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?