Return to Mahuligadh

return-to-mahuligad-2013

There’s a stream right at the start of the trek

 

Mahuligadh (2800+ ft. ) could be listed as a medium trek for most people, but the approximately two hour each way trek, turns into a punishing one thanks to the tricky in spots trail and the descent. Originally a Mughal construction, ownership was swapped several times between them and the Marathas, Shivaji too spend a bit of his childhood over here. 80kms, away from Bombay, this time around opted to travel by road, via Kalyan and then onto the Mumbai Nashik Highway. There was a quick stopover for breakfast – a small food plaza that included KFC – around Vasindh. Tolls amounted to INR 30 at Airoli and INR 95 at Vadpe.
After Vasindh theres a left turn that leads off the Highway and from then on its 2-3km to the base ‘village’ which is more of a nondescript hut belonging to a Vilas Mhatre, where the customary tea is worth INR 6. Lunch can be pre ordered or be had post descent too.
Unlimited veg(daal,chhole)/non veg(chicken masala,gravy) accompanied by Tandul (rice) bhakri and rice for INR 100 and INR 150 respectively.
Now for the trail, head in the direction of the peaks, and cross the 10-15 feet wide stream (which does make a nice post trek cooldown spot), from then on the flat lands start turning into a series of climbs.

Beware of leopards at higher altitudes, that have been spotted here, though infrequently. They usually stay away from large groups usually

Breathing does get a bit tough for the amateur, but the view gets increasingly spectacular, with heavy mist – a huge delight during the monsoons. You know your about
halfway to the summit when you spot the first cave, a really small one – more of a huge wall of rock. The final climb into the fort precincts is a rather rickety ladder.

Crabs are a common sight all along the route

Crabs are a common sight all along the route

On top you’ll find a flag shoved into a cracked rock. And if you ignore the ‘gufa’ sign in hindi, and continue in the direction of the white arrows, you reach a lil downwards to the Kalyan Darwaza, a broken archway, and a few caves that provide shelter for a quick meal. The water trickling down these caves is a decent source of drinking water and washing up.

The descent is trickier, because the trail gets narrow and steep, which takes a toll on ones knees. Slips and slides are common sights.

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