Sunday, 11 March 2012

Vikatgad (Peb Fort)

Peb fort derives its name from the Goddess 'Pebi'. It is also called Vikatgad because its pinnacle is supposedly in the shape of the Elephant headed god - Ganesha. The fort lies in the Matheran range itself and is adjacent to Matheran. It is an easy trek, with the slightly difficult parts being the small rock patch and a ladder. There are caves to stay in which are well maintained by the disciples of Swami Samartha. Peb fort is very special because of its meditation chambers, which are well maintained with tiles to st on. It has an entry via a narrow passage from which you have to climb down into the meditation chamber. The fort also has a temple dedicated to Swami Samartha on the top and has the footwear or 'Padukas' worn by the great saint kept on the top. The view from the summit is also worth the entire climb.

District: Raigad

Height above mean sea level - 2100 feet.
 
Base Village - Neral Station.

Duration of trek - 1 day.

Time to reach the top - 2 and a half.

Water/Food Availability - Water is available at the cisterns on top.
 
Best season to visit - Anytime.

Sights to visit - Peb fort, caves, numerous temples, meditation chamber.

Difficulty Rating - Medium.

Endurance required - 3/5.

Shelter - Caves at the top.

How to get there - Mumbai to Neral via local train going to Karjat.


Notes:
  • The trek starts from Neral station itself, ask for directions to Peb fort and anyone will direct you.
  • You don't need a guide as the road is well marked right till the top.
  • Water is available at the cistern on top and seemed potable.
  • There are caves to stay in, so shelter too isn't a problem.
  • There are about 3 different temples to visit, one is near the caves, one at the summit, and one just below the summit.
  • You can also trek via Matheran. Just take the road towards Matheran in a taxi and get down at a phata where the tracks meet the road, NOT where the tracks CROSS the road. Follow the tracks towards Matheran for around 45 minutes and you will see a dwaar with a bell on your right. Take that route which also has a shrine of Lord Ganesha with a beautiful white idol. Follow that track for another 45 minutes and you shall have to climb a ladder, after which a trek of 10 minutes will take you the summit.
  •  The trek consists of two slightly difficult parts, which shouldn't be a problem for most. One rock patch which might be slightly difficult to tackle in the monsoons and a ladder. 
  • The trek is very well maintained, and all points are nicely marked.
We saw Dhruwin and gang from Try The Thrill having a clean up initiative at Peb. They carried out Route Marking and also supplied dustbins and 'do not litter' boards. Kudos to them!

Pictures:


These beautiful trees greet you as you are making your way towards the mountain from Neral station.

The view from half-way to the top. Simply breathtaking.

The temple at the summit.

Our guide pointing to the way. The correct way is exactly where he is pointing, it is a pass between the two hills.

We came across this huge beautiful tree which is big enough for a person to stand under.




The temple near the caves.

The first ladder.


Right after the first ladder there is a water cistern for water.


The way to the summit.

The road leading to the temple.

The temple is still under construction, but it is place on the highest point of the hill.


The ladder that you encounter while descending via Matheran.

The beautiful white idol of Lord Ganesha on the Matheran side.
The cave.

6 comments:

  1. Nicely written. I went there many many years ago, and loved going there via Nakhind. My last trek in that area was in 1985, a friend of mine and I went from Nakhind-Peb-Matheran-Garbet. So started the trek from Wangni and ended up in I think karjat or may be it was Neral. But because it was just the two of us we could do it, saw a lot of big snakes on that day. The day was Ganesh Chaturthi and it was raining a bit all day long.

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    2. Hello sir! I did Nakhind-Vikatgad-Matheran last month with a friend of mine and we were exhausted by the time we reached Matheran tracks! I can't even imagine trying to descend via Garbett after that!
      Here's an account of my trek Nakhind-Vikatgad traverse:

      https://nomadosauras.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/nakhind-trek-nedhe-ridge-to-peb/

      I would love to hear about the differences in the landscape back then and now :D

      p.s: I did ascend via Garbett point and we started from Bhivpuri Road, between Neral and Karjat :)

      Cheers!

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  2. From Wangani to Neral! You trekked a lot for one day! And if you are really that nostalgic you should just go for a trek now, its the perfect time! Oh, and your memory really has me impressed :D

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  3. Hey Vinayraj! Great blog! The pictures were a great help in planning my first trek to Vikatgad back in Jan '15 but still we ended up missing the route and took a longer one instead. For first timers, it was one hell of an adventure! :D
    I have tried to jot down my experience here:

    https://nomadosauras.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/peb-vikatgad-trek-route-fort/

    Do read and lemme know if I can improve anything!
    Also, Do get back to blogging if possible!
    Cheers!

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  4. Is this a good time to visit? January
    And is it safe for a night's stay?
    Any thing in particular to carry for the trek?

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