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Rejuvenating Gasps - My Trek to Ratangad
Jul 22, 2010 12:30 AM 39667 Views
(Updated Jul 22, 2010 12:32 AM)


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Consider this- your first kiss, smile of a baby, picking up a stray puppy from the roadside, helping an elderly cross the road, a hug from your mother, the first kick of a fag-these are a few things that reaffirm to us that our otherwise routine lives are boring at best or pathetically wasteful, at worst. My trip to Ratangadh was one such thing. The moment I submitted the ‘peak’, I knew that I will return to a routine life which is all the more stale.

Ratangadh is a part of the beautiful Shayadri ranges in Maharashtra. A few kilometers from Igatpuri, you can approach it via the Mumbai-Nasik highway(NH-3). You can approach Ratanwadi village-which is the base of Ratangadh-directly by road. Or alternatively you can drive up to Shendi village, and than take boat trip across the lake formed by Bhandardara dam, to Ratanwadi. The first sight of the peak can demoralize those who confuse trekking with a leisurely stroll. But there is also a bunch of people who would look at it and say - “there it is”. Coming prepared is the best way to allay your apprehensions. Take enough food with you that would last at least a day, if you are planning to camp at the peak for the night. But one should be judicious in carrying the kind of food with them, as more the load you carry, more the trek would test your endurance.

The climb could take anything between 90 minutes to three and a half hours, depending upon the strength of the group and their speed. While most of the climb is a classic trek with streams and dense foliage dotting the route, it is the last 100 odd feet which is trickier. It involves what one can call some basic rock climbing. Since this stretch consists of vertical rocks, it’s not trekking any more, its proper ‘climbing’. You climb up a pair of metal stairs, very precariously placed a little wobbly. This leads to a narrow passage between two vertical rocks. This is the last part of the whole trek, and also where you have to be the most careful. Cross this and done. It’s time to exhale now.

With every breadth atop the summit, you loose yourself. You loose that self of yours that takes uninvited phone calls and says ‘hello’ every time. You loose the self that has got used to getting up in the morning yet miss the sunrise every time. You have also left behind all the time that other people keep for you. You loose that self of yours which has been enslaved by the world with your own connivance.

So than what do u gain? Lets’ see- A night amidst the stars(literally), as you camp in the caves formed within the rocks atop the peak. You gain the refreshing air which you no longer breathe it, as much as you start touching it. You gain the solitude in which you find your most comfortable company. You gain the dark of the night which has given you best vision ever. And you gain the pulse of your heart, which has a lot to say to you. And this time you would listen!

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