4th July 2010, Yuvazhep’s trek to Tringalwadi was an enchanting experience. We began our journey at 6.15 am from Jogeshwari by bus. Entire yuvazhep’s team was there for this trek and it was a farewell trek for 2 of our dear friends who left for USA then after. It was raining heavily in Mumbai at the time when we left and that aroused excitement in our minds since in previous treks we hadn’t got any showers. After we covered the last pick up point at Bhiwandi by-pass the entire group merged together and had a rocking time playing some unusual antakshari and self created songs. We took a stop near Igatpuri to fill our growling tummies with some yummy idlis which we had carried with us and sipped some tea which was much needed in those drizzles.
As we neared Kasara ghat all heads turned outside as the view was awesome. It was a green and foggy everywhere. It felt as if we were entering some dream land. It took us an hour and half or so, from Igatpuri to reach the base village Tringalwadi. It proved to be a bit difficult to reach there as the route passed through many small lanes and small villages for a big bus. Finally we reached Tringalwadi village where the view soothed our eyes as all we could see was green, green and green. Tringalwadi is tiny village with few houses and surrounded by farms and at the backdrop is tringalwadi fort. We breathe in the pollution free fresh air, a rare thing for mumbaikers.
We had a small introduction session, gave information about the fort and rules for trekking. Then we began our trek through the lush green fields. As we walked towards the base of fort we made our way through rice fields were farmers were busy with ploughing, replanting. Some enthusiast among us also tried it but in vain and ended up becoming a laughing stock for villagers, ah, some entertainment for them. Some tried to get their photos clicked, with plough or tractor, to be uploaded on social networking sites, to show off their new interest (?). Though this quest proved to be amusing and entertaining (for the villagers) we got to know something, we are not bad at it, not at all, we are worst.
After this photo session episode we proceeded further and reached the foothills of fort. There we found another opportunity for photographers and their models, as at the foothills are ‘Pandav leni’ is These caves are divided into three major areas viz. an outer verandah, ‘Vihar’, the abbey and internal ‘Garbhagriha’.
Its entrance door is decorated with beautiful carvings on it. A statue of Lord Gautam Buddha can be seen inside the ‘Vihar’. Below this sculpture one can see the inscriptions carved on the stone. Three of the four pillars of Verandah are collapsed.
As we moved upward the view became more and more beautiful. All we could see at foothills was farms of different shapes, sizes and shades. On our way we met the natives- beautiful and colourful flowers and butterflies. The trek was not tiring but participants were keen to see the top which was not visible at all due to the fog.
The landscape from all points was simply awesome. At a distance as some dark travelling cloud made his way through mountain tops we were able to see Kalsubai and few other peaks. Further upward we entered the misty foggy world. A passing cloud would wrap us in his arms and then bid goodbye.
Before reaching the top you have to climb a small flight of stairs. At the first step you can see a way going to straight. A few meters away are small caves which are believed were meditation caves. To reach these caves you have to make your way through a small waterfall. It falls directly from hill top so the water is clean for drinking. Our modern ‘rishis’ spent some time meditating (?) in caves and purifying (?) themselves beneath the waterfall and then we went back to the stairs. It was a small flight of stairs but was very slippery. It was almost converted into small stream. Above the stairs is a plateau which leads to Hanuman temple.
The plateau is covered with lush green grass swaying in wind and looks like velvet. A small footway amidst the grass makes it way to the temple. The way ahead was disappearing in the fog and giving some divine mystifying feeling. I managed to grasp a silent moment and a small lonely walk on this blissful way. To find some time to pluck your inner strings, to feel oneness with nature, to meet yourself all over again and to thank the creator, almighty, to reach the depth of my own soul and generate an energy and calmness within, which will keep me going for many more days to come.
As the road unveiled and fog cleared the enchanting aura, I emerge myself back in reality but the moment lingered in my mind. I was lost in my own world as I reached the temple, but my dear friends are not accustom to see me this way and started to test my new acquired patience right away. What I carved for that moment was food which readily became the topic to pull my leg. I promptly got nicknames for asking my own packed lunch box. We had our tummies filled with delicious biryani. To make our lunch more remarkable Prachi and Mayuresh sang some melodious songs for us. As we were about to wind up our lunch, light showers started with loud noise, making us rush to grab our windcheaters and raincoats and to our disappointment even before we could wear them sun peeped behind the clouds. Temple is just above the edge of valley. It is a very small temple, hardly possible to enter it.
Behind the temple to the left side a road goes to the top of fort. It was a footway covered with grass and valley on both sides. On right side was a giant dark cloud marching towards us and to the left was sun behind the clouds playing peek-a-boo with us. We walked a small hillock till it ended in a drop. Left below were the ruins of some warehouse. Due to the showers the slope had become slippery so the best way to go down was to slide or run downward, but first making sure that there is someone to stop us below. This became like a game, everyone started going up and coming down again and again.
Venturing further just below the drop of hillock is a way carved for going down. The door is visible only after climbing down few huge stones. It is called hanuman darwaaza. Once you reach the door an astonishing view will hold your breath. The door leads to a set of steep stair way, each step of which is at least 3-4 feet tall. To climb down those was itself an adventure for first timers and to add on they were too slippery. One had to be very cautious to avoid bumpy ride downwards and taking your mates along with you. Moreover the last step ended abruptly 5 feet above ground so it was really time consuming to get each one down the staircase.
The road ahead was straight. As we reached a flat surface the winds got stronger and when we closed our eyes and opened our arms it actually felt like we are flying. We descended through an easy route and as we neared the plateau most of rushed down and rolled or laid over the grass. Something we longed for since ages. We all played and rolled with childlike innocence. The softness of grass was so alluring that the dark cloud carrying heavy showers couldn’t budge us. It showered only for about 5 minutes but left us trenched and shivering. We headed back to the village ready to loosen up in our bus and to our surprise the bus was nowhere to be seen. Locals told us that our bus tyre has got stuck in mud in next village. Some volunteers rushed to the site and others decided to trek further than to wait for the bus. Next village was about a km and half away where we saw our bus surrounded like some amusing articraft. Tractors, rope, instructions, taunts, shouts all ended up in a clap after successful removal of tyre from mud.
Finally we headed back to Mumbai, happy and excited with more friends and beautiful memories.