Physical fitness for trekking / hiking

Maharashtra state is having many beautiful forts for hiking & enjoying nature.  Are you planning to go trekking for first time or after many years?  Wait!  To enjoy all the nature by climbing these forts, one need some level of physical fitness.

Unless you are doing regular exercise & not overweight, I recommend following before you try any trek or hiking.

  1. Jogging – Jogging for continuous 30 minutes. Can you do 30 minutes of jogging without getting exhausted or excessive fatigue? If not then don’t try long hikes immediately. By doing regular exercise get up to that level.
  2. Go for small hill climb and climb it fast & see if you can handle it. Or at least see if you can climb 7 story building two times in 10 minutes.
  3. For the first trek choose a smaller fort and near to city so that you get medical help quickly.
  4. Drop in sugar level may cause Fatigue, Feeling faint. Carry water bottle & glucose for quick recovery. Keep yourself hydrated with water.

Obesity and overweight is hurdle between you and nature. If you are overweight and willing to lose weight, I believe in low carb diet way; be like Paleolithic man. Human species evolved since millions of years by hunting, eating fruits and vegetables but no grains or sugar. In last ten thousand years with invention of agriculture our food drastically changed to grains (carbohydrates – sugar). “During several million years of evolution, early humans only had access to low-starch high-cellulose carbohydrate plant food. But we learned how to grow high-starch low-cellulose carbohydrate… which we call wheat, rice, corn, potato, etc.” – This is the problem. Steve Gibson is a computer researcher and a smart scientist. He has done good research on this subject and presented his thoughts in a podcast. It’s a new healthy lifestyle.

You can listen to podcast in MP3 format to understand this new lifestyle and science behind human biology.

The Sugar Hill” – Parts 1 – 

The Sugar Hill” – Parts 2 –

You can also watch these podcasts on youtube

TWiT Live Specials 124: The Sugar Hill ( )

TWiT Live Specials 125: The Sugar Hill Part II ( )

International Kite Festival Pune 2014.

International Kite Festival Pune 2014.

The first international kite festival in the city was held at Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Krida Sankul at Mhalunge-Balewadi on January 26, 2014, Republic Day.
Kites of various sizes and shapes like that of a whale, Panda, Teddy Bear etc were flying in the sky.

This was a well-organized event by Sakal Group. Few glimpses in video

Some photos from the event …


horse shaped kite beautiful diamond shaped kite whale shaped kite octopus shaped kite

Creating Video of Trek

My desktop computer was having some problem due to overheating of processor so I was not using it.  Somehow it is started working well.  This machine is of  a good configuration (Intel core i5 2.8 Ghz , 8 GB RAM &  ATI Radeon 2 GB graphics card )  . I found some video recordings of our Torana trek done in Oct 2011. I am now creating a video to post on youtube . Video footage has been shot using SONY HDR-CX7 in full HD mode.

Today,  I am using Adobe Premier CS5.5 for the first time. With few tuts on youtube I am able to sequence all videos & add title.  I am not going to spend too much time on video editing. I will just sequence all shots.

It is going to take about an hour to render video in HD format.  17 minute HD video will be of about 1 GB size & it is going to take whole night to upload on youtube with my slow up-link.

I will post link to video on this blog in the morning. stay tuned !


Harishchandragad – Part 1

Harishchandragad  – हरिश्चंद्रगड

Date of Trek: 10-Dec-2011 & 11-Dec-2011

We had been planning to visit Harishchandragad for a long time. Harishchandragad is a “must visit” place for every trekker in Maharashtra.

Harishchandragad is a fort located on the borders of Pune, Thane & Ahmednagar districts.  This fort is 1424 meter high from sea level. Fort has multiple ways to climb up. Most popular three ways are

  • Via Khireshwar  – Moderate difficulty level & requires high endurance
  • Via Pachnai  – Relatively Simple
  • Nalichi Wat – Most difficult & need professional mountaineering experience. You can choose to go with professional companies.

We selected a road Via Khireshwar.

We were four members of this group. We started from Pune early in the morning from 3:30 AM in my car.

Route :

Nashik Phata  –> Rajgurunagar –> From Aale Phata take left towards Kalyan. Most of the websites & Google map tells a route which is to take right from Khubi Phata & reach to Khireshwar from the wall of Dam. We took this road but it road is really bad. But still, I dared to take the car on that road. This is not even tar road.  There is another road to Khireshwar Via Pinpalgaon. This is a good road.

We reached on Dam wall from Khubi Phata at about 6:30 AM. Now Khireshwar was just 2 KM away & we are able to see the view of the fort.  We had quick breakfast of Sandwiches & fruits there.

Click on images to view larger image.







Here is a beautiful view of Sunrise near dam.







Google Map shows  —

View Harishchandragad in a larger map

We reached Khireshwar village. Parked our car near a small cafe named “Hotel Aishwarya”.







We had quick tea at hotel Aishwarya & asked information about fort & way to fort to local villagers.

Me & Subhash in below photo with a grand view of Harishchandragad.







 While planning this trip we were not sure if we can get food on the fort or not. We had a good amount of food with us for two days along with sleeping bag & three liters of water with each one of us. With heavy bags, we started walking towards the fort. We got bamboo sticks in had while walking to reduce pressure on knees when you carry heavy bags.


The road is not very stiff slope but you have to pass through from dry water canals  & a lot of big stones.

Since we were going through the jungle it was cool so we were not getting tired due to sun heat.







This is the view of rock patch.

After one and half hour of climbing from the jungle, we saw this view of cliff. There is a small pass (Tolar Khind ) and there another road comes from Pachnai village. There is a rock patch. We carefully climbed rock patch with help of poles. Steps are carved out on a rock at some hard places which help.

I can not imagine climbing this fort in rains but local villagers say there is a lot of crowd in rainy season too.



There is sculpture of tiger  near tolar khind. Some people say this is indicative of leopards in this area.

Local people say there are only wild boars in this jungle.







After this Tolar Khind, there is stiff rock patch. We climbed multiple small rough rocks. We also came across a trekkers group from Mumbai.











 Had quick break after & before rock patch. At about 11:00 AM we reached the top of the fort. Now there is no hard climbing, just long walk on the plateau.

Views of valley












There are two ways to reach Kedareshwar temple on top. One is very simple but long . You have to go up and down seven hills ( elevations of land ).

Another way is to go towards balekilla & from there go to the temple. On this way, you have to go through dense jungle & some water streams. This way is okay in winter.

Bale Killa


After 1.0 hr of a walk, we reached to  Kedareshwar temple