AMBA GHAT

About Amba ghat: Situated on the Western Ghats at the height of 3100 feet. On Kohlapur-Ratnagiri National Highway (NH204). Amba is actually a reserve forest area  which falls in the buffer zone of the Sahyadri  Tiger Reserve and Dajipur Bison Sanctuary. Ambala Ghat is Blessed with rich variety of flora and fauna.It is a bird watcher’s paradise offering a wide variety of  wildlife. There is a large variety of plants and trees and one will find the rare Tamhan Flower .
 
Things to do: Trek and walk in jungles, Bird watching, Day and night jungle Safari, Horse riding, Wildlife Photography and Paragliding.
 
Best Time to Visit: Amba has a pleasant weather which makes tourist pleasant . In summer April to May the temperature during the day is 24 to 28 degree Celsius, while at night it falls to 16 to 18 degree celcius. June-Sept is best time of the year as the area comes alive as several waterfalls spontaneously come alive. Oct - March is best time to visit the area for Migratory birds.
 
Places to Visit near Amba: Amba Ghat, Pawankhind, Panhala, Ambeshwar Temple, Vishalgad Fort, Wagh Zara, Manoli Dam, Pawas, Ganpatipule.
 

Overnight Sarasgad trek - 90 steps -  speed climbing

 
Boss: Are in for a task
Me: Yes
 
Boss: One participant - Bucket list
Me: Name it
 
Boss: Sarasgad
Me: I am in
 
Boss: Pack your bag you leave tonight
Me: Its Friday tomorrow
 
Boss: come back before noon, you way, your style
Me: Speed climbing
 
Boss: OK
Me: OK
 
 
Friday is one day that I never trek, however this was a special case. Ankit received a call from a participant that he wanted to trek Sarasgad in Pali Near Mumbai. As once earlier this participant along with his friends had come to pay respects to Temple at the base of this village (one of the Asthavinayak in Maharashtra). However for some reason could not complete the trek. Yes Friday was my work off. On my way back in the home drop I spoke to my cab driver and he arrange for a Tata Indica non AC to Pali and back - deal. The original plan was to go on a motor bike and then ride back. I know we were seeking adventure but not RISKY venture. Yes staying awake all night, then trekking and ridding back. So sent messages to all whtsapp group and all surviving trekkers working if you wish to join call me. PING and we had 2 participants for a speed climbing of Sarasgad overnight trek.
 

Sandhan Valley trek - bucket list trek

 
I am back from the Sandhan Valley Trek conducted by TreksandTrails and what an experience it was. For an occasional trekker like me, it was a tough trek by all means. Though, it was a small group of 6 (three guys and three girls) , we were fortunate to have 4 out of 6 trained in mountaineering course.
 
The day began with sumptious breakfast at Samrad Village and we were never short of simple delicious food throughout the trek, sometimes cooked and sometimes raw (am talking about the berries and mangoes :-)) that we had on our way. We ended our trek with another simply made lunch at Dehne village and I was touched by all the simple people we met on the way, always smiling and eager to help.
 
Treksandtrails was fantastic and led the team alongwith TreksandTrails and we never had a dull moment. It was thanks to them and the team that kept me motivated even when I was exhausted. Together they took great care to make the trek as comfortable as possible. Not to forget the support of the locals who helped with the rappelling and also serving us delicious food with scarce resources. Wading through knee deep water, negotiating tough boulders, crouching through caves, hanging in the air and gingerly stepping on to edges using fingers were some of the things that kept me on my toes (literally). This trek made me more aware of myself and made full use my limbs, from head to toe.  
 
After all the hard work, lying down on the rocks,  gazing the stars in the night, waking up to birds chirping in the morning was the ultimate reward one could get and it was a truly memorable experience. We were never short of adventure what with freak lightning and rain in the middle of night where all six of us huddled in one solitary tent (courtesy Yahya) and we couldn't stop cracking jokes. Mercifully, the rain stopped and we had a good night sleep ready to start the day afresh. As for the experience, Sandhan Valley is truly the Great Canyon of India and nature at its best.
 
 

Sandhan Valley – full Descend near Mumbai – Summer special

 
 
Sandhan Valley an off season trek near Mumbai, for some it can be done in One day, or at a very relax and easy pace as a overnight trek. Sandhan Valley is also commonly referred as the valley of shadows or the valley of suspense. For many of who have already been there know why - but for those who came in late (old jungle saying Phantom comics). Most of the trekking in this valley is in shadows and is full descend with regular ups and down around huge boulders. 
We started this trek from Kasara - but for ME it was right after my shift. After office hours I was on the first train to Kasara. The whatsapp group created by Ankit Savla had nominated me as the leader of the day. After reading the message my first thought was "with great power comes great responsibility" (Peter Parker - Spiderman movie). Reached Kasara and we had a smallest introduction. A great relief to know 4 members for the team successfully completed Basic Mountaineering Course (phew). Reached Samrad village after a 2 hour drive by local private jeep. 
A short nap before a morning wake up call helped to start a brand new day afresh. Breakfast was the usual with Poha and Tea. As we got ready for the small excursion, there was lots of background work being done - equipment, food, assistance, dry ration, menu etc?
 
 
 
We started out trek at around 08:15 am - what a way to begin with the view of the mighty AMK, Alang, Madan, Kulung, Ratangad was inspiring. Yes I made a promise to scale AMK the most difficult climb in the Sahyadri before this year end. We had not yet entered the valley and there was small prick in my shoe: did try to ignore it however could not for a long time. So I sat down BAU (business as usual) and removed a thorn that was pricing me. 
Ledge walking This is an awesome way to begin our trek, Ledge walking if you miss then stamp in the water and your shoes are wet. If are able to keep up and use your toes then you shall be rewarded and be victorious. This initial excitement was a Kick which helps to complete trek to Sandhan Valley. Slowly and steadily we marched together as team clearing the water walk. There is a small section that is filled with water around 15ft. So we removed our shoes and stepped on this cold water walk. Our feet washed ON wards we move and the small fishes in the water clean your feet of the dirt. As we navigated huge boulders there is an amazing view that encompass us. The entire valley seems so different at different angles and at different times. With all the effort required on a full descend trek we wonder what it would be had it been a uphill trek in the Summer of 2015. 
Finally we reached out first mark. Rappelling down 40ft approx. Rajesh gave a small demonstration about the basics of Rappelling before the team started to descend down one after the other. Time was precious like any other trek - as now Rajesh was also assisting another group since there did not have the required expertise to Rappel down. Our team continued to move forward clearing the "S" rock slide successfully. Descending slowly we reached a spot where the only way forward if you were tall to wriggle or else crawl though. A little rock climbing is required here say 4 steps and you need to maintain your body weight by hand holds.  We decided to take some rest as were already well ahead of time. Thou the participants were requested to carry pack lunch for the day. I am sure there had not anticipated such an activity.  "SUPRISE" Had requested the villager from the base village to pack us something to eat like few chapatti and one cooked vegetable. To our surprise this good man had packed exactly 2 chapattis for each one of us and awesome potato and groundnut vegetable. The size o f each roi much be twice the size that we make here in the city of Mumbai. Believe it or not the taste was awesome, the venue was superb and the people who shared this menu were FANTABOLOUS (Fantastic + Marvellous).