Thursday, 16 February 2012

Shri Malanggad (Haji Malang)

Shri Malanggad or more popularly known as Haji Malang or Bawa Malang is located close to Kalyan. It is more popular for pilgrims who visit the dargah, but a little ahead lays a thrilling trek for enthusiasts.
Malangad is built on three levels. The lowest level is a plateau which is 1000 feet broad and 2500 feet long on which stands the Dargah of a Sufi saint - Haji Malang. At the other end of the plateau is the Panchi Pir which lies almost at the edge of the rock and is named after the five pirs who accompanied Haji Malang. This plateaus is called Pir Machi.

The next higher level is called the Sone Machi as it is the lower part of the fort. This is a projection of rock with is 70 feet broad and 100 feet long. It is shaped like an elephant trunk.

The highest level is the Citadel which is 200 yards long and 70 yards broad. This is the summit of the hill and has no fortifications. The water supply is from five cisterns at the top of the hill with a copper pipe to carry water to the lower levels.
District - Raigad

Height above mean sea level - 2596 feet.
Base Village - Vaishakhare is the nearest village. Trek starts a few kilometers ahead of Vaishakhare, where there is a divergence towards the hills.

Duration of trek - 1 day.

Time to reach the top - 2 and a half.

Water/Food Availability - Plenty of water throughout the way to the dargah. Above that carry water, where at the absolute summit there are water cisterns.
Best season to visit - Anytime except monsoon.

Sights to visit - Haji Malang dargah, fort remnants, balekilla.

Difficulty Rating - Easy till dargah and maachi, tough to climb the balekilla.

Endurance required - 4/5.

Shelter - None.

How to get there - Mumbai to Kalyan. Kalyan to Haji Malang via frequent buses and taxis/rickshaws.

  1. An absolute thriller of a trek, this one requires you to climb steps for the first hour and a half. Just before reaching the dargah take a right towards the hills, from where the real thrill for the trekkers starts.
  2. On climbing further, you will reach a flight of steep steps that take you to a flat plateau also called Sone maachi. On the right is the way to the balekilla and to the left are a few remnants.
  3. Reaching the balekilla requires you to cross a 14 foot gap, that is joined by two pieces of pipe. Though a little dangerous with exposed valley beneath you, it is absolutely worth doing it once!
  4. The way ahead is also narrow and tricky in some parts, but the view from the top and the satisfaction of having completed the trek is beyond awesome.
  5. The top has 4-5 large water cisterns and a structure which used to be a weapons storage building. 
  6. The route of Malanggad consists of 3 dargahs or 3 salaami. The third being the famous Haji Malang.
  7. Be careful of monkeys, do not show them food or valuables as they are known to open bags and/or snatch things from pockets and hands.
  8. There is plenty to eat and drink all upto the dargah after which you need to be prepared for whatever you need.
  9. Every morning around 11 o' clock, a man comes to the pipe section to tie and rope and help you cross. He charges Rs. 20 to help you cross to and fro. It is extremely dangerous to cross on your own, please DO NOT try it. 
  10. There is no scope of getting lost. Steps get annoying, but be patient as the trek above is totally worth it.
  11. It is also said that throwing a rock from the summit to the pinnacle on the south west side, makes your wish come true, if your stone reaches the pinnacle. Our tries were futile!
  12. From the Balekilla (citadel) we can see Chanderi, Matheran range to the south, Kalyan city, Mahuli to the north and Mumbai (with part of sea)to the west.
  13. DO NOT take people afraid of heights or exposed cliffs as most of the trek to the balekilla is along such type of route. 

The start.

The pinnacles as seen from the start.

The final dargah seen from halfway to the balekilla.

The chor darwaja to the maachi.

The imposing citadel summit.

See the steps to the right? That's what you have to take.

A part of balekilla trek.

My friend Chiru climbing one of the exposed areas.

One of the cisterns at the top.

The way to the maachi, take the steps on the left.

The pipe crossing. Easily the most thrilling part of the trek.

The cisterns at the top.

1 comment:

  1. Superb. reached till Sone Machi but was not aware of route to citadel. this bolg is very informative .. please let me know if planning for same trek in near future