June 2007: KamanDurg Trek
(9th June 2007) – as usual a trekking plan was due to be scheduled!!
I soon drafted an email !! for all the Meetup Members and my close trekka fellas.
First Email Draft Subject : SAT – 9th June 2007 – KamanDurg
- Reach VASAI Railway station – (by train) ~ 6:00 a.m. to 6:15 a.m. (We shall not be waiting for late comers)
- take a ST Bus to Reach Kaman via Tungareshwar Chinchoti(Chincha Vati) route from Vasai.
- reach Devkuni (base village)
- start the uphill climb – stay on top – start climbin down around ~2:30 p.m.
- back to Vasai by ~7:00 p.m
- back home 🙂
Tats all for this SATURDAY !!
Soon …. I realized that I had to give the list of do’s and dont’s … coz most of the felllas expected from Meetup were first timers.
And there I send the second email draft !!
Subject : Re: SAT – 9th June 2007 – KamanDurg
Ola Trekkaa-Fellas !! ,
This is the final detailed email :
Reporting Day: Saturday, 9th June 2007
Reporting Person: Kalpesh ( 9820XXXXXX)
Reporting Time: Between 6:00 a.m. to 6:15 a.m.
Reporting Place: Platform no 1 – (near ticket window ) Vasai Railway Stn – Western.
Tickets: Purchase your own RETURN ticket for Vasai(Local Train)
(Take a return ticket from whereever you are boarding)
Its great to have so many interested !! trekka-fellas in here…
BUT lets talk abt DOs and DON’Ts
Now — you read further… NO Alcohol !! Strictly NO !!
We ll are great nature freaks !
Preparation starts with how you dress
dont wear shorts and sleeveless shirts when in deserts and hot places
(u shall get sun burns)
* No heavy baggage, (You have to carry on your own 😉 )
* dont wear extra tight jeans, or heavy clothing with lots of party accessories, you r not goin to a fashion show. so make ur torso breath the nature around u
* dont wear heavy clothing (like jeans)
* dont wear floaters or sandals to party .. u are out on the untouched roads.
– Loose fitting long sleeves and pants provide good air circulation
and much better protection than sunblock(protection from sunburn).
– Wearing bright colored clothing will help gettin located in dark.
– Sunglasses that exclude ultra-violet light are a good idea when u goin
to hot locations. (studies claim they can help prevent cataracts later)
* make comfortable clothin . clothin tat makes easy walk, run, climb, fall, sleep..
* wear shoes tat last for the whole course of the terrain.
* carry an extra pair of footwear if you need one
* take extra pairs in case we are landing up in a waterfall ( 😉 ur clothes happen to tear apart)
* take sufficient handkerchiefs , towels, for self cleaning (dont be unhealthy by using someone elses towels)
* dont bring food like those gujju’s usually carrry along.
* dont carry too much junk food ( tat makes u uneasy , unhealthy or vomiting )
* carry easy munches (sandwiches, breads n butters, etc.. )
* sufficient energisers (chocolates, fruits bars, etc..)
* sufficient thirst quenchers (atleast a couple of bottles of fluid)
* you wont get water out there (so carry adequate water supplies)
* Bananas are good.
Health n Accessories:
* dont carry medicines for the whole world , u are not on a rescue mission
* each participant should carry sufficient first aid atleast for self.
* sufficient bandaids, torches, knives .. etc..
Additional Dos :
– Take a whistle along with you
– Make a signalling system
– Take markin chalks to write on rocks and trees
– Take small ribbon strips for guiding the path
– Wear clothes that allow your skin to breathe
– Bring Caps, Handkerchiefs, Extra Ts, Extra shorts
– carry sufficient water
– First Aid : Cotton, Bandaid, Straps, Survival kits
– Sturdy Knife
– carry useful knowledge abt the location u gonna trek
Additional Donts :
– do not eat, whn u have monkeys(u know who) around you
– dont leave anyone alone when u have fierce animals around you.
– dont carry things for other members in the crew (let them learn how to trek)
– dont bring too many things for others (every one should be self sufficient)
Audible Signallin System
– A whistle is a very good emergency item, whistle shall bring lost people closer
– Audible signals should be made in rhythmic bursts of three.
