This moment is called life…even the days are counted when we are at sleep…make the most of the moment now.
On 12th Nov 2017 early morning we started our journey from Chembur to trek one of the famous and most adventurous trekking destination of Maharashtra: Prabalgad & Kalavantin Durg. This time there were kids and family members along with the serious trekkers. For me it was second time to this place after a span of almost three years and this time this place has everything to offer for beginners as well as for expert trekkers.
Prabalgad comes under the Raigad District in the state of Maharashtra lies on the prabal plateau between Matheran and Panvel and can be easily spotted from the Mumbai-Pune expressway. The Prabalgad Fort stands at an elevation of 2,300 feet (700 m) in the Western Ghats. The fort was previously known as Muranjan until it was taken over and renamed by the Maratha forces under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s rule
We started our trek from the base village of Thakurwadi around at 10:00 am. This village of Thakurwadi in Panvel city is situated approx 47 km from Mumbai. It was a simple walk initially and the kids were more active and trying to lead the trek, forcing the parents to match up to their speed. While the freshness of the place energising the group, the far away glimpse of the destination driving the group.
There were many groups with no age bar trekking on that day while shouting slogans; Jai Shivaji Jai Bhavani…
“The Prabalgad Fort was built by the Bahmani Sultanate to keep an eye on the Panvel Fort and the Kalyan Fort in the North Konkan area. After disintegration of the Bahmani Sultanate, the fort remained with the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. During the collapse of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, Shahaji led a helping hand against the separate forces of the Mughal Empire and the Adil Shahi dynasty. After the collapse of the Sultanate, he moved to Muranjan along with his wife Jijabai and son Shivaji for a brief period of time. However, following Shahaji’s defeat and the agreement of Mahuli, North Konkan along with the fort, was ceded to Mughals who granted ruling authority of the area to Adilshah of Bijapur. Chhatrapati Shivaji conquered the fort from the Mughals in 1657 A.D, after which he established himself in the Kalyan-Bhivandi area.”
The trek amidst the lush green hills with fresh air and the beautiful landscape slowly become difficult for the beginners, due to the small stones on the narrow lanes. However, the kids enjoying it like a picnic. There were huts made by the locals to halt for a break and at one place there were swings made by the local on the tree. It was a great relief for the kids to rejuvenate after reaching almost half way to the destination.
After 2 hrs of trek we reached Prabalmachi village at around 11:45 am. Once upon a time a small place has already grown bigger to provide facilities for camping apart from breakfast and lunch. They also provide facility for staying overnight and guide for the trek to prabalgad and kalavantin. It was the same place we had our breakfast and lunch during my last trek to this place during 2014. We had already ordered for our lunch here. Since many members of our group have already got tired, they opted to take rest there. Few of us including some brave kids joined for the onward trek to the Kalavantin Fort along with a guide. This phase of the trek was quite tough compare to the first phase but it deserved to be explored after coming till Prabalmachi. It took another one hour to reach upto the cleavage between Kalavantin and Prabalgad. Afterwards only few of us dared to climb the Kalavantin Durg , which is one of the most difficult and dangerous place to trek. Kalavantin Durg is a 685m high pinnacle used to be a watch tower and one of the best trekking spots in the Sahyadri mountain range.
After returning from kalavantin, we had an amazing lunch and took rest for an hour at prabalmachi before getting down to our starting point. The smart watch captured the total number of steps as 17900. Don’t know how accurate it was but I am sure to come again to this place for a night camp. The kids were still very active and energetic …. Maybe they never counted the steps nor the height, they just enjoyed the moments with friends and family. To add to their flavour at the beginning it was named as children’s day special trek.