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My Personal Trekking Experience, India. By Namita Vyavaharkar

BY: Guest | Category: Travel | Post Date: 2008-12-30

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I had been to trekking on 26th to 28th Dec 08 near Pune. This was 10th trip in a row for this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed outstation trips this year to my heart's content. In a way it was necessary since my MBA classes are starting from 2-Jan-09 with exams scheduled every quarter there would be no travel plans now till 2011.

This year I visited following:
1) Jan - Ganpatipule & Ratnagiri
2) Jan - Pune
3) Feb - Dehradun (official outbound training)
4) March - Hyderabad (Office - Sales Meet)
5) April - Matheran
6) May - Bharuch
7) August - Sri Lanka
8) September - Shirdi
9) October - Bangalore, Mysore, Tirupati

I had gone with my school fren, who is a member of YHAI (Youth Hostel Association of India), he regularly goes on trek. This trek was to Purandar, Vajragad forts with Jejuri and Prati Tirupati visits planned. We had 33 team members who were extremely supportive and sweet. In no time, did I gel so well with each one as if I knew them from ages!!! Surprisingly there were people in the age group of 11 till 50 years - Commendable spirit!!!

Details of the lovely memorable time spent follows: 26th December, Friday: 23:50 hours - Left for Pune in a private hired small bus. It was a very comfortable, cute and cosy bus. 27th December, Saturday: Around 5ish - Reached Narayanpur, Prati Tirupati (Replica of Tirupati Balaji). Had Suprabat Darshan (Wishing Good morning to God). This was my long wished desire to visit Tirupati Balaji and take morning darshan with the auspicious environment, sounds of shloks, ringing bells, arti, puja, rising sun, birds chirping, soothing winds, freshness around making it extremely pious - amazing!!!! I was just enjoying every moment there. This year I was fortunate enough to visit Tirupati Balaji twice in a quarter. Once actual in Tirupati in Oct and second time on 26th Dec. I was just so happy and felt like someone so special and blessed!!!

I was almost 8th in the line and just couldn't wait for the security guys to allow me inside. I started chanting "Hanuman Chalisa & shani shloks" (my favourite) to kill time and control my excitement. The darshan was toooooooo good with even Padmavati (Balaji's wife) and Govindraja (Balaji's brother) temples situated beside. Till you complete these three temples, the pilgrimage is said to be incomplete. The temple guys gave us prasad khichdi and a sweet kinda dosa. Also one ladoo. Awesome!!

Later we all moved for Purandar fort. We started our trek around 12ish. We walked and climbed and clicked pictures, shared chocolates, traditional home made sweets, chewing gums on the way and laughed - Too good!! Purandar is about 40kms south-east of Pune and some 10kms south-west of Sasawad. Preched on a gigantic mountain mass, its height above sea-level is 1398 metres and about 700 metres above the plain at its foot. It really comprises two fortresses: Purandar, the stronger and more important of the two, and Vajragarh, small sister for t situated on a ridge running out east of it. Purandar has two parts: the upper or Balekilla with precipitous sides all around and the lower part or machi about 300 metres above the plain

The history of the Purandar fort goes back to the 13th century. The Bahamani Sultans in the 14th century built here some walls and bastions. From 1484 AD, for about a hundred years, the fort remained in the hands of the Nizamshahi rulers. In 1596 AD, the fort was given as Jagir to Maloji Bhosale, grandfather of Shivaji. However, Shivaji had to struggle very hard to establish his control over the fort in 1646 AD. In 1665 AD, Purandar was besieged by the mighty Mughal forces under the command of Jai Singh and Dilir Khan. In the ensuing battle Murar Baji Prabhu, the gallant commander of the fort, was killed. We reached the tip of a mountain at around 2ish which had a beautiful Shiv Temple. I was sooooo much happy to visit it since I am an ardent believer in Lord Shiv. Then we visited another end of mountain top where Sambhaji (Shiva! ji's son ) was born. Later at 3 we sat in a kinda ground and had lunch and laughed together, sharing from tiffins. At 4:30 we started with the Vajragad trek. We reached at the top at around 5:30. We attempted to climb the small mountain cliffs with a feeling like that of conquering the world!!!. There again on mountain tip was Lord Shiv & Hanuman temple. The team members performed a small pooja and sang artis together during the sunset time - again an auspicious moment!!! At 7:00 - 7:30 we were back at Purandar. We got our bags to a big hall. We were in a place with no electricity, no luxuries, no toilets - taking care of the baggages while the team, divided in small groups, had proceeded to have their dinners. We would be released when they come back.

But I just couldnt stop laughing at the funny things that we spoke and the lovely time that we had. Did not actually missed anything mentioned above!! Keeping some team members inside the room, we went out for gazing at the clear sky with thousand beautiful twinking stars!!! (A treat to the eyes). My frens were explaining to me the constellations. I was listening to them and trying to understand at one moment and at the same time I was just wondering about the day spent - if someone had asked me to complete these mountains in say 7 hours I would have felt so helpless and frustrated but with proper direction, guidance, support of caring friends, trekking hand-in-hand, everything went so smoothly. Team work definately works wonders, dude!!! So is Life, if you are fortunate enough to have loving, caring, supportive members you rock, regardless of any struggles!!! And I just thanked God for giving me a bunch of such beautiful people in my life!!! We had dinner which was kinda typical village food. Had camp fire, went to bed on the floor with 33 people scattered across the hall.

I was a bit concerned about the insects, stray dogs and all the men snoring at their level best. When i think about it now, it seems to be soo funny!!! 28th December,!

Sunday: We woke up at 6. Freshened up, had tea & breakfast (i had got banana chips and soya chaklis, someone had got dates, oranges, cakes, biscuits). Everyone munched happily and moved to see Murar Baji's statue, which was just few kms away (Murarbaji Deshpande (17th century) was a general in the early Maratha Empire during the reign of Shivaji. He is best remembered for his defense of the Purandhar Fort against Diler Khan, a Mughal general who accompanied Mirza Raja Jai Singh in the 17th-century siege on Purandhar We clicked group fotos and proceeded towards Jejuri Situated 48 kms away, Jejuri is known for its Khandoba deity and is considered a religious place by the Hindus Khandoba, the deity at Jejuri is the fighter God of the Marathas. He is shown astride a horse and has a angry warlike look. This was reason enough for the Muslims to repeatedly destroy the temple. Even Aurangzeb attempted to destroy the temple a second time in 1690. He however was thwarted in this attempt when the Mughal soldiers while trying to attack the temple disturbed a nest of hornets. The hornets so harassed the besieging Mughal soldiers that Aurangzeb was forced to lift the siege and spare the temple. The Bigoted but God-fearing Aurangzeb is said to have placated the angry bees by offering One Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Silver Coins to the God Khandoba. I returned home at 22:30 with amazing memories of the trip, new set of lovely friends rather comedy characters - they will just keeping talking and make you laugh till your intestine hurts!!! Today morning, I was missing everything and when i slept last nite, i was just so thankful to God that this was just a one day privilege trip, after which i could enjoy all the luxuries again. I never really thot everything was so valuable since i got them so easily. Sometimes even complained about life being so unfair!! Now the same things meant too big to me & I have really started realising how lucky I am!! Hope you have enjoyed the mail, off to foto!
s now...
. Rock on!!

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