Prabalgad Trek (Kalavantin Durg)

Trek Date : 20/11/2008

Trek Level : Difficult

Route : Train from Harbour line(Mumbai) to Panvel, from there an auto reach Prabalgad.
Prabalgad is a fort located in between Matheran and Panvel, visible from the Mumbai Pune expressway. The fort is located at an elevation of 2300 feet in the Sahyadri mountains. It is located on a plateau very close to Matheran, but unlike Prabalgad fort does not have a good source of water supply. It was known as Muranjan until it was taken over and renamed by the Maratha forces under Shivaji’s rule.
In 1658, Shivaji conquered Prabalgad from the Mughals, after establishing his powers in the Kalyan-Bhiwandi area. When Shivaji attacked the fort, the Mughal Sardar and fort chief Kesar Singh forced himself and the ladies in the fort to commit suicide so as to save themselves from falling into the hands of the Marathas. His mother along with her grandchild hid inside the fort by the fear of Shivaji, but such was the greatness of Shivaji that on finding them he sent them to their village with genuine respect and dignity.
Our Journey:
We are a team of six people, started from Andheri(W), Mumbai at morning 5 am. We reached Andheri(West) railway station at around 5:30 am. One can take a direct Ticket to Panvel(indeed from anywhere to anywhere in mumbai) and boarded the train to Wadala station .
Train halted at Wadala station @ 6:15 am and we switched to Harbour line for a train to Panvel and reached there @ 8:30 am. (For those who do not know about mumbai railways, there are three different railways; Western, Central and Harbour line).
Train journey to Panvel
Preparation: We had a quick breakfast at Panvel and bought lots of fruits, waterbottles, glucose, electrol, biscuits, choclates etc.. and fully prepared. We took two Autos to Prabalgad and reached there by 10 am.
Goal 1: The village

“Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little,has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. – Gandhi”

We informed autowala’s to pick us up after our trek and also taken their numbers. They asked us to call them 30 min before reaching the starting place.

Ready to board
The weather is not favorable as it was sunny and humid. We are out of our breath and started to sweat a lot in just 20 mins of climbing.

We saw a guy climbing up the hill to a small village present at the top(it was said that the villagers settled here 5000 years ago and they speak their own language). He said it will take an hour to reach there which we simply multiplied by a factor of 2 🙂
We struggled for around 1:45 mins but still no sign of village, but we are fortunate enough to find a river bed and rested there for 15 mins. As a reenergized team, in 20 mins we reached the village.
River bed
As soon as we reached the village, we filled our waterbottles and freshened ourselves for the next climb which we called “The Peak”
We also arranged a guide and food for us in their place itself which they agreed without any hesistation. Guide informed us that we can go to either of two places,
1) The Sivaji Fort
2) A steep mountain peak.
Guide’s Hut.. Feels like heaven
We all unanimously settled for the mountain peak and reached the bottom in 45 mins.

A steep Mountain climb
Goal 2: The Peak
The mountain peak was steeper that we thought off. Fortunately there are footsteps being craved in the mountain peak itself. Looking at the steepness, 3 of our ppl planned to settled at the bottom itself and refused to climb. Leaving our friends down, rest of all proceeded further and reached the peak in 30 mins. It was one of the highest peak that we encountered so far.
The view from there was very beautiful .
One can locate mostly all other trekking places from there viz matheran, Visapur fort. It also gave us a sense of satisfaction after arduous climb for more than 3 hours. Indeed only one achieved the target as it is very very difficult to climb the last 10 ft of the climb.

Conquered the peak.

Beautiful view of the village.

Mission Accomplished
The smorgasboard:
After spending 5 mins at the peak with some photoclicks , we proceeded down and joined our friends at the bottom. Normal walk is difficult and some of our friends crawled during the downward journey.

Friends @ the bottom
We reached the hut @ 3:30 pm and the food was ready to be served. We had an awesome food (rice and subji) which i guess we never forget. After that we shared biscuits, fruits and chocolates with a few of the children there and rested there peacefully for 30 mins.
Peaceful 30 mins
Goal 3: Downward journey
We felt an sign of accomplishment and prepared for downward journey. We also had an discussion of night stay at the village itself, but finally we concluded not to(as some of us has classes the next day). We went to the same riverbed visited before and stayed there for sometime. We also called up the autowala’s so that they will be ready by the time we get down.
Looking back

Finally we reached prabalgad by 5:30 pm, boarded the auto which was waiting for us and reached Panvel station. Fortunately there was an Andheri train for us (lucky we are) and reached Andheri by 8:30 pm.

Autowala’s waiting for us.. You can actually see the peak from here

This is one of the difficult trek i/we have been so far. I remembered the arduous climb for the next two days as my legs hurted so much. If we would have gone at the right season it would’ve been a little easier. The whole trip was worthwhile and it gave us a sensation of success.

Finally here is my thought, We can’t plan and expect all things to happen as we planned….. So friends

“Plan to be Surprised…………”

and indeed what happened exactly to us.. 4 hrs of climb, humid climate, awesome lunch, and finally a sense of satisfaction…. Hope we plan and get surprised in future too…..
Till then “Asta la Vista

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