– 3 timed short blasts sound like a signal for help.
– Gunshots and car horns also should be timed in groups of three.
– Yelling is the poorest alternative.
– A long whistle blast sounds like a hawk from a distance
The basics of survival?
– Prepare for the worst. Control panic.
– Use your brain. If u dont have one borrow one.
– Use energy and water wisely.
– Be ready to signal.
– Don’t listen to your stomach.
– Most of all, do not fear the nature. coz for them it is like home.
Contents Of Pocket Survival Kit
* Instructions with blank side for notes
* 1 Signal Whistle
* 1 Signal Mirror
* 1 pencil stub
* 1 small lighter (childproof to prevent leaking)
* 1 Mark III knife
* Sugar tablets
* 1 button compass
* Soap dish container
* Sterile scalpel blade
* flashlight and spare batteries
* 3 Band-Aids
* 2 plastic bags
* Picture of u ‘n’ ur kids
* 1 condom*
* 1 large needle
* Card with a prayer of comfort by any of ur fav Saints/Gurus
* ADD: any other personal medications needed
+ the only moron
As always I insisted on someone else to write a journey log … and again .. asked PAM and Ruturaj to write one.. Ruturaj’s Story Pam’s Story Read through their version(story) of our small and exciting expedition!! Ruturaj’s Story Kaman Durg – Authored by my friend: Ruturaj Vartak Kamandurg is a quiet and quite an unknown destination when it comes to trekking. Most of the enthusiasts prefer venturing in the Igatpuri and the Malshej ghats. The Mumbai-ite with the trouble of extra travel in the crowded locals before he can set his foot on the some of the lovely mountains. Kamandurg, close to Vasai, Mumbai, is however quite an experience for a trekker. The information about Kamandurg too is not easily found on the net 🙂 However Vj did manage to find and make the best use of Google. The trek was set for 9th Jun 2007. Vj getting his trekking meetup’s gang as well. Travelling Directions I was waiting for the Borivali local to shower its timely presence.. but as all public transport modes … it was untimely. I could reach Borivali station only by 5.15am, Vj’d called stating.. that we were gonna miss the 5.10 Virar local from Borivali. And we were helpless. The worst thing for me is to be not on time. But … “some things in life u just cant control”. 5.15, Borivali: I got down @ the first platform, I was wondering where was all the old structure, when I saw another train overtaking my train and halting ahead… What was that.. ! well… I was on the new platform (towards North), another train from Churchgate showing its might @ the platform, this time at the old one.. it was when I saw ‘Virar’ on the display, my cell rung, it was Vj checking if I could make the train that was arriving… ha!! perfect ! I was already running to make for it. With a sprint I made into some compartment. At Dahisar i finally met Vj in the compartment ahead with Vikram, this was a new guy from the meetup group. Seemed like a typical call-center-bachelor-guy happy go lucky life, smokes, bikes, etc. But I was wrong. Was quite a fun to know him later though….
आज बहुत मज़ा आएगा
Vikram kept saying that, I never new why. Inside, Anupama and Rajo were there as well giving their tashreefs a pre-rest. It was almost 6am at Vasai when we got down in the west to check for the routes etc. I was hungry and Vj had to wait for Kalpeshbhai, fine, i’d put that time to good use. A little enquiry @ the ST bus stand made us wonder we’d miss the bus, the bus that would drop us at Chichoti was about to leave in few min. Damn!! we were gonna miss it. outside we found it would be Rs 200 a rick for that place. We decided we’d wait till all came and figure out if there is a better deal on the eastern side. Few mins. later there were cells buzzing.. Kalpeshbhai, Mayur were ringing.. Kalpesh was running towards us, I never thought he too would be a pathetic PJ cracker as we are, but he turned out to be better or worse than us (I don’t know how to put that :P) We had a vadapav and chaay and moved towards the station when we met Mayur, hmmm… and crossed the lines to get on the otherside of the station.
