Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Christmas Eve Trek 2011

Days passed into weeks and weeks passed into months. Finally, a few of us could go out on Christmas Eve on a visit to the Malshej Ghats and the Shivneri fort. Looking back ..

Stillness in the hills, a magical feeling of belonging. Almost like home, that which we seek   all along ..

Walking along the Malshej Ghats, one of the minor privileges in this life!

After the ghats, we came to a village, at the house of one of our retired staff. He has good, cultivated fields just alongside the waters of an artificial irrigation lake 

And then we gorged on the mix veg curry and rice, and red hot chicken curry with bajri roti, bhakri with pickles :)) 

Time to move ahead, on to Shivneri fort .. 

The Shivneri fort hails from the Satvahan dynasty and then, various dynasties such as the Shilahars, the Yadavas, the Bahamani Sultans and the Mughals. It is the birthplace of the great Maratha warrior king Shivaji, born 1630. It is built on steep rocks on all four sides and the main entrance corridor has seven gates, the fifth being armored with elephant spikes ..

There is a pond at the center of the fort, and two natural water springs. Rock hewn cisterns abound. Clearly, there was a vibrant society in those times, inhabiting the citadel

The northern side is the narrowest edge and its a steep drop below. Rumour has it that traitors were thrown down from here 

And a view from the house in which Shivaji Raje was born 

Dusk. The time when temple bells resound across the plains below and the cows turn homeward. For us however, the fun started precisely at this point when we decided to take the steep, rocky slope down and quite literally, hearts in our mouths!

For the most part, the stone steps had been ground down the ages to a smooth slope and it was difficult to balance our tired frames in the fading light. The steel rope nailed to the iron post could not really help if we slipped, for the gap was too big, and the way down was too way down :))
Anyway, when we actually came down, it was pitch black with only the mobile phone lights to show the way. Altogether, a day well spent, wasn't it? 


  1. Yay! I was wondering where you had gotten to. The photos are spectacular and, as always, I enjoyed vicariously every bit of the journey. Except when you slid down the side of the steep stone path I prudently waited at the top!!!! Otherwise this post would have been enetitled Elephant Woman Goes Flying! Hee hee. I especially love the photo at the top of your blog. Stunning. Thanks for writing about this lovely pilgrimage. You are fortunate indeed to be able to walk through such history.

  2. after a long gap you have uploaded beautiful pix. i really envy you when i see your blogs. the stone steps are not clear, darknes must be reason. are these Malshej ghats and shivneri fort near mumbai ? next time i would like to go there if it is near to bombay. i believe this was your second visit to these ghats, you earlier suggested me on number of occassions.

    i have a suggestion, buy a real good camera

  3. in the sunset picture, the sun looks like a egg yoke surrounding the whilte portion of the egg.good picture, had you taken it with a good camera, it could have been an outstanding one, so my dear manickchand, go for a good camera.

    even with your camera, it is a beautiful picture, go ahead

  4. Yes, Manikchand, certainly a day well spent! I enjoyed the pictures from this trek, as well as the tidbits of historical information. The mixed veg curry and red hot chicken curry sounds scrumptious—much better fuel for a hike than "energy" bars and trail mix!
    Rita Wechter