The fort which we din't conquer!

Written on 2:58 AM by Tushar Thole

Trek to Vasota: The fort which we din't conquer!

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Groundbreaking research!

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We had to leave for Vasota at 11.30pm on sat (8th Jan 05).We had to gather in front SP college main gate.That time I was having dinner with minu and sameer's family:)...U should never reach anywhere on time..That makes others believe that u work:) (Funda #1)

We were goin for the trek along with a group of trekking enthus named Explorers.There were 7 of us from Calsoft namely myself :)..(C'mon..Now don’t tell me that u dont know my name!),Minu,Dhanshree,Kunal a.k.a.KK,Amit,Abhijit a.k.a.Batman and Parag...Ankur and Riyaz were not gonna come that was a relief:).My pals Sameer, Saudamini and Megha joined us.Finally we were a group of 45 ppl.

We left from SP at 12.30.(Funda #1 revisited!)..The bus which Explorers had hired was rocking! It really was!!As we left for Vasota we had an interesting discussion in which we came up with an idea of forming a trekkin club..whose name is gonna be FIREFOX! We are still in the process of finalizing the rules and all..Who is gonna be the president is the million dollar question:)

The bus stopped at Satara at 3.30am.Slowly we reached the village Bamnoli at 5 am I guess..It was still dark and the stars were twinkling all over the sky..Thanks to the cement jungle we live in I had not seen the starry night since a really long time..We had a walk along the lakeside...And that is when the historic moment came...This is when I invented the *moving Geostationary satellite theory*..Watch out this space to know more about that:)..That was the time when we had a lil debate abt how fast a comet can move..My guess was a few light years in a day...All suggested me to me to take up lessons in Astrophysics. I still wonder why:)

Explorers had arranged nice breakfast for us...pohe.

By the time we had finished the breakfast the boat which was gonna take us to vasota had arrived. I forgot to see the name of the boat..I guess it must be Titanic.

When the boat left we noticed something very interesting .There was a hand pump located near the boundary of the lake.It was half dipped in water..Then I realized what the source of water of the lake was! The theory which proposes that all the water in the lake was coming from the leaking hand pump is known as *Hand pump theory*...No doubt about that at all:)

Then all realized that we had to do something just to kill the time..What else is better than an Antakshri!We divided ourselves in two groups.We sung all kinda songs from Hindi films and a few Marathi songs as well.In the mean time I had noticed a few dolphins jumping here and there in the lake. I tried telling others but nobody believed me:(

Root has landed!

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We reached by 9 to the other side. As we landed we had a small session in which we got introduced to each other. There were ppl from s/w companies like Infy and Kanbay apart from Calsoft. Two dudes from Kanbay accompanying Megha,one of them was Vikram I guess, were adventure sports enthusiastic. They were all set to trek with their trekkin gear put on...I as wearing my 'garib' night pants:( and ofcourse a T shirt!

The plan was to go to Nageshwar Caves first and then to New Vasota fort.

"Mhatari cha angtha" which literally means thumb of an old lady lies in between the two destinations.

The Kodak moment!

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We started to trek through the terrain in the Jungle which had water in few places.The jungle was pretty dense. I was dying to see some kind of wild animal.The path was pretty steep and it was full of stones which one can find in the bank of a river.As there was no plain ground at all with rocks and pebbles everywhere we (read amateur trekkers) soon got exhausted. I was carrying lemon chocolates which I was very reluctant to take but my mom din't give up!

That was the only edible thing I was carrying..When ppl started feeling dehydrated it really helped.The bottom line is being mama's boy sometimes, really helps! (Funda #2)

I soon got bored as the road was such that I was not even able to watch the scenery around me. I was waiting every now and then and was having a look around. Unfortunately there were no birds to watch for:( ..(Pun intended!).

As we were trekking ,we were having interesting discussions. (Time is precious!(Funda #3 ))..Amit, Batman and Parag were discussing about how Linux (Read Linus if you want) is God!I suggested a name for their group.."KillBill"!

As we were about to reach Nageshwar Caves,the slope was horrible and Minu was already so exhausted that she started feelin stomach ache and gradually she started crying...Tears running over her cheeks initially made me wonder whether she was crying for the chocolate which I had snatched from her.(Thou shalt always speak the truth! (Funda #4))..But when I learnt the truth I started feelin better..Then kanbay dudes came to the rescue. They had oranges with them.Then I realized that how careless I am for not carrying ...(Quite a big list it is!) oranges, cucumbers, carrots which come handy when you run out of water in jungle, the pills or the painkillers (No idea about the names as I have never taken them).But as this was my first ever serious trek I took a mental note of it.The scene was so poignant that Kunal a.k.a. KK was also about to cry I tried comforting him:)

This surely was the moment of the day!

