Raireshwar Part 1 - 28 June 2015

I had no plan for the fixed plan weekend. I didn’t want to go to Sinhgad either. So was looking for someone with exciting plan to tag along. As such, during the discussion with Sagar, plan for Raireshwar came up. 

The Noisy Bullet
It was August 2012 when I had been to Raireshwar last. It had been a torturing picnic then. We had walked for 9 kms one way as the roads were bad and the plateau was not much explored due to weather condition then.

After a brief yes no game, at about 630 in evening, Sagar confirmed that we would be exploring the plateau of Raireshwar and will try to find the Nakhind End. He also had GPS track of the exploration someone had done earlier. He was occupied hence he suggested that I pack food etc.

So at 4, he came to pick me up and we left immediately after disturbing entire neighborhood with thumbing of Bullet which has no silencer!
Sagar on the trail to Raireshwar
At about 630 we were at Korle. I had also packed some tea with anticipation that we would not find it on the way. We had tea before hitting the ghat of Kenjalgad.

The top is now very much accessible because of (somewhat) recently constructed steps and the iron staircases. Korle end of plateau doesn’t offer much except for a well trodden path to the settlement of the plateau. This side of plateau has been secured with railings all over as well.

This being monsoon a lot of seasonal flowers had bloomed. The temporary lake was filled to the edges. While enjoying the monsoon, in no time we were at Shankar Jangam’s (Mama) House.
His wife is one warm lady who welcomed us directly near the Chulha. It was real joy to sit there enjoying warmth of the chulha and eating Pohe and having black tea afterwards.

After the Pohe and tea, I wanted to bundle up and stay there. However, the curiosity to reach to the other end of the Plateau which is one of the largest in India won’t let my spirit rest. Hence, at about 830 we set on our route…

The unfaithful Doggie 
Sagar had seen the GPS Track so I decided to follow him blindly. Before we crossed the settlement, one doggie started following us… I tried a lot to shoo it off but Dogs!!!

Sagar was like a mammoth walking with no distraction, I was finding it difficult to match my speed with him. Fog, clouds and his camouflaged clothing were additional hindrances.  

Three of us, Sagar, the doggie and myself continued on and on without any idea where we were heading. All I knew was we had been walking for quite some time without any break. So, we decided to sit down for few minutes before getting into dense karvy.
The path was not well trodden yet I wasn’t worried much as Sagar was checking our position with respect to the GPS track he had.

Now we crossed the Karvy and we were very close to the cliff! Only because the clouds had moved for a brief time we realized our proximity to the valley which offered straight fall of few hundred meters.

We continued for long time along the valley and then finally near the stream before we could get in to another Karvy establishment we decided to have lunch. Lunch consisted of Boiled eggs, bread, ketchup and cupcakes. We offered bread and boiled eggs to the doggie as well.
Post lunch, this smart doggie crossed the steam and started walking back to the civilization. My first thought was, “What an unfaithful dog”.

Post lunch, all recharged, we entered the Karvy. Karvy establishments are very dense and the leaves are very rough and denty thus obviously rough for the human skin.
After struggling for around an hour we were at another end of Karvy jungle.  It was about 1300 now. And per my calculations we had walked real far away from civilization. So we checked the map and our position with respect to GPS Track again.



 We found a light trail entering Karvy in front of us again. We decided to take chance and follow it. Meantime, we decided that if we don’t find right trail by 1400 then we would turn back. At about 1345, we were out of Karvy. Astonished we looked at each other and burst out laughing as we had reached the same place where we had lunch some time back.

Now, the fog was also dense and it was getting difficult to determine. Sitting there, we took a stock of how much food we had. It was sufficient enough for both of us to sustain that night and next day. My survival kit contained a tadpoline sheet, which could have served as a temporary shelter and also we had some fuel which may have helped to start a fire. It being monsoon, plentiful water was available.

The food stock
Suddenly, I realized I had 2 phones which may have some network. Thankfully, the data network of lower bandwidth was available. Immediately on a WhatsApp group of fellow trekkers I could relay a message with our GPS location accurate upto 100 mtrs . Thankfully, Dhruva was available with a better network at his end and he told us to follow a certain direction. However, I had doubts about the direction he was suggesting since per my calculations it was opposite direction.  When I mentioned this on WhatsApp, we realized the true north of my phone needed to be collaborated.

The Shivling
However, it was not possible in data network of lower bandwidth. However, by God’s grace, the fog cleared for few moments and I could communicate to the group that a water enclosure in the valley was at 10 o’clock for my position and probably the mountain beyond it was Kenjalgad. With these referential points, Dhruva established that we were around 10 kms away from the Raireshwar Temple.

The Stones decorated with Vermilion

Now, we were very much on the right path. On a side of the path we saw few stones decorated with vermilion. Soon we met a man who was tending his cattle on the plateau.  A few steps ahead Sagar came across a beautiful Shivling carved on a stone,  then another small establishment of houses… And then the main establishment of plateau. It was about 1745 when we reached Mama's place. 
The Dinner
So finally we were back in the civilization with a thrill of being lost!


The experienced Mama immediately guessed that we had been to Nakhind. He was a bit upset with us for doing such an adventure in the monsoon. We were tired and hungry, hence had early dinner of Pithale Bhakri and Kanda Bhaji.

On our way back we were laughing about the lesson learnt due to our foolishness! Yet were determined to accomplish our goal next time we visit.

Mama Mami at Raireshwar Settlement

Photo Courtesy: Sagar Mehta

Copyright: theGypsyPrincess.Com (2015)