Girivihang Trekkers Kaman Durga Fort – 5th July

Mtng Spot – Borivali East Sukurwadi ST Depo near station
Timing: 5th July 7 a.m.
Expected Expenses – Rs.100/-
L – Vasant Khandagale – 9869043990
CL- Amit Shirsekar – 9820180574
Special Instructions – (a) Pls bring minimum 2ltr water (b) pls wear full sleeves T Shirts due to Mosquitoes. ,
This small and beautiful fort is in Vasai area. Trek starts from Kaman village. It is in the same mountain range of famous waterfall of Chinchoti. Trek is easy till the first water tank and last patch of 200 ft. is little difficult. You can check the photo link of same trek we did in 2007, click this link

Kunal Shinde – 9821753813
Girivihang Trekkers

Koyana Nagar to Marleshwar Trek Report – by Girivihang Trekkers.

8th to 11th Mar 2009 organised by Girivihang Trekkers.
Leader – Nilesh Kamtekar – 9869344457
Co-Leader- Nilam Thakur – 9869344456
I was very excited for this trek, as I heard that whole route is going through the dense forest. We might have to stay in the jungle with wild animals as there is only one village on the route. We have to carry lot of food and water as much as possible. Our group is not aware what kind problems we would might have to face and there is high probability that we could lost the way due to dense forest. Hence our leaders decided to take small group of selective people. There was team of 18 people among which Nilay, 9 years old.
We started our journey by catching bus for Chiplun from Bombay central on 7th march night and reached at Chiplun about 5:30 am. There after we catch the bus for Helwak village, which go through Kubharli Ghat. Whole route of the trek goes through reserved Chandoli forest.
8th March 2009, Day 1 – We reached at Helwak village about 7 am.
At Helwak, we had breakfast. About spending 2 hrs here we started to Bhairav Gad at about 9 am. On the way towards the Bhairav Gad, you will find Dhanagarwada is the only one residence area. From Helwak it took about 2 hrs to reach Ram Ghal.
This is the place where Shree Ramdaas Swami used to come for meditation. There is straight which goes up towards Bhairav Gad from Ram Ghal. After this point onwards the way goes through deep jungle and due to this there is the possibility to lose your way. But if you are on the correct way very soon you will find route marking. About 5 hrs walk we reached at the top of the Bhairav Gad at 4 pm.$pid=1237488021968
It seems Bhairav Gad was manly used to keep watch on the surrounding area. There is nothing much to see on Bhairav Gad, except temple. The main temple is very simple but very beautiful. In the temple there are 3 idols of Devi Bheri, Devi Tula and Shree Vaghjai. Another temple is of Lord Shiva, from which you can to go to Buruj. There is water available behind the main temple, but it is not drinkable. You can see very beautiful view of Konkan from here. 2-3 water tanks are there descending way to Buruj but it is far away from the temple. As per the schedule, we supposed to stay at Bhairav Gad, but due to long distance from water tank we decided to stay Patharpunj village. Till this time many of us were very tried due to journey in the night and about 8 hrs continuous walk. But finally we started 5:30 pm towards Patharpunj. It took about 2 hrs to reach there.
Patharpunj is the last residential place, which we found on this route. At Patharpunj we stayed at forest officer’s place. We feel fresh after having “Adrak ki Chaay” and “Garama garam” tomato soup. It was fun to cook food. “Daal-rice” and mix vegetable of “Alu-mathar-potato” along with pickle n “Papad” was the menu. Yummy na? After dinner, we had small night walk. It was full moon in the sky… Sky was full of stars… And cold breeze… fantabulous…
9th March 2009, Day 2 – As per our schedule, we were ahead since our 1st day stay was at Patharpunj instead of Bhairav Gad. But still we supposed to walk 2-3 hrs more than the day before we did. So we started at 8:30 am after having “Kanda-pohe” and tea. The forest officer told us there is shortcut to Prachit Gad, which will save 2 hrs. Hence we asked him to show the way till shortcut. After about a 1 ½ hrs walk we reached at a small river (which is dry during this season). From there if you go left side then it is routine way to go Prachit Gad, but if you go right side through the river, you will find a shortcut to Prachit Gad. This route is the deep Chandoli forest. You can see route marking done by some trekkers as well villagers. It’s nice to walk through jungle as you won’t feel sun above due to cool shadow.
