Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A Memorable Night Trail - Kavnai Fort 2015

I've always thought and dreamt of writing about my journeys, but I never really thought I'll ever bring myself to doing it. Been travelling across various destinations, for the last few months now and been advised by many to start a travel blog. I have finally decided to take on this challenge and contribute to the travelling and blogging community.So here, I am Alvin Anthony (You, can call me Al) 20, a business researcher, part time baker, designer, teacher, Mumbaikar and the founder of The Happy Getaway, writing my very first blog post. A little tensed since this is my first time doing this, but I hope you enjoy the content and my experiences.

So since the beginning of The Happy Getaway, this was my first trek which was to Kavnai Fort, in Nasik on the 21st and 22nd of March 2015. Organised by Tattva Adventures, led by Sai Iyer (A free lance designer and dog trainer. Woof!)  and his team, who have quite a lot of experience and knowledge in this space. I was quite excited to be doing my first trek with them. So after locating the trek online. It started off, with me giving Sai, a call and telling him how I love travelling, but I am extremely bad with trains schedules and maps, and how I really really wish, there will be someone else accompanying me from Dadar station. To my greatest of joys, Kshiteej (A really good director,photographer and advertising go to guy, I've been told.) met me at Dadar, and made sure I did not goof up, and catch the wrong train or miss my train. (Yay!). We met Sheldon (Our hospitality industry guy, who was just back from a late shift) at the Kurla stop, and then people kept joining in as the pre summer breeze kept us warm, and fast crowding local kept pushing on towards Kasara, which was the final halt. A few caught some sleep, and the rest were lost in deep conversations about food, travel experiences, destinations, and what we were looking forward too at Kavnai.

It was around 1:30, when we reached and walked towards the car, where we all squeezed in like one big happy family. Sai began with his customary vulgar late night hindi song session, and we all joined in gradually, singing old numbers and a few unfamiliar new ones (Note to self: Carry a mic next time, or shall be accused again of lip syncing.) We then in a few minutes halted at a dabba where we had a quick chai and coffee, session. We later took off and reached the base point of the fort. We then had a quick introductory round where I realised we had quite a mix bunch of people, including students (Vivek aka Selfie Guru) ,soon to be teachers (Jeanette), Smooth talkers (Vedant & Pranav), Family man (Nilesh), Mr. Hangover (Lawrence)  and frequent trekkers (Atharv, Vijay & Thomas). We soon commenced our trek, and started our late night trail. The last time, I had ever been for late night trail, was years ago at Lonavala. So this was a refreshing experience to get back to old ways. We started heading up the slope-y hill, flashing our torches all around and finding our path and each other. We walked and walked, and never looked back. The cold early morning breeze, welcomed us to our first halt point where, we caught our breath and peeped towards the flashing city and village lights. We could hear the whispers of silence as the noises slept and we pushed forward towards the up facing ladder, moulded entrance and old fashioned stone carved stairs. We grabbed the sides for support, and each other while falling.

In around an hour and a half or so, we were up. Conquering the old yet beautiful Kavnai fort. We then laid down under the stars, and rested. We even caught a shooting star as we layed. Some kept sleeping and the rest, moved around to explore and spend some time together across the fort. We sat facing the other peaks, as Sai gave us some insights about the forts history and also told us the mythological significances of the fort. The fort is said to have been built by the Moghals, was ceded to the Peshwa by the Nizam in virtue of a treaty concluded after the battle of Udgir around 1760. When the Marathas were defeated at Trimbak in 1818, Kavnai, like Tringalvadi and fifteen other neighbouring forts, fell without a struggle to the British. Captain Briggs who visited it after its surrender found two houses at the foot of the hill where the garrison lived. He choose to leave the entrance gate and the stairs as he found it beautiful and well crafted. Sai also told us that it is said that, it is believed that Hanuman beat demon Kalnemi while carrying the Dronagiri mountain to save Laxman. Samarth Ramdas the guru of Shivaji gave spiritual guidance to him. Also shivaji is said to have visited this fort secretly. This fort also happens to be the place where saint Dynaeshwar stepped and Gajanan Maharaj meditated Hence the fort has both cultural and historical importance.

(As Sai believes) Just because a fort isn't popular, it doesn't mean it isn't important.

The sun rise soon, hit the peak, and we all began to move out of our late night conversations into getting ready to descend. We continued to explore the fort and take pictures. The morning light, lit up the place, and our trusted photography expert (Rajith), captured every beautiful frame. We then began our descent, which i seemed to enjoy, as the summer heat had still not kicked in, and we could enjoy small halts, to pose and get facebook profilers clicked. We then reached the base point again, and got back into the car. Soon, we stopped for some chai and breakfast. And then visited the beautiful Hanuman temple, gleaming with bells, flowers, carvings and paintings. We explored the temple, and caught the essence of the village and the culture there. We soon head back towards the car, and off to the station.

The trek seemed to come to an end, yet the conversations, people, journey and memories don’t seem to fade away. It was a professionally organised trek, right from start to the finish. Props to Sai and his team. I really do hope to do more trips, with the group and Tattva. And I hope memories of this trek seem to live on, through this write up and our hearts.

Until next time, this is Bandra Boy (Like Sai calls me.), signing out.
Have a great day, and an adventurous weekend! :)

Thank You.
                                                          Alvin Anthony

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