Monday, July 8, 2013

Torna AKA Prachandagad

As the monsoons continued, so did the obsession for another trek. This time (Saturday, July 06 2013), Torna was targeted. Also known as Prachandagad, we had heard that it is of moderate difficulty. Gearing up for that, we reached the village of Velhe really early. At 7:15 AM, when we asked a local restaurant owner for breakfast, he claimed that we arrived really early! After waiting for a while and eating the freshly prepared Poha, we started the climb by 8-8:15 AM.

(Note that there is not enough parking available near the base. Most of the cars are parked near the Police Station in Velhe. If you reach early, you'll get a good parking spot.)

Torna, as the stories had suggested was indeed tougher than the ones we climbed so far. The continuous elevation for about 50-60% of the route adds to the challenge. You can always stop in between and look around at the scenery if the wind clears the fog and take a breather. Otherwise, keep on climbing and drinking water.

Lovely waterfalls around the fort
In the last quarter of the climb, there are some rocky patches. This was the tricky part of the trek. There are railings for support, but they are not in a good shape. If you depend on them completely, it would be really risky! The slow and steady philosophy works well here.

The beginning of the tricky last quarter of the climb
Yeah, and as soon as you climb up, don't start thinking about the journey down the same patch. Give it some time to sink in. On the way down, it might not even be so difficult. :)

On the top, there are some places to see but due to the dense fog we couldn't roam much. Just went across Mengai Devi to the right most end of the fort and came back. The wind was really harsh at this point and being drenched didn't help.

It took about 2-2.5 hours for us to reach on the top. As always, it was quite tough but exhilarating.

We decided to return immediately so as to reach Pune around lunch time. The thoughts of hot butter Naan and Chicken Tikka Masala took hold of our thoughts and rendered us helpless. We climbed down with that food in mind.

Gunjavane Dam backwaters on the left. You can see the trail down the mountain.
The climb down was really fun and scenic and then we looked back at the steep climb and thought, "Did we really climb all that?"

Oh, and then we drove to Mirch Masala and had that food that had put us on a voodoo spell. :)

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