Program : Trek : Jivdhan Fort (3754ft / 1144 mtrs)
Valley Crossing : Jivdhan to Khadaparshi Pinnacle (200ft)
Rappelling : Khadaparshi Pinnacle (425ft)
Date : 18th, 19th & 20th February, 2004
About Jivdhan :
On can reach Jivdhan by two routes, from Naneghat or from Ghatghar village. From Naneghat follow the cart track to Ghatghar village for about 10 min, turn right and walk towards Vanarlingi, the prominent pinnacle visible adjoining Jivdhan. On the way one can come across a small farm and then one more cart track coming from Ghatghar village. Cross this and move towards the pinnacle. After walking for about 15 to 25 min through grass one comes on a plateau. There is open plain on the right side and dense jungle on the left side. At this point one comes across a set of boulders. The route to Jivdhan goes from this jungle from the right side of these boulders. Walking straight upwards encountouring dense jungle one reaches rock cut steps. From here follow the route to reach the Jivdhan rock wall. There is quite good amount of scree and is dangerous during monsoons. From this rock wall, one path goes to the right to the base of Khadaparshi (also called as Vanarlingi) while the left path leads to a set of broken steps after a walk of 5 to 10 min. On moving forward, one comes face to face with a col and a steep climb for about 10 min. There are cuts in the rock which serve as holds. After climbing sucessfully one reaches the main entrance of Jivdhan fort. It takes about two hours from Naneghat to reach this place. The entrance is blocked by large peices of rock which have fallen down from inside and there is enough room for only one person to enter at a time.
Views from Jivdhan :
To the North Vardya, Harishchandragad, Nakta, Alang-Kulang-Madangad and a faint view of Kalsubai.
To the East Vesni, Budhlya, Ghatghar village, Junnar in a distance, Kukdi River & Manikdo dam, Kukdeshwar Hill. Note : Chawand is behind the Vesni hill and cannot be seen from Jivdhan.
To the South Excellent view of the 1000 mtrs drop of the Sahyadris into Konkan (like Harishchandragad-Kokankada), Durg Killa, Dhakoba, Gorakhgad & Machindra Pinnacle.
To the West Naneghat, Nanacha Angtha & The Konkan Plains.
.The height of Khadaparshi is 425ft and has been climbed by several climbers. It takes about 5-6 hrs to climb this pinnacle from the base.
The Organising / Support Team :
The Jivdhan-Khadaparshi Valley Crossing & Rappelling Program was organized by Hi-Tec Adventure Group based in Mulund. Tushar Modak headed the organizing team supported by a group of well-experienced climbers, namely Hemant Rao, Sumant, Vaibhav, Pradeep, Amol Pendse. Vaibhav & Sandeep had climbed the Khadaparshi in about 5 hrs and had aligned all the valley crossing ropes.The program was conducted over a period of 3 days. Starting from 18th Feb04 to 20th Feb04. The group was very familiar while conducting this activity as they had earlier held the same program in year 2001. A total of about 60 people participated including people of all ages.
Ruzbeh had already registered for the Valley Crossing & Rappelling program since the dates were declared. Since then, Ruzbeh has been coaxing me to join the activity. However, I was not sure if I could make it. Things did come my way and I joined Ruzbeh for this deadly stunt.
We met up with the rest of the group (about 40 people) at Kalyan S.T. Stand by 8am and moved on to Naneghat. We reached Naneghat phatta by 11:30am and subsequently reached the Naneghat caves by around 1pm. The climb was quite exhaustive due to the intense afternoon heat. After a quick lunch the entire group walked towards Ghatghar village (about 3km). We reached Ghatghar by around 4:30pm and proceed towards Jivdhan Fort. We kept the fort on our right and walked towards the woods at the base. Enroute we can also see an old temple with a Shivling. After the temple, the cart track leads you to a common coloumn shared by Vesni Hill & Jivdhan. The route ends at an opening on the right into the bamboo woods. After we climbed thru the woods we come to large rock patches which we had to climb without any support. We climb several rock patches until we reach the final steps of the fort. The steps are blown off, however some of them have niches on one side for climbing support. The view from here is very good. Just before the entrance there is a 90 deg vertical rock patch. We negotiate this with utmost care and reach the entrance. We then climbed ahead and reached the remants of a house (one could only see the entrance and the rest of it was like a cave good architecture inside). A tent was pitched alongside by the support team and this was our base camp. We settled for the night and after a good dinner prepared by the support team, we were briefed about our program.
The next morning was hectic and after our breakfast, we were divided into 2 groups. The first group of about 25 people would complete their activity by noon and then the 2nd batch of 15 people would complete their activity by around 6pm. The first batch moved towards the valley crossing site and the second batch was entrusted with the responsibility of taking everybodys bags to the Chorwat Steps (another route of Jivdhan Fort) as one could reach this place after rappelling and go to Naneghat and need not comeback to the Jivdhan base camp to collect their bags. We were in the second batch so we did the porters work. Nevertheless, this also gave us a chance to explore the Chorwat. Actually this was the main entrance to the fort and is directly accessible to Naneghat (1 hr). However, the steps on this route has been completely blown off and the entrance is also a bit to negotiate. One also has to pass thru dense forest to reach the base on this route.
By around 4pm we were informed that only 17 members of the first batch could complete their activity as rappelling took quite some time and therefore 6 members of the first group and all 15 of us from the second group were stranded. We were then shoved with a suggestion to wait for one more day and complete. Quite a daunting task for everyone as we had all thought that we would reach Bombay that evening after completion, but now we all had to make this quick decision on whether to stay or go back (which was also quite difficult). After a few phone calls everyone decided to stay whatever come may to their worklife / family etc. I must say that each one of us were well-determined and focused.
We again descended the Chorwat and brought back our bags to the base camp settling down for another night on Jivdhan. It was quite a long night for all of us to pass. The next morning we all got ready quite early and reached the valley crossing base by 9am (again after dropping off our bags at Chorwat).
Ruzbeh went of first and I did my valley crossing at around 10am. Hemant Rao checked my gear at the final point and pushed me onto the ropes. I started pulling the ropes with both my hands. After a few minutes my forearms became so stiff and I just could not pull the rope. Needless to say, I was dangling at height of about 1000mtrs. Looking down was indeed extremely scary and looking up into the shimmering blue sky was quite a relief. I reached the pinnacle and was greeted by Vaibhav and Sumant. Vaibhav pulled me up, dislodged my valley crossing gear and made me sit on one side of the pinnacle. Gosh! What a place to be on
.after about 10min, I was pulled onto another side of the pinnacle from where we had to rappel down. This was the second time I was rappelling (the first was a minor stint at Borivali National Park). The rappelling gear was fixed around my waist and the ropes were checked. I was then told to descent carefully from the first ledge which I did not. I slipped a bit and got a few bruises on my right hand. Most of the people had a problem at this starting point. I managed to get my act together and rappelled down with ease. The members who had descended earlier were cheering up the participants and the whole exercise took us about 20-25min.
After reaching the pinnacle base, we collected our bags and hurriedly descended towards Naneghat. Reached Naneghat by around 2pm. Had lunch and descended Naneghat and reached the road by around 430pm. Caught a jeep to Tokavde onto a ST bus to Kalyan and reached home by 9pm. Alas! After 3 days.
Personally for me it was a tremendous sense of achievement
for not even once was I scared of doing this kind of adrenaline stuff. It also gave me a strong foothold for doing similar events in the near future
We were awarded certificates for completing this program on 14th Mar, 04.
Three Cheers to the Hi-Tec team for their superb feat!