In December 2009 3T successfully scaled Kalavantin Durg as a last trekking event of the year 2009. Now we were much excited to explore the other half which is called at Prabalgad. Kalavantin Durg and Prabalgad, both are adjacent to each other with their base on Prabalmachi (Machi means plateau). We decided to complete Prabalgad as a one day trek on 23rd Jan 2010 Saturday. This time we dint have to work on much things about route, as we knew how to reach Prabalmachi. So without any research work we were ready to scale Prabalgad.
We started off from Andheri station at 5.10 AM and were supposed to catch first C.S.T local from the harbor line route. All of us were gathered on Andheri station on time and caught 5.17 AM C.S.T local to reach Vadala road. It takes around 30 mins to reach Vadala road from here we changed train and caught Panvel local train which take about 50 mins to reach Panvel station from Vadala road. At around 7.00 AM we were at Panvel station and it was time to rush to the S.T stand as we had to catch the first bus for Thakurwadi which is at 7.00 AM. Though the S.T stand is just some couple of minutes away from the station, we needed to go fast so we caught rickshaw and reached the S.T stand quickly. We rushed to the place from where the bus for Thakurwadi starts and came to know still the bus has not came. So one of us went to arrange some samosas from nearby canteen. And then the bus came, it was already having some passengers. We all got into it and the driver started the bus rapidly. Soon we reached Thakurwadi village in about 30 mins. Panvel to Thakurwadi is 17 Km route.
After some looks around the village and seeing other pinnacles and peaks around, we started off for Prabalmachi which take 1 and a half hour from Thakurwadi. This route is used by the tribal people living in Prabalmachi. For them it’s an express way. We took lots of shortcuts on the way and reached the top of machi very soon. As we reached the top, a warm welcome was offered to us by a thin fast running snake around 1 meter in length and brown in color. We ran behind the snake but he soon got camouflage in the grass and bushes.
We went more inside the village and asked the locals for the route, they told us the route is marked with arrows till the top. So we followed the same route. After walking for some five minutes we saw a base camp made by some group which came for valley crossing between Kalavantin Durg and Prabalgad. They had everything from kitchen to toilets. The path to Prabalgad from Prabalmachi is quite exhaustive as its main part consists of rocks. Taking lots of snaps and pulling legs of each other we finally reached the plateau of Prabalgad. The top of Prabalgad has very deep forest and we were lucky to spot one Gray Langur monkey which was quite bulky in size. He was feared of us and he ran away into the jungle in couple of seconds.
After taking left turn and walking inside the cool forest for about 10 mins we came across a big water tank carved in earth which has cool and thirst quenching water. After some refreshment, we moved further and reached the edge of Prabalgad in five minutes. It’s awesome view from here. In the front we can see the 2300 ft Kalavantin Durg pinnacle and finely carved rock cut steps. On the right side we can see the Matheran plateau and on the left side we can see Prabalmachi and further more down Thakurwadi village. We were very lucky to see the group which was conducting valley crossing between Kalavantin Durg and Prabalgad. It takes lots of efforts to fix ropes and do all setup for safety and other things. The gap between the Kalavantin Durg and Prabalgad is 750 ft so rope needed for the valley crossing is almost 4 times more that is around 3000 ft of rope. The crew was really very determined and very accurate in their work. After doing all setups of ropes and checking rechecking the safety measures, they were ready to send their first man for the cross of thrilling 750 ft valley. Initially their crew leader started the Shivaji Garajna which was so loud and inspiring which was somewhat like this –
Shree Chatrapati Shivaji Mahraj ki … Jay!!!
After some more inspiring quotes of Shivaji Maharaj, the man broke a coconut and then was ready to send his first man.
After fixing the basic gears, zooooooooom here the guy goes in full speed reaching the Kalavantin durg just in few moments. It was good experience to see this, some of us were thinking to convince them to make us cross the valley too. But as we were in group, we had to go back via the same route and descend the Prabalgad.
After enjoying more sightseeing on Prabalgad’s edge, we started of back for the downward journey. We were now hunting for some cool shady place where we can have our food which had sandwich in its menu with some more time pass food stuff. We finished our lunch and took some rest and at 2 PM we started off from here towards Prabalmachi. We reached down very rapidly and then filled up our bottles in the village. Then we started for Thakurwadi and reached down at 3.30 PM. We waited for Panvel bus which came at 4 PM soon we reached Panvel and then we had Pani Puri in nearby shop. Then we headed towards Panvel station and boarded 5.30 PM direct Andheri local. And then were back to home by around 7 PM with sweet memories of our Prabalgad trek.
Prabalgad is a good spot for rock climbing practice as it consists of many patches on the route. Don’t worry; there is no need to climb them if you don’t wish to.
Click here to see photos of Prabalgad trek.