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. . . Enjoyed a sleep in a cowshed. . . 

I am going to tell you about my first trekking experience. I was so scared, nervous and exciting as well.

Dhiraj, Prashant these are my some of the best friends and they had visited some of the forts before Rajgad trip. They planned a trip to Rajgad fort and invited me and one more guy, Dhairyashil in their group. All of the other group members were new for me but after the Rajgad trip, we all became good friends of each other.

We all decided to spend one entire day on fort and climb the fort in night. Initially it was quite scary thought for me. Dhiraj, Prashant, Sunil, Pravin, Dhairyashil, Anant Kaka(Uncle) and me, we all were in the group. We all picked up a bus from Swargate bus stand at around 3:30 pm and reached at the base village of fort near about 7:30 pm. It was almost dark and we took out our torches those were not so powerful. We all had near about 4-5 kg luggage in our bags and in such a condition we all started to climb the Rajgad fort in night.

Rajgad is one of the highest forts in Maharshtra state of India and there were some risky points as well on the way. It was really very bad to climb Rajgad in night. It was just bad. The worst situation was still there waiting for us.

We walked around 4-5 km and suddenly stormy rainfall started. Within just five minutes we became completely wet. We had taken our bed to sleep at fort, some food items, some optional clothes and all of this material became completely wet. Our luggage of around 4-5 kg luggage got turn into 8-10 kg. We waited for some time with the hope that rain would stop and we would move on. We put our mobile phones, wallets in a plastic bag but there was no sign that rain will stop. Actually it was raining by more intensely.

Pravin was still saying that we all should continue and rain would stop. But Anant Kaka, who was the most senior among all of us, he said we should get back to base village and tried to find some way to spend a night and on next morning we could continue with trek. We all decided to follow the Anant Kaka rather than over ambitious Pravin and as there was no option, Pravin also followed us. In base village, we asked a family for some place to spend the night and they allow us to stay in their cowshed. We all change our clothes and hanged all of the wet cloths to get dry. We ate the “some wet-some dry” food items. Dhiraj brought the Matar Panir Sabji in a stainless steel tin and fortunately it was not wet but it was so tasty also.

We all enjoyed our dinner and some cows and bufellows also were enjoying their dinner within just couple of meter away from us and we all spend the entire night with them. Dhairyashil forgot to bring his bed and that’s why the whole we were fighting for one coverlet which I had.

We all woke up near about at 4 am, brushed our teeth and moved towards the Rajgad again. Before leaving we pay some amount to those family members who helped us in such a crucial time.

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Due to the rain in last night, there was cool atmosphere and beautiful greenery around. Finally somehow we reached at the top of the fort and then we decided to get around the Balekilla which was the highest and central part of fort.

There was a rock patch of around 10 feet and only one thin, moving iron rod for support. Dhiraj, Dhairyashil and me decided to not to go for Balekilla and we all just wait for others. On the way of Balekilla we watch the remains of Sadar(main office) and Ambarkhana(Place to keep the elephants).

Then we move towards the temple of goddess. Fortunately, temple is still in good condition and we all take some rest there. We spreaded all our wet clothes, on the roof of temple. We planned to make Misal-Pav and then we started for the preparation. Sunil was our main chef and he made a best, tasty and perfect missal for all. We all were so much hungry and enjoyed the Misal-Pav. We played the card games in temple and after taking some rest, we again started to move down.

We decided to choose another route for getting down. It was much easier than previous one from which we climbed up the fort. We reached at another base village “Gahunjane” and we picked up the bus for Swargate bus stand. We reached at home near about at 10 pm.

Moral is that, fort was awesome, trip also was great but it would be greater if rain won’t interrupt us. Whenever we all remember the incidence now after some years, we all start smiling but at the actual moment we all were so tense and nervous about how to climb the fort in night and in such a stormy rain.

About Rajgad fort I would say that it is really great fort. Rajgad means the royal fort and it would be really a royal place during the era of King Shivaji. But now, the fort is not in good condition. Government must have to preserve it.

I just want to say, either it would be one of the highest forts in state, difficult to reach, rock patches on the way. . . .  We must have to visit the Rajgad at least once in the lifetime because it was the first capital of Maratha Empire. I would definitely love to visit Rajgad again.

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