The idea of trekking gives me that adrenalin rush.. My team spoke of outing, I asked them if trekking will do? The over enthusiastic bunch jumped in.. And the plan to trek to Karnala fort was born..
Before I begin narrating the trip let me just give you a brief about the location.
Karnala fort is located within the heart of Karnala Bird Sanctuary located 10kms away from Panvel bus stand in Raigad district.. While traveling from Mumbai one may prefer either a ST (StateTransport) from Dadar east or if by train will have to get onto a harbor bound train. The destination can be reached by boarding a bus going towards Pen or can get onto a six seater Vikram rikshaw (easily found outside Panvel bus stand).
So having done the routine ritual of briefing about the location, let me just start over with the actual description of our trip.
The day before our trip went into planning the activities. I had published an itinerary with detailed event log and the train timings too.. It was super fun drafting that mail.. We were a group of 7 comprising of Me, my 3 team mates, an ex team mate, one of my team mates wife and my husband..
We were well informed that we won’t get any eatables or even water to drink on our way to the fort.. We thus had planned all that we would take alongwith to munch on during the trek. That day ended with each one being excited..
I rushed home post office and on my way back grabbed 1 and a half packet bread since I was to carry sandwiches for all.. The time at home was full of numerous activities from getting the ingredients for the sandwiches ready, preparing dinner, my husband cleaning the house, etc. We rested our backs by 12.30 am with an alarm set for waking up at 5.30 in morning to get going.
The alarm was snoozed twice before finally I woke up at 5.55 am. I knew it that we would be late to leave home for station as I was swarming with activities. Finally at 7.30am (40 mins late that the expected time) we left home, all geared up and ready to accomplish the laid task..
As decided we assembled at Panvel station. The next line item was to have a breakfast.. The excitement superseded the idea and we just had a cup of tea and some biscuits with it. We then headed towards Panvel bus stand in order to get into a Vikram rickshaw.. We got one and approximately at 10 we reached our spot i.e. the Karnala Bird Sanctuary entrance. We took a ticket of Rs. 20 per head and were on our way to the much awaited trek.
At around 10.15am we reached the foot of the hill where there are 2 ways to the fort. One shorter one but rather tough and the second longer but comparatively easier one.. We the tough ones had made up our mind to choose the former path which was supposed to be somewhat challenging.. Thus began our journey towards the fort which seemed quite far..
Our first pit stop was soon within 15 mins to have something light. Since there was nothing enroute to eat or drink we had carried everything possible from bread butter, sandwiches, fruits, biscuits, etc and lots of water.. We were all loaded.. With all that baggage we had begun our trek.
The trek was tough.. The 3 pillars of 7 were already having a tough time to climb. We kept them boosting up and encouraging to go on.. We went through thorny shrubbery, big rocks, fallen trees, patch of sand and pebbles.. It was tough, tiring and certainly endurance testing.
On the way up I had irritated my husband a little too much but I wanted to complete the trek with all my energy and strength in place and hence I was always ahead.. I knew it well that stopping or relaxing will leaving me weak.. I did not want my body to normalize.. I was aware that the push will certainly make me complete the task easily but had I rested then it certainly would have been difficult for me too to get going. While this was the case my husband was of the opinion that I was going ahead isolated, that i was building pressure onto them, that I did not bother if all were together.. Though the former was true the later certainly was not.. I had always maintained a proper distance from the group.. I was tracking all the activities and the group members too.. I don’t really completely deny my act yet I must say that it was fun in a way.
We finally reached a point where we waited all the others to join.. The fort was still approximately 20mins away.. All but me rested for a while and we resumed our final stretch.. We then reached a point where it was a plain walk for a short distance and then the final climb to our destination..
At around 12 noon we had reached our destination.. The fort though in ruins looked beautiful.. A place where many stories were hidden and seemed like many warriors sacrificed.. The view from atop was serene.. The trek had been all wonderful..
We roamed around clicked some snaps, enjoyed the beauty and then finally rested to begin the lunch.. We had been tired but certainly had to preserve our energy for our descend down the fort.
An hour or so passed and we decided to start our journey downwards. The descend down was tough at first an then was pretty boring compared to our onwards journey. I said boring because we had taken the second route (mentioned at the beginning) which was long but simple.. We reached the base by around 3pm taking approximately 1 and half hour.
We freshened up a bit at the base ate a bit before the plan of walking up to the nearest dhaba (highway eating place) came to my mind. The idea was implemented but deep down everyone must have cursed me left and right. Oh that was my idea and I had enjoyed it thoroughly. We took half hour walk towards Panvel along the NH 17 and reached a resort ~ Kshanbhar Vishranti. The refreshments were had, a group photo clicked, we decided to hunt for a vehicle to leave us to Panvel. None of the buses stopped at that spot. We were nearing exhaustion when a truck halted 20-30 mtrs away. Two of us ran to th truck to check if could give us a lift till Panvel. Luckily he agreed and the over excited flock flew and rested their butts in the truck. An absolutely new and adventurous experience it was for most of us. We were all thrilled.. There couldn’t have been a better ending to our trip than such an enticing experience.
In near 10 mins we reached Panvel and we proceeded to railway station. We parted our ways with a light head, cheerful heart and a painful body. Yet I felt that it was super amazing. A wonderfully well planned trip it turns out to be.
Ahh I so very loved it. I have it certain now that the half left trek to Kondana near Karjat would be done soon. I am eagerly waiting.