Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Malshej Waterfall Rappelling -- Most scenic rappelling ever

Hi, I, Shridhar Purandare am back with the most scenic rappelling extravaganza i.e. Malshej Waterfall Rappelling.

InVenture endeavors hits new milestone by completing this very scenic still very dangerous venture near Nagar district. This Malshej waterfall is situated near Pimpalgaon dam on Kalu river.

Height of waterfall is about 1300ft which is distributed amongst 5 patches. All these patches are very much challenging for even experts. While you rappel down you see most scenic views of Sahyadri with Harishchandragad range. Waterfall will always accompany you till very end of last patch.

This was first huge pilot event that InVenture was going for in year 2009. We all were very confident of doing it though. I, personally am very confident of rappelling as I have done it 10s of times. So I decided to to lead our campaign.

We carried food,water,ropes, petzl equipments, helmets and walkies. We made sure we followed all security measures that can be followed. We left Pune by 6am and reached Khubi at 10am. We trekked to top of Mashej waterfall in half an hour. Now it was time for rope fixing.

Within few minutes we fixed our first rope .. while I was getting ready for rappelling. Rappelling first is very dangerous task as there is no one to control if you lose your grip over the rope. On overhang if you start circling then its nightmare. Because the speed of circulating gets fast and you will get unconsious in few minutes. So you also have tio maintain calm and give feed to rope. When doing first patch I was also supposed to remove the loose rocks on the way. On the overhang I started cuirculating and I sensed urgency to reach the bottom. After few 10s of circles my head started feeling giddy. It did not stop me from feeding the rope. Afterf ew minutes I reached to bottom. As soon as my feet touched surface of 1st patch, I was the happiest person on the earth. I rested for few minutes and gained total control over my body.

Now it was time for others to rappell down. My role was changed to controller of their descend. We repeated for next patch. With 2.5 kg of chicken and few crabs our night was full of yummie cusines. With the waterfall few 10ft from us we went to bed. We did repeate the same on next day. Chilling out in the huge swimming tanks was additional work that we did. By late noon we reached Thitabi where our bus was waiting for us. With lunch cum dinner we returned to Pune by 10pm.

Now enjoy the photos and videos of Malshej Waterfall Rappelling.

One more thing to mention. Mani Ratnam movie Ravana's shooting , starring Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan, has been carried out in his area. The spot which was amazing few months back is converted into hell like a thing. The are which was surrounded by jungle is now made accessible by road. They have created road till the end. Trees ans surroundings taking a toll. Cement,plaster and many such things have been left at that place. Big damage ha been done to place already.
The producer should take this matter seriously and clear all that mess up. We just hope that all forest permissions were taken to break those trees and destroying jungle.

Some company from Mumbai is also building dam on the way back to Thitabi village. So may be in next 2-3 years this waterfall will not exist. We are fortunate enough to see and rappel this place many times.

If you want to do this venture with us .. feel free to contact us.

Shridhar Purandare

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Trekking with Safety makes adventure real fun

Trekking has become an integral part of urban life today. Trekking is an adventure of sorts, where you pitch your stamina and endurance against nature. People from the cities often travel to remote locations to trek and explore new areas. Most of India's major cities have rocky terrain around them. And nowadays, even schools take children out on treks to nearby locations.

My heart feels low when I hear death news of trekkers around the Sahyadri. They die off Tikona.. They die off Torna .. They die off Vasota.. Its really unfortunate to die while clicking picture on the edge of fort wall. Its sad to die due to lack of information about the weather,path,depth of valley and trekking techniques.

All this is inspiring to me to write this blog about trekking safety and precautions. I have searched whole lot of online media available for trekking to compile this article. many trekking articles, blogs and sites has helped me to put this list about trekking safety .If following or reading my blog saves one life then it will be happiest moment in my life.

I am trekking since last 3 years and have worked in company of very experienced trekkers. As a professional trekker now and a InVenturer I will be covering every aspect of trekking that I know. Feel free to add yours by commenting the blog.

