Trek to Purandar Fort

|6 remarks
It had been a while after my previous trek to Tikona Fort, so I decided to embark on another trek - and this time, all alone. After my bike accident in Goa in June this year, I had developed a fear of riding the bike. To tackle that, I decided that I would drive my bike to the trek this time. So after some researching on my favourite travel blog by Rajaram, I decided that I could go to Fort Purandar in Narayanpur. This is around 30kms from my place, so I thought it would be doable in my modest 100CC bike - which friends now call a Luna. (Note: Pl. click on the photos to get a better view)
My Starting Point (Bike under that tree in the center)
I started at 9am from home and managed to reach the starting point of the trek on the foothills by about 10am. I decided to travel light - just had my Camera and a bottle of water, knowing well that there were food stalls at the fort where could do lunch. Parked my bike under the Banian tree, I started off the trek. On looking up itself I realised, this one was much bigger a task than the last one. Few minutes into the trek, I was huffing n puffing breathlessly. The group that had started off a bit after me had caught up with me, so much for my wonderful stamina. At one point, I started feeling dizzy and self doubt cropped up - Can I really do this !? I took a break, sat down, caught a few breaths, took a few pictures and silently ordered myself - turning back was not an option - SO MOVE IT !! After that pep self-talk, I started pushing myself and I started regaining confidence as I started approaching half way mark - Binni Darwaza. When I reached there, I had also managed to leave that other group far behind and I was confidently setting foot towards my next destination of Purandar Fort. There were some points of interest at the mid-way stop which I took time to photograph.
A panoramic view just before reaching half-way point

Binni Darwaza - Finally reached !!

TL: Abandoned Church, TR&BR: Shivaji and Bajirao respectively, BL: Purandareshwar Temple (Shiva)

 At the half-way mark, I found more people - who had decided to drive up to this point (which is possible) - a popular picnic spot. There were families, boy scout teams and so on who were all aiming to go to the go up to the Purandar Fort from the half way point. I also spotted the food stall and was glad that it was serving Bharkri/Pitla, Poha etc ... I decided that I would finish the trek and come back to my food reward later.

 At this point I realised that I had two options. One was to do Purandar Fort or do Vajragad Fort which was just adjacent to the Purandar Fort. I decided to avoid the crowd and do the more challenging Vajragad Fort. I took couple of shots at the decision point (see below)
The other side of the valley
Vajragad Fort - Notice the flag the the top most point of the fort (I reached there :) .. you will see that in subsequent photos)
I was unclear of the route to the top of this fort, so I thought I could explore it. It was about 11:15 am at this point and when I should have been tired, I was in fact all pumped up to go ahead and reach the peak. So I started walking and seemed to be going fine until I started hitting really heavy foliage on the trail that I was following (which was sign that this path was not taken so often), but I kept going. At one point I was crouching and walking under heavy foliage for about 20-30 meters.

The path I took
I realised that I had lost my way and that I may have taken a wrong trail so I decided to trace the way back a bit. Fortunately, I was hearing some persons talking so I tried to reach in that direction. After some retracing, fortunately, I found them and they told me the correct path. After that, it was just some more huffing n puffing before I finally reached the entry point if the Vajragad Fort.
The entry Darwaza to the Vajragad Fort
Then came the point, the top most point of the fort where there was a Victory Flag (Dwaj) flying high. The view from this point was really something worth all the trouble I went through to reach all the way to the top .. It was like my own Victory Flag .. (the same tiny flag from the previous photo)
Success at last ... Also in the background you can see Purandar Fort (as seen from Vajragad Fort)
I reached this point by 12:30 pm ... After sitting there for a while, I decided to head back to have my reward lunch (Pitla/Bhakri/Techa) - Simple and tasty. I took some more aesthetic photos on my way back. Have a look below.

Awesome views !!
I reached down to my bike at around 2:45 pm and took a relaxed ride back home. On the way back I stopped by at the Sangameshwar Shiv Mandir to take some blessings from the Lord Shiva.
Sangameshwar Shiv Mandir
It felt good that I had now managed to do a pretty difficult trek on my own and my leg also felt much better - almost a year after the accident. I came back home with fond memories and a much more confident self. Looking forward to many more treks in the future.