Padargad is a small fort near the peak of bhimashankar at an height of 2002'. It is difficult to climb and there
is a rock climb. One should carry a rope and plenty of water.
I went there with Chakram Hikers with a group of about 22 people . Click here for pictures.
We all started
from Mulund station and took a local train for karjat(12.22am,midnight) and reached there at 2.15 something. We went to the
ST station in Karjat and dropped our rucksacks there for a while. The bus was in the morning at 6.00. Early morning we
had our breakfastand then caught the bus. We had to go to Khandas(the base village).
After that the real trek began. It was a kilometre or more from the village on a mettalled road from where
a path branched out. It is a regular path as it is the path leading to bhimashankar too. The path went on level
ground for a while and then began to ascend. We walked a lot till we reached a ganpati temple. Due to this temple this ghat
is known as ganapati ghat. Then then there was another steeper ascent to a plateau at the end of which there was well in which
we filled our water bottles. From here padar fort looks beautiful.
Then we took the path which branched off from the main path just after the well which led us to padar
fort. The path to padar went into a jungle. Another path branched off and it emerged out of the jungle to a gully ascending
steeeeply to the fort. There were a few boulders and there
was a small tree supported scree patch. At the end of the gully,there
is a chimney. Few of the group went up to trace the routewhich had a rock patch. We had to use ropes to climb. i was stuck
in the chimney for 30 mins at least. The chimney was tackled by a small climb(difficult for me as i hadnt done any
climbing). I emerged on to the col between a pinnacle(left) and the fort(right). From there,the rock patch began on the
right. The use of rope was needed. I was guided by the other experianced people. It was a travesing sor of rock climb.
It was a bit difficult and I was really scared in spite of being tied on the waist by a rope. At the end of the climb
was a scree patch the rope took me to the top of this patch and I sat for a while until all the others gathered up. From here
i could see peth fort clearly and the peak of bhimashankar too. Suddenly I noticed that we had climbed a lot! The route ahead
was simple but not easy. We could spot some steps here. There was another very small climb (fortunately in the shade-we had
come on to the other side of the fort face. After that broad and big steps lead me to the top plateau.
Here was nothing atop the fort excepting a few
dry water tanks and a platform. A small cave was also
siuated here. This fort is also known as 'Kalavanticha Mahal'. There was a big pinnacle and another smaller one
atop. The cave was on the face of the bigger pinnacle. The view was great from here one could see peth, bhimashankar,sidddhagad
clearly. The descent
was ok. I wasn't scared on the rock patch. I filled my
bottle at the well and had lunch(3.00pm).
After that i
along with the leader and few others decided to go
down fast. We reached Khandas and then
the rest is history...........