1. Know where you are going with help of maps,google,blogs,wikipedia or friends who have already visited.

2. Always travel in numbers which will reduce chances of any major accident. It will improve chances of rescue.

3. If you are traveling alone prepare yourself well with maps,water,energy bars,medic and a lot more things.

4. Start trek early in the morning which will reduce water requirements and weight to carry.

5. Take only those things that you need.

6. One of my friend taught me how to pack sack. Fold your cloths as you fold your sleeping bag and then put them into your sack. When your sack is filled put it on floor and check whether it fells.If it fells down then fill it again.

7. Less the weight you carry more you are comfortable and more you will enjoy the trek.

8. If possible always take locals with you for help in direction,carrying extra luggage,preparing food and lot more.

9. Locals do have exact knowledge of the area,geographic diversities,water sources.

10. Don't try be over smart and over daring on the edges of the forts.

11. These forts are centuries old, we can not predict its strength at edges.

12. Always wear full trousers and full shirt. It will reduce chances of snake bite, bees attack and other jungle threats. It will also reduce sunburn.

13. Always carry first aid kit.

14. Choose your shoes wisely. Good grip and light weight is good combination.

15. In Sahyadri most time BSNL gives good coverage. I know two such accidents where the trekkers called police after the accident and were saved. So I personally think that you should have one BSNL card.

16. If you are going out in forest area in Monsoon or just after it then beware of leeches.

17. If you are trekking in forest reserve then before sleeping do make fire which will last for whole night besides you. It will keep most of the creatures away.

18. While swimming in the water tanks on the fort be very careful. Make sure that everybody knows that you are swimming. Try not to swim deep in the tank. Just swim on the shore.

19. There is lots of information available online on how to fix the rope, how to give belay,how to make body harness from rope, how to tie different knots and much more. Do go through all or most of it.

20. Don't walk alone. Accidents do happen even to experienced and strong people. Be sure that if one happens to you, that someone is with you to immediately get help. If you are leaving your companions, even briefly make sure they no where you are going and someone waits for you to return...this includes going off in the forest for a call of nature.

21. If you are part of a trekking group, make sure that the Guide or Group Leader knows your plan and ask that a Porter accompanies you. Listen to advice. Ask about the trail ahead. Don't go, if the Guide or Group Leader tells you it is not safe to do so.

22. Always have at least a light jacket and some small snacks in your pack. The jacket is helpful when you stop for a rest as you will cool down quickly. An "emergency blanket", the lightweight, foil reflective type would have been very useful in making a shelter to reflect heat from the fire or simply wrap around her body.

23. If you are part of a group and feel that you must have some personal space and private time on the trail...make sure that you do not go ahead of the leader.... and know who is at the back of the group (support staff member) and make sure you do not get behind that person. If your Guide or Group Leader does not suggest this type of an arrangement....ask them. Everyone in the group should be aware of the guidelines (safety rules) recommended for the group's management. Don't perceive these guidelines to be limiting your personal freedom....they are for your safety and the safety of other group members.

24. Remember when one person fails to be guided by safety standards, they put others at risk who are part of the search and rescue team.

25. Always carry pocket knife , matchbox,water-purification tablets,torch and a compass for all your treks. You may never know when you will need it.

26. Always take near by police station and ambulance numbers.

27. When trekking, always watch where you are placing your feet. This will minimize the chance of stepping on a loose rock and spraining an ankle or stepping on a snake that's too lazy to get out of your way - It happens!

28.Many people are unaware that snakes are actually deaf. They can tell that something is coming their way by the amount of vibration that they feel through the ground. If you are in an area where you think that snakes might be active, do them the courtesy of letting them know you're coming by walking a little heavier. Just as a safety precaution a snakebite bandage should be carried in a pocket for quick access. You know what they say about Murphy's Law - The day you haven't got it is the day that you'll need it.

29. Think of your body as a kind of a vehicle. You will need to tune it, modify it, and fit it out with aftermarket accessories to suit off road conditions.

30. Choose a walking pace that you feel you could comfortably keep to for an hour. Try to keep to the same pace and try not to vary your speed unless absolutely necessary. Remember it's not a race.

