I asked around to see if others were interested. Total 12 people agreed for the trek. We decided to start at 0630 hrs on Saturday and come back by afternoon.
Staring from 2000 hrs on Friday evening, I started getting SMS'es from people saying they cannot make it. By morning, I was thinking it will be just me and my wife who will be going for the trek :). But in the end, we were 5 adults and 4 kids (all of them 8 years old) made it!
As planned we started off at about 0630 hrs. I had been to Lohagad in the past, at that time, there were no shops at the top, i.e. no food and no water at the top. Hence, we wanted to have heavy breakfast before starting. We tried a few good restaurants but none of them were open that early. Finally, we settled for a dhaba type place to have breakfast. Although the ambiance of the place was not all that great, the food was good! We had Misal, Poha and Tea. After filling our tanks, it was time to hit the road again.
We reach the base village Malawali at about 0830 hrs, it was a good surprice to see a very well organized pay and park facility at Malawli. We parked our vehciles there and started the climb.
The Way Up:
Right at the beginning of our ascent we saw two waterfalls.
As we climbed up, breathtaking views would unfold in front of our eyes. The natural beauty on the way was simply amazing.
A few images to illustrate what I mean
At one point right over our head we saw a big rock which looked like a gigantic ship. It would immediately remind you of the famous scene from "Titanic" where Leonardo and Kate are standing at the tip of the titanic to feeling the breeze.
For the first time in my life I saw blue beetles
Shiva's third eye! Its difficult to explain, a picture would clarify things.
There are proper steps created to go from the base of the fort to the fort itself.
we put everything back in the bags and started walking. 5 adults and 4 kids against 1 monkey, believe me, monkey was not at all afraid of any of us. In fact he was actually trying to scare us. We had to finally give him a peace of sandwich.
We decided to move ahead since we could not continue our lunch at the same place. After walking for 5 min we saw a Dargah and a small pond, we decided to finish our lunch there.
I was at "peace" with myself!
I was not thinking about anything, nothing absolutely nothing at all! Not thinking about the city roads, traffic jams, home, projects to be delivered, meeting the deadlines, nothing!
My 10 gallon head was completely empty. Simply, sitting and enjoying the natural beauty. I have to admit, I had not felt like this for quite some time now. I am not a person who would keep thinking and worry about stuff, but still the feeling that I got at that point was beyond anything that I had experienced before.
In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness, right before he gets the job as a Broker, Chris Gardner says,
The next day, after work, we just went to the beach. Far away from anything, everything, just Christopher and me. Far away from buses, and noise, and my constant disappointment in my ten gallon head, in myselfAt that moment, I was able to understand what he was talking about. What is that feeling and I can tell you one thing, it surely feels great! That moment for me was the best moment in the entire trek. It was totally worth it!
After relaxing for about an hour or so, we decided to explore the, West side of Lohagad fort to see The Vinchukata(Scorpion Tail).
Sahyadri range and on the other side you could see the Pune-Mumbai express way. Clouds were passing right through us. Its was simply beautiful!
It was trek a wonderful trek with breathtaking views on the way and at the top. But the most important USP for me were, those moments at the top when I was at peace with myself!
I would strongly recommend everyone to do treks on a regular basis. Oh! almost forgot, all 4 kids did manage to do the entire trek by themselves. No one had to carry them, in fact the kids carried their bags all by themselves!
If 8 year old kids can do the trek without any problems, so can you! Go for it, I can assure you, you will return completely rejuvenated!
PS: To view all pictures visit this link