Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bitangad & Aad Fort

Bitangad is a small hill in the Ghoti region. Like most treks, we started on Saturday night from Mulund and reached Bitanwadi very early in the morning - around 4:00 AM. The reason to reach so early was simple, avoid the uneasy and irritating early morning wake ups and find adequate time to visit another hill in the surroundings. 


Bitangad: This small hill is mostly a walk and then a little bit of an uphill hike. From Bitanwadi, it usually takes about 20-25 mins to reach the base of the hill where we start hiking upwards(another 25 mins). The route up is marked by a rocky staircase(like many other hills around Nasik). The holds around the steps are well placed so thats a very easy job. There is also a small cave immediately after thee staricase. It can accomodate about 6-8 people in the dry season.  The top is a beautiful place with commanding views all around. The adjoining hill- Mahankaal is infested by a large number of windmills. There are 2 sets of watertanks, one near the south side of the Top massif and another on the east face. There was no water in this month(November). We quickly got down and reached the base village(bitanwadi). It took us about 3 hours 30 mins from Bitanwadi and back.

Our next target was Aad fort. Aad is situated about 30 kms from Bitanwadi and the base village is called Aad wadi. The route from bitanwadi to Aad wadi is very scenic with mostly gigantic views of the Wind mills- some working, some not working, some fast some slow. The route from Bitan wadi passes via the base of another well known giant fort called Patta(Vishramgad). The road then leads to Thangaon and further to Aadwadi. Thangaon is a place known for tomato growers. You will find all farmers sorting tomatoes all over the place and then filling it in big plastic boxes for further transportation.

Aad Fort: Aad is a small but very beautiful place. It is easy to hike from Aad wadi and usually takes about 30 mins from the base to top(for regular hikers). Although it is easy, the approach towards the right place to start the hike could be confusing. I have shown the actual location of the starting point on my map. i have traced the entire path using a GPS in my cell phone. The route which we opted is best suited when you have your own vehicle. The top of Aad is a wide spread platue with about 3 sets water tanks(non potable), one door, and a cave on the other side. The cave can be approached via a staircase and a small rock step(not difficult, but be careful). The cave is worth a visit with a small compartment next to it. The cave and compartment can easily accommodate about 20 people. There is a good water tank next to the cave and it happens to be the only potable source of water. There are also some old structures above the fort which look like constructions and also like some tombs(dont know what exactly they are meant to be).

We descended the same way down and started our return journey.

Be careful about the roads. The forts are relatively simple, but the roads are not. We went 25 kms in an absolutely wrong direction while returning home.