31. Try to synchronize your breathing. Breath in for two steps, breath out for two steps and so on. If this method works for you it will take you a lot further and use less energy. Your body will function a lot more efficiently.

32. Aim for regular rest breaks. A good rule of thumb is one ten minute break at the end of every one hour of trekking. If you are in a rhythm and are reasonably fit this should be ample.

33. Never underestimate the power of nature. There is a fine line between a friendly stream and a deadly torrent. This subject could be covered in great depth and eventually we'll provide a more comprehensive version, but for the time being here are a few points to keep in mind: Decide where you are going to cross based on your view from a vantage point or by consulting your topographic map.

The widest part of a river can often be the safest because this is where it is often shallowest and slowest.

If you find a dry crossing beware of slippery moss covered rocks and logs.

Don't underestimate distance if you have to jump.

Undo the harness of your pack to enable a quick escape if you fall in.

If you have to wade across, try to face upstream as it will be much easier to keep balance.

Use a strong stick or trekking pole to keep balance while crossing.

It is usually better to keep your boots on. Crossing a river barefoot over slippery submerged rocks can be both dangerous and EXTREMELY painful.

34.Trekking - Gear check list

The following is an extended checklist. It includes all the gear that you are likely to need. Of course if you were to carry it all your pack would probably weigh a lot more than you would prefer. The idea is to select from the list the items that you are most likely to need and leave the rest at home. This list signifies the importance of having compact, lightweight gear. The lighter and more compact your equipment, the more you are able to carry and consequently, the better prepared you will be to handle any given situation. This is particularly important if you plan to do multi-day solo treks.

Experience is always the best teacher. Eventually you will refine the list below to suit your own individual system.

NOTE: Items that are marked with * may be considered optional if alternative equipment/methods are being used or only required in specific situations such as cold climates etc. The equipment list below is a guide only and commonsense should prevail when packing for a specific outdoor adventure.

Personal clothing

* Hiking boots
* Hiking socks
* Trekking pole/s *
* Underwear
* Hiking pants
* T-shirt with wicking qualities
* Fleece Sweater
* Wind stopper jacket
* Gore-Tex pants & jacket
* Hat
* Shorts *
* Gaiters *
* Fleece pants *
* Vest *
* Beanie *
* Gloves*
* Thermals: Top, pants, gloves, socks, balaclava *

Personal gear

* Rucksack/backpack
* Weatherproof pack cover
* Tent - can be shared
* Sleeping mat
* Ground sheet/footprint
* Sleeping bag
* Sleeping bag liner *
* Inflatable pillow *
* Mug
* Knife, fork, spoon
* Food
* Bag for rubbish
* First aid kit
* Swiss army knife
* Head torch
* Spare batteries & globes
* Water bottles - 4X 1ltr
* Sunglasses
* Sunblock SPF 30+
* Insect repellent - tropical strength
* Sewing repair kit
* Toothpaste & toothbrush
* Toilet paper
* Toilet trowel
* Water purification tablets *
* Trek towel *
* Camera & accessories *

Group gear

* Fuel stove & service kit
* Fuel
* Matches in waterproof container
* Cook set incl. pots, bowls & plates
* Tea towel/s
* Topographical map/s
* Compass
* Track notes/guide book
* Waterproof map case
* GPS *
* Mobile phone *

35. Building a fire in the wrong place will not only destroy the surrounding plants, it will also destroy the living organisms and microbes that live in the soil beneath, rendering that patch of soil useless for supporting plant life for a long time afterward. In addition, the natural beauty of the area is also scared. A good place to set a camp fire is on sand or gravel. This will have minimal environmental impact and when you've finished with it and the fire is completely extinguished simply scatter the ashes and cover the site with the existing sand or gravel. There will be little if any evidence that you were even there. A flat rocky area also makes for a good fire place but cover the rock with sand or gravel first. When you are finished, simply tidy up what's left and wash the area down with water to remove any unsightly evidence that someone was there.

