Rainy season is that time of the year when nature is at its utmost beauty.
This is what compels many youngsters to go the outskirts of the city. It could be either a fort, lake or any place devoid of the city’s pollution.
So June 14th, the trekker inside me woke up and there with a couple of my friends I was on my way to the Torna fort.
I was the part of a group of 12 people. As we were planning for a night trek, we left from our residence and reached Swargate around 9.30 pm from where we intended on catching a bus to the base village. On reaching there we came to know that the last bus to the base village left at 6 pm and now there were no buses till morning.
Luckily we met another group of 13 people who were in a similar situation as they were going to Rajgad and had missed the bus as well. Since Rajgad is on the way to Torna we decided to book a private vehicle and travel together.We approached many private drivers but the rates they quoted were very high. We finally settled on a driver who offered us to and fro service at 300 Rs per-person.
Now finally after all the negotiations and delays, the vehicle (Tempo Traveller) arrived at 1 pm and we started our ride to Torna. On our route 1st comes the Rajgad village base and then from there Torna village base is around 20 mins.
Now there is something about these local drivers that we city folks can never understand. They drive as if they are in a Formula-1 race, just zipping past everything in the darkness of the night. Must say it felt like an adventure in itself.
So now around 3 am we reached Rajgad base village where the other group got off and we continued our ride to Torna. Google maps was very useful as it helped our driver to a greater extent in the village area but then on our way to Torna from Rajgad, Google maps made some mistakes and we went in a wrong direction. Fortunately, we realized this and with the help of a local villager, we were able to get back on the right track.
Around 4 am, we reached the base village but again we ran out of luck since the on-duty police officers stopped us from the night trek and asked us to wait till 5.30 am. Finally, we were able to start our trek at 5.45 am.
Initially, it’s a small concrete road for around 1km. The weather was awesome. Within some time we could see the sun rising and boy wasn’t it beautiful! Trust me it is a lot different to watch sunrise outside the city than what it is watching inside the city.
Post 1km also there was a well-specified path which one can take and there is no chance of losing way for the remainder of the trek. After like 1hr of starting, we reached a plain surface on the way. From here you get a clear view of the Gunjavane dam. We took some pictures at this location and rested for some 10-15mins before continuing our trek. Till here it’s a simple walk. Around 50% trek was complete by this point.
Now the next half will be a little challenging for the 1st timers but there are railings to help. There was only 1 spot where you need some expertise to climb even though the railings were there. My trek expert friend guided us over there.
It took us around total 3hrs to reach the top. You enter from the fort entrance which is in quite a good shape when compared to the other remains of the fort. There is a tank on the top from where you can get drinking water. From that spot to one-side is the famous area which you see in Google Images when you search for the Torna Fort, and on the other side you can get some good view of the valley. You can go ahead also if you want, even there are railings as well.
Since the other group started at 3 am itself and the driver wanted to leave before 12 pm, we didn’t explore that part.We took some rest at the top and then started our journey back to the village base. That challenging spot was even more challenging this time. But even then 1st-timers could get through with some guidance. We reached the village around 12.45 pm and picked up that other group from Rajgad and went back to Swargate.
As we didn’t encounter any rain, the weather was a bit hot but still, the trek was all worth it. During rains, it would be an even more enriching experience to scale this fort.
Difficulty level: Easy except for one spot. Suitable for 1st-time trekkers.