Monday, December 27, 2010

Raigad Takmak Rappelling

24th Dec 2010 added another feather of achievement in my cap. I completed 1000 ft Raigad takmak tok rappelling event organized by pinnacle club.
oh my God... what an experience it was...!!! Thanks a ton to pinnacle club and their volunteers for their great disciplined organization of this event.
It was full of thrill, inspirational and enjoyable camp. I am proud to be member of this club. hats off to pinnacle...!!!

On 23rd, I reached Mumbai Central bus depot around 10:30pm which was pick up point for us. When I reached almost all participants were reached. Except Pramod sir, I was not knowing any one of them. Any outing cannot become fun unless you face at least one issue and here our starting itself become very interesting because of our great ST department. First of all bus came late around 12:30am. Once bus came, we got settled in it. Driver came and just started it and he felt that there is some break issue in that bus so we had to get down.... Then we went to another bus... again there was some issue in that bus and finally third bus came, we were afraid to sit as there might be some issue in that bus as well... he he he .... for a moment I felt we are playing "musical bus"... jumping from one bus to another ..... he he he he .........Still with full on enthusiasm we started our journey to Raigad around 1:40am. I guess driver was jet plane driver and by mistake he came to drive bus.... he he he he ....he was driving so fast that we felt bus was not moving on road, it was just flying... I prayed to God for our safe journey and falls a sleep...!!!

We reached Raigad around 6:30am. We had tea at very small village hotel over there. As per instructions of Pramod sir, we started our trek to reach Raiagd fort top as our base camp was arranged there. Here I clicked my first pic of this trek and while climbing hill started with photography as well. Sun was about to rise but I couldn't capture it as I was not in proper direction. While moving up I could see that valley between "Sahyadri hills" was as good as sea because of dark fog. I had captured this sea of fog in my camera. [I have given link to all the pic's at the end of this post] I am in love with this Sahyadri hills, Its true representation of power and greatness of nature. As we were moving up, Pramod sir showed us the giant "Takmak tok" from where we have to rappel down 1000 ft in valley. There were many other groups especially from villages schools with us, Everyone was chanting like "Jai Shivaji.. Jai Bhavani"... these two words have tremendous magic.. However tired you may be, you get great energy and power when you say it loudly...!!! slowly while climbing, I started interacting with other trek members and getting familiar with them. Finally we reached base camp at the top around 8:30am. Immediately we got fresh and had breakfast. "poha" was too Good. I had it twice ;)

Now we started with actual activity for the day. As I was in first batch so I went for rappelling. I had not attended any practice session in Mumbai, So I did some rappelling practice for the height of 10-12 ft. then I moved to takmak top for actual 1000 ft rappelling. Takmak tok..It doesn't need any special introduction. Its an overhanging cliff of about 2850ft. If you don't know then above pic might have given you rough idea of its height, strength and greatness. However you may be brave but when first time look down from takmak tok you will be afraid that I oh... God.. I have to rappelled down from here. but Atul sir explained us everything very nicely. He helped us to reduce our fear and feel confident. Now I started understanding meaning of all rappelling related terms like, main rope, bille, harness and all.... My number was almost last in first batch So I had to wait for long time, meantime I was just observing How other participants are doing it. One can just watch How they are starting, once they go bit down the rope you cant see them, yes its very very steep. I was astonished by courage of couple of small girls who completed this. Rajesh sir had very tough role of giving start to each candidate. meantime I got in conversation with Saujanya and Arvind. (This conversation was just start of formation of one small group....) We got friendly, started giving confidence each other for this rappelling. This 1000 ft was supposed to be completed in two steps, first 300 ft and then from there 700 ft.

