|25-26 Feb 2000
This was one of the long awaited trek. I did listed this trek in my plans in 1993. It never happened till today. I should give special thanks to Mr. Jayant Bhaduria who boosted me to plan one day trek since he was jam packed doing his regular work & wanted to go out somewhere away from this city where there will be no botheration at all of his regular work. So naturally I clicked the spot which is long awaited for me to complete, as well it is a simple trekking spot for my new trekker friends. I dedicated this trek to Mr. Jayant, since he was the initiator. He could manage to gather from all his friends only one who might be a nearest friend of him called Mr. Jay.
We started our journey by Pune Passenger 11:40 pm from CST on 25th Feb. We reached Kamshet at 3:45am on 26th Feb. After considerable rest at ST Bus stop, we had two option either Jeep/ST Bus, we chose private jeep by which we are supposed to reached faster. Our Sindhi friend who was sleeping almost all the way in the train didn't wanted to waste the time which we were supposed to spend till 6:00am(Bus arrival time). He wanted to take a nap. Though we two also like his suggestion, but it was little cold & not that comfortable to sleep near to ST Stand. I found one Jeep was waiting for the passenger, the driver welcomed us upon request & allowed to sleep in the Jeep till 6:00am. We left Kamshet at 6:00am to Tikona Peth bypassing Kale Colony then Pawna Dam by the same Jeep. We had a cup of tea at Kale Colony since at Tikona Peth their is no hotel. Our Sindhi friend still sleeping in the Jeep didn't wanted to waste his sleep time in seeping the morning tea. But it was his bad luck since their is no hotel in the Peth village. It took one hr. to reach the base of the fort. It was a nice fresh morning. As soon we alighted greate Bulbul bird welcomed us with their lovely whistling. Our sindhi member still don't wanted to come out of his two chaddar(Bed Sheet) rapped around his body. I told him to take it off now it's time to walk & take fresh air. But no! he was not ready to come out of that warm cover. After walking few minutes & watching the Tikona Fort from the base village as a normal human being he overestimated the distance between his position & top of the fort. Without hesitating he tried to make us little diversion of the trek to the Pawna Dam which is on the right side of the Tikona fort while climbing from Tikona Peth village, thinking that fort is far away. Though his choice was ideal to spend a day but I was already in fix of my mind I gave the secondary option like after coming back to Tikona Peth we may visit to this Lake. It is a nice idea since from the top it looks good. Also their is a chance of boating if someone like to visit the next Tungi hill. Another question came from our Sindhi friend that why this fort's name is TIKONA. The answer was because of it's triangular shape & fortunately we three were heading towards this fort; a coincedent! Also while traveling back to Kamshet one may drop in between next to Kale colony to visit Bedse Caves. Though the climb is simple but little scary for new comers in the last phase. For us it took 2 hr. to reach the top. We found total 3 gates. After entering the first Gate towards left we found one nice cave with small pond. On the top lies one Shiva Temple & little below another caves with water inside. On the back side of the temple their is a Big pond.
We spend almost one hour on top. I did little map reading with the help of Harish Kapadia's map. Exactly on the north lies Lohgadh & little right of Lohgad is Visapur. We could easily compare the height of Visapur(1087m) which is almost same like Tikona(1091m). On the west one can catch in the camera a nice reflection of Tungi in the water of Pawna Lake. On the south-west lies Korigad but not possible atleast for me to find, I think it's hiding behind one mountain range.
That's it we started back at around 10:15am & reached the Tikona Peth within 30 min. Then after little refreshment we returned back to Kamshet by ST Bus. Then no wonder we found a Sand Truck heading towards Lonavala. It was another exciting journey to travel on the back side of the truck fully packed with sand. Like us almost 20 Hens & Cocks were traveling all were having feared expression since they were locked by their owner & was supposed to be killed latter. I can't imagined our Sindhi partner Mr. Jay came out of a sentence from his heart that "This is one example of animal cruelty". I felt good atleast people are aware of such incident & I did show the sign of agreeing his thoughts what he says. On the way to Lonavla one can see Lohgad very clearly towards left of the road. After having little snack break & fresh-n-up we started our back journey to Mumbai. Everything seems OK & on time but no wonder it was wrong. We found that particular road patch between Lonavala & Mumbai are closed now a days in the noon time between 12:00 to 2:00pm. Though we were little tired we spend time in resting ourselves inside the bus. But it was another unique scene I found almost 2kms of the road was blocked by the vehicles. It was first time in my life seen such huge blockade. It took on & half hr. to clear the blockade. We reached Mumbai at 5:00pm & it was end of our journey with a simple successful trek of Tikona Fort.
