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Rohida to Raireshwar

25-26th Jun 2005

After the heat waves and sweat, the rains came as a blessing and the much awaited Bhramanti’s monsoon trek would finally be on. Planned for Rohida – Raireshwar trek a 2 day trek. A little further from Pune (2 hrs.) is Bhor region, which housed our destination – Rohida & Raireshwar. Both are hill forts .The significance of Rohida is unknown to me, but Raireshwar has historic significance. Around 350 odd years back, Adilshah ruled this place. At the age of 16, Shivaji Maharaja cut his little finger and vowed for Swaraj at this place. After this he started conquering the forts in Maharashtra .

We started from Mumbai central ST depot at 12.30 a.m on 25 th June. After a good gup-shup session, everybody finally went off to sleep, but I couldn’t sleep least. In no time it dawned. We reached Bhor ST depot at 6.30 a.m. We freshened up and got some breakfast. We were to further take a bus to Bajarwadi, which is the base village to Rohida fort. Bajarwadi is further 20 mins from Bhor ST depot. Bajarwadi, in Marathi means market place. I had the image of this place as a busy place, and may be a market place as it’s meaning suggest, but this turned out to be a discreet little village. The village was picturesque. The faint, tender morning light and the dark clouds were playing wonders. I was missing my painting kit. Had I been carrying it, I would have definitely started painting right there. I captured the view in my camera for my further reference. We had a brief introduction and do’s and don’ts session. We were a group of 23 this time. After a little break at the local school we geared up for the trek. It was around 8 am then. The estimated time was 3 hours. As we started moving up, the trek appeared easy. It was very hot, as it didn’t rain through out the morning. In sometime it started drizzling and everyone gave a sigh of relief. The trek was easy, but the soil had gone slippery because of the rains and the rocks fell loose. We came across a difficult patch, where there was least grip to move up. After quiet an adventure and our leader’s help we all moved up. It’s the rain, which played twist in the tale. Zen narrowly missed a falling stone.

The way was frequented with amazing varieties of wild flowers. Fresh as freshness. We also came across some creepy, crawly creatures- centipedes as thick and long as an index finger, and some red worms too. The place looked like a kingdom of centipedes and red worms and we were some guest there. At times when we had to dig our fingers in the soil for grip, here they were everywhere. I was too eager to scream every time I saw them, but got used to them with time. We could also spot a unique spider, velvety red colored

RohidaIn no time we were around the fort. The view from here was spiffing. Though we were too early to witness the waterfalls. We reached the fort in almost half the time than estimated. The fort has three doors. After entering the third door, the whole place is an uneven land, spotted with balcony like structures on four sides. The only thought about shelter here was the Rohideshwar temple, which is in a dilapidated state, and we were left in the rain. It started raining heavily. The fun of getting drenched in the rain is different, and more better at such a beautiful place. After some time it stopped raining. While everyone thought of eating, I strolled on my own around the place. I could spot a pair of golden yellow eagles. At one spot the wind was so much that rain was coming up from the valley. I didn’t venture much on my own and returned to the group. After eating a little, Kiran said we all would go around the fort. It wasn’t raining now, and was very pleasant. We went to each balcony like structure. Each had a different view, the valley was covered with clouds at times, and at times gave a dreamy view of the flat lands below, patches of greens and browns, landscaped. A hill opposite to Rohida fort had a single house on it. Looked like a fairytale house, engulfed in clouds most of the time. Well, lucky one, who owns that house, in true sense in nature’s lap. We could see a sequence of hills from here, I got to know from some sources that we can see, Sinhagad, Raireshwar, kenjalgad, Vajragad, but could identify none. There is sequence of hills and on a clear day too the view must be good. We moved around the fort further. There are 4 water tanks with unpotable water. There is a single hidden tank with potable between the 1 st and 2 nd door. Along with the beautiful place there was company of 22 lovely people. We moved back to the Rohideshwar temple and got ready for descend. Our leaders said we would try to trek Raireshwar too the same day.

We started descending. With a localite’s help we got to know the way to Raireshwar, a rather unending way. It was very windy. We trailed across sequence of hills, green, blunt hills, far, far stretched. On looking back, the way we came, everything looked so beautiful. It felt so good to be a part of this place. I could only remember the following lines.

With every step I take
In the torrid sun,
and Torrential rains.
Past dreamy meadows,
and Surmounting hills.
I conquer earth’s vastness
In a small way.

We kept walking on and on. Soon it started raining, we were ultimately down the chain of hills, in to the fields and narrow ways curving around the fields. Far and far we couldn’t see our destination- Raireshwar. It was more than 2 hours we were walking. The landscapes, mountains capes around were awesome. We kept walking and reached a bus stop at around 4pm . No one knew when the next bus to korle- base village was to come. Some said 4.30 pm and some said 6.30 pm . We eventually planned to keep walking rather than waiting for the bus. After much a walk we halted at a village for tea break. We resumed walking in next 30 mins and in between we saw a bus going to a village around korle. We got in this bus. 20mins in the bus and we were again walking towards korle. In sometime we reached Korle. Korle, which is base village to Raireshwar and Kenjalgad.

Korle village is a small village with 25-30 houses. Guarded by Raireshwar on one side and Kenjalgad on the other side. We sat at the bus stop, while our leaders were talking to a localite to prepare tea for us. Of course we all were drenched and chilled and zen was sleepy.

Our leaders laid three plans in front of us, either we trek Raireshwar that same day, or next day early morning or might as well drop trekking Raireshwar and go for bhor sight seeing. Every one was unsure at that point of time and we were not reaching to a consensus, so we left for a tea break. Though everyone was not much tired, but drenched and couldn’t take much rain for the day. We all settled in a local Vithal-Rukmini temple with the consent of the pujari. The room adjacent to the temple was our shelter for the night. We decided to go to Raireshwar next day early morning, but still, the plan wasn’t freezed, there was an if-factor still. Now that we were not going to Raireshwar the same evening our next event was cooking dinner. Everyone got to work, some were cutting vegatables, some were making arrangements for light, as it was pitch dark outside and some were entertaining us with their good voice. Then I understood it was their hunger, which made them sing. After a long wait the pulav rice was ready. It came out too good. Thanks, Manjiri for your effort, and of course all others who contributed too. After dinner, I don’t recollect much as I went off to sleep soon; don’t know what was ultimately planned of raireshwar trek. I had a disturbed sleep, bcos the wind was too fierce and seemed like the roof would blow off any moment. I woke up at 8.30 am to find most of them still sleeping. We were asked to freshen up and be ready by 10.00 am , as we had to take a bus to Bhor. Though felt for a moment that we came all the way to the base village, but couldn’t make to Raireshwar, but all those thoughts went off as soon as they came. There’s always a next time J . We went to balaji temple at Ketkawale–pune. The entire place is so holy. The balaji idol is great. The temple too is good and big. The little showers made everything around look good. After our darshan, we came back to swargate – Pune, took 5.30 pm bus to Mumbai. The entire journey back home was great, Gopal, Rishi, kiran, Hiral, Praful sang some real melodious old numbers. Relinquishing, I came back home at 10.45 pm , packing all the good time spent in the last 2 days in my memory. With the hope for more such endeavors.

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Written By Jyoti Raut

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