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Sarasgadh Trek (1400ft)

10th July 2005

SarasSarasgadh one of the Historic Fort of Sahyadri based at Pali. The place Pali is famous for one of the Ashtawinayak "Ballaleshwar". On the South-east one can easily find the grate wall of Telbaila which we did climbed in April 2003 as well the Sarasgadh Wall in June 2003.

Heaven as low as 1400 feet :)

         On the 10th of July 2005, Bhramanti arranged a one day trek to the fort of Sarasgad at Pali. We had arranged a private bus from Mumbai with the number of participants totalling 48.

        The bus leaving from National Park at Borivali, reached the Pali village at around 11.00. Having had darshan of  Vighnaharta ( Ganapati name implying with his blessings you will overcome any obstacles on way) we started on our journey. Though we had a large crowd we had experience leaders Deepak and Nitin albiet we had doubts whether they would be able to devote undivided attention to the participants considering they were accompanied by their better halves for the first time :)

Anyways the group was fairly enthusiastic and very soon we covered lot of ground. We could see two huge bastions of rock and from afar we were able to see the steps snuggled in between the two bastions. Having walked in the direction of the bastion we reched at the base of the stairs in about an hour. Could have been done faster with a smaller group.

The steps are really huge, more than a feet and half each. The energy need to climb the hill to reach the base of the steps is equivalent to climbing these 20 plus steps. Rain makes some of them slippery and thereby dangerous.

After the stairs we reach inside the fort entering from the small gate. Inside the fort it fairly safe and very beautiful. You can just roam around the fort. Then again a bit tricky route took us to the top of the BalleKilla. The scene from the top of the BalleKilla was really worth. We had lunch in the shelter of the temple at the top. The only thing that was lacking to add to the perfect trek was a bit of rain.. And we soon had it .. And not a bit but lots of it.

Because of the clouds we were not able to Sudhagad and TelBaila which are nearby.

That cooled the atmosphere and then we roamed around in the Ballekilla. After some time we started the descent. Some were apprehensive about the slippery surface. But thanks to the seniors who volunteered we got down in pretty good time.

Back to the bus and everybody was in a singing mood. We never realised that 3 hrs had passed by the time we reached National Park.

Photolink: Click here....

Written By: Krishnadas Warrier

Sarasgadh Wall Climbing (160ft)

8th June 2003

Sarasgadh one of the Historic Fort of Sahyadri based at Pali. The place Pali is famous for one of the Ashtawinayak "Ballaleshwar". On the South-east one can easily find the grate wall of Telbaila which we did climbed in April. Our plan was to climb the west face of the Sarasgadh Wall, height of the wall is around 150ft. The gradient of the wall is 90 degree. It was one of the toughest climb I have seen in my life actually doing it. We were Team of 8 out of which 4 were regular climbers & rest the new bees.

We started early morning of the Sunday 8th June 2003. We had experienced a rain in Mumbai before the start of our journey which made us to rethink our climbing plans. In case if there is a rain at the climbing site our effort of arranging people & rest plan might have failed. But we all hoped for the best & left Mumbai by collecting each of the members on the way. By 8:45pm we reached at the base of the Fort i. e. Pali. The whole atmosphere near the temple was holy. The enchanting Mantra, Bhakti Geet & the Fragrance of Agarbatti made us fresh. The mountain's (Sarasgadh) close look behind the Temple gives a feeling that it is a savior of the village Pali. We had breakfast in one of the hotel which is kind of business flourishing due to holy place visitors. Most of the members were the first timers, we did tried to guess our climbing wall which is the west face upper part which looks around 150 ft. Actually it's not a wall but the stiff mountain face & on the top a fort wall of the Balekilla exist.

We started at around 10:00am for the base of the wall. We moved from the Temple area with our Ruck Sack full of climbing equipment. All the shopkeepers near the Temple were too devoted to their shop that they were trying to sale the Puja material to all of us. After passing the temple their is a way to reach near the fort. In next 45 min. we reached the base of the wall. While entering the MahaDarwaja of the fort, the Man made steps of the fort remind me the steps of Jivdhan fort as well the Kalawantin Durg (Nr. Prabal Fort), almost 2ft tall & exposing on the other side. As we enter the fort another 50ft above Darwaja; we were at the base of the wall. Two rock cut Water cistern with few caves exist near this place. A Shivling lies in one of the caves. The water cisterns were almost dry. The one near the Darwaja is having water still it's not drinkable. So we planned our Water rationing accordingly before the climb.

As usual Kaivalya was the incharge of route planning & this time myself was second man & Surendra was the lead climber. One can easily find the bolting till next 20 ft. latter we did explored the route. The first phase of 60 ft. was a good climb. Later the actual problem arise where an overhang made us to waste another 30-40min where Surendra found a small snake. He is not fond of snakes as compare to our friend snake charmer Kaivlya. We had some snacks standing on the wall uncomfortably anchored on the rope. while having food a Vulture passed in front of us warning us that she too is hungry for food. It was a nice view out there. Their was a need of third person which was Kaivalya. Then as soon the Third man comes in, the movement started fast & in Next few hrs. i.e. 4:30p we summated the Wall. In next one hrs. all 4 climbers climbed the wall.

Few members of the support team reached on the top of the fort from other side & did rappelling from the wall. It was their first ever long peach rappelling experience. We wind up all our gears by 6:30 & by 8:00pm we returned back to the village. After little refreshment we left the place & reached Mumbai by 12:00 night.

Written By: Rajan Rikame