Someone has rightly said "Trekking is a great pleasure and an exercise" and this pleasure is doubled when you are with your friends, specially with those, whom you work with. You actually discover lots of things, on one side the sweet dangerous cuts of nature while on the other side joy & fun aspects of your colleagues. Thanks to Gandhiji, We QEDians were very lucky to spend time with each other on a holiday not as colleagues, but as friends.
Trekking to Lohagad fort was planned one night before and the other day our company's founder, one and only - Dipen, was the very first to reach the starting point of the journey i.e. Pune Railway Station. No it was not out of excitement from him rather the cab driver he called was before time and hence he stood first. Slowly suddenly our small team of trekkers gathered to start the journey along with Indian Railways. Full of energy and excitement we boarded local train to Malavali, the station located at the root of way to Lohagad fort. We didn't wanted to waste even a single second without fun, so while being on the train we used sweet and sour gossips as our arms to exploit the best of the moments. Whole world today is in so called selfie phase, so why should we leave behind, infact we believe we are the masters. Mixture of photo sessions and outside lavish greenry sights gave a good start to our journey. Beautiful sunrise cann't be ignored. Most of us generally wake up late in the morning so it was like wow moments for us.
Finally it was 7 i guess, the train left us at Malavali where our hungry friends specially Xango Brothers(Vishal) and Sumit made us to have breakfast which was meant to be light but ironically was not at all light. Dosa, Idli, Uttapam and Tea were the ingredients of that light breakfast. So after filling up the tanks, we started moving ahead through villages in the search for Lohagad Fort which was about 4-5 kms away. Dipen was not knowing this, else he would have not agreed walking so long i guess.... Anyways the very first real adventure we all explored was a small waterfal which was dangerous and very slippery. One, two three and then whole of the crew was on the top of that cute waterfall. It was very first trek for few our freinds specially Swastik and he was bit scared in the beginning but after a while having experienced joy of danger, he was also excited to explore threatening curves of nature. We all almost took shower under that waterfall, if anyone of us missed that, then I think he/she really missed something very precious. Steadily and happily we were moving towards Lohagad Fort. After that first waterfall for a long time may be around 2-3 kms the route was not so much dangerous although altitude was increasing. Shortcuts are preffered over longcuts when you are alone, but when you are with friends the real fun lies in the lap of Longcuts. Actually there is road constructed over to the lohagad fort stairs. So what, way was not adventurous for that span? we made it interesting. Ajit Shinde and Sumit were leading us through the dangerous offroad paths to ascend up. Again the photosessions, small-small breaks took our sweat away and once again we were ready to climb further with new spirit, but don't know why that lasted momentarily only and again we felt tired. Cheering up each other, we finally reached the lohagad village from where the stairs guide us to the main Lohagad Fort.
There we had a long break, actually family of one of our colleague was behind and hence as per them we just had to wait 20 minutes for them. We just waited 20 minutes - 5 times in a row for them and surprisingly they were infront of us, on time, thanks to their high speed car. The Good point was that now two kids also joined our group. The fun just doubled and hence we started again climbing up the stairs. Now all the mobile phones with great quality cameras were in the hands so to capture these awesome scenes and moments. Indian heritage is really very vast - Lohagad Fort pictures out a true snapshot of this. I simply cannot show that beauty to you using my single post. So go and see yourself. :p
Now we entered through the fort's main entrance called "Ganesh Darwaja" (Lord Ganesha Entrance Gate). Ancient beauty drew our attention and specially our camera's. One more thing which drew our attention was those cute kids. Karnika was the one leading them to the top of the fort. She became "didi" for them. As much beautiful was the fort at that height, such dangerous it was also. So we had to be careful also. Now the team was seperated out, actually all went in small directions in different directions to explore as much as they can. Exploring out the fort we reached dangerous end of the fort where the real meaning of danger was explained by the allmighty god, when heavy rain started precepating down the hills with loud thunder roaring in the sky. It seemed to us that these thunders were just passing away besides us asking us "Having fun guys ???". Children were crying out of fear and we were praying, god please help us out today only. Those moments were really interesting, after sometime sky became quiete and we started the journey back down the hills. Having reached bottom, we all had special dish of that place in lunch. Gathering energy now, we started our way back to Malavali Railway station to board local train.
There is nothing in the world which can beat the pleasure of walking and it becomes all the more attractive if it is taken down the hills with light showers. That evening was really very beautiful. Finally the journey full of excitement and adventure accomplished. Although the trek is over, but i still wonder : "Where did King used to sleep? As i didn't encounter any room above the hills..."