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Siddhagad Fireflies Trek

Siddhagad Fort

Siddhagad is an old hill fort near Murbad, in the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. Remains of the fort and an old temple can be explored at the top. The whole trek can be divided into two parts –
  1. Base village to Siddhagad Machi or Wadi
  2. Machi to the top of the fort (Bale Killa)
How to Reach
This trek can be started either from Uchale or from Narivali village. These villages are adjacent to each other. To reach Narivali – Take a ST bus from Kalyan to Murbad and from Murbad –
  • A direct bus to Dehri (which is ahead of Narivali) drops you at the base village.
  • Or take a share tum tum to Masha and another tum tum from Masha to Narivali.
There is another village nearby called Khanivare from where one can do this trek. But you need a guide for trekking from here as it said to be risky and very steep too. There is a very famous waterfall near Khanivare due to which the locals charge a toll for vehicles and people separately. The waterfall is crowded during rains.
Total Time Taken
Trek up: For a seasoned trekker, it should ideally take 2.5 to 3 hours up to Siddhagad Machi and another 1 hour to Siddhagad top. But we were a mixed group consisting of first-timers as well, so we took 4 hours to reach Siddhagad Machi and 2 hours to the top. Trek Down: 1/2 hr to 45 min to reach from top to Siddhagad Machi and another 1.5-2 hours from Machi to the base village.
Our Experience
Through a common friend, we came to know about Siddhagad Fireflies trek organized by Midas Adventure Group on 26th & 27th May 2018. This was going to be a one-night stay trek. So we had to carry sleeping mats as this wasn’t a tent camping kind of set up.
Important things to carry (Per Person)
  • 3 -4 liters of water
  • Sleeping mat
  • 2 Bed Sheets
  • Head Torch
  • Chocolates/dry fruits to eat while trekking
  • A backpack
Cost
The cost of the trek was Rs 1200/head, which included to and fro travel cost between Kalyan station & the base village and all meals till 27th afternoon. As we were planning to go by our own vehicle till the base, the trek cost was reduced to Rs 900/head for us.
Day 1
Our group of 6 left in our vehicle from home at 3 pm on 26th May. Plan was to reach the base village named Uchale by 4.45 pm. Here, our organizer Mahadeo of Midas Adventure was waiting for us with the rest of the group. The group came by ST bus from Kalyan station to Murbad and thereafter by a private vehicle to Uchale. After a short round of introduction, we started to walk at 5 pm from this village.
On the way, we took some time out to relish on the tiny black colored cherry-like fruit called Kharwanda flanking on either side of the initial trail. This plant grows on its own wild in many parts of Maharashtra.
The Walk
The initial walk is almost flat till the next village which is around half an hour to 45 minutes away. This village (originally called as Sakharmachi) was shifted here, after a landslide hit their native land. This village is now called Dhapad Pada. Though the whole walk was flat, the scorching summer heat of May (even at 6 pm) didn’t make the walk easy.
During the pit stop at Dhapad Pada, we ate some delicious mangoes we found lying near the village. After Dhapad Pada, the climb was very gradual but it was through the burning fields purposely set on fire for farming purposes before the rain comes. Walking amidst these burning hot fields in the summer heat took a toll on all of us – Especially on a friend who was asthmatic and the smoke from the fire triggered a bit of breathing trouble to her.

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