Chirakalik is an idea to unite multi-dimensional creativity including art, design, photography, philosophy or could be a simple discussion over a wide variety of topics.
This blog is meant not only to emphasize on mere tangible work but if given a thought it could reach even higher paradigm. I feel it makes creative connections easily and provides best workout to my grey matter, ideas positively spews out once i am done.
Alang is a fort (@ 4500 ft ASL) in Nashik district, Maharashtra, India. It is one of the three forts, the others being Madangad and Kulang in the Kalsubai range of the Western Ghats. Alang, Madan and Kulang, the forts situated in Kalasubai range, are the most difficult forts in Nasik District. Dense forest and less population have made these treks difficult. These three forts are little neglected due to very heavy rain and difficult as well as confusing ways to go.
Sunset at the base
Well, why it is as "Incomplete Alang" is a bit obvious. I was dissapointed, and at the same time realized the fact that we're not prepared strategically. What my friend said “…..we didn’t respect alang”. True!
March 28th 2011, Monday, 2030 hrs. Immediately after my routine was waiting for my friends to come up with all’em bag packed and energy and zeal. We drove off Pune at around 2130 hrs. all the way from NH 50 we came through beautiful roads. We hault at a restaurant for a while and resumed our destination. There my friend showed me a paper scrap which had the information regarding the ways to reach alang. He told me there are two ways to reach the fort Ambewadi village Route (Grade : Tough) 6 - 8 hrs. To reach Alang, one should go to Kasara or Igatpuri and then Ambevadi by the Igatpuri/Kasara-Ghoti-Pimpalnermor route. Ambevadi is 32 km away from Ghoti. We can easily see Alang, Madan and Kulang from here. From Ambevadi, a way goes to the ridge between Alang and Madan. However this way is quite hectic. approximately 3 hours are required to reach near the ridge. From the ridge, the fort seen on left is Alang and the one on the right is Madan. From here two ways go towards Alang. a) One way descends from the ridge. Within 1 hour we reach at the plateau. Keep Alang at left hand and after 1-hour walk, we reach a cavern. From here we can move further by rock climbing. Then we reach at a flat patch. Keep left and proceed towards the pinnacle. After 10-15 minutes we come at a cave in the fort.
b) Proceed from the ridge and after easy rock climbing we come near few steps. After ascending these steps we have to climb a broken pinnacle of 80-90 ft. Only trained climbers can go by this way. By this way we reach at the fort after 6 hours.
Ghatghar via Ghoti-Bhandardara - 2 hrs
Another way towards fort is from Ghatghar. Go at Ghatghar via Ghoti-Bhandardara. From here, in 2 hours, one can come to the third cavern.
Via Bhandardara from Udadvade - 3 hrs
Other way towards fort is via Bhandardara from Udadvade gaon. It takes us at the plateau and then connects to Ghatghar route. Unfortunately we lost the paper scrap.
We crossed Sangamner village at around 0300 hrs singing and screaming woo-hoo out loud. Crossed Bhandardara dam, drove 3-4kms and reached to a village at pitch dark night, relieved our bladders gazed the sky stars were almost touching our nose. We knocked at one door of a villager at 0330 hrs. He was sleeping at the best and was innocent. We just wanted to confirm the route to alang gad (Alang Fort). Freak! He uttered few words to my friend in marathi dialect. He said its too far from here and said to take the adjacent road for atleast 2 hrs from the point. My friend was not convinced well as for the situation for the villager. So we drove again a mile and asked another villager, this time he was awake as if waiting for us. My friend went to him and asked again for the same. This time my friend seemed a bit convinced and thus we followed. We took a clip turn fom the said point. And were on our way to Ambewadi village. We kept moving till its dawn and I had my eyes shut off for a while.
Blue white sky, stars fading out, brown moistened sand, huts, and lots of chicken alive and beautiful smell of cool morning breeze. We got out of car walked to the village pond and splashed our face. We changed as we could. I was already feeling that there is no material substance and that everything that seems to exist is a product of thought and consciousness. That ideas are the true reality. I was idealistic. Since the very beginning i started traveling, roaming places, different regions, different cultures and different people. I realized am addicted to it.
