After a lot of change of plans, deliberations & chages in schedules, we finally set of for a trek in the Mahad region, early in the morning of 26th of January '08, Saturday. After a long time a nice long weekend had come our way ( We work Saturdays, so a long week end translates to anything more than 1 day here :) ) We were to actually leave on Friday night itself, but i ended up being in the office till 9 & Darshan had to run off to his workshop again to take care of an Engine. Thank god at that as iwas having a splitting head ache then which might just have canceled the trip for me :(
So finally Lalya ( aka Shridhar Joshi. 50 yr old young at heart & activity!) came to pick us up at my place in his Esteem. Thankfully i was feeling refreshed after a good night's sleep! After many deductions & additions, we were left a group of four : Lalya, Somesh, Darshan & Myself. The day's plan was to go to Roha via Tamhini. In spite of the potholes we managed to reach Roha by breakfast time. After feasting on the super Parathas courtesy Darshan's Mom! we went on to Medhe, the base village of Avachitgad.
We stopped at a superb lunch home just above the ST stand in Roha & had a great lunch. The fish was superb. The lunch was a bit more than we'd planned to have & that really set us yawning! After a drive of about an hour & half we reached Ghosale the base village of Ghosalgad. After climbing for hardly 5 mins we stretched out under forest canopy & dozed off for about half an hour. The short nap was really refreshing...
The climb to the col which is closed huge walls was pretty short about 15 -20 mins. The most surprising part here was the col separating the two hills which made up the fort. It was completely sealed off from both sides by huge walls , with a very small space between them.
The wall on the side of the Ghosale village has a small Dindi or Chor Darwaja ( Small Door). There is also a small water tank here. On the right hand side of this coll there is a built up 'Machi'. this portion is pretty flat & has remnants of some fortification. The width of the protrusion is very less giving it a more longish look. Again on this fort we were pleasantly surprised to find the Indian Tricolor hoisted by the villagers or government officials as we later found out. On the left hand side the hill climbs steeply towards the top point. There are nice large steps for some part of it after which the 'paywat' abruptly ends. From here on you can either climb the small rock patch or climb up through the forest . Either ways there is a lot of loose scree & the going is a bit hard. After climbing for about 20 mins we reached the top. The top is completely devoid of any remnants or fortification. It is almost impossible to access it any other way than from the coll as on all other sides its walls drop down very steeply. The Top offers a magnificent view of the countryside around. You can see the nearby Tale fort. Also Raigad can be seen in the distance.
After spending some time on the top we quickly started down as we still had to go to complete the Tale fort & head on the the base village of the next fort to spend the night. On the way down we met two guys from Pune who had gone to the Nearby fort of Birwadi which we had skipped in favour of Avachitgad. After chit chatting with them for sometime we got back into the car & headed towards Tale village .
To be continued