On the way, we took halt, don’t know exact name of the area. Here find small stream of water near the ledge. Taste of the water was very nice and hence we decided to fill up all our bottles with this water. This was the first and last water source we found from Patharpunj till Chandel village.
There were 2-3 big colonies of Honey bees. Due to our noise, honey bees got disturbed and attacked on our group. 2-3 members had honey bee’s bite. To save ourselves from this attack we sleep down facing towards the ground. Whenever any body try to make some movement or talk honey bee’s attack diverted to that person. Hence finally we decided to not to talk or move. In this position we were about 45-50 minutes. Some of us have nice nap during this attack. And finally we save ourselves and started again.
We reached at Prachit at 1pm. There is one small temple, old guns and nice huge water tank on this fort. This is small fort, rarely visited by people as it is surrounded by dense forest. It is possible to stay on Prachit, but food arrangement has to do you.
After spending an hour, we left at 2 pm towards our next destination. Till Prachit Gad, you can find route marking after that one have to search your route using maps.
After walking 30 minutes, we reached at SADA, a place of many black big rocks… every where there were rocks… it seems ocean of rocks…
After crossing such 2-3 Sada’s there is two ways, one goes to Rundiv long cut to reach Chandel village and short cut is right side one which meet to rough vehicle way.
May be forest officers are using this road. Here we got confused and started to walk towards Rundiv. About 30 minutes walk we realized our mistake and come back and started towards to rough vehicle way. This road was surrounded by big trees. Lonely road and our group… nice to have such walk but without loaded sacs. There was on an average 8-10 kg loaded sacs. On the way we saw group of deers, stags, foxes and Baboons… somewhere fresh blood marks… it seems some wild animal had its lunch 10-15 minutes before… Well many of us were scared. But at one spot I, Suju Tai and Nilay were together… We were in between the group, but there was a lot distance… At that spot, we were not able to see anybody among the people who were walking before and behind us…
When we looked both the side we were able to see long road, with lots of trees both sides… nothing else…$pid=1237484286035
We heard noise of birds followed by 2 roars of some wild animals… Two of us, me and Suju Tai were scared very much, as we were away from the group and did not have knife or any other weapons for our safety… We did not talk anything about what we heard to each other… But we started walk very fast… Very soon after 20 minutes we covered up the gap and with the route leader. Then after, we tried to walk with group. Hehehehe it was fear, which motivate us to walk towards our destination… And forest was not ready finished… Soon there was sunset and we wanted to reach our destination Chandel village by 7pm… But that was not possible at all… Many of us had empty water bottles. Some of us had emergency water, but we supposed to reserve it till we get water source. We used to drink a small cap of water bottle not even sip of water… Have to managed by any way, cannot stop or take halt in between as very soon it would be darken and wild animals would come out in search of their food. So it was necessary to reach somewhere safest place.
Finally we were come out at the plateau at 6:45pm, thought this was the end of jungle… Here saw one bison. Usually bison stay in the group… We were surprised to see only one… It was far away from us but have to wait till go from the plateau as it might be dangerous if bison attack on the group. By this time, everybody was tried due to 5 hrs continuous walk, no water and heavily loaded sacs. 15 minutes waiting we started to walk again on the plateau. After about 20 minutes walk on plateau we again get into jungle, where we found stream. Wow cold water, hmmm feeling like having nectar. Suddenly, everybody was feeling energetic. It was 7:20 pm, and still not aware how long Chandel village would be. So chalo start walking again as this place was not safe for the stay
