For a traveller like me, nothing can be more special than a b’day surprise to explore a new place.
Ah, this time I am definitely going to reach the destination unlike last time. I planned this trip few months ago but unfortunately we had a bad luck; our car got puncture and there were many more circumstances.
He-he so yeah!! finally Paresh planned a surprise trip to Korigad fort on my birthday.
Dated 02 Oct,2016:
I will start with the beginning of my b’day. The day is already special, as my birth date is same as that of great personality of India “Mahatma Gandhi”. woo-hoo! I do not possess those great qualities though.
Anyways, so where I was? Yeah my first b’day gift was a surprise candle light dinner ( won’t go in much detail now #personal 😛 ). All planned by my one and only partner (wink!!). Then we returned back and went to Nikhil’s (One of our bestie) place, where all my friends did beautiful decorations. As I entered his flat along with Paresh, everyone started wishing me with hugs. There were heart shaped balloons all over the place, two cakes ( one from my all friends and one came from my best friend Ekta aka “Eku”from Delhi ) on the table lighten with candles. I was so happy and excited. The cake was yummy but we ended up playing holi with the cake. Oops!! Again lost in writing, this blog is more about the trek to Kodigad. So here we go.
Kodigad fort, also known as “Koraigad fort”, is a one-day easy trek situated at a distance of 90kms from Pune and located at height of 3,028 feet approximately.
Although the place is known to a few, perfect to go for hiking during light rain. If you move a little ahead of most famous point of Lonavala “Lions Point”, you will find Korigad fort on the way to Aamby valley.
How to reach(from Pune):
Basically, to reach korigad you need to reach Lions point, Lonavala and then move ahead towards Aamby valley until you find a V-shaped road. You will see a direction board showing Korigad on it, go straight on the path for around 12 kms. There is a car parking on the left, you will find a trek to Korigad fort beside the parking area.
Also, you should have your own vehicle as there are very few transportation sources such as shared buses and autos available for the place.
My travel Experience:
We started off at 11 am (a bit late. Hehe actually very late). Nobody woke up as we slept late due to my my birthday bash as I mentioned. We hired a car on rent ( ZoomCar ). We were five people which includes me, Paresh, Nikhil, Rupal and Ruchi. After about an hour, we moved out of city towards Lonavala. It was raining slowly, romantic music in the car. After every 20 mins, I was getting a rose and a tiny letter with something written on it about me (“Love in the air”). I was excited and surprised as I had no idea where we were heading usually my journey is well planned, but honestly I loved this unplanned journey. I was curious to know about the place but nobody told me about it. Still I was happy as I was going on a trip and that too with the best company of friends. Also It is well said:
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
After a while we stopped to have fresh Coconut water ( Rupal being crazy about, nowadays ).
Mostly, when we go on Lonavala route, all the ghats are covered with fog. But this time( due to less rain ), we could see huge lush green valleys reflecting peace. Once we reached Lion’s point, there was huge fog all over the place. It kept becoming dense as we moved towards Aamby Valley road. There were sharp turns and fog, it was a bit difficult to drive as well.
Finally, we reached the base village of Korigad Fort, known as Peth Shahpur village, at 2 pm . We parked our car on the parking provided near a bus stop. It was raining outside. We started wearing the raincoat, kept phones in waterproof cases / covers and good to go now.
Wait a second, there gotta be something tragic(Paresh+Ani = pareshani) with this trip too, right ? Oh yes, length of my raincoat and end of my hot pants was at a same level. It seemed more like I am 4 year old kid wearing only raincoat and forgot the bottoms. Duh! I realized it later, when all of them teased me. Anyways I was laughing at myself too and yes Rupal was also wearing her “Jhola” ( extra large ) raincoat, ha-ha So I had a company with someone.
It was all muddy as we started trekking and me being extra scared, when it comes to trekking, took every step slowly with everyone’s help. Fortunately, I have amazing friends.
As we moved ahead, there was this area full of dense black-rooted half cut trees without leaves on them, even on such a green plateau. It looked creepy.
