Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chavand Fort

Type: Hill Fort
Base Village: Chavand/Chavandwadi
Distance: 100 KMs from Pune
Route: Pune-Nashik highway
Time visited: July 2010, June 2011
Best time to Visit: In Rains
How to visit: Naryangaon is around 85 Kms from Pune and Junnar is 15 kms ahead. From Junnar you have to take straight road for Aaptale, crossing Shivaji statue and leaving behind the vast Shivneri fort on the left. Aaptale should be around 20 kms from Junnar. Take right turn for Chavand fort.
Excursions: Kukdeshwar Temple



The few showers this week brought back the all the hopes of perfect weather for trek. Four of us started at 5.45 and had breakfast- Pohe on Nashik highway. The less traffic made our journey easy. We reached Junnar by around 8 AM.


The muddy road had became all slippery due to few rain showers yesterday but the awesome fort was standing tall fearing the gushy winds and sparkling in the delicate morning sunrays. We decided not to take our car to chavandwadi as looked horrible from the bifurcation and parked our car in nearby house. The trail starts behind the school and you can easily see the 2 ladders at the middle from base itself. The half an hour steep climb took us to the base of the ladder. Well the ladders are actually just the side railing and not a ladder that we have climb. The tiny carved rock slanting steps or the cuts in the rock on the steep slopes above were looking challenging. The railings were swaying in the winds. The entire weather was misty and beautiful. A bird far was merrily singing lost in his own charming world. We took deep breath as we prepared to climb. Behind us the whole mountain range had disappeared in the fog and only main upside down bell mountain was partially visible. Far away on the left the kukdi seem to be flowing tranquilly.


Slowly we climbed the rock patch. Thankfully it wasn’t raining here and wasn’t slippery but mere imagining this patch in heavy rains sent down a chill in my spine. Broken step there after lead you to the top. The climb continues to be still steep. Overall you can easily reach the main entrance in less than 1-1.5 hours depending on your speed. The main gate is in good condition.

 


There nothing much to see on the top - few water cisterns, broken temple and ukhal lying at the start of the trail on the top. There is a chamunda devi temple on the small hill on the top but we couldn’t locate the trail which probably got lost in the grass. We didn’t have lot of time to explore so we decided not to go in the temple.




There was some remains that looked like palace. But it was filled with water. The view from backside is simply fantabulous! The entire Kukdi river and mountain ranges behind it on backdrop of wandering grey-black clouds with white streak looked like a magical water colored painting. After eating quickly some yummy pears we started back.  The climb down was easy and not difficult as we had imagined. In less than 45 minutes we were at the base. While coming back we stopped at Purohits before the Khed Ghat after Peth. The place was good and food tasted really nice. A mysore masala dosa and hot coffee killed all the growls from our tummies. We were back by 4 PM with all the wonderful memories for the thrilling experience.

Due to the lack of time we couldnt visit the famous Kukdeshwar Temple but I heard its must visit. It is just few Kms ahead of Chavand fort.

Updates- June 2011: Visited Kukdeshwar Temple.

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