Friday, 27 January 2012

Trek to Tikona fort (Vitangad)

Difficulty Rating : Easy
Height: 3580 ft
Location: Malavli (Pune), Maharashtra, INDIA
Per head cost- 210 ₹

Route: Dadar-Lonavala (Express train), Lonavala-Kamshet (Shuttle train), Kamshet-Kale Colony-Tikona Peth (by road). Trek starts at Tikona Peth and a easy trail climbs to the top in 45 minutes. It is recommend to combine the trek to Tung fort with Tikona fort. 

My semester vacations had just begun which was supposed to be the best time for my projects and explore some technical aspects in tronix!!! But nothing much was happening around. Even my circuits were not showing much of intrest in my hardwork. In the first week of January, I got a call from Anup Desai, an Engineering friend, asking me to join his group to Tikona fort, Maval region. Well, I am eveready for any treks!! So we fixed a holiday for the visit.

We caught a first train in the morning to Pune Indryani Express and got down at Lonavla station. A local train was waiting for us & we started our journey towards Kamshet (Lonavla-Malavli-Kamshet). It was really nice to see the vacant  footboard of that local train which is rarely seen in suburbans!! Most of the passengers were sitting quietly, wearing sweaters, wrapped in shawls, blankets and staring at us, tryig to listen our conversation. A group of foreigners, Germans I guess, were enjoying the fine chilly morning & the picturesque of nearby forts. The renowned twin forts Lohagad-Visapur can be easily spotted from the train near Malavli station. After arriving at kamshet and getting our tummies filled with medu wada ,vada paav and cup of  coffee we approached the town bus stand. As we moved on, an amusing notice caught our eye which read...

पुणेरी पाट्या 
At the bus stop we couldn't spot a single bus, but tum-tums & jeeps all around. A nearby paanvala told us that ST would be coming in 5 min. So we waited, waited till the 25th minute was over and decided to take a jeep upto Tikona peth, the village from which the trail starts. We were startled when he told us the fare..700/-.....coz it was too much for a couple of kilometres. We asked the 6-seater auto rikshaw guy, and he told us that they dont travel that far & we will have to take a jeep. Nothing is certain about the ST buses..If the ST bus is scheduled to arrive in 5min, the bus may even turn up after 50-150 min...We were left with no choice but jeep.

Tung Fort & Pawna Backwaters

The road to Tikona peth is full of sharp curves, steep slopes & excellent for those who love adventure driving. The panoramic beauty of Tung fort & Pawna Dam to the right adds a particular gusto to the adventure.

First view from Tikona  Peth
A ~0.5 Km walk on dusty road leads to a parking lot, is the place where the actual trek starts. The trail is clearly visible and the chances of losing it are null thus making the trek pretty easy.We climbed the first slope in ~15 min. and traversed the ridge and arrived at the base of the hillock on which the fort stands.



Along the way there are many noteworthy locations which cant be missed. We came across an amusing carving of Lord-Hanuman, चपेटदान मारुती (Lord Hanuman appears to be slapping a devil under his foot). We clicked a lot of pics here, including a huge Boulder & a tree.

The Ridge climbs to the top. Tung can be seen on right. 
The places worth visiting at the top: The Mahadev temple (महादेवाचे मंदीर), चुन्याचा घाण, पाण्याच्या टाक्या etc. The fort walls are still standing and the main entrance door look sturdy too. The view from the top is amazing, as always. The forts of Visapur, Lohgad, Tung, Bhaat rashi mountain can be seen from the top. 





It was splendid experience to drink naturally chilled water from the water cisterns. The water is available on the fort throughout the year & never dries, the very reason behind building a fort up here !!!! Having filled our water-bottles, we started our descent from the fort and reached Tikona Peth. Every one was hungry & was eagerly waiting to gobble the goodies our mom's had packed for our lunch!!! The temple at the base can be used as the resting place. 

Tung fort, surrounded by Pawna Dam.
It was a perfect trekking day, spent perfectly with equally adventurous group. After coming home  I debugged my audio Amplifier circuit. I really thank Anup for letting me borrow his Nokia C5 for clicking some of the awesome pics & hats off to the old repaired F-80 for not giving any errors.