Monday, May 4, 2015

The Tikona Trek....

The Adventure Club announced a trek to Tikona , near Kamshet, above the Ghats ,  a few hours from Mumbai .  Tikona (also known an VitanGad ) is 3500 feet above sea level, and is a fort constructed in Pyramidical form.  Tikona means "of three angles"  or "triangular".

Most forts in Maharashtra date back to the days of Shivaji Maharaj,  and an entire population would normally reside  in these forts, and today, at their base. Many facilities existed for the inhabitants of the forts in those days.  In the mid 17th century, this fort was  the centre of control for the entire Pawana Mawal region, 60 kms from Pune.  The approach to the fort today is through the village at its base, called Tikona Peth.

It was an extremely hot day, and the villagers  of Tikona Peth  very hospitably allowed us to replenish our water from their cool mudpots.

The mandatory information board put up, by a private organization , giving salient features of the fort.  One doesn't see any thing from the ASI. Yet.

    Our group on the approach road  through the Tikona Peth Village, moving towards the base of the Fort.

                                              The main view of the Fort .

                 Somewhere up the slope another side view of the Tikona

Even today, there are several who have their livelihoods dependent on the Fort.  Plantains in bloom  along the path .


    Steps with a very high gradient close to the top, entrance to the fort.   The narrow width and  tall steps probably so designed, to slow down,  those of doubtful origin, who might have managed to come this far....  

A panoramic view from somewhere close to top of the Fort. Waters of the Pawana Lake/Dam  can be seen in the distance.

A sudden view of the lake and another Fort in the distance, on our way up.

             Built-in defense structures at the Tikona Fort.  Could also be native civil engineering specified structures for drainage of water ?

     Somewhere,  a display of the rock structure in the Deccan.   Visible due to erosion of the rocks over centuries, as well as human greed. 

Entrance to the Fort is through a small cave (Bhuyari darwaaza), which further leads to this  Hanuman, referred to as "Chapat Maruti" , shown in the process of killing the Devil "Panvati". 

This is, as  the  board says,  the Lime ("Chuna") mixer, which was used in those days to crush and mix the Lime needed in the stone construction of the fort.  The crushing wheel, was operated by bulls.  Many rural oil mills today use the same technology to press oil from various oil seeds.  Instead of the bulls, you can now see me.

This fort boasts of a large number of water tanks at the top, some of which are still usable. The are several caves with water bodies.  

     This was probably a  lookout post in those days. With soldiers doing a 360 degree reconnaisaance. In modern days, what we might call a look-out point.

    Four centuries and more down the line,  some structures still remain, overrun by shrubbery and trees.  

 An amazing view of the Valley  showing small clusters of villages,  and waters of the Pawna Dam/Lake

Signs of civilization at the Fort .  A heap of cow dung cakes, commonly used as fuel in rural India.   What pleases the eye is the abundance of the green. 

A Close up of the developments on the banks of the Pawna lake as seen from one of the gaps in the ramparts of the Fort. 

The ground view on the other side, away from the Lake.

 Temples dedicated to local deities  nestled amidst the hill greenery.

                   Looking back at the Fort. The Grand Ramparts and the flag

                                Trees laden with the fruit of the season.

                  The Earth, laden with a misused chair and a tired human.

                                      And then there are the flags ...

                                               The Indian Tricolor.....

                          The Historical  Bhagwa (saffron)  Maratha Flag.

                     And then this  tree, simply trying to fly a small flag of its own ....