36.Toilet facilities

This can be one of the most daunting activities to the first time trekker/bush camper. In fact it is responsible for preventing many would-be trekkers from taking up the sport in the first place. Some people just can't cope with the thought of 'squatting in the bush'. In all honesty though, it's no big deal and is a requirement of nature that the human mind soon becomes very comfortable with. You would be surprised just how quickly you adapt. It is sad that many people refrain from entering an activity like trekking because of this requirement of nature. As this is an area that some newcomers can find embarrassing to talk about we are more than happy to answer any 'anonymous'

Research seems to indicate that many newcomers are concerned about losing balance while making a contribution. If you have concerns in this department try choosing a site with a small tree close enough to use as a 'hand rail'.

On a more serious note, disposing of your contribution must be carried out in the correct manner. Using a small trowel, pre dig a hole about 15 to 20 cm deep. If there are no fire bans in place any toilet paper should be burnt and the hole filled in. Calls of nature should be answered well away from walking tracks and at least 100 meters away from water courses to prevent contamination.

37.What your carry in must be carried out. Take all rubbish what you make with you to your home. Do not spoil nature.

38.How to choose a good, safe camp site

Each year campers and trekkers around the globe are injured or worse due to inexperienced decisions regarding camp sites. There are a number of things to look for in a possible site that will help ensure that you have a safe and comfortable stay.


If you were to get a downpour overnight does the site have sufficient runoff?

River banks

If camping near a river are you situated high enough to account for a sudden rise in water level? Flooding in areas hundreds of kilometres away can cause sudden water level changes much further downstream.

Below cliffs

If camping below cliffs ensure that there is an overhang that will deflect any falling rocks.

Among trees

Camping under trees can be particularly dangerous. News articles have in the past published headlines like "Freak accident - camper killed by falling tree while sleeping" Sadly these are rarely 'freak accidents' but are more likely to be 'accidents waiting to happen'. Inexperienced outdoors enthusiasts often make the mistake of forgetting to look up before pitching. If there is any chance of a tree or tree branch falling on your tent move somewhere else. You are not in a good, safe camp site especially if it's windy

Open exposed areas

These are not ideal campsites due to the possibility of high winds but if you need to camp in such a place ensure that your tent is securely guyed down. There is nothing worse that having to crawl out of a warm, comfortable sleeping bag in the middle of the night to secure your tent.

Getting acquainted with the locals

Before setting up camp it pays to have a good look around to see if any 'locals' have already claimed the spot. Wasps, mosquitoes, leaches, bull ants are among the many species that can make your stay a miserable one. Before getting too comfortable it might be a good idea to boil the billy and observe the prospective site over a mug of brew. A more suitable site may be just a short distance away.

Coastal camp sites

At the risk of stating the obvious, when camping by the ocean be sure to camp above the high tide mark. You would be amazed at how often this is overlooked.

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it" (Viktor Frankel)

For any queries and suggestion feel free to contact me.

Shridhar Purandare

Monday, November 23, 2009

Prachitgad and Kandhar Doh -- Grand Jungle Marathon Trek

Hi, Welcome my most thrilling jungle trek. I and Shrikant planned in few days. We bot were having the week free. First we thought about Salher and Salota but finally decided to go for Prachitgad and Kandhar doh.

Some information for trekkers:
1. Money: about Rs.1000 for guides + food + petrol
2. Village to start: Pune -> Koyna Nagar- > Patharpunj (trek starts from here) It can also be started from Konkan region.
3. Maps: Maps are not available. Local guide is compulsory.
4. Things to carry: 3 lits water, Food items for two days, full track pants, medicines and tent for living.
5. Name and number for the guide is not available.

Prachitgad (also known as Uchitgad or Rangna) is a in the Sahyadri mountain range in Maharashtra, India. It covers an area of 5 acres.

* 1 Location
* 2 History
* 3 Major Features
* 4 Battles Fought Here


It is located within Ratnagiri district at Shringarpur. The closest city is Devrukh which is 19 km away. Patharpunj is located 18kms away. This Fort comes in Chandoli forest reserve in Sangli district.

