Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sajjangad - The Fort of Good People - Our Adventure to Satara - Part 1

Maharashtra has something to offer to every kind of tourists. If you are a history freak - you have too many forts and caves to relish your history quest. If you love to be on the hills - hill stations are plenty. Wanna relax on a sea-beach and enjoy the sunset - the full Konkan region welcomes you. Or if you are simple nature lover you have too many places to explore. Satara is one of such places. It not only has one of the best natural beauties in Maharashtra, but also there are flavours of history.

September - October is the best time to visit Satara, in the rains. We also planned a weekend there in the monsoons. We had a plan to visit a number of places - Sajjangad, Thoseghar Waterfalls, Kaas Plateau, Kaas Lake and Bamnoli.

So we set out to fulfill our wish one Saturday morning. It was a gloomy day, there was no sign of the sun even at 7.30 am, it was completely engulfed by the cloud. Soon we were on the Mumbai - Pune Expressway and the rain started. We crossed the junction from where one can take a right towards Panchgani/Mahabaleshwar and headed straight to Satara.

Here is the road map to Satara.


Satara to Sajjangad:


View Larger Map
We reached to Satara around 10.30 am and checked in to our hotel Pooja Residency. The cordial and smiling staffs welcomed us and showed our rooms which were very decent. We quickly got freshened up and were ready for the day 1 itinerary - Sajjangad, Thoseghar waterfalls, Chalkewadi Windmills Farm and Ajinkyatara Fort.

The rain was a spoilsport today. Not that we mind the rains very much, but it was really maddening. It was pouring non-stop and did not subside for even one second. Anyway, as usual we were not bogged down and started as we planned.

Passing by the Ajinkyatara Fort, it looked humongous from below. There was a gate (see pic below) which one needs to cross and take the immediate right to reach Thosegarh while Sajjangad comes on the way if a small detour is taken.


Ajinkyatara Tunnel


We headed towards Sajjangad first. It was a hilly terrain through which passed, the roads were winding up with valleys at one side full of greenery while at the other side the cliffs were covered under the green carpet. The whole ambience was so pleasing to the eyes. We stopped our car at quite a few places to have some wet photo sessions.


One of the many tiny waterfalls

Green Valley
 It was raining so incessantly that the visibility were near zero. Once we reached at the base of the fort, we parked ourselves there and set out to climb through the stairs once we covered ourselves under the protection of the waterproof jackets. Once we stepped outside the car it was evident in a moment that the the protections were simply not enough, because there was a strong wind blowing which would drench you within the twinkling of an eye.
We started climbing and passed through the stone gates of Sajjangad, not knowing what to expect above. We came towards a place where the stairs are finished and the temple complex started.


Temple on the way

First gate - Chhatrapati Shivaji Gate
Second Gate - Shri Samarth Gate
Strong Door

At the top there were a couple of temples. It was raining so much that we had to take a shelter in one of the temples, the Ramdas Temple. Sajjangad literally means the 'Fort of Good People'. This fort was given to Shri Ramdas Swami,a saint and social reformer in 17th century India. His Samadhi (final resting place) is also here.

Ruins

Presently the maintenance of the fort is taken care by Ramdas Swami Sansthan, a trust since the 17th century. We had a life saving simple but sumptuous meal there, and that too free of cost. That was the Mahaprasad, which is served everyday to the visitor during the lunchtime. The meal was great but there was a typical ritual - the males have to remove their shirts while eating!!! The wind was chilled and I was quite wet so I was literally shivering with cold even before I started to eat. So you can guess how enjoyable it could be for me, even if the meal was too delicious. But that Rice, Sambar, Payasam were fantastic. There was nothing else where one could eat, so plan accordingly if you intend to visit Sajjangad while on the way to Thoseghar.

This building is the lunch hall, which saved our lives
After the meal, we went to the backside of the temple. The place was littered by bottles and other garbages but we made our way through a narrow trodden path towards the edge of the hills. The view from the edge of the cliff made our day. It was gorgeous. The valley down below was engulfed by a thin misty fog and a river found its way through the valley as gigantic serpent. The cliffs and the valley were covered  by lush green carpet. So soothing was the scenery that it was impossible to move away but we had to as we were running short of time as our primary destination was something else.


We started descending through the stairs, the views through the woods were pleasing to the eyes. So serene and peaceful was the place we easily understood that in the days gone by, it was the ideal place to medidate.

We came back to our car and now, bidding farewell to the Fort of Good People, we started driving to the Thoseghar waterfalls, but that will be a separate post.

A Naughty One
The Way Back
Next - Thoseghar Waterfalls

2 comments:

  1. Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing your trip experience. Satara, a place bestowed with historical abundance, is also known for its natural landscape. Surrounded by seven hills and situated near the converging point of two rivers, it will surely to impress you. Check out best hotels in Satara also.

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  2. Hi,the images in your blog are really awesome,I love reading your blog.Your travelogue is really awesome and the way you share your experience is wonderful,thank you for sharing the information for the people who are planning to travel.If you want to explore new places then book your tickets in Jabbar Travels and enjoy your travel

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