Click here to see
the sketch of Tikona Fort
22 Jun 2003
Our plan was to visit Bhaje Caves & then the Lohgadh Fort. Bhaje caves are 3 km. away from the Malavali Railway st., a tar road ends to the base of the caves from where one can climbed man made steps to reach the caves. The caves are nowdays well preserved by Archiological Dept. of India. We found a snake on one of the tree in front of the cave.
some time we came down & continued our journey to the Lohgadh. The whole
atmosphere was cloudy & little cold. On the way we found good waterfall
where most of the members planned to get wet while returning. It took
2 hrs. to reach at the base village. We had a seep of tea & some snacks.
Then visited the fort in next 20 min. Then we explored the fort for
another one hr. The rain was started like pouring. One of the view was
mesmerizing to all of us which was a reversed waterfall. Everybody was
stuck at this particular point to enjoy the nature magic & beauty. Then
we visited Vinchukata the traling end of the fort looks like tail of
the scorpio. While returning from Vinchukata we took left side route
to reach a demolished darga from where one can take left turn to reach
a Big Cave. It is one of the biggest cave, I had seen till date. We
return back to the Lohagadh wadi had lunch & little rest at one of the
local hotel/house. By 2:45pm we left the wadi for our return journey
to Malavali. On the way all those who had a thought of getting wet in
the waterfall enjoyed the waterfall. We reached Malavali St. From where
by local (Pune-Lonavala) we went to Lonavala & then furher to Mumbai
by the Koyna mail.
About the place:
Bhaja caves are in Maharashtra, close to Karle caves (4 kms.) It lies on the the Pune-Bombay express highway route. By road it is 54kms. from Pune. It is 9 kms. from Lonavale. Bhaja caves date to c. 2nd cent. B.C. The caves create large living chambers or chaityas from living rock. One chamber in Bhaja measures 55 ft. long, 26 ft. wide and 29 ft. high. This picture of the doorway to a cave-cell features, exquisitely-carved reliefs of Surya riding the chariot and Indra the elephant Airavata. Bhaja has 18 caves belonging to the 2nd century B.C. Cave No 12 is the largest and has a fine stilted vault. The last cave to the south has excellent sculpture including that of the famous "Dancing Couple" Bhaja Caves are located 12 kms from Lonavala and can be reached by an uphill climb of half-hour from the Malavali Railway station on the Mumbai-Lonavala-Pune section of the central Railway. Karla and Bhaja Caves are the largest Chaitya Caves in India that date back to 2nd century BC, which are situated near Lonavala. Ten of the 18 caves are viharas. Cave 12 is an open chaitya unadorned by sculpture and containing a simple dagobas. Rock cut architecture are said to have come into fashion in India in the time of Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Dynasty (273-232 BC). Structures excavated in stone were the most durable and Emperor Ashoka was looking for a lasting medium to commemorate and spread the teachings of Buddha. Besides according to ancient religious ideas, asceticism and the pursuit of a monastic life meant retirement to mountain caves. The characteristic features of these early temples were two establishments, each self-contained and consisting of a prayer hall (chaitya) and a monastery (vihara) which contained accommodation for the monks. The square central hall was approached through a verandah or portico, and doorways led into cells for members of the brotherhood.
The British first
took hold of Visapur in 1818; Lohagad fell smoothly into their hands.
Both these forts are of Satwahan Era and of great importance in Shivaji's
period as to keep watch on Konkan and Bhor Ghat.