Since from the morning we walking and still not find the destination. Hence it was decided to walk till 9-9:30 pm and if find any plateau will stay there. Everybody was tried too much but still there was good co-operation from the each one. Finally at 9 pm we found one shade and decided to stay there.
It was under-construction forest office. It has nice verandah, where we stay. We were so tried hence avoid cooking food. We had “Farsan Bhel, mast limbu marke” as dinner. This place was good to sleep, but every body got wake up in between to check everything fine or not.
10th March 2009, Day 3 – Usually when we used to wake up others, but that day every body was awake since from morning 6:00 am. Good morning!!! Then some of us gone in search of water… and hey what they found?… Chandel village was about 10 minutes walk. WOW we were on our destination… As per plan Chandel village supposed to be our 3rd day destination, but we were there on 2nd day!!! What an achievement… This is due to two short-cuts which we have taken… Well since from last 30-40 years there is no residence in the Chandel village. But you can still find proof of human resident, chandelier, house, small temple etc
We decided to start little late. Here as breakfast we had “Upma” and tea. Everybody were in relaxed mood… today we don’t have to walk a lot… might be 6-7 hrs and we would be in the Kundi Village. We started at around 10 am. The route was through the jungle only but this part of jungle was not as dense as we had a day before. Are yaar par ye jungle khatm kab hoga? We never suffer from sun last two days, but today it seems sun was angry. It was too hot day for us.
Well the old route towards the Kundi village is closed now. Luckily, Pandurang Hande from Gothane village met us on the plateau who guided us till the route towards Kundi. It took around 6 hrs to reach Kundi from Chandel. We Chandel at 4 pm. This was our last destination for a day. What a relief to see human beings… Villagers were in the festival mood… Holi hai bhai…
At Kundi, we stay in the school. School building was well built. We had bath after 3 days. Had round village, middle of the village there was Holi. Nice to see such festive environment. This was first time I am in the Konkan.
It was last day stay of the trek and we had lot of food items remaining. So we decided to have dinner menu in such way that it would use as much as possible from the available stuff. Soup followed by “Daal Tadaka with rice”, mixed vegetable of potato, cauliflower and “Garam-Garam Kanda Bhaji”. Wow…
There was ceremony going on in the village for Holi. It was enjoyable to have experience of Holi in small village from Konkan. Villagers from Kundi are very co-operative. They helped us a lot.$pid=1237482100716
11th March 2009, Day 4 – Good morning!!! Last day of the trek. We got up early in morning at 5am and started to Mahimat Gad at 6 am. We supposed to catch bus at 11am from Kundi, hence decided to go by vehicle till the bottom of the Mahimat Gad. You will find Lord Shiva’s temple, Old guns on the fort. There is water tank, which used to be dry during this season. Overall this architecture of this fort is not in well condition.
We catched bus at 11am, after attending the “Palakhi Sohala” organised by local people. We got down at Ner Fata, from where we catched the bus for Marleshwar.
Marleshwar, is one of the famous place of Lord Shiva, surrounded by hills. Everybody is in devotional mood. We had photo session near Marleshwar temple in the success of the trek.
From Marleshwar we went to Devrukh, and then to Kausubh village. Kausubh is the native place of one of our team member. In the night, we took bus to Mumbai from there. And our return journey started with all these special memories.
Check out all our sweet memories of this trek
Route Details:

Mumbai -> Chiplun -> Kubharli Ghat -> Helwak -> Dhanagarwada -> Bhairav Gad ->
Patharpunj Village -> Prachit Gad -> Chandel Village -> Kundi Village -> Mahimat Gad -> Ner Fata -> Marleshwar -> Devrukh -> Kausubh -> Mumbai

Precautions to be taken:

1. Keep silence near the water source. If there is attack by honey bees, then sleep down facing towards the ground. Do not move or talk till it goes away.
2. Carry as much as water you can. One will not get water from Prachit Gad to Chandel village.
3. Carry sufficient food items.

Jyoti Salunkhe