Me : OMG my hair looks so perfect !!
Wind : One second Girl.
Reading this while browsing some random quote pages on the internet, explained the exact emotion I had while I was on my last trek to Rohida fort. If you ever want to follow the quote “Going where the wind blows”, trust me this is the adventure you should look out for. Before letting you know about my windy experience, let’s just check out some basic information about Rohida aka Vichitragad Fort:
Rohida Fort Trek (Vichitragad Trek)
|Another Name of the fort|
|GPS Direction Name|
|How to reach from Pune||Chandni Chowk -> Drive on NH48 towards|
|Bangalore -> After approx. 40 kms turn right|
|towards Bhor ( SH 70) ->Bhor -> Turn left from|
|Shivaji statue Chowk and ask for Bajarwadi|
|School ( approx. 8 kms )|
|Contact Person for Food Requirement at the||Hotel Sairaj, Bhor ( Mr Santosh ) – 98817 23308|
|Food/Water Facility on the Fort||Food –None , Water – Available in the temple|
|Cleanliness Check||Fort is clean but few water tanks are dirty|
This was not my first visit to this fort but the third time and the second one in monsoons. I was very much aware of the wind encounters I am going to witness which I had experienced two years back too. And the winds didn’t disappoint me at all. The winds on the trek path of the fort are too strong
- powerful at some points. You can even see waterfalls flowing in upward direction because of the force of the wind and that’s how powerful they are. It might happen that you may have ear ache or even a headache due to continuous strong blows going around you but no worries you will be totally okay after few minutes of the climb or once you reach the fort. The experience of witnessing these winds is very exhilarating and also gives you Goosebumps at different points of time. If these winds are combined with rain, it might be little painful because it sometimes hit you hard on the by ecthis is something worth experiencing.
The name of the Rohida Fort is kept after the Rohideshwar God and you can even visit the temple of the god on the fort. I am not sure where from the other name “Vichitragad” came up, tried browsing the internet but couldn’t find any valuable information about the same. May be because of the flow of the winds they thought it was weird but that’s just my assumption.
We had our breakfast at Bhor village in a restaurant named Hotel Sai Raj and to be true the food was okay- okay. The options were Poha, Idli Sambhar, Vada Sambhar & Misal. Due to pre-booking, our group breakfast was arranged in a small room and not in the main restaurant area .A little private space for the group where we had our small introduction session along with the breakfast .As we were a group of 12 people we pre-ordered our lunch and left for the base village Bajarwadi.
While searching for the way we missed the correct right turn to the school which is the parking spot for the fort and ended up in the village. We asked them about the school and they informed us that
there are two schools and which school we were looking for. We thought it’s better to ask about Rohida fort rather than school and then we were guided perfectly. We reached and parked the tempo traveller in the ground of Bajarwadi Primary School which turns into a parking space for all the trekkers coming to visit the fort. There were already three four vehicles parked letting us know that few trekkers were already on their way to the fort. There were two kids who were charging for parking and had proper receipt from Gram Sanstha. For four wheelers the charge was around Rs. 40. The ground also had washrooms separately for both the genders but the cleanliness and hygiene cannot be guaranteed. Rainy season also creates a little mess but though I think we should be thankful that at least washrooms existed which is actually not on the expected list while going for treks. But if we consider the school premises, the cleanliness should be taken care of. Also in the outside area of the ground, there was a small tea stall. So if you are a tea lover and you ever plan to visit this place, you can have a cup of tea with a blissful hill views.
We started the trek and it was already raining, everyone packed themselves in their raincoats and ponchos to remain dry at least for some time. One of our trekker was carrying an umbrella but I was wondering if this umbrella would pass the upcoming wind test. He used the umbrella to click pictures without damaging his cell phone from rains, smart move and double usage of umbrella. The route is pretty amazing with a view of waterfalls on the left and the right both and monsoon green farmlands everywhere around. After a little trek if you see back and down, there is a view of small houses with brick colour, green agricultural lands, roads all wet, soil in its dark brown fresh colour, a scene of a sleeping town just like you must have read in some novels or books .A perfect picture of a peaceful and calm village. I think lot of us will envy the people staying around these hills, the place is really a heaven in the monsoons. There are lot of spots where in you can get good pictures with beautiful landscapes.
The trek to entrance of the fort will approximately take one and half hour or little more depending how many wind breaks or picture breaks you take. There are also benches been set up on the way to probably catch your breath and take a short break .Although some benches have been placed in a tilted manner, making it little uncomfortable to sit. Once you reach the entrance, climb the rocky stair and there is a fort gate, cross the gate and you will find the sign boards and fort information. Go straight till the end point or take a left to visit the temple.
The fort is very peaceful with lot of small water tanks, bastions giving away the mesmerizing views of the valley and a temple which can accommodate around 5-6 people if you plan for a night stay. The whole fort can be covered in a span of an hour. There is also a caretaker in the temple, who would probably record your experience and group details in the register. This is the only place on the fort if you are looking for a shelter. We had our little snack session, just outside the temple premises. The fort is well maintained and clean but the water tanks needs some cleanliness. While roaming around the grass, please make sure you put up your feet on the hard ground. There are few spots where in there are potholes but they are not visible due to high grown grass. And also the excitement of picturesque views can distract you from the ground reality.
The effect of the winds in full force was witnessed while we were coming back. There were times when I thought I will actually be blown away as the force was so strong and my raincoat was making it more difficult. It was uncontrollable due to the winds. There was a group of school kids probably of class 3 or 4 and they were jumping from one stone to other. There were around 3 leaders to monitor
a group of 25-30 kids which I thought was very less considering the age and the kind of trek it turns out to be in return. We could see fear on the faces of few kids because of the way wind was playing hide and seek with every alternate turn. Few kids were just saved from slipping down on stones due to combination of rain & winds. The group of trekkers on the way up and down and our group too were helping these kids to go through this windy phase.
Everything went well and we were back at the base all drenched in water. The parking space now was lot more noisy and the number of vehicles had also increased. The kids group had occupied the open halls of the school to have their packed lunch. The space looked much more happening than it seemed in the morning. Few groups were preparing to start with the trek.
After the change of clothes, we left for Hotel Sai Raj for our lunch. The lunch was far better, it was Veg Thali with combination of Roti, Sabji of Aalo & Matki, Rice, Dal, chawal, Papad & pickle. One of the trekker had got Son-Papdi and everybody enjoyed the sweet in the traveller. As I always say, if you find good food after a good trek it is a day well spent.
This time we decided to play Dumb charades on the return journey. Some unheard Bollywood movies were enacted and imaginations of people were revealed while guessing the movies. At end of every trip and trek, I always ponder on the beauty of these excursions. At the start of the day, people knew each other in groups of four or three or two and while we were returning we all were part of one gang joking around on the jokes not related to anyone but on the situations and the atmosphere around. The conversations were about what we experienced, trek, acting skills & talent witnessed while playing the games, sharing the dessert and so many infinite small things connecting one with another. Another chapter comes to an end as we reached pune but the memorable pictures will always remind us of the thrilling experience we had together on this awesome windy trek to Rohida aka Vichitragad Fort. Do let me know if you ever got to know the reason behind this name.
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