After this emotional scene was over we reached Nageshwar caves in a short while.

Nageshwar caves are situated at a distance of about xxxx feet from the sealevel...The thing is I have rather weak memory and I am not that great at geography as well so to be on a safer side I won't wanna mention the figure:)

Lets say, it is situated at a great hight and one can view the Vasota Fort ,Mhatari cha angtha from there.

Few other forts must be visible from there but as usual I was not paying attention to the instructor and I missed all those details. But who cares! There always are the websites to get that info! The view was panoramic. It felt awesome being there!

We settled down in the cave. Explorers had carried the food with them. The menu was some veg which had mutter in it and tasted very good,chapati,bhakri,mirchi thesa or chutney whatever you call it,rice and dal.The food tasted awesome and having that food over there was a sheer luxury! That couldn't have been better.All were standing in a queue like prisoners in the jail to collect the food. As I live life king size I was looking at the scene peacefully till Amit got food for me.Till that time I was eating from Saudi and Sameer's plate. Friend in need is a friend indeed! (Funda #5)..As everybody din't share the same thoughts as mine they asked me to wash their plates which I obviously refused:)

I told them that self help is the best help! (Funda #6)

After the delicious lunch we took rest in the cave. As it was so calm and quite inside the cave that I had uncountably infinite (I hope I got the term right)dreams in half an hour.I suddenly realised that everybody was shouting at me so it was the time to wake up.Damn!

So..it was the time to leave for Vasota fort which was sitting right in front of us behind Mhatari cha Angtha.(Now onwards also known as McA) Our aim was to reach McA first which was like the midpoint between the two.The distance between the vasota fort and the caves is about 7 to 8 kms.We started walkin towards McA via a road which was so small that barely one person could walk! The mountain and the dense forest was on one side and the valley was on the other. The view of the valley was breathtaking! I hardly get frightened by height a.k.a.'No fear dude' but this view made me feel the fear!

Soon the tough patch was over..(Tough times never last but tough people do! (Funda #7)) and we started walking through the jungle. It was the "densedested" (It is a new term which we had coined:) ) forest which we had come across in the trek so for.Explorers told us that the jungle has animals like biason,bear and all. I was excited and a little depressed at the same time as I was not destined to see a tiger or say a lion...I wanted to ask "Why God why? Why are you doing this to us? "But I decided to ask the God this question in person whenever I meet him:)

Then we reached the phata where two routes met...the one going towards the fort Vasota and the one going down towards the lake.It was about 20 minutes journey from there to the fort but I was exhausted and din't want to strain myself more so I dropped the plan to conquer the fort..We (Read myself,sam,saudi,parag,amit and minu)sat down there itself waiting for others to come back.

Later folks who went to vasota told us that the view from Vasota was awesome and especially the "babu" kada..I found that name very funny. Babu must be a very brave man!

As ppl started coming back we started our return journey through the forest.

The forest was so dense ("densedested") that one could expect a wild animal at every turn!

We clicked some really amazing photographs which I hope to upload here soon....I can't wait!

We reached a hanuman temple which happened to be near the nala flowing through the jungle. The water of the nala was so cold...Man! We played in water and then headed towards the boat (Read Titanic:))..

It was about 6 pm then and night had started falling...The return journey was a bit delayed coz of a couple which had seem to be disappeared in the forest.When they came back the boat engine started roaring and we took off biding goodbye to vasota...

The return journey was the best part of the 'nature show' in which I was a playing a part throughout the day..

It was water everywhere and as that entire region is not yet affected by the tsunami of humans and the cement jungle they

live in , there was no light at all.Being the winter season,the fog has started gathering over the water surface and that reminded me of the movie "pirates of the Caribbean"...Everybody was very tired and so there was almost no talking in the boat..I was trying to trouble sam as usual but he was too tired to answer:).I was leaning outside the boat and having a look at the sky.Stars were all around...Megha pointed out the galaxy which could be seen in the sky...Suddenly Saudi noticed that there was no moon in the sky so it had to be "amavas ki raat"! How possibly could have I let go this opportunity! I started telling her the ghost stories ..which were all made up:)..All of a sudden the engine gave out a cry and it stopped...It just stopped! There we were, in the middle of the water with no lights and no trace of humans. I could see the lights twinkling in the village Bamnoli..But it was like a dream come true for me!

There could have been no better end to this day full of adventures!

The boatman did some of his magic tricks and the boat headed towards the bank..It is where our bus was waiting for us..

We left for Pune at 9 and reached there at around 2am.

This really was one of the most memorable days of my life..

Life goes on...and stars shine down...but I will cherish these moments forever!

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