Saturday, 8 July 2017

Kalavantin Durg Trek, Part 1 | Travelogue


For this trek, it was just me and my best bud Anurag. The trek was such a memorable one, that it was obligatory to write a post on it.

Anurag has off on weekdays and he's a travel enthusiast. He loves to trek, ride his Bullet, and just get lost looking at the valleys. He asked me if I could join him for a trek to Kalavantin Durg. As rest of his friends are working and have time off only on weekends, I was the only person available. Though it was just the two of us, I immediately agreed on going, because I love to trek and he's not a bad company to have!

As per the plan, on July 3, at around 6:30 am, Anurag picked me up on his friend's Pulsar 220, below my building. His friend had taken his Bullet in exchange for his bike, for just a couple of days.

We started our journey towards Panvel. And on our way, we had to fill some petrol. However, when we were at the gas station, Anurag suddenly remembered that he had forgotten the bike's petrol tank key! Without the key, filling petrol was impossible, and without the petrol, the bike wouldn't move ahead. Apparently, Pulsar 220 has three keys––the main key, the petrol key, and the petrol tank key. We were already one hour away from our houses, and there was no going back as the petrol was not sufficient!

We tried looking for key-makers in that area and called several guys up, but since it was too early, none of them responded. Few did, but they weren't free to reach to us. What next? We went in the nearest city to search for key-makers and tried calling them. Finally, bless our lucky star, Anurag spotted a collegiate on a blue Pulsar 220. His first instinct was to wave at the guy and ask him to stop by. It all happened in a jiffy and we asked the guy to give his keys. We tried one key and it didn't match. Anurag was returning the keys, but the guy suggested to try the third one. We did, and the petrol tank did open! We were ecstatic!

I literally wished all the happiness for that boy. With the petrol tank open, we went to the gas station. We filled the tank, and off we went ahead. We wasted half-hour because of this and I did scold Anurag for forgetting the key!


Our guts were empty since morning so we had to have breakfast. We decided on misal pav, because, there's nothing like it. We entered Panvel, and then by taking a left at Shedung Naka, reached a village named Thakurwadi. After reaching the village, we thought of having breakfast. We bought two Red Bulls and two water bottles. Anurag had carried some chocolates and biscuits for instant energy. We asked the food stall owner if he had misal pav, and he said he just had wada pav at his stall. When it comes to food cravings, nobody can beat Anurag. If he wants to eat misal pav, he would not eat anything else. So he refused to eat wada pav and we decided we would find another stall.


We went further. The countryside was picturesque; greenery around, no soul on the road, fresh morning air, simply picturesque. We were hunting down for food stalls where we could savour steamy, spicy misal. Both of us love misal and we usually have it on road trips or such away-from-the-city sort of trips. We watched out every other cottage on the way, but couldn't find a single food stall. We finally reached the base of the trek, and yes, our stomachs were still empty.

We parked the bike near an empty shade. We saw there was a car parked too and we were happy to see it. The passengers had gone for the trek, but we were hoping we meet them on the mountains. As it was a weekday, finding people around was a rare sight.

First part: the trail

The weather was cloudy, but no chances of rain. We still wore our rain-gear, just in case it showered. We had one 5 Star each, drank some water, and started walking. The part from the base to the base village is a trail and not a trek; anyone can finish that. But, the part after the base village is what one must be too sure of doing.


We started going up the trail and found places with scenic views down below. We halted there, clicked pictures, and resumed further. I don't have lot of stamina, so we halted few times more than we should have. The breaks lasted only for 2 minutes or lesser, so it wasn't huge of a deal. Anurag, on the contrary, did have lot of strength to continue walking.

What I like about these treks/trails is that there are white/red arrow marks throughout the route. So in case there is a diversion, you have to look around and search for the mark. You don't need a guide for this trek at all.


We clicked really gorgeous pictures along and also enjoyed the gushing waterfall. Though the waterfall was shallow, meaning, it was not from a great height, the water was as clean as a whistle. We were inside for barely five minutes, but the cool temperature of water revived our spirits. We shared one Red Bull and saved the second one for later. The cold water along with the cold energy drink was a powerhouse for us.


After around two hours of walking, we reached the mid point of the trek––the base village, namely Prabal Machi. If you're a group of highly endurant people, you should reach here in an hour; and if you're a group of people with extremely low stamina, then you would require more than two hours. I suggest you to quickly finish up the first part, because the second part requires lot of patience and concentration.

This base village is where people usually camp whenever they come to Kalavantin Durg or Prabalgad for trekking and an overnight stay. As soon as you reach the village, you spot an abode there. Initially, you would think it's someone's house, but in real, it's a hotel. This hotel provides the campers with tents, food, blankets, and mattresses. In case you want to avail all that, just contact Balu on +918422047131; I suggest you to call him few days prior so that the tents are available. Also, if at all you want food, call him before starting the trail so that they start preparing food and until you reach, it's ready for you.

Waiting for food

We were hungry as we couldn't find a misal pav stall. We reached the hotel and saw a lady lying on a mat with a baby. As soon as she heard our footsteps, she got up and I did the talking. I spoke in Marathi and asked her about what food we could get. She said the food was not ready and the only thing we could immediately get was pohe or Maggi. I refused pohe and we settled on Maggi. However, the lady went in the kitchen and in two minutes came out to tell us there was no Maggi left. We then agreed on egg bhurji and polis. The lady said it would take around 45 minutes to make the entire lunch. We looked at the watch and agreed; it looked like we didn't have much of a choice.


We'd estimated that we would be resuming our trek by 1:00 pm, but we did so around 1:15 pm. We also spotted another pair of a girl and a boy, who appeared anything but a couple; they were going towards Prabalgad. We also spotted an overly enthusiastic group that included people from different age groups; I was figuring out the relations between them. And, we spotted yet another group of good-looking young boys, and I'm assuming the car that was parked at the base belonged to them.

We had ordered 7 polis, 4-plate bhurji, and two water bottles, and our bill totalled up to Rs. 210 only. After having eaten so much, our hunger was certainly satiated. We got ready for the further journey, something only the gutsy could do...

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For Part 2 of the Travelogue, click here.