The honour of “High Mountain Range” is going to Ghanchakkar-Gavaldev/Muda-Katrabai hill range. This range starts from Bhairavgad Fort (Shirpunje) to Katrabai via Ghanchakkar, Gavaldev-Muda hills.
This high endurance range trek ends at Ratangad Fort.
Basically, Ghanchakkar is a long plateau of approx. 10+ km with Ghanchakkar and Gavaldev are the two highest points on this plateau and further this plateau descends towards Kumshet the base village to Ajoba (Aaja Parvat) and Katrabai mountains towards the Ratangad-Harishchandragad trek route.
Lord Bhairoba on Bhairavgad Fort behind Shirpunje village is the deity of the people of nearby villages. So due to this, the way to Bhairavgad Fort is well-trodden.
The road has steep steps and railings in some places. There are many steps carved in this way. An hour, we reach the col between Bhairavgad Fort and the side hill.
There are many water cisterns on the fort & carved caves. Some caves also have an arched entrance. On the upper side of caves, there are some Hero Stones having all four sides are carved. The worn-out idols of Lord Ganesha are kept near Hero Stones.
There is an equestrian idol of Lord Bhairoba in the cave. This idol is very good carved painted and is well maintained by the villagers.
Harishchandragad and Pabargad forts are visible to the south from the top of the fort.
Ghanchakkar is the 5th highest mountain in Maharashtra. Its height is about 4954 ft. from MSL. There is a wide plateau between Bhairavgad fort and Ghanchakkar peak. It is about 5 km west of Bhairavgad.
A special type of crystal is found on this plateau. Like Quartz and Mica.
There is no tree to rest for a while in this entire plateau.
Adjacent to Ghanchakkar, Muda-Gavaldev is the massive mountain, it is the third highest mountain of Maharashtra.
There is a gorge in the middle of Ghanchakkar-Gavaldev; descend in that valley and climb up Gavaldev from the south-west. The last stage is a bit slippery so we need to be careful while climbing.
Gavaldev top offered us mesmerizing views spanning 360 degrees. Views of Bhandardara Dam, Ratangad Fort, Alang-Madan-Kulang-Kalsubai range, Pabargad to the north and Harishchandragad range at the south.
Having the highest rock exposure in Sahyadri, the Katrabai wall stands next to Ratangad fort in the Bhandardara region. Mount Katrabai, which is about 4200 feet high, has a beautiful view of the surroundings. High mountains, deep valleys, Bhandardara dam and many surrounding forts can be seen.
A narrow valley descends from the heights of Katrabai into the Konkan; this should be the deepest valley in the Sahyadri landing in Konkan. Its depth is about 1200 feet.
As the name suggests, this is truly a ‘Jewel’ amidst the forests in the region. It is an interesting fortress, situated at the edge of Ghats with numerous water cisterns and caves. It also commands an excellent view of all surrounding areas, overlooking the Konkan plains, Bhandardara Lake, Katrabai cliff, Alang-Madan-Kulang and the huge wall of Ajoba.
The robustness of Sahyadri can be experienced only from a few forts and Ratangad is one of them. Standing in the “Eye of the Needle” is a major attraction.
23:00 – Reporting to the SG team.
23:30 – Travel to the base village from Pune.
04:00 – Reach base village. (Shirpunje village)
05:00 – Have a warm breakfast & tea.
05:45 – Group introduction & briefing about the trek.
06:00 – Commence trek to “Bhairavgad fort”.
07:15 – Reach top of the fort. Explore the surroundings.
08:00 – Return at Bhairavgad – Ghanchakkar junction. Resume the trek.
10:30 – Reach top of Ghanchakkar. 5th highest mountain in Maharashtra.
– Descend down and walk towards Gavaldev hill.
12:00 – Reach the col between Ghanchakkar and Gavaldev.
– Lunch break. (self-carried)
13:00 – Start climb Gavaldev peak and reach the top.
13:45 – Enjoy the 360° beautiful view. Photography. Descend on a plateau.
15:00 – Climb Muda peak and descend at Kumshet.
17:30 – Reach Kumshet.
19:00 – Self-cooked dinner.
21:30 – Stay in tents. Day stumps.
Stay in tents.
05:00 – Freshen up; wrap up & clean the campsite.
06:30 – Have a warm breakfast & tea.
07:00 – Resume the trek. Climb Katrabai pass.
08:30 – Visit the idols of Katrabai and climb Katrabai top.
10:30 – Reach top of Katrabai. Photography.
11:30 – Descend and walk towards Ratangad fort
13:30 – Explore Ratangad fort.
15:00 – Descend at Samrad. Have a meal.
16:30 – Travel to Pune.
22:00 – Reach Pune with happy memories & non-biodegradable waste.
Shivajinagar > Aundh > Nashik Phata > Ale Phata > Rajur > Shirpunje (Base)
23:00 – Shivajinagar
23:30 – Aundh
23:59 – Nashik Phata
Please come 15 minutes before at your pickup point to avoid getting late.