Kenjalgad and Raireshwar

In my memory, this would remain registered as one the most spontaneously planned and quickly executed treks. One fortunate Friday (read ‘no work in office’), one of my senior colleagues suggested a trek to Kenjalgad & Raireshwar. I was in for it right from the beginning because the trek to Makarangadh scheduled on Sunday had got cancelled. We asked around other people who might be interested, the final count came down to a tiny group of five people: My colleague who’d suggested the trek, his wife, me and two more colleagues.  

I really hadn’t seen what 5 AM looked like ever since my final semester engineering exams. I set out of home at about 5:45 AM and drove through the cold morning to reach Katraj, which was our starting point for the trek. At Katraj, we got into my colleagues car, and we set out towards our destination: Bhor district located at a distance of about 50 Kms from Pune.  

Kenjalgad is a reasonably simple trek; it involves a fair deal of walking and has just a few slippery patches towards the top of the fort. Raireshwar is even simpler as the walking part is lesser and the climb to the top is made easier because of the steps provided.  

The temple at Raireshwar is famous for its historical importance. It is believed that, Shivaji Maharaj took the oath of Hindavi Swarajya in this temple at the age of 16 in 1645. It is said that he had cut his little finger and taken the oath by dripping blood onto the Shivling in the temple.  

So yeah…..Our schedule, for the benefit of anyone planning to cover these two forts in a day, was something like this;  

7:30 AM : Departure from Pune  

8:30 AM : A brief stop for breakfast  

10:00 AM : Started the climb from the base of Kenjalgad  

12: 00 PM : Reached the top of the fort and spent some time there  

1:00 PM : Descend downward began  

2: 30 PM : Reached the base again and started the climb to Raireshwar  

We had parked our car at the base point common to both Kenjalgad and Raireshwar.  

 3:30 PM : At the top of Raireshwar  

4:00 PM : After about 2 kilometers, Reached the home of our hosts for lunch in the village  

5:15 PM : Journey back to the base  

6:15 PM : Back at the base  

A few pictures…  

Fort Kenjalgad, captured from Raireshwar

  

This picture captures half of our trek, from base at the extreme right to the Kenjalgad Fort at the left… Thankfully the weather was kind to us throughout this long walk up to the top of the fort. This whole stretch we did not spot even a single soul, I think this is, and will remain for me, the best part of trekking – Enormous spaces devoid of adulteration of any kind…..  Even in the long barren patches, you can see nature in its mystic glory…..especially in the monsoons, the forts surrounded by greens in all shades; seem so perfectly in sync with the universe……  

Our gracious hosts at Raireshwar...

Our generous hosts at the Raireshwar Village Shri Gopal Rao Jangam with his family…  

(From L-R Laghoo, Rahul, Anand, Ankush, Mr & Mrs Gopal Jangam with little baby Markarand, Anamika and the elder girl, whose name I can’t seem to recollect…  )  

Assal Marathi :) ..... thecha, methi chi bhaji, kobi chi bhaji, bhakri, papad ani loncha

The food…..ah the most lip smackingly-awesome food…….and as I always say after every amazing meal like this;  Annadata Sukhi Bhava   :)  (God bless the providers of this meal…..) 

Understated Elegance.....

We had just about witnessed a fine-looking sunset from the top of Raireshwar and begun our journey back to the base, when we saw this lady walking slowly towards the village. I asked her if I could take a picture of hers, she said nothing, and I took her faint smile for a yes. There was such a delicate grace in the way she put her stick down and readjusted the ends of her sari over her head in acknowledgement of my request. The style is understated and the charm stems from her humility…….. subtle, hence classic.  

Another thought crossed my mind, while taking these pictures, people in the rural areas are so uninhibited. Say while walking through the road, if a guy walks up to you and asks you if he could take your pic, a thousand thoughts would cross your mind at once (What? Why? Why me? Etc etc)…..But just look at the smiles in the all the pictures above, they shine straight through to their eyes……sometimes ignorance really is bliss…. The lesser we know, the lesser there is room for doubts and fears…..  

