Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012-07-14 Karnala Trek

Trekking in rains is the most wonderful experience.
Karnala in mist
Just last weekend had been to Korigad just a few kms from Lonavla and this weekend got an opportunity to trek to karnala fort.

Karnala is my favorite destination but for a different reason which is birding.
Have been ample number of time to karnala and had done birding for hours at the base of the fort looking out for beautiful birds. (See last blog

But being at the santuary it difficult miss a look at the Karnala fort from down and wished to trek to it some day.

Ravindra called me to ask if I would be interested and I said yes.
Sunil my school mate was also joining and he shared with me the well planned itinerary created by Sagar and Mandar was there to make sure that it happens as planned :-)

Ravindra picked us up from Juinagar at around 7:30am and a group of 20 people started after halting at Kamath for a quick breakfast at around 8:30am.

From around Feb 2012 (Bird race day) the forest officials had started a process to check the bags of people entering into the santuary for plastic bottles, eatbles plastic covers like biscuits, wafers etc and count them. A deposit of about Rs 200-500 is taken depending on the number of plastics and one needs to show these while going out and then only the deposit is returned.

This has helped a lot in maintaining cleanliness inside, on the way to fort and at the top of the fort.
A very good practice indeed!!

It was dry as we got down at the entrance of the sanctuary but soon after starting the trek the rains started and it was a wonderful climb.

After a first stretch of climb through rocks and thick forest we reached an opening from where the other side was visible. Thickly forested and today filled with lot of clouds it was got sight.

The first break

Horizontal walk after the first climb
Walking along the ledge we reached a plateau giving a view of the fort in the front and the goa highway down below on the right.

View on the right side

View of goa highway from top

The karnala Fort

The view on the left of the plateau
This is where we heard the Malabar whistling thrush whistling away for a brief period.

Then a second climb started which was steeper and more importantly made of big rocks with high steps and in some places slippery.

But the climb becomes worth when once reaching the top we see the view around with clouds filling in the space around you.

Then a last small climb remained which took us to the base of the steps leading to the fort.

The base of the steps to the fort
A photo session was done sitting on the steps of the fort.

The sight in front was fantastic with the 2 levels of plateaus visible.

We moved around the high rock peak of karnala from the left and reached the other side.

Went to end of the ledge and enjoyed the cool breeze, wonderful rain and the clouds below in the valley.
We spent around 1hour at the top and then start the descend at around 12noon.

It seems most of the time that climbing is easier that descending especially when there are steep portions tackle.

It was not raining any more and in major part of the descend we were in sun making it very hot and humid.

We reached the base at 2pm and reached Kshanbhar Vishranti for lunch at around 2:30pm.
View of Karnala from Kshanbhar Vishranti

Started back at 3:30 pm and were home by around 5:30pm.

A saturday very well spent!!

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