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I happened to visit a place called Hatkeshwar. It s towering hill and a strenuous hike for a day. We 3(Myself, Anju and Ashish Mhatre) started from mumbai on saturday night and went to stay in a small temple in Madh village near Malshej. It was very cold and it was a little difficult to sleep on the cold floor of the temple. Ajay Dhamdhere, Mahendra Singh and Vilas Ashtaputre joined us after about an hour or so. Mornings were very cold and we were actively looking out to make a fire. Ajay had forgotten the gas burner(and it made me very very happy - I can now lit a fire to make tea). Tea was refreshing in that cold - except that it lost all its warmth in a minute...!

We reached kolewadi and started our trek. At the first look, it appeared very simple and my (overconfident) calculations told me that it wont take anything more than 2 hours. We initially lost the track and went to the right side of the hill. after a session of route finding, Ajay suggested that we go back to the platue(which was only a few minutes from the base village). I was very reluctant but since there was no option, agreed to it. We went back and enquired the route - we were almost 500 mts away from the correct one. The villager showed us the right route and we followed it to a very steep gradient with dried up grass. As we climbed, my calculations of 2 hours went berserk. After getting on the right route, 2 hours had passed and we were still able to see the top far away and far high. We continued with the gentle pace and finally reached the temple after about 30 mins making it a 3 hours ascend from the base village. The top section before the temple comprised of a steep rock cut foot hold(similar to Khutte Dara of Dhakoba) for about 10 mins.

The temple is small and there is a water tank next to it. After a lunch session, we went ahead to whatever little was remaining to reach the absolute top. before that we decided to venture the place. we went to the far left end where there is a range of pinnacles. One can explore some more routes from here, but mostly they all are exposed and its good if you can carry a small rope.There is another water tank in that area and looks like there were attempts to make a fort on this place- but there aren't any signs of a fort. We reached the top and came down quickly to the temple. The top is commanding and provides a view of as many as 20 known mountains. If you are lucky, you can see hills right upto Dhakoba, Jeevdhan, Napta, Kombada, Kunjargad, Kalsubai, Harishchandragad, Karkai, Niroli, Ranjna, Shivneri, Sindola, Udhala, Lenyadri.  We got some water topped up and started our steep descend. It was dead steep and most of us fumbled at many occasions. I myself bruised at a couple of thorns in this ferocious descend. At times, I had to practically sit down like a newbie(I still do it btw ..!).

We were pretty quick in reaching the base and managed to touch down in a quick 1 hour 45 mins right upto our vehicles. As always, Ajay had brought a plethora of food stuff. We ate Pithala - chapati and went ahead to see other hill that we had proposed but didnt venture due to the lack of time and energy(for me, energy was a bigger reason). We obviously had a great drive around the Pimpalgaon Joga Dam and the it was the most beautiful sunset I must have seen till date. We had chai near khubi and started back immediately. We touched Thane at about 9:30 PM. The GPS track is shown below.
View Hatkeshwar GPS track in a larger map


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