Sunday, August 28, 2005

Siddhagad Pictures

Khopoli - The Smog cover !!
Terda - Macro magic !!
Way to Murbad !!
Padar Killa and Bhimashankar !!
Gorakhgad from Siddhagadwadi !!
The triangular shaped plateau below from Siddhagad !!
Gorakhgad in clouds !!
Gorakhgad and the pinnacle of Machhindragad behind !!
The Sahyadri range from Siddhagad !!
The cave of the *Baba* at Siddhagad !!
Siddhagad - From Siddhagadwadi !!


We chose Siddhagad this weekend. The response was overwhelming. We were a team of 17. Eleven freshies and the usual team. After packing up breakfast + lunch and picking up the last guy at Hinjawadi, it was about 6.45. I found to my surprise two PICTians and was told there are seven more in the office. I gathered from google that the climb starts from a place called Narivali, although we after reaching Mhasa went to a place called Jambharde. The road to Murbad turns to right for Jambharde into Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary. There is a guarded gate here. One can go futher from here to reach the village from where the climb starts. This route merges with the route from Narivali and saves a bit of distance.

The climb is a bit lengthy and tiring affair. Some enthusiastic people have painted the height in feet on stones along the way. After an hour's mix of simple + moderate climb one reaches a plateau. There is a village here. One cant find it immediately, its to the left of the massive sight of Siddhagad one gets on reaching this plateau [ 1300+ Ft]. The evidence of civilization is the presence of . From here one really understands the tiring part of the trek. We got an impression we havent made much progress. Its can be compared to Kalsubai, where you think you are there but you realize after scaling heights that there is more on your plate. We found our way to the village [ to the left side of the fort on the plateau ] and hired services of a local chap as a guide. I think it was a good decision on our part. The climb from this point onwards is more tricky and you have to watch your steps carefully. After some struggle the 17 member herd reached the top.

There is no real traces of construction. There are ruins of a Shiva temple and foundations of couple of other structures. From here you get an excellent view of the prism shaped plateau below and then the base below. To the right one can see Gorakhgad and Machhindragad pinnacle behind it. If the weather is clear one can see the temple at the top of Gorakhgad from here. To the left one can spot the peculiar shaped Padar Killa, Khandas - Bhimashankar range and Kothligad - Peth beyond Padar Killa.

We just made it in time when it was getting dark, to discover that five of the guys with us who were actually ahead of us were missing. They had wandered a bit but luckily got them after a bit of yelling in the jungles near the village. I have been rescued at Sudhagad once, I wanted to return the favour but some other time :-) Pictures can be found here. Find the imagestation album here.