We were comfortably four. A doctor, a dietetian, a psychologist and you can put me into any field except these three. Car was parked near one villager’s hut. He was informed that we are moving towards the peak Alang. Alang, Madan and Kulang, the three forts were standing right in front. And we begun.
March 29th 2011, Tuesday, 0755 hrs we were all packed up with our bags and caramets walking straight ahead to reach the Alang fort. We took the water fall way which is not mentioned anywhere in road map. Since, it was cutting the Alang fort from the rest two forts and was reaching the top, we applied our grey matter. Soon the heat was at peak and was sucking body moisture making us drink more and more water to avoid dehydration. We traversed through dense forest and scratching our skin through all the way. We finished the forest and hit the rocks. As planned we took the water fall way climbing up each and every rock came in front of us, rocks in here are leaded and black in color thus trapping more and more heat in it. We reached small plateau above and decide to rest for a while, had bread and jam. Stuffed, re-hydrated and packed again for the fort Alang! We really had to buck up soon as it was already 1500 hrs. Our friend got one way passing the prickly trees and dense forest, we reckon we're almost there but disappointment sustained. The "Y" ways are not simple when you are left with one litre water at mid-atfernoon for four people in the Indian summer. Things were getting worse and we became more skeptic about making it the same day. With all our will and hopefulness we headed thinking we're this close. We traversed through the rocks and bushes straight under the star sun exacerbating the pain. One of my friend was walking a bit ahead suddenly shouted, the shout was full of hope and boosted our aspiration to certain level. He explored rock staircase moving upwards we could see a cavern at vertical distant. We rappelled the vertical cliff and reached the cavern. We sat and finished the last drop of water we carried along, we sat for long absorbing the spectacular view of the village we left 4500 meters below as we were quite certain about the destiny until we hit a flat ridge engraved with pitons asking us "...why you didn't carry the ropes children?". Well, because we didn't plan for the rope way, simple. We were mistaken. Still keeping our heart strong we hoped the best would happen to us. From their a ridge was passing towards our right, we followed few steps and had to halt as it was a inclined floor with small pebbles making it deadly to cross as it was inclining towards the valley (approx 4500 meters down). So, we had to crouch and carefully drag our arse to the other end of the deadly patch. It took about half an hour to cross 12 yards of distance. We promised not to return to this patch again, but its nature. We walked ahead in the myriads of probability and hope, a hope in vain. We enjoyed till our fate gave up. We saw a way going down the ridge. Making our each step consoling ourselves. It was 1700 hrs and we're still trying to find the way to Alang. Each of us abseiled down carefully the rock patch with out a rope. One of our friend decided to be ahead and guide the best way out. And, got his body stuck due to his heavy built in the middle of two rocks. It was pretty serious moment when he signaled for a hand at once. One of us waiting above decided to go down and help him out. Phew..after a long energy sucking silence both of our friends successfully avoided the worst situation could happen that evening. We again climbed the rocks but it was difficult with the luggage and fuel. We decided to tie all the bags and fuel with a nylon rope and slowly slide it through the steep rock patch where we're about to reach following the same path we came. But it wasn't so simple. The fuel can detached from the tied rope and hit the rock down with full gravity force. A subtle silence felt again with the complete loss of hope. We realized the smell of kerosene spread all over the rocks. We climbed up and reached the same deadly patch we promised we won't return. This time we crossed it in few minutes. Our rage against the series of unfortunate events got over our fear and weariness. We collected our bags and empty can and gave it a try once more. It was one of our mate who decided to check on the other side of the rock we gave up. Moving parallel to the ridge he went and we sat and waited with the luggage. After a while he came and we all took a hopeless sigh. And, decided to walk down all the way back to our base. It was around 1800 hrs and was getting dark. It'as more than three hours we didn't see a drop of water to quench our stressed mind. Conflicts begun among our group as every body went paranoid. We finally decided to step down the valley ensuring ourselves we'll reach before dark. We back loaded our bags and started walking back. Suddenly, a silent brisk broken by our friend saying "hey, can we check that patch up there if we can get some water? It was enough of false believing ourselves and i simply went mad and denied to reach and waste my energy in vain. Then i asked her to go and check by yourself one of our friend accompanied her and re-built our hope. Water! I looked on to my friend standing beside me with a sigh of relief. And, at once decided to stay near by the cistern. rope