Its exact date of establishment is not known but it dates to before 1500 CE.

It has an outer wall and an inner wall. The outer wall is still intact while the inner wall is in ruins. There is a well, a temple and five guns within the fort. It can only be accessed by means of a ladder. many water cisterns available with clean water available throughout the year.

It was the scene of battle between the Marathas and the British in 1818, at which the British won.

Enjoy our journey !!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ratangad -- In winter -- What fine scenery and landscapes

Hi, Welcome back ... Here is winter treat for you .. Ratangad unleashed in Winter season .. Wondrous landscapes and scenery .. Do every fort once in monsoon and once in winter to gaze the beauty of the fort completely ...

Shridhar Purandare

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sinhgad -- Pune's Favourite

Hi, Welcome back. Here I am with photo blog for Sinhgad - The Lion's Fort. Enjoy. It was my first trek through company. We arranged it and completed successfully.

For history of the fort :


Its pretty interesting .. Do read it all ... Read bravery of Tanaji Malusare and Shelarmama .. Enjoy!!!

For any queries feel free to contact me :)


Shridhar Purandare



Thursday, October 29, 2009

Paris and Munich ... Outstandingly beautiful, disciplined and clean

Hi, Welcome back .. Here is my first ever foreign trip. It was for 22 days to Germany. I was pretty lucky to get my first ever project from Germany.

Within Germany what you will observe is amazing cleanliness and discipline. Germans are best at it. Apart from that engineering and science is applied to fullest.

In Germany ,people are very warm in hospitality.They enjoy and respect what they do.I loved whatever I have seen of Germany.

Now what I can say about Paris?? The dream city for those who love art work, paintings, monuments and culture. You will enjoy more when you see the pics below .. Now enjoy the journey to Munich and Paris.

First we will see Paris .... You will love it ...

From L to R Saurabh,Vishal,Sandeep,Mohan and I. We were standing at Louvre museum Paris. Louvre — is the largest national museum of France, the most visited museum in the world, and a historic monument.

Where Monalisa painting is Preserved !!!

Here I am the camera man and Rohit is standing in middle

What a fine pic ... All of the pics are taken by master photographer Rohit ... Thanks to him .. we can remember all this again ..

This is just few square inch artwork... amazing ???

This one too ...

Dining table of Napoleon the great .. Really gr8 one ...

Just one more brilliant artwork... They are at least thousand such ...

Very beautiful artwork captured beautifully... ;)

Picture in Picture ... You should get this one...

Glass work is terrific over all the windows ... Rather than terrific its legendary ..

Seriously every part ...every part of this museum is wondrous...

The multimillion crown everyone would dream to wear ....

Venus de Milo, is an ancient Greek statue and one of the most famous works of ancient Greek sculpture. Created at some time between 130 and 100 BCE, it is believed to depict Aphrodite (Venus to the Romans) the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

Nike of Samothrace,is a third century B.C. marble sculpture of the Greek goddess Nike (Victory). Since 1884, it has been prominently displayed at the Louvre and is one of the most celebrated sculptures in the world.

London dreams , James Bond .. and lot more movies has this famous background ...

Open air double daker is just treat for tourists in Paris ...

Paris have electricity, wifi and many other things underground ... Well maintained .. You can view the documentary on Discovery to get fasinated with it ...

This is similar to green tunnel in J&K ... I loved this road...

Admiring one more building structure ...

Tourists get earbuds which give information of all the important places around the bus in different languages.... What good use of technology !!!!

Finally the wonder !!! Amazing,Astonishing,Huge,Beautiful such many adjectives fell short describing Eiffel Tower...

The Eiffel Tower (French: Tour Eiffel, [tuʀ ɛfɛl]) is a 19th century iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris that has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower, which is the tallest building in Paris,[1] is the single most visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair.

The tower stands at 324 m (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. It was the tallest structure in the world from its completion until 1930, when it was eclipsed by the Chrysler Building in New York City. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France, behind the Millau Viaduct, completed in 2004. And while the Eiffel Tower is a steel structure, and weighs approximately 10,000 tonnes, it actually has a relatively low density, weighing less than a cylinder of air occupying the same dimensions as the tower.

