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Ride and Trek to Lohagad Fort and Bhaja Caves

So, you opened illegitimate sites on your office PC! Can you come down to Bldg No. X-A and meet your HR, Mr. Ravi?”
“Who are you?”
I’m Pankaj, calling on behalf of Mr. Ravi; and it is necessary for you to meet him asap so that we can resolve the matter and arrange counseling session for you.
“But, I know, I haven’t opened any such site, and if I really have, mail my Boss and Cc it to me, then only I’ll meet whosoever.”
Okay. What about a ride to Lohagad? We’re planning to organize a picnic there, tomorrow morning and want you to come with us.
“What the hell!? You were talking about breach of policies and now that you are inviting me for picnic!!!”
Abe, this is Pankaj on line. Are you coming for ride?
“What man!? F***! And, I thought you were actually calling me from HR!”
He he he! That means you actually open such sites?! ;p
“Ha ha ha! No, not at all! Okay, for the ride, yes m coming.”
Fine! Then be present at More Mart, Koparkhairane at 5:00AM, we’ll start from there.
“Done!”

So this is the way, we planned our ride to Lohagad Fort, few days back on a fine Saturday afternoon. Next morning, we started for the Lohagad. We were three guys, me on my Bull, Pankaj on Stunner, and his friend Ashish on Avenger. Our first stay was at Panvel to have some snacks. From there we started our ride on NH-4 towards Lonavala. We’re sure about the route up to Lonavala. With little confusion, and help from local people, local Googles as we say them, we were able to reach the base village Malavali, from where the trekking route starts. One can also reach the village by train. At that village, we parked our bikes in a paid-parking area. Most of the people visit the village for Baja caves and a waterfall nearby.
Lohagad Fort and other nearby attractions


We left Baja Caves, to visit it while returning and started off for Lohagad. None of us had earlier visited this place, and thus we had limited knowledge about the trek route. It was very easy trek, and the route was good enough for off-road biking. Route bifurcated midway, one leading to Visapur Fort, another to Lohagad. As per local guys, trekking to Visapur is little trickier and also the Fort is not as good as the other one. 
Trek Route


No pose...it's her job!
Daily Task
Visapur Fort
Short cut
Exhausted
It took about an hour to reach the base of Lohagad Fort, where the steps start. There were few dhabas and tea-shops at the Fort’s base. In those small shops, the best we could find was Nimbu-paani (Lemon water) and jhoonka-bhakhari, though on order they may cook non-veg etc too.
Kille Lohagadh
Shivaji's idol at Fort's Base
Main Gate of Lohagad Fort
Do Not Disturb
Lohagad Fort is one of the many forts of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, located at about 1050 m above MSL, near Lonavala on NH-4 or Mumbai-Pune Express Way. From the base of Fort, it took about 45minutes more to reach the top. En route we enjoyed photography and dealt with monkeys too. While returning, few of the monkeys were engaged in courtship and getting annoyed by our presence there, started growling. There was one Shiva-temple at the top, and one Mazar. We felt that some annual functions are celebrated at that Mazar, though didn’t get any information. Ashish was all exhausted and preferred to take rest at temple; while, we started walking towards the edge of hill’s platformal top. Reaching there, and sitting with foot hanging down the steep valley, had a terrific feeling, unforgettable J
Shiva Temple
Mazar
Pavana Dam and Aamby Valley at far end
Well, after spending some time there, taking pictures of beautiful flowers, we started descending down. Ohhh….forgot to share, we were amazed to see that one drivable road has been constructed from somewhere in Lonavala up to the Fort, and we got to know the fact only when we reached ;p
On our way back to base village, we visited Baja Caves. It is an Archaeological Survey of India protected or ticketed site. These excavations are a small series of very early Hinayana caves dated back to 2nd Century B.C. to 1st Century AD. There were 22 or 29 excavations (different sources), and as we were able to count around 15-17 stupas. There was one smaller waterfall near the caves.
Bhaja Caves
Main Chaitya
At about 5:30 PM, we started riding back; planning for some other rides for coming days…

Riding reveals story of roads, rest to be explored by riderRelated Posts with Thumbnails 
For more Pictures... 
Lohagad on Picasa
  
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