We can always figure out the extra km traveled in the meter
Naa.. Mayur .. not here in villages … doesn’t work that way. We were trying to negotiate the extra fare if the final destination of Dekhundi village would be from the Kaman village. It turned out to be Rs. 180 for each rick with 4 people. We were 8 that was perfect. The rick-ride was initally boring however refreshing, and as soon we were on the Vasai-Bhiwandi exit, it started raining amidst the sun. This was better. We had few snaps which we could manage. And sooner we were at the Kaman village, where a villager guided us towards the right direction of the base of the fort, Dekhundi.
We had to walk a red soiled road, across a dry river to reach Devkhundi, at the village we spotted a house buzzing with life, early morning chores, etc. Thats where we decided to recruit our guide. We got a teenager.
अरे चल रे गड्या, घरी बसून काय करशील ?
Rajo very sweetly got his younger kid brother about 10 yrs old to join us. The trek started close to 7.30-8.00. No sooner we were 15 min. into the trek, it started raining.. we were waiting for it… It was also when Kalpeshbhai had a call from another meetup-groupie who was @ kaman village, and had around 1/2 to 1 hr to join us. He with another friend of his. We decided we’d wait.. We sent back the teenager to pick him, while Mahendra, the kiddo stayed with us. 15 min, and Mayur was fuming … we managed to get some laughs in his arguments. We decided that we’d move on. And the trek started… twists and turns, rocks gravel and climbs all helping to drain our calf muscles. As the clock moved past an hr since we’d started.. the pace of the group too started to pale, but we moved on. I was very quiet as there were few with whom I talk. There was Vj of-course and his PJs and Kalpesh just kept on adding to the heap. Vikram kept chanting “Aaaj mazaaa aayega”.
Later as soon we hit the plateau while crossing mountains.. the group moved ahead, with me and Vj at the end testing our photography skills. We even had few videos from our NGC explorer cum Dandia champ, Vj.
We kept dragging behind, often whistling to keep track of the group ahead led by Mahendra. But we kept snapping, and it was fruitful with some lovely snaps of flowers that we had on the route.
It was close to 11.30 when we thought we were almost at the top, when there was nothing above us but pure blue sky. The sun now starting to heat up the things. All the way long it was amongst the canopy and the early morning sun which didn’t really trouble us. But this was. Open and in the Sun. Some more climb and that was it for 2 of us, Santhosh and Mayur. they were happy resting on a rock. While rest of us were sure to make it to the final summit.
It was all rock climbing, none of which required any special training, but definately which requires caution and intelligent step placement. Further ahead, it was Anupama’s turn to halt. Now just me, Vj, Kalpesh, Vikram, Rajo and Mahendra treading along. The summit beautiful, all are though. Some more snaps.. and we headed back towards the trailers. That was when we saw 2 guys meeting the rest of the pack, I guess they were the ‘remainders of the division’.
Food was on everybody’s mind when we all of us met. As usual we had ample of bread, butter and Jam. Vj with is Sat. upwaas for a beautiful bride had got sweetlime, tomatoes and cucumber as well. A good, healty, meaty and heavy meal later We all were lazing around.. after the other 2 of the group joined us, we decided to move on.And that was it, it took us around 4 hrs to climb, with a whole lot of waiting, panting, resting, drinking, etc. But the descent was exceptionally quick, back into the foliage and the canopy shielded from the sun, all of us were quick, almost jumping and running down the path. It took us around 1.5hrs to reach back to the outskirts of Dekhundi, thirst and sweat …. !!! It was when we saw a hand-pump !!!! Yummy!!! There are certain experiences in life that u can’t blog, explain, write, etc. One of them is having a cold shower at a village hand pump after a trek, at the expense of somebody else pumping and flexing the triceps to shower u with cold cold water Jeevan
Aaaah … !!! पैसा वसूल