The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend either on stairs or lifts to the first and second levels. The walk to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is only accessible by lift. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants.

Finally everybody is tired of walking .. admiring .. watching .. so we decided to stop for few moments...

Night view of Eiffel tower is breath taking ..We couldn't able to stop us clicking it ...

Views from top (First floor of Eiffel tower) gives beautiful view of city ...

The Arc de Triomphe is a monument in Paris, France that stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the "Place de l'Étoile".[1] It is at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The triumphal arch honors those who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. On the inside and the top of the arc there are all of the names of generals and wars fought. Underneath is the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I .

Limo's ... Wow ... Rohit's camera let us catch them easily ...

The Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris, France. In fact, in terms of area, its 86,400 square metres make it the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement, at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées.

The Seine (French pronunciation: [la sɛn]) is a slow-flowing major river and commercial waterway within the regions of Île-de-France and Haute-Normandie in France and famous as a romantic backdrop in photographs of Paris, France. It is also a tourist attraction, with excursion boats offering sightseeing tours of the Rive Droite and Rive Gauche within the city of Paris. It terminates in the Bay of the Seine region of the English Channel and is navigable by ocean-going vessels for about ten percent of its length, as far as Rouen, 120 km (75 miles) from the sea, while over sixty percent of its length, as far as Burgundy near the Swiss Alps, is negotiable by commercial riverboats and nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating.

Boat ride is just what we missed ... :(

We are on France boarder eating French fries .. :)

Highways here truely represent highways .. They connect whole Europe very well .. We drove around 2500kms in 26 hours or so .... Mohan was driving one car while Saurabh other one...

We are at Bhupender's Friend's house in Colone .. It was our intermidate stay on the way to Paris ..

Now we start with museum in Munich .. it was huge museum covering most areas like engines,boats,ships,music and what not ...

The Deutsches Museum (German Museum) in Munich, Germany, is the world's largest museum of technology and science[1], with approximately 1.5 million visitors per year and about 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology. The museum was founded on June 28, 1903, at a meeting of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) as an initiative of Oskar von Miller.

The Uptown Munich building (German: Hochhaus Uptown München) in Munich with a height of 146 metres (480 ft) is currently the highest skyscraper of the city.

Munich features a wide and diverse array of modern architecture, although strict culturally-sensitive height limitations for buildings have limited the construction of skyscrapers to avoid a loss of views to the distant Bavarian Alps. Most high-rise buildings are clustered at the northern edge of Munich in the skyline, like the Hypo-Haus, the Arabella High-Rise Building, the Highlight Towers, Uptown Munich, Münchner Tor and the BMW Headquarters next to the Olympic Park.

The Olympiapark in Munich, Germany, is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Found in the area of Munich known as the "Oberwiesenfeld" ("upper meadow-field"), the Park continues to serve as a venue for cultural, social, and religious events such as events of worship.

The Hofbräuhaus am Platzl, arguably the most famous beer hall worldwide, is located in the city centre. It also operates the second largest tent at the Oktoberfest, one of Munich's most famous attractions. For two weeks, the Oktoberfest attracts millions of people visiting its beer tents ("Bierzelte") and fairground attractions. The Oktoberfest was first held on 12 October 1810 in honour of the marriage of crown prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

Its coke ... They looked at me as a child when I ordered Coke... "No Coke here only Beer !!!"

Munich has also hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics and was one of the host cities for the 2006 Football World Cup which was not held in Munich's Olympic Stadium but in a new football specific stadium, the Allianz Arena.

Indians will be Indians ... JJJ

Cruising at 180 ..

I hope you have enjoyed the journey ... It was dream come true for me .... Singing off and waiting for your comments :)


Shridhar Purandare



(Information source : Wikipedia)
(photos : Rohit Tendulkar)

Trekking Search Engine

Custom Search

Get notified of my adventures .....