Sunday 1 September 2019

Walking in the rain.

Whilst we were in India  we had a day when we walked up a mountain. Tikona, which is also known as Vitandgad is the dominant hill fort in Maval in western India and at 3580 feet hits mountain status.. It's around 60 km from Pune and so we travelled by mini buses to our destination. The hill is pyramidal in shape and it's name Tikona means triangular.. The day was very wet and we were advised to take a complete change of clothing so we could get dry for the journey back. The journey was at times a little difficult as the monsoons had caused quite a bit of damage to the roads and in some place big pieces had been washed away.

The start of the walk didn't look at all difficult and we set off happily to reach the summit. As we progressed the slope got steeper and the rocks were very slippery. There were also several puddles to slosh through.

Early on there was this covered area where groups sheltered from the rain whilst waiting to meet up.

We saw several of these circular holes along the way. Our guide told us these were ant nests. During the rains the nests are at risk of filling with water or collapsing  and so the ants build this circular spout to help protect their home. Over time they build concentric circles  around the first one.

The view as we climbed would have been amazing if it had been a dry day. The weather never looked as if it would clear all day. There were very short periods when the rain stopped but it soon started again.

At times there were shear drops to one side of the path. This walk wasn't for the faint hearted.

We also switched from one side of the mountain to the other by passing through gaps like this. The result was that a new view was opened up.

At some points the sides sloped gently away with trees growing on them.

Part way up we came across this idol of Veer Maruti cut into the rock and painted. Our guide took some time out to tell us a few legends relating to the god. This gave us time to catch our breath after a steep section of the walk and was also fascinating to listen to

Nearer the top we passed this pond where two enormous catfish swam and behind the pond was a temple. The picture below shows a limestone crusher that was close by the pond. The guide did tell us why the crusher was sited here but I can't remember the reason.

At this point we were getting near to the top but we had to ascend a lot of steep and very slippy stone steps. The going was slow as the rain was heavy and water was cascading down the steps like a mini waterfall.

At the top was a stone fort . The final step into the fort was very high .

The doorway had two large gates. On the way up I didn't really pay much attention to them because my legs were tired from the climb but when we came to descend I took a picture of them. They were very beautiful with this lovely carving.

By carefully crossing a very narrow foot way with a sheer drop on one side we were able to get to the caves where we sheltered from the rain to eat our lunch. This dog had followed us all the way up and made it look easy. Not only was it still raining it was also quite foggy at this point.

 After lunch we climbed the final slope up to the temple  set on the highest point. Here we had group photos. The way down was steep particularly the steps and the water was still making them very slippy. For the steepest steps I sat down and went done on my bum. It meant I was wet through but I had a full change of clothes in the mini bus so it didn't matter. Several of the other adults found it very difficult to manage. The main group got back to the buses in good time but then we had to wait over an hour for the remainder of the group to get down. 

The day was fun but very wet. I'm really glad we did it and I can now claim to have climbed a mountain in the Asian continent as well as Africa and Europe. The journey back to Pune took several hours as the roads had got worse over the day. The girls in our mini bus played pop music over their phones and kept us amused by singing along.

I will share the last bits of our India trip with you in the next few day. There is some more fabric eye candy to see. 


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