Prabal Gadh (707 mt)
23rd Feb 2003
As we are regularising our efforts to make our monthly Sahyadri trek more enjoyable, we were too busy in answering the phone calls from the members who were interested till the last moment. This time their were 25 inquiry regarding the trek 20 confirmed & 6 last moment dropouts made our team of 14 members finally. Leader & Deputy were the one amongst the dropout.
Recently National Geographic Channel was in news especially for trekkers & mountaineers since on Thursday 20th Feb 2003 most of the "Everest se Takkar" participant got mail from NGC to report on Sat 22nd Feb 03 for "Everest Base Camp Trek" selection. I was one of them. I was selected among 50 out of the lot of 500 participants, on the first day of selection. Next Day i.e. Sunday 23rd we were supposed to report early morning for further selection( of 5 members). In the evening of 22nd Feb 03 we had organised a Slide show for Tapovan & Kalindi inquiries. Suddenly our Leader called & canceled his participation, due to this reason I did cancel my NGC's further selection procedure which was on 23rd. Anyhow with the heavy heart I went to the gathering point of our Prabal Gadh Trekking Team.
This was my first visit to Prabalgadh, actually it was one of my pending venture since from long time like Irashal, Manekgadh etc... It's no limit actually for trekkers since there is lot to explore in the Sahyadri range of Mountains. This time we had a youngest member among the lot, he was 12 yr. old 'Shritej' along with his ever enthusiastic Mother Suvarna.
We reached Panvel at around 8:00am from Dadar, it's 70 min. journey from Dadar by local ST bus. We reached Vardoli via Shendug (14kms from Panvel) by 9:00am. Instead of Thakurwadi we took another simple route which is on the right side of the Prabal. It's a one hr. walk from little ahead of the Hospital to the Machi village where around 25 houses clustered. From this village one can have a closer look of Kalawantinicha Durg to the left & Prabal on right. Kalawantinicha Durg looks little challenging from here but their exist rock cut staircase till the top. This is a small fort & I guess it must be part of prabal Since it was almost attached to the Prabalgadh. Even "Trek the Sahayadri" didn't mentioned about this fort. I got this info from "Dongar Yatra" by Anand Palade's book. From the machi one can see Karanala Pinnacle on the West.
As per other books reference due to the dense jungle it was
suggested to take local guide, we didn't find anybody in the Machi
village at this time. So we decided to find our own way. It took 3 hrs.
to reach on the top from Machi comfortably. We had our Vanbhojan
(Lunch) & little rest near a Water cistern from where one can see a
some part of fortification including the viewpoint. From this view we
found really it was a big fort & it should take a day to explore
the fort completely. After lunch he went ahead the right side end point
of the fort from where one can get a beautiful top-to-bottom view of
the Kalawantinicha durg with the zig-zag rock cut staircase. One can
see a water cisterns in between the steps. From this point one can get
the complete view starting from Matheran, Nakhind, Chanderi, Mhasmal,
Navara-Navri Pinnacle, Hajimalang From East to North. Also the famous
Karnala pinnacle on the west. Since this small view point with no shed,
one cannot spend more time, we also returned back. We wanted to explore
the other side area where we saw the fortification but at that time the
sun was very harsh on us, so we decided to return back from the same
way. We returned back to the Vardoli by 5:30pm. Then by local ST bus,
which arrived at 6:00pm took us to Panvel in next 40 min. From here we
dispersed to respective places. This was the last trek of this season.
On the way while return back we found a different personality who
shared his experience of the bike expedition from Delhi to Mumbai how
he experienced after hearing our after trek talk. He was happy to knew
that their are some like minded people around.
This was a small exploratory trek undertaken with reference to our last trek of Prabal Gadh. The view point of Prabal located at the north end from where one can have an amazing top view of Kalawantinicha Durg. The shape looks like "Shivling", with rock cut steps till the top. This place is on the left of the Prabal Gadh.
Our Journey till Thakurwadi was same as mentioned in the Prabal Article above. From the Machi village we took a straight route which goes to the col between Kalawantinicha durg & Prabal
From the col the fort looks like a pinnacle wall where carved steps in the rock shows a systematic entrance on the durg. The steps are steep with the exposure. Most of the steps are almost 2 ft. high. Once the rock cut steps complete then we tackled with the scree to reach on the base of rock massif. Extreem care one should take while reaching the rock base(more care should be taken while descending). From here to reach on the top of the boulders, one needs to do rock climbing of about 15 ft. From the top, on the other side using rope one can descend down to reach a caves. From top to the south a close look of Prabal view point one can see. Rest views are similar as mentioned in the prabal article reference to the view point views of the surrounding area like Matheran, Peb Nakhind, Chanderi, Mhsamal, Navra Navri, Tavli, Malang Gadh etc.