I wanted to go to the loo. Ah, but I couldn’t find any place so there was no option but control. Moving ahead there was one very slippery path where Rupal fell off and 😛 she was not able to get up. Paresh helped her to get up. Then suddenly one uncle came and he fell down at the same place. He was old, so we ran towards him to help. Surprisingly, he denied with a smile and requested, ”Let me do on my own”. I was amazed to see his enthusiasm and positivity.I hope to have such enthusiasm when I am this age.
Pheeewww! finally found a place full of trees and sheds, where I could go for the loo. Rupal waited for me just near the shed and meanwhile, she was jumping in excitement.
As we started moving ahead, there were brambles all over the place, muddy land and it was raining continuously. It is more a jungle trek.
Finally, we found old black-stoned stairs. The stairs are covered with tiny waterfalls.
First you will see a big area where Korai Devi Temple is located. There is a big tree shed and a view point nearby, which has a beautiful view of the valley. We captured some pictures over there.
As we climbed up we found the gate of fort and some caves.
The caves are all dark, filled with water and they are all very creepy. We saw few bones inside some caves. My legs were paining a lot. It felt as if those stairs kept increasing and still no sign of fort.
But you know “To travel means to discover” and suddenly this thought filled me with energy and this time I took a breathe only after reaching on top. The feeling was intense, I was so relaxed and sat on a corner of the plateau, where I could see the whole view of the way through which we came all the way to top.
I could feel the wind on the hair, rain on the face, shivering on the body ( as I was totally wet ) and smell the mist of fog and flowers.
There was a huge plateau on top. It was all covered with mud and tiny yellow flowers.
While I was lost in nature's beauty, my crazy friends were clicking pictures and were enjoying like kids. Ha-ha I just love this picture.
There is also one snack shop on the top.We ordered some food.But the biggest weakness I always find about India is waste materials lying here and there instead of dustbins. I cannot go and ask everyone to keep cleanliness but at least I would really like to request my readers including travellers like me to carry forward my message and put the waste materials in dustbins and if you do not find any dustbin where you ate, please always carry paper bags with you to take the waste and throw it at nearby dustbins/garbage bins available.In short,"Clean India Green India".
Instead of waiting for our order to come we started capturing snaps. Paresh and Nikhil made a crown with those yellow flowers on all of three girls hair. Ha-ha! though It was totally unexpected from them to do such a lovely thing for us. The crowns looked beautiful and so were we. Maybe I am a bit crazy, but these small things make me feel so special and lucky.
Then we had those hot and crispy corn and onion pakodaas were mouth watering with a perfect hot cup of tea.
There is no sign of fort left except some boundaries and a small temple with an idol of Lord Vishnu. We visited the small temple and there we found two cute puppies. I was just looking at them and all of a sudden rupal started playing with them and fed them with biscuits. And when it comes to puppies, she behaves as if she is their mother and starts caring for them. As it was raining and puppies were shivering, she took them inside her raincoat (as I mentioned previously, extra large in size) and started cuddling them (whispering “ale..le..le”).
There are two ponds just behind the Lord Vishnu temple. I was amazed to see the ponds at such a height and that too on plateau. The water was so pure and clean. I was just gazing at the waves forming in the pond due to rain drops. It was a perfect bliss to eyes to see the serene beauty of nature with layers of fog, water and mud. We spent some hours there and then started returning back capturing beautiful pictures.
As we moved downstairs, we started singing loudly with full energy. It took only 15 minutes approx to move all the way down. We were just about to reach parking area, Ruchi fell down at one very slippery patch covered with shallow and wet soil.
That’s how our trip ended with lots of memories and a crave to explore next destination.
2 Large ponds on the top of beautiful plateau, View of Aamby Valley, Korai Devi temple, Ganesh temple, Lord Vishnu’s Idol, lotus flower, some tiny yellow blossoms and some old creepy caves and few chunks of fort left.
Best route from Pune: Reach Lion's Point Lonavala through expressway and from lion's point go straight upto 13kms till car parking area of Koriagad base village.
Photos taken: 230
- Car Rent: Rs.3000 included round trip from Pune to Kodigad fort including petrol.
Miscellaneous:Food on the road trip including breakfast, lunch , and dinner: Rs.2000.
Total amount spent: Rs.5000(for 5 people).
See you guys soon with my next travel story.Till then keep exploring love, life, food, and wanderlust.