Asherigad – Solo Trekking begins

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Those who travel alone to mountain-top are half in love with themselves…, and half in love with oblivion….!!!

TREKKING LOVE

After doing a number of different treks & hikes with my college group ‘TREKKOMANIACS’ and exploring forts & various natural places of Maharashtra, I completely fell in love with Sahyadri Mountains.

My madness of doing more trek also was rising day by day, but after completion of Post-Graduation & due to time mismatch, my group members found it difficult to do the trek at a rate that we used to do during college life. 

Because I’m staying in Nallasopara, I already have the attraction of the Palghar Region. In the research, I found out there are numerous infamous forts in the Palghar to explore.

As I didn’t have any Job Opportunity after my MSc, I planned Palghar Exploration Journey in Feb 2018 and finally, it started with my first solo trek to Asherigad

Trekking Attire

PREPARATIONS

First I have discussed about Asherigad with my trekking companion ‘Saurabh’ who introduced me to the other side of Sahyadri Mountains and showed me the importance of preparation before going to any treks. We usually rely on Saurabh for preparations before every trek as he is the leader of our group. But since I going solo, I had no choice but first to learned about using Map Tracing App like ‘Geotracker’, and gather all information about Asherigad from the Internet including transportation, trek route, fortification, route-map, etc.

with NOMADOSAURAS aka Saurabh

Saurabh was available during that day in the backup to whom I’m going to share each and every location of mime and overall status of trek on the regular intervals like my body condition, stamina, any difficulty I’m facing while trekking, surrounding atmosphere and most importantly the availability of snacks & water for a safety purposes. 

TREKDAY BEGIN

Obviously, I felt nervous before doing this solo trek but the day started with different shades of the sky color that sets one of the unique & beautiful mornings I ever have seen, which also calm my mind about solo journey and boost up my confidence in the beginning.

I caught Boisar Memo Train directly from Nallasopara at 7.10 am. Train Journey toward Palghar again refreshed me by peaceful sunrise along with mesmerizing sceneries of Vaitarna River & surrounding villages. It was a completely positive atmosphere all around me.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

I have reached around 8 am at Palghar station. Now according to plan, I have to catch State Transport(ST) bus and get down at Mastan Naka. Palghar ST bus depo is about 15 minutes’ walk from Palghar Station on Dahanu side. 

I got Nandurbar ST from Depo which charged me about 15 Rs and after a half-hour, I reached Mastan Naka. Even though it is a National Highway, there is no availability of State Transport towards Khodkona village. I got Share Tata Magix but I waited for about 20 minutes to fill remaining seats. I reached Khodkona village at 10 am and Tata Magix charged me about 20 Rs. 

After alighting at green signboard which showing information about Asherigad, I got a clear view of the tower of Palghar ‘Asherigad’ and other Pinnacles that lie on either side highway.

Road towards Khodkona village

KHODKONA VILLAGE

While walking on tar road from National Highway, I saw a range of Medhwan peak and Adsule pinnacle on another side of the highway. On inquiry, I got to know there are fewer adventure activities happened due to its sharp edge & sheer drop of pinnacles. 

Asherigad in the middle and road leads to khodkona

After walking about 1 km from the highway, I came across to very small tribal yet a well-planned, clean and friendly village ‘Khodkona’.

 

ASCENDING THROUGH FOREST

After negotiating the direction of Asherigad fort from the local people, I have walked now about 20 minutes from Highway towards Asherigad and found the exact trail that leads up on the right through the forest.

The complete trail is covered by tall and dense trees of thick forest that protecting me from summer rays and with cold winds that keeping me unexhausted even while steep climbing.

The mobile range for IDEA is also good in this region and you can see trails in GOOGLE MAP also. 

CONSERVATION BY LOCAL PEOPLE

 I was amazed by seeing well maintain trail route which was also well marked by white and blue color and stone-paved made by local people. They also did some other conservation work for water harvesting and rock-made waste collection on a regular interval which is very rarely found in any other forts that local villagers taking initiative to conserve & maintaining the historical fort without waiting for help from the government. 

TRAGIC INCIDENT

In the midway journey, I have seen one signboard about Leopard and I suddenly remembered that Saurabh told me about the presence of a leopard in this forest region. I saw that signboard again, I had a panic attack and I latterly started running in those loose rocks and reach the COL where the forest ends and then lay down there for 15 minutes. Luckily there is a sign of any wild creature, it was just my mind games.

