Sunday, September 10, 2006

Kurdugad A.K.A Vishramgad Pictures

The ever beautiful Mulshi lake ..
Tamhini Ghats while climbing Kurdugad ..
Fort Kurdugad from Kurdu Peth ..
Sahyadris south of Tamhini from Kurdu Peth ..
Narrow path round the pinnacle ...Getting down to Kurdu Peth.. Fort Entrance ...
Fort Kurdugad from Umbardi ..Bridge near Umbardi ..background Tamhini range...Sunset at Jite ...

Kurdugad A.K.A Vishramgad

No planning has by now become a regular feature. Although, some groundwork was done beforehand about the possible options. We headed towards Tamhini targetting Mangad/Kurdugad near Nizampur. The team was me, balls and bunch of gultis. After couple of waterfall/lakeside patel photos we got down from Tamhini and hit a sign which showed "Jita" [ Jite ] as 11Kms to left. After asking for Mangad near Borwadi, the local fellas had whats-wrong-with-me expressions on their faces. Although they said there is Kurdugad around, so we decided not to spend much time in R&D as lot of time was already spent in Patel photography and gults were showing signs of uneasiness.

In essence, to reach here -
1] Get down from Tamhini, on the way to Mangaon - 4km before Nizampur [ the one before you hit NH-17, There is hell lot of confusion Kapadia has caused about this place in his book ] you see a sign which shows a diversion to Jite. Reach Jite which is 11km s from the diversion, and walk to Kurdu Peth. There is some landslide there enroute, so you could also proceed to Umbardi [ Ooo-mb-ar-dee] and climb to Kurdu Peth.
2] Reach Dhamanohol/Dhamanvahal via Dasve [ Lavasa lake city ] there is some temple and a high tension electricity tower get down from there to Kurdugad.

Though it had rained cats and dogs in Pune the previous night, these areas showed no trace of rainfall. It was very humid and hot. We sought help of a guide who chose to run away after 5/10 minutes for unknown reasons. After lot of turmoil we reached 50 mtrs from Kurdu Peth. By then except for me and a first timer determined gult, rest of the junta was so tired that they decided to call it quits at the same point. Had it not been for a particularly nice snake to show up. So after Mr Nice snake showed up everyone covered the distance fast and some of gultis and balls decided to rest in the shades of the trees at Kurdu Peth while me, the determined-first-timer-gult and one more individual sought help of a local to show us around the fort.

The fort is not a big affair once you reach Kurdu Peth. Its a massive pinnacle at a lower height from the main range of Sahyadris. Is more of a outpost than a conventional fort. The final pinnacle requires rock climbing. There is walk involved going about the pinnacle which takes about half and hour and thats all that is there. There is a "fashi" point. Where apparently they used to hang the criminals. This point is where the pinnacle joins the main range. There is a big cave dug under the pinnacle, the guide Datta said it was an attempt to have the pinnacle removed from the mountain. Which kind of felt stupid to me. Because looking at the way it was dug the guys digging,would crush and die beneath it.

Per locals there was a landslide two years ago which got rid of most of the stone-soil around the pinnacle. Going around the pinnacle is a really tricky affair. Be "extremely" careful here. Locals told me that apparently long time ago there was a huge landslide which seperated one part of pinnacle [ you can see it resting on the main pinnacle ] under which all the men on fort died. Also there was fortification which collapsed into valley due to which the populace living there left. At the base of fort near Umbardi as well there are traces of stone wall. Similar to the Golkonda fortification inside which it has a whole big population as such.

When we got down, we got to hear couple of interesting stories about ghosts/an ancient temple [ To visit we had no time ] which apparently has some gold inside it/Some King's palace which again has gold etc. Ghosts interest me, I dont know why people in Konkan get abducted by ghosts more than others. Something like the way aliens prefer americans more than people of other nationality.

Check out the complete Imagestation album here