Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mystery Mountain Songiri


We took the 6am Karjat local and reached at 8am.
Two amongst us hurried for darshan at the Jain Derasar, Karjat.
Returned back just in time to board the 8:15 khopoli local.
We reached Palasdhari station within 5 minutes.

I was surprised to see so many people getting down. On asking, learnt that they too were heading for the fort. Songiri is becoming famous for trekking maybe! this means greater chances of following the right routes and lesser chance of losing the way!

Trainspotting at the start of the trek!

I tried hard to lose the way but somehow got back to right path on our own. The other groups seemed experienced but didnot know the right routes. They were nowhere in sight.

Important landmarks: BANYAN TREE, STONE WALLS.

We took numerous breaks and photo sessions on the way up and reached the top at around 12:15pm.

On the plateau midway where a small pond is located.

Summit Of Songiri while climbing up

The top has nothing much to offer... just ruined fort walls and a water tank; but the 360 degree view is amazing. One can see Palasdhari dam/lake to the west (when the weather is clear of course): Irshal, Morbe dam, Prabalgad and Matheran to the north-west..Ulhas river to the north and east. Chain of mountains on the east and south (Rajmachi is also to the east of Songiri but its very unlikely that one will be able to spot it) and of course the railway lines running towards khopoli and Lonavala!!

River Ulhas

Rail line

Palasdhari Dam adjoining the Palasdhari station

The Group had lunch and rested. I wasn't feeling hungry at all (i hadn't eaten anything since morning) bad habit esp. while on a trek!! There was no sign of rain. The sun was making it difficult to stay on top any further.

Meanwhile other groups (there were 2-3 other groups, one named Shivshrishti having varied members from varied companies/places and another one from BARC) had also arrived. They had taken a very long route, somewhere from south-west direction after crossing a few tunnels on the rail tracks! Perhaps they had come here for the first time.

Numerous dead-ends on the new route!

While descending we blindly followed the other group. we'd climbed up from the northern side and now we were getting down from the western slopes. in the beginning it was fun & the route was simple. everyone from every group had taken this route. but later this route turned out be adventurous and full of dead ends!

Somehow we managed to reach the rail-tracks and were relieved to get there. it was around 4:30pm. we walked on the tracks, passed a tunnel and a couple of bends to get to Palasdhari lake. We'd thought of having a swim/bath in the lake but God had other plans. he showered the victorious trekkers with his Love.... Yes it rained briefly in the end...seriously "denewala jab bhi deta, deta chappar faad ke...."

Palasdhari Dam
Pondering at the Reflective waters
Relaxing on the banks

Spent some tranquil time at the lake. Waited for the 6:13pm train from khopoli. All seats were occupied, so got down at Karjat, took a CST bound semi-fast train and returned by 8pm.

Songiri like Nakhind is now my pet hike!

~Regards & Cheers,
+Parin H Shah