Monday, May 12, 2014

Ratangad and Sandhan Valley Trek

Ratangad and Sandhan Valley “The valley of Shadows”

Finally the trek been done by us .This time, we did Ratangad from Ratanwadi village and descended to Samrad for the Sandhan valley and then came to Ghatghar to get the bus to start our return journey to reach Pune.I was accompanied with Kiran and Ajit.Total 3 members in the trek

On Day 1 (Climbed Ratangad with just one short break of 5 minutes)
We started around 6:30 am from Pune by bus going to Rajur which is 20 kms before Bhandardara. We reached there till 11:45 am .Further, we came to know that bus to Kumshet , its timings are unknown. We spent time till 1:00 pm at Rajur and came to know that there is only one bus to Kumshet around 5:00 pm and also we tried for jeeps but all in vain
Finally we decided that we will be going to Ratanwadi and then climb Ratangad from there whatever the time may be but our destination for day 1 was “the cave at Ratangad top”.We got one jeep towards Bhandardara and in about 30 minutes, we were near the road going towards Samrad and Ratanwadi hence instead of going towards Bhandardara, we got down at this point.
Now there were no jeeps further to Ratanwadi.Jeeps were supposed to operate after 4:00 pm hence the option was only to walk till Ratanwadi which was 15 kms. After walking 4 kms till Mutkhel, some local people told us to take a boat which will drop to a point from where we can reach Ratanwadi .We got a boat by which we came to Koltembhe village and further 7 kms walking through dried region in Bhandardara dam, around 4:45 pm, we reached  Ratanwadi
After 5:30 pm, we started to climb Ratangad along with local person Nathu Zade and his son accompanied with us. These 2 people provide food to trekkers in the cave and on the next day, he was supposed to prepare food for 15 people from Mumbai hence along with all the materials, they both were accompanied with us
We started climbing and in around 1 hour, it was getting dark and since we were in midst of dense forests, there were couple of sounds of animals. This local person said that once forest officials caught an leopard and left him near Ratangad area hence sometimes, his roar is heard but there is no danger. The leopard is far away from us.Among the river route,along the dense trees and steep climbs,we finally reached a junction point of Ratangad-Harishchandragad trek route. At this point, We took a short break of 5 minutes and headed towards the ladders.It was 7:00 pm and it was quite dark in the forests.We started moving and in around 15 minutes, we reached the ladders and then in 5 minutes, we reached the caves.We had  the food prepared in the cave at the top edging on the valley
Total walk on first day : 5 kms till Mutkhel+7  kms from Koltembhe to Ratanwadi+6 kms walk till the cave from Ratanwadi
Total 18 kms walk on day one

Day 2( Descending Ratangad to Samrad->Sandhan Valley -> Return journey)
Got up early in morning .Even in the month of May, it was quite colder like a normal winter day. It was very much foggy and cold .We just traversed the whole Ratangad top from where we were getting views of the Sahyadris near Katrabai,Ajoba Parvat and Kalsubai,Alang-Madan-Kulang and Ghanchakkar,Muda along with the backwaters of Bhandardara backwaters
Around 8:00 am, we had our breakfast and started heading towards Samrad our next destination where we were supposed to go to Sandhan valley. The route from Trimbak Darwaza was a difficult one because the there are rock cut steps and a narrow slit in rocks. The steps were directly into a 4000 feet valley to your front hence one needs to be careful while descending from here. This route is not recommended for novice persons and also experienced persons must be cautious while descending from here
After that, we came near the pinnacle. From here, there are 2 routes.Right towards Ratanwadi and Left towards Samrad.We took left to descend to Samrad. This route descends towards Baan Lingi Pinacle and at one point,There is a big rock in our way.From here, we have to take right to samrad and the straight route goes in the forests. From here, after descending completely, finding Sandhan Valley is difficult.
You will have to keep walking on the fields and you will find a house in dense trees to your left(There is only one house outside Samrad Village).Approx 300 meters before this house, you will see the route going towards the river bed in dense trees .This is the route to Sandhan Valley
Sandhan Valley(Valley of Shadows) is a small slit between 2 mountains with a steep descent into valley with very big stones, boulders in the way of river bed. This slit is of approx 2 to 3 kms .It takes around 1 hours to reach here. Further, there is a steep descent and a 40 feet big rock patch which can be descended only by rappelling .At very few spots, sunlight reaches hence there are shadows everywhere hence called Sandhan(सांदण दरी) which means shadows.
We went in this valley for 1 hours till the rappelling point and again came back to Samrad.
From Samrad, we went walking till Ghatghar dam approx 4 kms. During this walking, we were able to see a Deer in the forests.

