Monday, October 29, 2012

Living with History

I love trekking. This Sunday's excursion took me to 'Ghanagad'. It is about an hour  from Lonavla. It was rarely used for actual war, but it has strategic importance. Shivaji Maharaj lost it to the Mughals in the Treaty of Purandar, but it was later reclaimed.

The excursion entails an hour-long hike to the base and then it takes another hour (or more) to reach the top. The trek to the base of the bale-killa is beautiful. The pathway winds through a forest of sorts. The tall trees with leafy canopies, abundant ferns, wind rushing through the leaves and the sound of little beings scuttling away as you move forward makes for a wonderful trek.I would advise seeking local help if you want to go to the top, because the last bit is a little arduous. It involves a ladder and grasping at the cable nailed to the stone facade. There is little of note on the top, but you can see Sarasgad and Sudhagad.

Two decrepit buruj make up for what once must have been a bale-killa. At the bottom of the bale-killa are two caves.

Near the caves, it appears as that a part of the cliff has broken, but it has remained on the mountain, instead of rolling down.

We lunched behind this rock, sheltered from the wind and feeling mysterious and wonderful.

I love trekking because it syncs me with history. I feel wonderful, imagining the rock I steeped on once must have been trod on by the horse of a great warrior or even a simple soldier. I brought back withered flowers (tucked by the rest of the girls in my hair when I hadn't been paying attention), a beautiful leaf which has withered so that only the veins remain (a lucky find) and many memories.

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