The word ‘Prabal’ comes from the ‘Devnagari’ script which means strong. It means strenuous, vehement, an intense desire to achieve a target, marked by great energy or exertion, and boy…….Didn’t we all experience that or what? In this trek to ‘Prabalgad and Kalavantindurg’ the two beautiful peaks located in ‘Shedung’ village in Raigad district, some 14 kms from Panvel ST Stand which is on NH4 in Maharashtra.
|Prabalgad from Prabalmachi|
As the name of the fort goes it was a real test of our desire to complete the challenge of reaching at least one of the peaks as 5 months back in June 2011 we had made an effort to reach the top in a single day but in vain. We could only manage to reach the plateau which is a village place called ‘Prabalmachi’ around 1500 ft above sea level, with some 8 to 10 houses of the natives. Back in the monsoon the forests were dense enough for us to get lost and a day trek proved too short for us to make it to the top.
|Route from Panvel St Stand to Base village|
At 9.15 a.m. we started this journey around Panvel on NH4, a mostly commercialized area. Here we gulped in some bananas that we had bought at the stand for some quick energy. Soon our rickshaw reached the Shedung Phata, from where it took a left leaving NH4 and on the village road moving along the green fields, small shops, huts, bungalows. We spotted many cattle grazing in the sun and local kids running around the single road. Soon we reached a couple of very beautiful monument like buildings with lovely architecture, two cone shaped structures one a house and other a temple, the house with a name plate that read ‘The Khanna House’ …
At about 9.40 a.m., the rickshaw dropped us to the base at the gate which read ‘Private Road of Dharap Associates.’
At 9.45 a.m. we started out trek, beginning on a tar road claimed as a private one by Dharap Associates, which gradually builds altitude as you walk.
All in all the beautiful encounters with butterflies, not so beautiful salamanders and the twist in the love story of Manisha and Laxman kept us going. But after a few minutes we realized that it was going to be a tough one as not a place till now was covered by any shadow whatsoever.
It was noon and we realized that we were way behind schedule so we decided to fasten our speed and reduce the number of halts for
photos and other breaks. But the beautiful view of the fields behind us made us stop again and again. Spirally upwards along the rock on which the temple is carved we reached a place developed as a waiting spot with tile and brickwork. It had good view but unfortunately it doesn’t have any shade.
Here we met fellow trekkers who were returning from the trail and got an understanding of how difficult and distant things were from us at that moment in time. Though we had targeted to visit both peaks on a single day, but unfortunately we had started the trek late and the dry sunny atmosphere unlike the Novembers of the past, wasn’t helping us. By now we had realized that we may not be able to complete both peaks in one day.
Further from here we reached a place where there was water accumulated and splashed some of it on our faces. Just a few minutes of transcend from here and we reached our first real target of the ‘Prabalmachi’ plateau, which opened up as a huge flat ground. This is a small village place with about 10 households and small farm fields with protective fencing around those.
As we had finished most of our water till here, we started looking for homes to refill out bottles with water. Surprisingly we found a board reading ‘Vaibhav General Stores’ and rushed to the direction of the arrow on that board.
|Top most point on Kalavantindurg|
A few more minutes of freaking out we realized that it was 2.30 p. m. already and we still had to stop for lunch plus a 2.5 hrs of journey back to the base.
But theminds not quite, yet freshly filled with an experience of its kind. We thought we would do both peaks last time and didn’t manage even one in a day. We thought we would do both this time but could only manage one. So that’s the some progress for us.
All in all I have read and heard people say that ‘In our life the path to reach the top is often more difficult than we think ……’ this is the biggest take-away for me from this trek, an experience I will always treasure….…
Trek – Kalavantindurg & Prabalgad
Height above mean sea level – 1750 ft for Kalavantindurg & 2240 ft for Prabalgad
Base Village – Thakurwadi
Transport- Dadar T.T. to Panvel ST Stand by bus, Panvel ST Stand to Base village Thakurwadi by 6 Seater Rickshaw