Life has the uncanny ability to bring surprises in it’s own strange ways. One moment you don’t have the slightest idea of what is going to be your next plan of action and next moment an exciting plan is on. This is how we receive happiness in “shots”. Not very long ago, on a Friday evening, I was struggling with the submissions of all my assignments, when suddenly the phone rang with a friend calling me up. As soon as I finished my cribbing of the work load that I was struggling to get over with, he invited me for a weekend trek. The very word “trek” has the capability to take me to a different high. But this time, I was really skeptical, if I should go ahead. The work pressure was leaving me with no time for myself and before handling the upcoming new pressure, I desperately needed a break. And so I decided to quickly finish all my submissions for a well deserved weekend break.
This time it was a new trip to old Sahaydris, a new location to explore the old forts of Shivaji Maharaj’s grand empire. Four friends, One Tata Indigo, AR Rehman Music, it was a perfect early morning drive to Vasantgad and Sadashivgad, two of the forts located in Satara District of Maharashtra.
The car started at 7 in the morning and glided on the Pune Bangalore highway at a speed no less than 120 kms per hour. By 10 in the morning, we had hit the base village, Talbeed, which is located at a distance of half an hour from Karad, which is the main town of the area. The quality of the road does not let you down anywhere and hence it is worth to pay the tolls that come on the way. From the base village, the rocky patches take you upward towards the Vasantgarh fort, which is an ascend of almost 45 minutes duration. That is if you are a person of medium endurance. It wasn’t at all difficult to carve out the way to move ahead although it required a constant endurance to move up. Random halts in between were required to capture some breathtaking view of the Sahaydris.
It is the greens on a 36o degree view that has the power to refresh the mind amidst all mental pressures. When you are short of breath and the mind goes blank, there is no better way for the brain to relax.
On reaching the top, there are the remains of the fort, fortified in the form of a wall, it is 2950 ft above the sea level. There is a small temple, of Chandrasen, built and maintained by the local villagers. As per Hindu mythology, Chandrasen is the son of Shroopanakha, the sister of Ravan, the villain of Ramayana. The priest in his local language can explain the little bit of history attached to this place.
Apart from that, there is a small pond also, on the table land of this hilltop. The only important thing to be kept in mind is to carry your own drinking water along. This is probably the universal/uniform rule of Sahayadris. After relaxing for a while, we descended down munching chocolate biscuits. We headed towards the next fort, Sadashivgarh. It is also located in the Satara district in Karad region. The base village is Oglewadi, which is 4 kms from Karad. Located at 3900 ft above sea level, it is one of the easiest ascends in Sahaydris. There are approximately 700 concrete stairs to reach the Shiva Temple, which is located at the top of the hill. After walking for a long while, it is a good idea to rest inside the temple, which can easily accommodate 10 to 15 people. Lunch was laid on a floor under the shades of a tree, which faced the valley and the view from the valley was that of a sugarcane farm. It felt heavenly to sit under the shades and grab a byte of “Pooranphli” , a typical Maharshtrian delicacy.
Sitting and Listening to Kishore Kumar songs, it was a pure bliss and by now I had completely forgotten the other life that was only about submissions and deadlines.
Within no time we descended back, were served with tea by localities. The day couldn’t have been spent in a better way, and it came with a perfect timing. I am glad I made the choice of exploring this new place. It helped me press the refresh button of mind right away, filled me with a lot of positive energy to start afresh the next week.