Sunday, January 20, 2008
300 feet Rappelling at Malshej Ghat and New Year’s at Salher Fort
I know it’s been a while since I have gone to my blog and penned down experiences. I have caught up at work and never found the time to write. After my Nandadevi experience, one of the most interesting things I did was to rappel down a 300 feet rock face at Malshej Ghat and then scale up the second highest peak in Maharashtra –‘Salher Fort’ during the New Year weekend. My new year as usual like last year was spent high up in the mountains and believe me what an experience it was.
Rappelling down the 300 feet rock face was amazing. I was scared initially but once I was down five steps I started enjoying rappelling down. It was definitely a strain on the hands and as your rappelling down you can actually hear the sound that the rope (kuch kuch-----) makes as it is sliding through the descender. It’s scary but definitely fun. We were in all 19 of us. Check the photos onhttp://picasaweb.google.com/subanusha/NewYearTrekToSalherSalota?authkey=OIfVApDkZY0
Except for Yogita, myself and Jayesh the remaining 16 had either never rappelled or were rappelling down the 300 feet rock face for the first time. Everyone was excited and scared as well but all of them did it brilliantly. It was amazing to note that while most were rappelling down for the first time they did it very well and with precision. That was commendable…After our rappelling exercise we headed to Nashik for Salher Fort. We ushered in our new year at Salher Fort.
Salher is one of the most beautiful places I have been to in the Sahyadri’s. Situated in a wonderful Baglan district of Nashik at the border of Maharashtra and Gujrat,Salher takes a pride of the highest fort in Maharashtra and the second highest peak (after Kalasubai)in Maharashtra. The Dholbari range in which Salher is situated and Selbari range is the northernmost part of the Sahyadri. Salher is a historic fort and a place where lord Parshuram did his Tapashcharya. There is a temple on top of the fort as well. As history goes, Salher is also one of the forts which Chattrapati Shivaji conquered in 1671 and a year later the Moghuls attacked the fort and took away the lives of almost 10,000 soldiers. Finally Chattrapati Shivaji won the battle. In the 18th century the Peshwas occupied this ofrt and thereafter the Britishers. As we all got to know of the history we just wanted to get there. We left Malshhej Ghat at around 7 pm. It was a long journey. We headed first to Nashik had our dinner and from here we had to get to Satana and from here we had to head to the base village …..of Salher Fort. We reached in the wee hours of the morning at around 4 am on 31st morning. We slept in the verandah of the village headman’s house. Everyone got about fours of good sleep and we had ‘Poha’ (made out of Puffed Rice) for late breakfast and left for Salher fort by about 2.30 pm. The route to the fort is very exposed and the view is brilliant. Before heading to the caves where there is a water resource in the form of a man made lake we have to climb for half hour a stretch of rock cut steps. We reach the top by 6 pm and head straight to the caves. The caves are huge and there is good water resource. We stay below at the caves and our plan was to climb to the top most point where the temple is situated the next morning before we headback to the base village. We start preparing for our dinner. Since it was new year’s eve we had decided on Pasta for dinner. The group was excited. We had Pasta and got to playing Antakshiri as we all waited for the clock to strike ‘12’….and then the clock struck 12 and we cut cake opened a small wine bottle had one sip each among the eight of us and ushered in 2008.
The next morning was a pleasant morning. As we trek up to Parshuram Temple one can see Mangi-Tungi Pinacle which stand like guards of Sahayadri. From top it's one of the breath taking view, one can see all peaks & fort standing all around. Unfortunately we had to come to terms with the fact that we had to head back as soon as possible to the base village and leave for Mumbai to get back to the big bad and boring corporate world. Nevertheless it was a memorable New Year.
The group Members:
Jayesh, Yogita, Anindya, Sriram and Sheetal, Sanjay and Madhavi, Nupur, Sourabh and Shuchi, Hetal, Ambika, Farzana, janaki, Ashith, Indu, Khushboo, Yukti and Myself.