool morning breeze waking every cell on our body. One can not experience such freshness in city life. The boated cruised steadily to reach the base in an hour. The forest officers there checked our passes and warned us about the same thing.
We could finally start the trek at around 10:40 after completing the formalities.
To much of our disappointment, the forest did not seem virgin at all. There was a clear path which led us to the fort. It was much obvious, animals wont come near to the places used by human beings. We could not see a single animal on the entire journey. But being on the positive side, the ambience of jungle was ineffable. The sanctity of peace glorified the walk even in when we were disappointed. At around 1:45PM we could scale the massive fort. The fort is nothing but asylum of remains of glory. Being located in the middle of Sahyandris the fort gives us feeling of being in control. The wind on fort flows as if bringing messages from the entire kingdom to a central authority. We did enjoy every bit of it. Prepared some food to munch and depart for more exciting part of the trek.
Nageshwar was well in our site along with the path. Although, its been a good 15 odd treks in Sahyandris experience backing me, but the path looked little scarry. Nevertheless, it just added to our enthusiasm.
We departed for Nageshwar at around 3:30 PM. The walk to nageshwar was partly through jungle and partly along the edge of Sahynadris. The edge here means a strip of around half foot with a step of 400 feet on one side and dense jungle on the other. The walk made us remember our near ones on quite a few occasions. I hope i'm clear on this point. Destined to win, we made our way to the cave well in time. And to our surprise we found a bunch of dry wood which we were to use to make fire in night. All that was missing was water.
Before the sun made its last dip in the mountain ranges we had armed ourselves with everything we would have needed for night. Warm clothes were on immediately. Preparations for the royal meal too had begun. The experience of lighting up a small fire to cook the food on, is again, Marvelous and I did not miss it. Started preparing for the tomato soup which was a big hit in the meal. We were soon engulfed into unending darkness of forest. It was only the fire which we could see in the world around us. The wild forest wind making tuning its raga added music to the ambience. The rules of life started changing. I dont think many of you have experienced the fear of being stolen away, we did. After the soup, it was turn of actual meal, Veg Pulav. With the espertise,we did manage to make the best pulav i have ever had in my life. And finally, it was the time for which every sole on earth would die. Sitting under a clear bright night sky. This time it was fall ceiling of stars on our roof. Air condtion was provided by forest wind and the Bose speakers were tuned to the jungle raga. I know I cant put it in words.
After satisfying ourselves, we all went to bed. We had to start climbing down the next morning. Dawn brought with it, the freshness of life. Rejuvenated, we all were with much needed energy, coz the climb down has challenged the masters of trekking. It was like walking along an 89.9 degrees rock, measuring 800 fts in height. Life looked simplified by the iron rope anchored with the rock, only till the time we actually got there. One hour on rocks, really ROCKS. I havent had a more dreadful dream than the walk in my life.
After crossing that rock pacth, things were smooth enough. It was just a matter of walking along hill side to reach the destination, Choravane. We scaled down in pretty good time also, just to find the villagers enjoying game of cricket amidst the beauty of nature. We were quick to join them in the game.
Playing cricket in fields again speaks a new language for itself. We enjoyed the game till we were served for lunch by the villagers. The food there has no comparison on the urban front.
Finally, the time came when we had to catch a bus back to Chiplun, from where we were to catch a bus to Pune.
There are many moments in life which one remembers for long. Even I have few such moments. Vasota trek brought many such moments together. Such was the trip.
Sharing our moments with you.