Monday, June 22, 2015

Peb Vikatgad Trek

This Fort , Peb Vikatgad, lies in the Matheran Range , and is approachable from Neral, which is  a junction on Central Railway, for those wishing to travel to Matheran which s a hill station.

The Peb Fort is named after the Goddess "Pebi" and is also called Vikatgad, because at the top it is said to resemble the head of the elephant headed God, Ganesha. These are matters of faith , and local nomenclatures are always honored.

About 2100 feet above sea level, this fort is famous for  a temple dedicated to Swami Samarth at the peak, as well as built in meditation chambers in the mountain, which are well maintained by disciples of Swami Samarth.   Footwear used by the saint in kept at the peak. The climb is relatively easy except for a rocky patch where almost vertical  ladders have been installed .

We climbed from the Neral side, and the descent was  via two different ladder systems and rocks o the Matheran side, with a trek on the railway tracks.  At a point along these, one reached the motorable road, which then took us to Neral to catch a train back to Mumbai.

                                     The approach road  to the Fort

The trekkers depart

The Villagers going about their daily chores as we pass through

A little further up , the residents of the village

This clump of palms smack in the middle along our path

A typical settlement a bit higher along the road to the Fort.

                           We stop by to visit a local temple  on the way up.

          You can tell we are at a decent elevation on our way up the fort.

The panorama 

  Another expanse showing the signs of progress :  electric transmission towers

             This was in the hottest part of summer . Note the brown grass .

                                      Another Panorama shot of the Valley

      Samarth Temple  en route, mantained by his devotees.

                            Traveling along narrow ledges and sheer rock face

 Some locals who climb almost daily, know the best protective nooks and corners and even cook .

                     The trekkers at lunch and taking a well earned breather.

The sheer steep rock face at a height

 All smiling as they approach closer to the top

And she finds some  structures of old at the Fort to sit on

                          Almost at the top, and marveling at the surroundings

                                              Another view on another side

                                                           And another............

                          She reaches the windy elephant head top

                                                   Some structures at the top

A temple under construction but they all gather for a final group photo.

 She was not in the group photo, because she clicked it :-)


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