Kaldurg fort : Its one of those not so famous treks which can be done in one day. It lies on Palghar - Manor road. The starting point of the trek starts from famous "Waghoba temple" on Manor road. It comes under easy category and it takes only around 1hr 30min to go up and around 1hr to come down. Kaldurg is around 1547 feet above sea level. The fort doesn't have any fortification but there are two water cisterns to collect water at the top. Not much is known about its history but 360deg view of surrounding region one gets from the top surely points to strategic importance of this fort.
My Trek: It was Sunday morning and we had decided to meet at Borivali station to catch Dahanu local at 7.57am. Our destination was Palghar station which is approx one hour train ride from Borivali by train. Dr.Ajay had confirmed that it was a pilot trek as none of us had been there. Only information we had about the trek was available from blogs of people who has been here before and our GPS device. Pilot treks have there own charm and excitement and its fun to try but surely would not suggest to do at all places. lol !!!! So here we were group of 7 on our way to explore a new place. All excited we got down at Palghar around 9am and found that bus to Manor was waiting just outside the station. Buses going towards Manor would drop you at Waghoba temple which was our destination. It took approx 20minutes from Palghar to reach Waghoba temple.
Its quite a famous temple of a deity worshipped by adivasis and other communities in the region. Also it was interesting to see that people would stop their cars by the temple and would offer fruits to monkeys nearby. There is only one shop selling temple offerings and also tea & biscuits, lady running the shop gave us the details of how to reach the top. The road to the top is right behind the temple.
The route to the top passes through some dense forest and thick under growth. It had been raining on and off in the morning but when we started our trek, Rains had stopped completely. So as we climbed our way to the top, it was quite humid, I was sweating a lot. I was also doing a trek after couple of days which was another reason it was taking a toll on me. We were taking our time and trying to explore as much as possible on the way, Dr Ajay with his hawk eye, spotting all creepy creatures and with his interest in Biology, taking pics from all angles !!!!!
On our way, we spotted wild turmeric shrubs,mushrooms, harvester ant nest, pagoda ant nest.... It all indicated that the forest was rich in Flora and Fauna, since its ongoing monsoon so the place was a treasure trove in spotting various creepy crawlies !!!! Crabs were very common and could be found running here n there.
After ascending walk of about an hour, we came across basalt rock plateau from where we got the first glimpse of our destination, a flying flag atop Kaldurg !!!!! It was still quite a distance we had to cover. On other side we could clearly spot Devkhop lake, another destination worth a visit in winters when blue sky turns the lake water blue in colour.
It started drizzling and temperature dipped as we moved up and by the time we reached the col also called Waghoba khind, there was cold breeze blowing which was welcome relief from humidity and dehydration. After the col, on the way there were two diversions, we took the one to the right hoping that it would lead to our destination, don't know where the left one lead to. Our decision did turn out to be correct. We were now walking on a narrow path with Karvy like plants growing in abundance. One nice thing about the trek was the route was clear even though we were in middle of dense forest. Finally after 2hr, 15min we finally saw first water tank or cistern and had reached our destination. There is rock plateau which gives amazing view of Surya river and on clear sky, one can clearly see the coconut plantation and Arabian sea.
As we moved up, there was another water cistern and the flying flag. This was the highest point of Kaldurg and we had reached our destination. Moment we reached top, it started raining heavily and clouds covered surrounding hills and valleys. We were on top of clouds literally !!!!!!. This is exactly the moment which all trekkers would want to experience on all the treks. We spend quite sometime waiting for clouds to clear so that we could click some pictures but rains were threatening and about to disappoint us. We decided to spend some more time in hope that we would get clear view.
Finally after around 15-20 minutes, rains stopped and clouds got cleared. Lucky we....... We were able to capture our moments at the top of Kaldurg. After spending almost an hour or more at the top and eating our brunch that we were carrying, We started our descend. Ashwini and me had a slip as path was muddy and slippery but no casualties and we were able to descend in 1hr and 30min.
Kaldurg fort is an easy trek and probably a half a day gateway away from Mumbai. Definitely worth a visit especially in monsoons.
Hoping to be on another trek and another adventure in coming weekends, Till then Au revoir !!!!!