Chandvad Fort

02 June 2009 वेळ: Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The beautiful ranges near Chandvad seemed pretty inviting. As we were on our way to Indore, I just made note of the location. I could see a small temple like structure, far on the hill. Chandvad is around 60-65 km away from the Nashik city.

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The decision was made; the weekend trekking destination was fixed. Prof. and Tejas were visiting Nashik this weekend. It was my responsibility to google out all the information about the terrain.

Dwarka 1830 hours:

As advised by our driver we hopped into the share taxi (kali-pivli – local name for a share taxi). By the time we reached our destination – chandvad it was already dark. We decided to have our dinner first. Finding a dhaba on a national highway 3 (Mumbai – Agra) isn’t a problem. We ordered our food, and started making enquires about the range-hills and how to reach the temple up there. Fortunately Ashok - the plumber cum electrician knew a lot about the region. He helped us identify the ranges on our topographic maps. For our information there was the Chandvad Fort located 40̊ northeast from the dhaba. The Holkar’s held their mint on the fort. This information was very interesting. Chandreshwar temple lied on our way to the fort.

After the filling dinner at the yashodhan dhaba we decided to make a move. We had decided to climb up till the Chandreshwar temple in the moonlight. To avoid the day heat, the remaining part would be covered early in the morning. There were crude steps to reach the temple. The strong wind kept us cool. Though we reached the temple in a short time, we couldn’t head up for the fort in any case. So we decided to take a break. Lying down on the earth, staring the shiny ornamented sky, tummy filled with daal-tadka and chawal, reminded me of the Katraj-Sinhagad trek. These both treks were so similar: we were short of information!

The tin shed, a few meters away was busy resonating on the wind. The wind was getting colder, after a while our teeth started accompanying the tin shed to resonate. We made it to the temple. The old temple seemed to be recently painted. As we were still checking out the carvings and the portraits by the main porch, a bhakt heard us. He offered us Kambal’s (blankets) and bed sheets after the initial know-who procedures. The refined Hindi spoken bhakt made me feel as if he was to be the sadhu from the Sunday – Ramayan program. After a while a senior bhakt appeared, just to check whether we’d settled comfortably. After thanking both of them for the blankets and the bed sheets, we soon dozed off to sleep.

Early Morning:

By 0430 our mobile alarms promptly did their jobs; to their disappointment we all were already wide awake. The Aarti at 0400 hours had waked us up. Soon we were off on your way.

We came across two medium sized water bodies and a well. The water wasn’t good enough for our throat, but it served good for cleansing purposes. There were no trails or markings made anywhere. Only way we could make out were cattle droppings. Following the cattle droppings was no good deal for us. It would’ve just made us slog like the cattle. The fort didn’t have to entertain much guest’s. A few shepherds would tread half the way, for grazing their cattle. The steep slopes weren’t a problem to climb, the sedimentary rock from the volcanic eruptions had a good grip. On our way we also passed by scattered skeleton remains of the cattle, thoughts of the wild brushed us for a while. I identified the vertebras and the joints, in the sleepy remembrance of our monotonous zoology lecturer. By 0730 hours we had covered a major part. The cold wind was fancying blowing the dark clouds over the tip of the hill. The clouds were speeding their way as we were just 40-45 feet away from the tip. Now they were passing through us. We could feel the dampness of the air.

On turning back, we had a complete view of the four lane highway. The highway seemed to be connecting both the horizons. The temple where we stayed the previous night was now a small speck. Entire view of the range was breath taking, Cold wind still resonating our ear drums.

Chandvad seemed to be such a pretty village, a bunch of houses organized in a perfect row, a few huts standing small near the farms. The tilled farms seemed ready for the monsoon. From this altitude, the whole place seemed so fine and pleasant. May be when I get down in the village, it wouldn’t be the same. There surely must be some dark shades, but as we go through it – this is what I think the canvas should be looking like.

We couldn’t make it for the last 20 feet of the hill. Ashok had told us about the suspended rope to climb up “nedhi”. We just ended up finding a barbed wire. We tried going around the patch, but this was the only way which could lead to the “nedhi”. Finally we took some rest in a near by cave. By 1000 hours we started tracing our route downwards. Climbing up the steep slopes wasn’t as troublesome as climbing down. Every moment our feet were busy finding a proper grip, so as to be in touch with the earth. Prof. hurt his feet while jumping down.

Way down:

Gradually the Chandreshwar temple zoomed in. As we made it to the temple, the senior bhakt was 5 feet high on a tree fixing some electricity connections. “Jay ho bholle naath ki” as we climbed down the crude steps.

Ranjit Pandey (the waiter who’d attended us the previous night) was happy to see us back. Ranjt seemed to a cheerful lad at the dhaba. Pappaji (Sardar owner of the dhaba) ordered Ranjit to give us a special service. After our breakfast, we were busy waving hands for a lift. It didn’t take much time. Soon a truck driver halted at our request. Three of us climbed up the truck’s cabin. Soon we were taking the hot wind in the face and tapping our feet on the truck-wallah music.

4 प्रतिक्रिया

  1. सौरभ Says:

    wah wah... returned in truck is an experience... :) by the way... wht abt tht fort??? tell smthin more...

  2. Aakash Says:

    There was nothing to see about, except the walls of the fort. The Fort had been destoryed into a pile of rocks a long time back.

  3. सौरभ Says:

    ohh... thats sad... you said the Holkar's had mint there... i thought you might have found something... some treasure (better than those skeletons)... ;)

  4. Aakash Says:


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