Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Purandar Trek

I had visited Purandar sometime last year and thought of visiting Purandar along with the neighbour Vajragad in this monsoon season. So, we started early morning at around 6 AM   keeping in mind that we have to trek two forts. We decided to trek Purandar first and then Vajragad.

Imagine our surprise and disappointment after climbing up Purandar (by 7 AM) halfway till the motor road stops and finding out that the Indian Army has taken over Vajragad entirely, and you cannot visit Purandar before 9 am. You are just not allowed to climb beyond the motorable road. There is a check post built there where you have to register your details.

What to do till 9 am? Specially when we found that Vajragad is totally out-of-bounds? Ate Poha at Raja Canteen, spoke to the owner of the canteen about changes that are happening, some grapevine stuff he had heard about the reason behind the increase in security, and click pictures.

But then, when we finally made the climb and walked towards Kedareshwar temple, completely forgot about the trivial nature of the temporary feelings and submitted ourselves to the immense beauty of the lovely environments and it's elements.

Getting back to the facts, we reached Narayanpur via NH-4 (took a left at Kapurhol), parked at the base of the fort and climbed up via Bini/Binny/Binni Darwaja. You can also take your cars up till Bini Darwaja, park your vehicles midway, and climb the rest bit of Purandar.
Bini Darwaja
The best part of Purandar, as with most other forts, is the connecting ridges on top. Strewn with lovely little wild flowers, enchanting you with a lovely play under sun and shade, hiding in clouds, beckoning you to go further and surrender to nature.
As you walk away from Vajragad, you go to the Balekilla (which we didn't climb) and further to Kedareshwar temple. There are these beautiful steps just at the base of the temple that look majestic. The view from the temple is scenic.

We kept wondering how scarily beautiful it would be to stay in the temple at night staring at the starry night, enveloped in clouds swayed by wind, and artificial lights staring at us from afar like animal eyes.
You can see the Kedareshwar temple left of centre in the picture.
Kedareshwar temple was the highlight of this trek.

So much for the Indian Army!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tikona - Tung Trek

Tung on the left, Tikona on the right.
Tikona is a friendly trek. It is a really good choice for a beginner or someone who wants to do a leisure trek. But what makes this trek superb is the scenic surroundings. Located besides Pavana Lake, Tikona (the name translates roughly to triangular) gives a splendid view across the lake where you can see Tung fort and Lohagad - Visapur forts at a distance.
Lohagad - Visapur as seen from Tung.
Tikona is strewn with yellow flowers called Bristly Smithia that makes the climb heavenly.
Bristly Smithia. You can see the Tung peak in the background.
We had done Tikona earlier and knew that it is not that strenuous a trek so thought of adding Tung to it. The plan was to drive to the base village called of Tikona called Tikona Peth (via Mulshi - Pirangut - Paud) do a quick Tikona trek and then drive down to Tung (via Javan) and climb from the base village called Tung Wadi. The right turn to Tung Wadi is a little confusing. Better to keep checking with the local folks.

Tung does look formidable from Tikona, but as you see it from the side, it looks assailable. The route up is quick but steep with an ascent all along the route. The stony, barely-visible route does add to the adventurous charm. I believe Tung is not that visited by trekkers.
Slightly hidden route.
This time around with the receding monsoon, we had to do the trek under proper sunny conditions. From the past experiences where we were blanketed by think fog or clouds with intermittent rains, the sunny, hot, and humid environment ensured that we kept sipping water every other time. But the conditions helped to get excellent pictures. We had started around 7:00 in the morning and by 1/1:30 pm we were done with both the forts.

Then, the usual haunt of butter chicken! :)

The special feeling of climbing Tikona and looking at Tung and then climbing Tung and looking at Tikona was splendid. These are the moments that make us plan a trek almost every other weekend.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Joy in the Morning by P.G. Wodehouse - Book Review

Joy in the Morning (Jeeves, #8)Joy in the Morning by P.G. Wodehouse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To summarize the book, "It's a confounding concatenation of comic circumstances."

The unassailable melodic ring of that entire line is rendered ineffective by the fact that someone decided to pronounce circumstances as "sircum" and not "kircum". To summarize my feeling after realizing that, I would gently employ the Puneri word "Shyeah".

Joy in the Morning is one of the best horses from the PGW Turf Club. I strongly suspect that it would win or come second only to the ablest of contenders Right Ho, Jeeves in a royal derby decided by the degrees of concatenating circumstances.

It is also splendid to see all the little digs taken at several authors like Hemingway, Shakespeare, and also that rather humorous chap called Wodehouse.

Truly a joy!

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