Total walking on second day : 8 kms to Samrad+ 5 kms to and fro Sandhan Valley + 4 kms to Ghatghar
Total 17 kms walking

Total walking in 2 days 35 to 38 kms

We came to ghatghar and got a jeep to Bhandardara  and further to Rajur,Akole and Sangamner from where, we came to Pune

Start of the trek

Katrabai Khind on way to Ratangad

Night time in forests

Junction Point of Ratangad-Harishchandragad route 

Ladders in rocks


Cave on the edge of valley.Our night time halt on Ratangad

Night time in cave.I did succesful testing of my LED torch.This torch was sufficient for light in night time and still working fine on 1 battery

Morning time at cave

Clouds floating 

Katrabai and Ajoba rock walls

Pravara River Orignation Point


Needle Hole on top of Ratangad

Trimbak Darwaza of ratangad

Baan Lingi Pinacle.We entered in this valley to proceed to Samrad

The route marked in red.Its unbelievable but we came from here

Sandhan Valley Entrance point

Around 3 kms length, this slit is like this 

Water pool in Sandhan Valley

Direct descent in valley.We went till here.Further, there was a a big rock patch .We came back from here

Deer in forests.Please zoom and see the area marked in red.You will see Deer here

Ajoba Parvat from Samrad

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kalsubai from Chondhe ghat

Climbing Kalsubai from Chondhe ghat->Ghatghar-Uddavne route

एका आगळ्या वेगळ्या वाटेने कळसुबाई शिखर(१६४८ मीटर) चा ट्रेक

ट्रेक सुरु करण्याचे ठिकाण :- चोंढे तालुका शहापूर जिल्हा ठाणे (समुद्र सपाटी वरून उंची ५० मीटर)

चोंढे गावातून साधारण ३ ते ४ कि मी चालत एक डांबरी रस्ता चोंढे धरण पर्यंत गेला आहे तेथून पुढे पायर्या सुरु होतात आणि जवळ जवळ २ तास चढून घाटनदेवी चे मंदिर लागते आणि आपला प्रवेश अहमदनगर जिल्ह्यात होतो . पुढे सपाटी सुरु होते आणि आणखीन २ कि मी चालून भंडारदरा कडे जाणारा डांबरी रस्ता सुरु होतो
येथून जवळ जवळ १३ कि मी चालल्या वरती उडदवणे गाव लागते
म्हणजे एका दिवसात साधारण २६ ते ३० कि मी चालून होते
उडदवणे गावात एक मंदिर आहे जेथे साधारण ५ ते ६ लोकांना  मुक्काम करता येऊ शकतो

उडदवणे गावातून एक अवघड आणि लांबलचक रस्ता कळसुबाई पर्यंत गेला आहे . या मार्गाने प्रथम आपल्याला कळसुबाई क्रमांक २ (१५८० मीटर ) चढावे लागते आणि थोडे उतरले कि नाशिक जिल्ह्यातील इंदोरे गावातून येणारी वाट आपल्या रस्त्याला मिळते . पुढे सरळ चढत गेलो कि आपण वळसा घेऊन कळसुबाई ची शेवटची तिसरी शिडी जवळ येऊन पोहोचतो . येथून शिडी चढलो कि आपण महाराष्ट्रातील सर्वोच्च शिखरावरती येऊन पोहोचतो . उडदवणे गावातून येथे शिखरावर पोहोचायला ३ तास लागतात पण आम्ही वाटेत एका पाणवठा जवळ जेवण बनवण्यास थांबलो म्हणून आम्हाला २ तास अधिक लागले

ट्रेक चे शेवटचे ठिकाण : बारी, तालुका अकोले, जिल्हा अ . नगर (हे गाव  पर्यटकांसाठी साठी आरंभ ठिकाण आहे )
या ट्रेक चे वैशिष्ट्य
दोन दिवसात एकूण चालणे जवळ जवळ ४५ ते ५० कि मी आणि १६०० मीटर ची चढाई कारण आम्ही जिथून सुरु केला होता ते ठिकाण म्हणजे चोंढे , समुद्रसपाटी पासून फार तर  ५० मीटर उंचीवर असेल त्यामुळे हा ट्रेक महाराष्ट्रातील सर्वोच्च चढाई असलेला ट्रेक आहे यात काहीच वाद नाही आणि या वाटेने कुणी कळसुबाई शिखर गाठले असेल हे सांगता येणे कठीण आहे

कळसुबाई म्हणजे महाराष्ट्राचे Everest कि ज्याचा शिखरावरून पाहिले कि सगळे सह्याद्रीतील डोंगरे खाली दिसू लागतात . याच्या पेक्षा उंच असे कोणतेच ठिकाण महाराष्ट्रात नाही .
पुढे परतीच्या वाटेवर बारी या गावात पोहोचलो

बारी या गावातून कळसुबाई चढून उतरणे यात काहीच नाविन्य राहिलेले नाही हे तिथे आलेल्या महागड्या मोटारी मुळे तर स्पष्ट झाले होते .

बारी या गावातून कळसुबाई चढणे याला आता ट्रेक म्हणता येणार नाही .ट्रेक कसा हवा तर राकट , दांडगा ,दणकट,आव्हानात्मक  आणि तुमची सगळी शक्ती आणि अनुभव पणाला लावणारा असावा .कोणीही यावे आणि शिखर सहज सर करावे याला ट्रेक म्हणता येणार नाही

त्यामुळे बारी या गावातून कळसुबाई चढणे हा ट्रेक न राहता त्याला फक्त एक पर्यटन म्हणता येईल.