On resuming the journey, I turned right and started climbing up on to the peak over the bare rocky section without tree cover.

Last portion after COL

FORTIFICATIONS

While climbing the last portion, I first come across Waghoba Temple in which Waghoba is worshipped so as to ensure that tigers cause no harm to the people and farm animals. 

On moving ahead, there is a steel ladder that has been placed on the tricky portion which reduce the grade of a trek from Hard to Easy.

After climbing ladder, there is an ancient Portuguese Post of Arm engraved in rock before rock-cut steps leading towards top of the fort. 

EXPLORATION

After going through Main Entrance of fort via rock cut steps, I reached the top of the Asherigad around 1 pm and found Asherigad having a very large area and various fortifications to explore.

I have gone through Map of Asherigad and started to explore fort as per I planned. 

Several water resources, rock-cut steps and most importantly the water channel that showing Asherigad having a good system for storing water which really amazed me as it was more worthwhile to visit than I expected. 

Ancient Cave with cannon and ruins showing ancient importance of Asherigad in Palghar region which is unfortunately already neglected. 

While Exploring, I find out a Wall fortification & Watchtower which is not included in the Asherigad Map. Wall fortification is built in the middle portion of the fort which could be made to prevent an enemy attack as it looked a weak col for enemies to enter the fort and also Watertower of the fort facing towards the National Highway.   

The best part about Asherigad is End cliff point through which I saw one of the beautiful views of surrounding pinnacles, mountains range, and NH48 Highway. It was Indeed a Peaceful moment for which I dare to came solo. 

CLIFF

During Exploration, I faced a water shortage due to the hot atmosphere. But luckily I came across one of an artificial lake that had crystal clear water. I drink some water through the bottle then fill both bottles with this water of the lake. This lake helps me to get rid of thirst and then refreshed me for further journey.

RETURN JOURNEY

After about 3 hours of complete exploration of the fort, I started my return journey at 4 pm.

This time I took a natural wooden stick while descending through forest to comfort my mind games and finally, safely reached Base at around 5.30 pm. While walking from Khodkona village toward the highway, I saw the most silent evening I ever witnessed.

Soon I got a share TumTum from the highway and I have reached my home around 7 pm. 

TREKKOMANIACS

Usually, I don’t do a trek again to the same place. But I broke my rules and visited Asherigad again at the end of the year that with my ‘TREKOMANIACS” gang and this time I got more pictures of myself and had more fun with my squad.

Team Trekkomaniacs: from left to right – the leader Saurabh, Myself, Tejas, Krunal, Gauri and click by Shardul

We also found a large group of people from nearby village also visited Asherigad.

FINAL THOUGHT

But doing the solo trek for the first time was a different story. You have to learn to be independent, more responsible about water and food usage, less risky for safety and be alert for every minute while trekking. But before that, planning journey after researching the place and then executing is an important thing.

Keep the note that when you do any solo trek, please try to give location detail throughout the trek to one of close person who has the same interest as you and keep and share contact details of nearby hospitals, local police or a trekking rescue team with that person in case of any serious accident or emergency.

ABOUT ASHERIGAD

·        Asherigad Trek is easy and well-marked so there are no chances of getting lost even in the forest. Also grade of Trek is easy so anyone can do this trek.

·        Local people are also helpful for guiding you about the route and on request they can also arrange food.

·        If you going solo by relying on public transport, then you have to wait especially while return journey in the evening as there is a transport issue between Khodkona and Mastan Naka. So If you want to save your time and also expenses then I advise you to go to a group of at least 10 people and hire Tata Magix or Tum Tum for also return journey.

·        If though Asherigad is unpopular among other forts in the Sahyadri, it offers much to explore and beauty to admire and cherish.’

Planning to visit or want to know more about ASHERIGAD

Check out the detail Informative blog about ASHERIGAD FORT

https://wanderingmaharashtra.travel.blog/2019/12/30/asherigad-protector-of-palghar/

Let me know about your positive-negative valuable reviews and if you really like this blog then do LIKE & SHARE and also do not forget to FOLLOW my website as there are more such blogs are coming soon.

A little Appreciation from you is all I desire…!!!

KEEP WANDERING

-Wandering Mann

Keep the note that all information on this website is for general information purposes only. Even though most of the information I gained through personal experiences, Still I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is, therefore, strictly at your own risk

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