One by one everyone was going down... Reshma went down... then Prajakta... the time my turn came it was lunch time and so while rapelling down I had to carry lunch in sack for volunteers at first stage. I got ready, just recited "Om Namah Shivay" couple of times and started rappelling as per guidance of Atul and Rajesh sir. Initially while starting I was too afraid... :( :( but as soon as I completed 10-20 ft distance down the rope, I got comfortable and started rappelling nicely :) slowly slowly I completed 300 feet distance and completed first stage. When I was rappelling one small stone felt down...everyone screamed "watch out...", still it hit one the volunteer, Good thing was no injury was caused. really sorry for this :( At first stage on the small rock, hemant and couple of other volunteers welcomed me. (Here I was almost 1500 to 1800 ft above ground...) Watching Sahyadri range and nature around me at that height was experience of lifetime...!!! I just cant describe it. They called off for lunch break and I got opportunity to have lunch at that height. Lunch at that height and in that environment was more enjoyable than any 7 star hotel. Prajakta got cramp in her right hand while rappelling down. Just helped her a bit to get relief. She was taking back from remaining 700 ft rappelling but because of constant inspiration from Bapu sir, she got ready for it. Finally lunch time was over and I got ready for further 700 ft rappelling. This time I started very nicely and went down, In this area there was no proper rock so at one stage I struggled for contact of feet with rock but enjoyed this free fall on the rope... Hurahhh..!!! Finally within 10 mins completed this 700 ft distance. Now when I looked up, I just felt proud for this thrill "Yes, I did it...!!! 1000 ft rappelling.... Though its not big achievement in the field of mountaineering but at that time was feeling as if I have done something great.... :)" Mahesh and Prafulla welcomed me and gave glucose drink. Now there Saujanya, Rakesh, Reshma and Arvind were waiting for me. After me, Prajakta came done, She struggled a lot....!!! Anuja, first member from second batch joined us and volunteer said lets move back to base camp now. he came to show us a small tiny road and we followed him.

While moving to base camp, Me, Saujanya, Arivnd, Rakesh, Reshma, Prajakta and Anuja got gelled very well and it became very nice group. While walking slowly, we were talking and enjoying nature around us. Now we had to climb fort again to reach base camp. but the way spent time we didn't realized How time flied away...!!! While moving up we had lot of fun and couple times had refreshment drink like "tak" and "kokam sarbat". [directly used marathi words here ... :)] When we reached base camp we realized that we were too late for second activity of fort watching and now have to rush to see fort with guide. We had quick breakfast and moved for seeing fort.

Guide was telling some historical information about each point on the fort. There are different kind of vibrations in this environment. You may not believe but for a moment you feel that still "Shivaji Maharaj" is there. Couple of statue of "Shivaji Maharaj" over there are scintillating...!!! I always consider "Shivaji Maharaj" as one of my guru...!!! I got lot of encouragement. Thousand times I saluted great king Shivaji. I think even if we follow 1% of his values and dedication we will achieve something great in life..!!!
Sun was about set so it was just perfect evening, environment was already magical because of imagining king and his bravery.... you get into introspect mood and many question about yourself arise in mind.... :)
After seeing fort I enjoyed sunset photography session and finally we all came down to base camp.

In the evening, Atul sir gave us small session about mountaineering where he introduced us to this field and gave information about all the instruments. After this session, we had dinner.... puri, bhaji, pulav rise, gajjar halwa.... It was just too Good.
by the time everyone finished dinner we were all set for "camp fire"..!!! couple of small girls and one grandpa lighted fire and everyone got ready to rock.... sang some songs.... Everyone was too tired so this camp fire session didn't extended for log time but one of the poem sang by "Anuja" I liked a lot. It was the best performance of the night. Finally we went to our room and as everyone as tired fall fast asleep.

Second day, I woke up early around 5:30am in the morning as I wanted capture sunrise. I got ready, Arvind also joined me. We went to fort again and started sunrise photography session. I got really too pic's of sunrise with Shivaji's statue. The one shown above is one the best of them. After sunrise photography session, I joined camp members for breakfast and left fort around 8am for Mumbai.

Mind blowing experience of rappelling, Inspirational fort visit, some enjoyment at camp fire, excellent opportunity of sunset and sunrise photography, meeting new friends..... I think it was just perfect weekend where I completely forgot my laptop :)

It was too Good camp..!!!





  1. wOw bUddy.... n 1 yAAr

  2. It's feel like Hevens, we didn't seem before the beauty of neture as see in this Photo.

    Thanks a lot....
    Rakesh Pawar
    Mob. 9833755514

  3. I Participated in 2003 for Takmak Rappelling, and then became member, and now till 2010 I am going there as a volunteer and I just love being there, watching others screaming, and saying Yes I did it....!!!
    Thanks to founder members of Pinnacle club, who started such a nice event.

    Vijay Borgaonkar

  4. Hey buddy,i must say u have become very good writer.....keeep it up......looking forward for your next blog.

  5. nice 2 see your blog.. but u havent put my name. :-(.

  6. For his greatness and bravery, Shivaji, I would love to visit this place....
    -- Naveen

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