कोणताही पर्यटक बारी या गावातून चढून नंतर शिड्या च्या मार्गाने कळसुबाई सर करू शकतो त्यामुळे बारी हून कळसुबाई ट्रेक करणे म्हणजे त्याला एक 'Glamorous Trek' म्हणता येईल किंवा नुसतेच एक                    ' फुसका ट्रेक ' म्हणता येईल कारण हल्ली बारी गावातील वाटेने तर कोणीही कळसुबाई शिखर वरती येत असतो (बारी हून बर्याच वेळा हेच चित्र दिसते कि एक दोन स्थानिक गावकरी सगळे ओझे वाहत असतात  आणि त्याच्या पाठीमागे ऐटीत चालणारी सगळी मंडळी आणि किती तो गडबड गोंगाट,टिंगल टवाळक्या  आणि माकडचेष्टा . काय करणार कारण थेट बारी या कळसुबाई च्या पायथ्या पर्यंत मोठे वाहन जाईल याची व्यवस्था करून दिली ना आता भोगा त्याची फळे . सगळीकडे नुसते व्यापारीकरण झाले आहे .म्हणजे पैसा टाकला कि पोहोचला शिखरावर . बारी गावात असेच चालते म्हणजे कळसुबाई च्या दुसर्या शिडी पर्यंत गाईड ५०० रुपये, शिखर पर्यंत ७०० , एका माणसाचे जेवण १०० रुपये इत्यादी इत्यादी .बारी गावातून तर वाटाड्या ची गरजच भासत नाही ,कुठेच फसवी वाट नाही पण येणाऱ्या लोकांना उगाच फसवण्याचा धंदा बारी गावातून सुरु झाला आहे .बारी गावात तुमचा प्रवेश झाला कि लगेच दोन चार लोक तुमच्या भोवती जमा होतील आणि कळसुबाई च्या शिखर पर्यंत जायला किती भाव होतो ते सांगतील . काय करणार पण या व्यापारीकरण मुळे ट्रेकर्स ना बारी पेक्षा इंदोरे किंवा उडदवणे , पांझरा हीच गावे सोयीचे पडू लागली आहेत . ईश्वरचरणी हीच प्रार्थना कि जसे बारी गावाचे व्यापारीकरण झाले आहे तसे उडदवणे , पांझरे किंवा इंदोरे गावाचे न होवो  )

                                            Day 1

Route from Chondhe village

Towards steps at Chondhe ghat

Towards center of photo see a gap in mountains.From here we climbed up Chondhe ghat to reach Ghatghar

This cage is used for catching crabs by local people.It contained almost 100 crabs inside

Ajoba Parvat while climbing Chondhe ghat

Karoli ghat mountain.Last time we tried to climb from backside of this mountain

Final climb of Chondhe ghat

Ajoba Parvat

Kokan Kada of Ghatghar

Chondhe Dam seen while climbing the ghat

Water source behind Ghatandevi temple at Ghatghar

Ghatandevi temple on top of Chondhe ghat

Mighty Gigantic Ajoba Parvat

Our team climbed chondhe ghat and reached Ghatghar

Water sources on our way to Ghatghar

From Right to Left Alang-Madangad-kulang the 3 most difficult forts in Sahyadris



Near Ghatghar Village

Approached Samrad Village

Total walk on day 1
Chondhe to Ghatghar 14 kms and 700 meters climb
Ghatghar to Uddavne 12 kms on a flat plateau with gentle climb and slopes

Total of 26 kms walking and reaching 728 meters above sea level(Bhandardara dam and its adjoining area is situated 728 meters above sea level as per Survey of India)

                                                          Day 2 Photos

Kalsubai to be climbed from Udadavnevillage.Scene from Uddavne village in morning 6:30 am

Route to Kalsubai from Uddavne

A long long route to Kalsubai(Still not seen in picture)

Alang fort while climbing from Udadavne

Uddavne village seen far below

Bhandardara dam view

Rock patches

Difficult rock patch.Can you guess how we came from this route.Very narrow route with hardly 6 inch to 1 feet route and deep valley below

Rock patch traverse route

At a water source

We started to cook near the water source

Finally at top of Kalsubai from Left to Right Sudarshan->Kiran->Pranav->Myself

Kalsubai from Bari village after descending

A view of Kalsubai seen nearby Randha falls

Total walk on day 2
From Uddavne,Kalsubai is around 900 to 920 meters high

Almost 20 kms walk with climbing 3 peaks Kirda(1187 meters),Kalsubai no 2/Sakira(1580 meters) and Kalsubai(1648 meters)

Thus total trek included walk of around 46 to 50 kms in 2 days and 1600+ meters of climb
This trek is no doubt highest climb in Sahyadris because we climbed highest peak in Sahyadris from almost sea level