In this blog-fourth of the series, I am intending to narrate my trekking experiences for the year of 2001. Please refer to earlier posts in this series.
For various reasons, I could not venture out on treks major part of the year. My opportunity came to join the trek only in July, when we went to Torna(alias Prachandgad) near Pune. Torna is one of the trio forts-Sinhagad and Rajgad being the other two. This happened to be my second visit to Torna. This one was different though, as it was in rains, and certainly much better experience due to nice weather.
Later in the same month visited a land fort called Induri near Talegaon and also Bhandara Hill which is famous for Sait Tukaram’s favorite place for meditation. He was contemporary of Maratha king, Chatrapati Shivaji in 17th century. The land fort of Induri is castle of one of the generals of Peshvas named Dabhade. As like many land forts in Maharashtra, this also has reduced to ruins, except the wall on the periphery, the main door and bastions to certain extent. The main gate is quite massive and impressive. The construction is mainly in bricks. There is a temple called Kadjai Mata Temple, which is now renovated by locals with no signs left of its original look and feel.
In October, we visited a hill-fort called Jejuri which is now famous for temple of Malhari(also called Khandoba). There are about 400 steps from the base to reach to the top and the temple itself. The area is under temple trust and they have renovated and kept it approachable for devotees.
We also made a trip to sanctuary, situated nearby. It is called Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is shelter for chinkaras(deer family animal), the grassland terrain is main feature here.
The year ended with a trek to a place called Dhak-Bahiri which happened to be quite adventurous trek. It involved a 15 ft free-hand climb off the cliff with help of tree branch, keeping my back towards the deep valley. Once you reach up there, you find yourself in a huge natural cave. It was winter season. We started late in the afternoon and reached the cave early evening. It was worthwhile experience to spend cold winter night in the cave with fellow trekkers, cooking food, and comforting ourselves in front of camp-fire.
With winter setting perfectly, and memories of this trek fresh in the mind, I started looking for more adventure for next year.