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.
I was waiting for the Borivali local to shower its timely presense.. 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 travelled 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 ofcourse 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 … !!!
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