As my earlier posts from this summer indicated, I have been doing a fair amount of travelling for work. My most recent trip was to see our service provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Mumbai. Wednesday of the first week I was there was a national holiday for Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. Being the fine group they are, the team organized a trek (we Americans would call it a hike) to Lohagad Fort.
For purposes of personal privacy, I won’t name any individuals or post any personal photographs. But the team that came along were great sports, we had a fine trek leader, and it was extremely well organized. I cannot thank the team there enough.
Lohagad Fort is about 117 kilometers or roughly 70 miles from where I was staying in Mumbai. The drive was about three hours. It is located just off the Mumbai to Pune Expressway. Lohagad, meaning “iron fort,” and Visapur are a set of two forts build on large rock formations and separated by a saddle pass between the two. Lohagad is the easier hike, although it was plenty of work for me.
We parked a mile or so past the Malavali railway station on south side of the expressway. The trail is mostly a dirt road, not in good condition for driving, but fine for trekking. Once one gets a ways up the road, you get a good view of the destination.
Trekking shortly after the monsoon and in a season with some rain makes for a very pretty hike. There are many little waterfalls and everything is very green.
Some local women were doing a bit of laundry.
As one comes to the saddle, you get a good view of the north end of Visapur Fort. There were some goats there for picture taking as well.
Things get quite steep toward the end of the hike as you go up several hundred feet in less than a quarter of a mile or so. Here are some of the battlements you climb up to. I would not want to be attacking these battlements.
There are many monkeys in the area. This one snatched this juice box from one of our team and is clearly enjoying. Darn thief.
The view from the top is amazing. This is Pawna lake to the south of Lohagad.
At the west end of the fort is a narrow fortification known as the Scorpion’s tail or Vinchukata in Marathi.
This is a panoramic view looking to the north, including the Lonavala area and Visapur Fort.
Along the trail, I did see many bits of old shoes. The ground is rough enough to require good shoes. As this picture shows, one lady made a vary poor choice of footwear. This being almost a mile from the nearest passable road, I wonder how her feet felt after going all that way having lost her shoes.
If you have the chance to make the trek, I highly recommend it. This is a Google Maps link.
Again, I cannot say enough about the fine hospitality I received on my visit. This hike was truly the highlight of all my trips to India. I feel very fortunate to be working with such a fine team.