After an adventure to Tikona fort, the second monsoon trek which we chose was Tung Fort aka “Kathingad”.
Below is some basic information about the trek:
Tung Fort Trek aka Kathingad Trek
|Another Name of the fort||Kathingad|
|GPS Direction Name||Tung Fort|
|Route for Tungwadi from Pune||Chandni Chowk -> Pirangut -> Paud -> Take a right at Paud after Bus Stand -> Javan -> Take a left from Javan -> Cross Hilton Resort -> Reach T junction after 14 kms ( there is a board for Tung ) -> Take Right and move ahead for 3 kms -> Reach base village|
|Contact Person for Food Requirement at the base village||1) Holiday Dhaba : 93262-41961 (at the base )|
2) Mayank Farms : 77980-25239
|Food/Water Facility on the Fort||None|
We started for Tung Fort in the morning around 7 am with a group of 14 people. Everyone decided to have a quick nap in the tempo traveler before we reach the base village. Till Javan the drive went well with some potholes on the roads but still everybody enjoyed their sleep. Traveller took a left turn from Javan village (can also be identified with boards of Hilton Resort) and after few kilometers the views around gave a glimpse of the magical land.
We were surrounded by lush green color, enchanting waterfalls and the charming Sahyadri hills. The road had the curvy turns, every turn awaiting something magical to look out for. There were streams flowing on both sides of the road and at some places intersecting with the road. Everybody was enjoying the view and appreciating the beauty of the nature. It was drizzling at that time adding its magic to our road trip. This route is quite popular among the road trippers zooming on the turns with their bikes and cars. The place is very near to Lonavala around 25 kilometers and is always blessed with rains in the monsoon season.
Around 8 kilometres from Javan, there is property of Hilton with the name of Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa. The property has been made at a location which is quite secluded and surrounded by nature. It could be a good luxurious and peaceful weekend getaway for Pune and Mumbai residents. It is around 4 kms away from Pawana lake shore and 15kms from Hadshi Temple. One interesting thing which I have read about this resort is they have meditation caves and Mountain View yoga/relaxation terrace for an enriching experience.
Coming back to our trek journey, we reached around 8 AM at the base village and had our breakfast ( Poha,Upma & Vadapav with Tea/Coffee) at Holiday Dhaba. Holiday Dhaba is owned by Mr Waghmare located at the base village and is very near to the trek start point. Please inform them about your food preferences two days prior to your visit as they have to get the vegetables and other required things from Lonavala. This is a reminder to all the city folks like me that life is still not simple in lot of places in India and we tend to forget how blessed we are as everything is readily available to us. The parking spot is also nearby from this food place and have ample space for good number of vehicles to be parked.
If we talk about the history of the Tung fort, it was built by Adil Shahi dynasty and later captured by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The fort is small and can accommodate about 200 troops at a time. It served as a watchtower and also used to distract the invaders so the main forts like Lohgad & Visapur can prepare itself for the battle. The fort is completely built with the granite stones, which are locally mined from the same hills. Its hilltop has a natural cone shape peak, making this hill to locate from any place in Lonavla. Trekking is the only way to reach the top of the fort.
We started our trek around 10:15 AM. The trekking route is a narrow path with lot of big rocks to stumble on, one side it has the complete valley with no railings. Not a very difficult route but rains can make it little tricky .After rains, the route kind off turns in to a waterfall which actually makes the stones little slippery which calls for being careful.
It didn’t rain at all while we were going up; we reached the entrance of the fort in a span of around one and half hour. From the entrance gate you get an amazing view, climb the rocky stairs and if you are lucky you will witness very powerful winds trying to blow you away like it happened with us. Good place for getting yourself photographed with natural hair blower effect. There is a small patch of plain ground which is the base for Bale-Killa, which is a small fort above the fort. The valley views are amazing from this place and Balle Killa looks like a challenge with the flag moving freely at the top. The trek to Bale Killa is an exciting one with some steep climb. Bale Killa was always constructed in such a way that made it difficult to be conquered in wars and also difficult to climb. There is a temple on Bale-Killa which contains a monolith stone carving of the Shiva Ling. The Bale Killa offers a picturesque view of Pawana Dam and forts like Tikona, Lohgad & Visapur. There is a temple dedicated to Tungi Devi at the base of Bale Killa which is dedicated to the hills around.
We experienced heavy showers at the time of return and on the way back with some mudslides too bringing few rocks with it. Heavy Showers and powerful wind was making it difficult to move. The whole way had turned into a waterfall making the trek difficult and risky. But everyone in the group helped each other to get down on big rocks, giving away all the information to the trekkers going up about the duration, situation of the route & water levels.
I think this is the beauty of trekking; it encourages one to give a hand in need and ask for help when required. It encourages taking care of the ones who are behind you and follow the ones ahead of you. It not only thrills you with the adventure but teaches you compassion too.
In return, at the base, we planted some mango seeds, spread the cherry and Jamun seeds. We reached the base village at around 1:30 PM. Everybody was drenched in water and hence change of clothes was important to remain healthy. After change of clothes, we all sat for Lunch. The Veg Thali served had chapatis, Dal, Rice, Aaloo-Zeera Sabji and Sev Bhaji. We also had Plums & Kheera with us which was supposed to be eaten during the trek but rains didn’t gave us a chance and hence ended up at the lunch table. I consider this as a lavish menu after a good trek. After having lunch we left for Pune going back through the same route.
Return ride in the traveler was quite musical as we all enjoyed the Antakshri session. And some of the participants were quite talented as they unintentionally remixed few songs. Sunday came to an end with a day well spent. Times like these become a memory down the lane to be cherished in the coming years.
If you want to contribute seeds or trek with us to sow these seeds, please get in touch with us.
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