Rajgad Trek Video

Happy days are here again. Its monsoon and good time for trekkers.   Last year ( Aug-2012) we had fantastic trek of Rajgad fort.   I have posted a video 16 minute video of this trek on you tube. This is HD video of trek from Chor Darwaja way- Gunjawane Village. We also visited Balekilla , Suvela Machi.

URL of Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uCu_iJYhmk

P.S. There are more details about Rajgad trek from year 2011 on post http://www.iphotic.com/2011/09/rajgad-fort-trekking/

Torana Trek

Date of Trek : 1-Oct-2011

This video was shot in Oct 2011 during a trek to Fort Torana. Fort Torana is highest mountain in Pune district.  Photos of trekking are available on Picasa.

There is lot of information available on internet about fort Torana.

Velhe is base village of fort Torana. To goto Velhe village you can take bus from Swargate Pune or if you are driving yourself , there are two roads. One from Pune Bangalore highway & another from Khadkwasala – Pabe Ghat

We drove from  Khadkwasala –  Pabe Ghat route.  This road is not very sooth but if you love to drive in Ghats & enjoy rain in nature you can go via this route.

From Pune we have to go towards Khadkwasala . Keep going to Sinhgad. When you reach near to Sinhgad take road to Panshet.  Here you keep going  on circumference of Sinhgad . You have to take a left for Velhe on this road . Keep watching for signs of Torana fort or Velhe.   From Pabe ghat you can reach to Velhe & start climbing fort.

You can park your vehicles near police station & way to fort starts from there.

Rest of the journey is captured in below Video on you tube.

or open link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KMe05RqRDQ

Initial post of Torana Trek:  http://www.iphotic.com/2011/10/photos-of-fort-torana-trek/

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 !


Tung & Tikona fort

This view is worth getting up early morning & 50 KM bike ride in the chilling cold.  This photo I took from a hill near to Pawana dam. There stand tall fort Tikona.


 A trek to Tung & Tokona Fort near Pawana Dam, Maval, Pune. We visited two forts Tung & Tikona in one day. Two unexplored forts & about 130 KMs of bike ride .. Amazing way to spend Saturday!

stay tuned on www.iphotic.com , I will soon post details of teak including map, route & photos.

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






Shooting Moon

photo of moon
Half moon

To photograph moon is always been a challenge to me. Last night it was clear sky & half moon was shining brightly.

I mounted my DSLR on a tripod with 55-250mm lens on it. After few attempts of playing with aperture, shutter speed & ISO, I was able to shoot this photo.

This photo was composed with – exposure time 0.01 sec, F – F/5.6, white balance: Auto, ISO 100 in shutter priority mode.




Rajgad Fort Trekking – A elated experience

Trek: Rajgad Fort, Gunjavane Village.

Participants : Rahul Bagal , Subhash Darade , Vishwas Lacca & Sandip Daware.

Route: From Pune drive towards Satara on Pune Bangalore highway. Take right turn near Nasarapur Village. This turn is about 20-25 Kms from Pune. Ask for Gunjavane Village or Rajgad fort “Chor Daravaja” path.

difficulty level: Medium to Hard  – Bale Killa & Last 100 meters to  “Chor Daravaja” is hard to climb. Rest trek is moderate.

On the way to Rajgad
Subhash, Sandip & Rahul

As per plan  we started from Pune at 6:15 AM in the morning on two bikes. We took a quick breakfast at  Nasarapure.  Roads are in quite good conditions. We took a couple of breaks on the way. From Pune it is about 45 KMs of drive & takes 1.5 – 2 hrs to reach the base village of Rajgad [Gunjavane]. Reached base village Gunjavane at 8:30 AM.

Whenever we go for the trek we always start the travel early in the morning. This saves you from traffic & you have plenty of time at your disposal.  When we were planning for treck; we were really not sure how much time this fort would take to climb. There are many informative blogs on Internet but the time required to climb the fort depends on that particular day’s conditions & your group’s energy level.

When we reached base village Gunjavane, we talked with local villagers to get more information about the village. As per them, there is no hotel/household food provision so one has to carry the food. But if there is a bigger group you can order food at base village & they supply you the dinner/lunch at the top of the fort. You have to pay a premium for this service 🙂

I decided to track the route using GPS on my Android phone ( Google Nexus ).  I used Offline logger app to track the route. This app allows logging your GPS location with latitude-longitude & altitude. Later I exported GPX file & created a trail on everytrail.  Every trail shows your GPS locations on a Map & photos can be geolocated based on timestamps.

We started hiking at 8:35 AM. There are many small ways to go to the fort.  Better we ask local people to choose one. It was slippery & muddy for first few hundred meters. Then the way was good.

Below are some photos of this trek.

The road to Chor Darawaja is a long way but not very difficult initially. My GPS trail shows it is about 4 KM of a walk to reach the Chor Darawaja.  Last 100 meters of climbing is 75 degree & you have to hold railing  & climb carefully.

We reached at the fort at 10:25 AM.  We saw a villager & couple of groups from Mumbai on the fort. The Villager was selling curd. We had a chat with him. Few villagers come to the fort to sell curd, food for breakfast on weekends. Generally, no one comes on the fort on weekdays. [ Imp point to note if you are planning to go on weekdays].

We spent time near old broken palace, temple, “Sadar”. We reached BaleKilla . But the way was too tough to climb & it was all cloudy. So we decided to skip “Bale Killa”  for this time due to slippery way.

We had lunch in the “Padmavati Mandir”. That time it was raining heavily.  We started return journey to the base village at 1:30 PM.  We did a careful & slow walk to avoid any slippage & injury.

Reached base village at 3:30 PM. A clean water river was flowing at Gunjavane.  Reached Pune safely. It was very rainy, cold & windy while driving back to Pune on bikes.  After such cold & shivering travel, the warmth of home feels invaluable !!

More Photos @ Picasa album: https://picasaweb.google.com/112408778094002998694/RajgadFort#

As per my GPS logs: Minimum height for this trek was 2339 ft  &  Maximum Height: 4240 ft.


Update :

Aug-2012- Again we had fantastic trek of Rajgad fort. I have posted a video 16-minute video of this trek on youtube. This is HD video of a trek from Chor Darwaja way- Gunjawane Village. We also visited Balekilla, Suvela Machi.

URL of Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uCu_iJYhmk