This was all that everybody had on their lips, with Vikram reminding us of “Aaaj bahut mazaa aaega” With a double, triple, quadraple showers, taking turns to pump water on each other, we finally moved on back towards the highway, it was another 1.5hr walk back, but it was good, after that refreshing bath. On the journey back, I wished some others too could’ve joined like Mukti, Sudani, Gauri. ha ha and … Mukti managed to be in just before we finished. “Mukti Dham”, a crematorium. I and Vj looked at eachother, I had my cam memory stick full, but I had to have this for Mukti 😀 . I deleted some extra photos and got Mukti Dham for Mukti 😀 At the highway, we all had ourselves full with Sugarcane juice. Again we managed to negotiate rick drivers for Rs. 150 a rick with 5 people in each of ’em. This deal was sweeter 🙂 At the station we were back in the crowd again with sweat pouring all over. We had to skip a few trains before we could manage to get into one of ’em that seemed ’empty’ to one of the commuters. Back at home … aaah blindness … … …
- Get a local train to Vasai (Western Railway), Mumbai
- Either get a ST bus or a rickshaw for Kaman village at the highway
- Walk towards Devkhundi (base village), where ideally u’d grab a guide to help u to the top
PAM’s Story Kaman Durg – Authored by my friend: Anupama Travelling Directions Tucked away in the Sahyadris, a little away from Vasai, is Kaman Durg. As told to me by my friend Viju, this place has a pyramid shaped pinacle. We started our journey from borivali station early morning at 5am. Our little group comprised of 8 members, Viju, Amol, Vikram, Santosh, Ruturaj, Mayur, Kalpesh and me PAM. Six of us left together from borivali, Kalpesh and Mayur joined us at Vasai. From Vasai we hired two autos to take us to Kaman village, from here we trekked upto Devkundi village, which is the base village for Kaman Durg. We hired a local guide from this village to take us upto the top. We started trekking at around 7:30am. At first we thought the weather was on our side, coz it rained in the morning, but then after a while it decided to play spoilt sport. The path from the very beginning is a steep climb. And after the rain stopped and the sun came out, the weather became very humid. Due to the strenuous climb and the humid weather, every one was feeling very tired plus everyone was losing body water rapidly due to heavy sweating. Our climb up had to be interrupted by frequent breaks. It took us a approx of 4hrs to reach the base of the pinacle. We rested here for a while and then went of to attack the rock patch. It was a beautiful rock patch I must say, decorated with wild cactuses along the way. Once here we felt we were lucky that it wasnt raining, else the rock would have become really dangerous. Yet it wasnt absolutely sunny either, the clouds were providing some cover. It took us around half an hr to reach the top. From the top, the view is beautiful, the city of Vasai can be seen far away. The only negative point is that there is no foliage cover up there. When i saw the pinacle from its base, i had anticipated it to be a risky climb. At first i was reluctant about going for it. But then i felt i dun wanna regret not doing it later. So i went for it. And i am happy that i went for it. It was a beautiful experience. The mountain acted almost motherly allowing you to climb safely. Even the climb down which most people fear to be risky (i am one of them) felt very enjoyable. And i must say i absloutely loved this rock patch. After climbing down the pinacle, we went of to find some shade to eat lunch. After having lunch and resting for an hour, we started our descent. The descent was even more fun. Being a steep path, we did the descent at a run. And it wasnt tiring at all. Only the hot sun over our heads was proving to be a problem. I have gotten badly sunburnt. We completed our descent in 1hr flat, that is 1/4th the time it took us to climb up. We had started climbing down at 2:15pm and at 3:20pm we had a touch down. Once back at the village, all the guys went of for a bath at the hand pump.It feels like heaven after a hot and sweaty day. After almost an hr of bathing, we decided to leave. We had to trek upto kaman village which is almost an hr away. We reached kaman village at around 6pm. From here we took a rickshaw back to Vasai station and then back home. All in all it was a wonderful experience, (even though my skin is till burning) the steep climb and the rock patch. And I met some new people and made new friends. And also learnt, things are not always what they seem. Best time to visit : Just after the rains Tips: Carry enough water with you if you happen to go in winters or before the rains, coz there is no water, along the way or even at the top.
- Get to Vasai Railway Station(Western Railway) by Train
- Vasai to Kaman Village : By bus or auto
- From Kaman go to the base village called Devkundi(base village) on foot
- Hire a guide to lead you (or else face the unknown)
To see the pictures click this link here: mORON kReAcIONz – Trekking Kamandurg – Photos/Pictures