So all in all, a wonderful trek….and a day well spent and well concluded by scenic drive through Wai…..  

Every trek, my naturally lethargic soul makes me ask myself this question at least once : “Why?….Why am I subjecting myself to this physical strain?… it’s totally uncalled for while I could be sleeping away to glory at home and waking up to a nice late breakfast on this lazy Sunday morning :) ”……. And the answer every single time, comes to me when I get to the peak…..It is for that view from the top, looking down at the stunning green blanket from above……the graceful contours of the mountains…….the outlines of the peaks casually flirting with the horizon…….it is for those few split seconds of solitude under the abundance of the blue skies….for the soothing symphony of the wind, which i seem to have lost the ear for, in the maddening traffic of the city……  

And lastly, because when I’m standing on the edge of the peak, for that split second, something tells me I can take the leap…..

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13 thoughts on “Kenjalgad and Raireshwar

  1. Nice trek!!!
    We should do one longone together now. Really exhaustive!!!

    Also, couldnt have agreed more to the “WHY??” this trek point… My body groans each time we do a trek, “Why god why…” But the answer is aptly explained by you…

  2. Hey….
    The view is so beautiful…
    And surprisingly you remember names of everyone in the pic (except one…. but still creditable….. :P )

  3. Hay,

    The information about this trek is so nise & calculative also.
    We are planned for this trek on augest 15,2012. Is this season sutable for this trek ? We have plan to start the trek from Raireshwar and then go to Kenjalgad. Is it possible ? You wrot in your blog that you had started the trek from a commen point to both gad, please tel me which & where is this point and how to reach there ?
    Regards
    Anil Kulkarni

    • Hi Anil,

      Glad you found the information helpful. Monsoons are a good season for any trek around Pune. So go for it!

      I’m sending via mail Mr Gopal Jangam’s number who stays atop Raireshwar in a village. If you can call him, he will arrange for excellent home made food and you can also get directions from him over phone. We enjoyed a lovely lunch at his place after first trekking Kenjalgad and then reaching Raireshwar. We were five people and paid him about 600 bucks for lunch.

      • Hi Chaitra,

        Thank you very much for quick and hopeful reply.
        Waiting for your mail for mob.no. of Gopal Jangam.
        Thank You…..

    • Here it is 9370717634.

      Anil who has just commented before you visited Raireshwar recently and mailed me saying Mr Jangam is apparently very famous on the fort. So you can just ask for him after you get there.

      But of course, if you call him up before hand, delicious lunch will be awaiting your arrival.

      Also, there are a lot of kids there, in case you wish to, you can carry some pencils, notebooks and crayons for them.

  4. Just wondering, Mr Gopal’s number is still this . . . caz post i can see almost year back…we are planing 3rd august to visit this place

  5. Hey thanks alot . . .This mansoon is awsm going for us . . .Rajmachi . . .Kenjalgad & Raireshwar . . .next Kalsubai 15th August Independence day . . .Followed by may be mostly Mount Everest (Hard Pray for this) . . . . .Anyone interested most welcome in any event . . . 9970068716 ma number FYI

  6. From: subhrajit.ghadei@gmail.com

    Hey,

    An excellent read. This is Subhrajit from http://www.adventureclicknblog.com and we would love to have your blogs listed in our website. We are trying to capture all the adventure blogs at one place. We would love to have contributions from you. Our team can design them post it uner your profile. We have also launched a credit system for contributions by which contributors can reimburse the points for cool travel stuffs (adventureclicknblog.com/moreblognearn.php). The credit points are a way of saying thank you for your sincere effort and time for writing.

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    Subhrajit Ghadei,
    Co-founder,
    http://www.adventureclicknblog.com,
    Pune, Maharashtra, India
    Think Adventure, Think Us
    0091 8378997510
    Education: B.Tech (IIT Bombay), MBA (IIM Lucknow)

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