Korigad - A Green Heaven!

If you are in Lonavala, or for that matter in any mood to unwind with small trek, Korigad is best option for you!
Located in the closet to Lonavala, Korigad is a famous fort of Shivaji Maharaj known for its unique & beautiful views. With greenery all around, lakes on the top and sprawling Amby valley campus down the valley makes it for a perfect destination in monsoons.  A small trek from the base village of Peth Shahpur will take you not more than 30-40 min even for non-trekkers with total photo drama et al'. :) Not so known fact but Korigad also boasts of lots of small caves/closets. Well, the name Korigad hails from Koria Devi, whose temple can be spotted on the way. There are others temples too of Lord Shiva and Ganapati.

Well, I’d just like to rewind that day a little....
The plan was to catch a train to Lonavala early around 6. Insominac that I am, I got late while others guys were just lucky enough to catch the rail. Over checking with fellow folks, I moved over to Shivaji Nagar station hoping to catch them there. Though, it was little too optimistic to drive off my way through the morning chaos, park off my bike and still make it up for the train which in all probable possibilities was not going to stop or slow down.  Still, sometimes you don’t really rack your cerebral zone and just go on. There, I was again stranded on railway station to catch next train on the block. I don’t know why I’d this affinity to travel through rail. Probably, a beautiful monsoon rail journey from Pune-Mumbai made the game! While in hurry, I caught up with a local to Pune station again. Back to Station 0! But I figured out then that Deccan Queen was on the lineup soon. So, there I was in Lonavala within next 45min. While normally other trains take around 75-80 min. There on, a short ride off SUV Safari and we were at the Base location of Shahpur.

Overall, Korigad’s a flat plateau once you’ve reached atop.The very thought of MTBing through those green pastures crossed my mind over a hundred times; next time sure its me & MTB! ;) The view of the fog unfolding a beautiful small pathway to the temple, with the lakes and green pastures all in the background, still captures my vivid photographic memory...but it's just to be experienced:) The fort opens up with a grand darwaja with the fort walls in bits and pieces adding up to the expanse beauty of fort. Walking along the periphery, we could site luxurious Amby Valley township, first of its kind in India. The row houses jotted within the green and surrounding lake waters, could easily trigger the ideal home dreams of many! By the way, my folks were none but the TFI fellows – full of energy & enthusiasm. Had a great time with you guys!

On the Mark, Go KORIGAD..
Where to go?  Peth Shahpur (35 kms from Lonavala)
How to go?   Train to Lonavala from Pune/M'bai then hire a car to Peth Shahpur or you may drive down
Trekking big deal? No its pretty Easy actually
What's in store?
- Lovely water bodies(viz. ponds) in the center of huge plateau region uphill
- Amazing fort lining in the front
- Breathtaking Views of Amby Valley
- Temples & little caves

Well, before rapping up, I want to dedicate a story to all my dear TFI friends...Here's what I have to say....
Once upon a time, there lived people who lived across the vast country space...
They lived like no other, fighting, hustling, bustling, busy making their knocking shot!
Then, came a wave, a wave to nurture not so lucky.
Lucky few they knew it was their Calling.
Clever they were to know that Call was what they were waiting for.
Stepped in with the power to change,
Lighted the Knowledge Powerhouses like never before,
For they, the Angels had come to rescue not so lucky ones.....
"-Dedicated to My Friends from Teach For India Foundation who are actively bringing about the change in Education in this country.
Guys- you’re doing great Work! Keep Going!!!

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We run! Yes, We all run! We run towards umpteenth living and non-living goals & destinations! We run to beat life...

But few of us run trivially! Sounds trivial, right? Running which was once practiced as a purely food-hunting activity has now transformed into fully-fledged sport! Even human evolution inherits a lot to running (source). But when it comes to running daily or for that matter running long distances, it has to be trivial (read: materially trivial)-purpose being simply joy of running. By the way, what do you think why people run marathons, ultra runs..no not to slim down or remain fit but simply for the joy of it or may be to test their extremes. Mind you, it’s much beyond the world of holiday homes, BMWs, Bentley, Rolex watches, designer wears, lavish parties or premium club memberships that one usually run towards in such a high-paced, super-hungry, show-biz lifestyle! 

Well, I did start running for all the usual fitness reasons. But, I hardly ever considered it that way. For last couple of months, I had been running quite consistently although last fortnight had been quite inconsistent. Though I plan to run Marathon in near future but that's not what keeps me on track! If I miss a day, I can see the difference! It's become a chore without which I become un-me! Sorry to sound so narcissistic!

By the way, last Sunday I-Race-d! I-RACE is a running event modelled by IIT-Powai folks, where your height, weight, age & gender are considered to evaluate the standard time you need to complete in. The model is being replicated in Mumbai, Pune and Portland(outside India). However complicated and complex it may sound, the base fact is that it makes you compete with your own set targets which indeed is highly interesting! Although it was just 10km run, it's always a great experience whenever you run early mornings and too under lovely drizzles! 

The time was August, Monsoon was at its best! With water droplets pouring over, weather was really conducive & indeed there'd be no better call for running. The loop through the university ran ups and downs though with just a little gradient. However, when one runs, judgement magnifies! After running & analyzing for couple of months now, I do agree that running is very hard hitting sport plus it needs proper technique to run long distances.  But I must admit, even under rains, water (read: water intake) do make the difference. A sip of water at around 5km mark, and there it triggered new lease of energy increasing my pace! Water indeed is a valuable commodity, makes a lot difference! I say, Keep Hydrated!! :) 

Now, it’s always good to participate in such events but when you persuade someone novice to participate along with and they accomplish it comprehensively, it do feels great! And yes, it was indeed great to see a friend of mine completing 10k for the first time even when not feeling well. Hats off! By the way as far as stats go, I clocked 53 min 38 sec for 9.2km to be precise, well just around 50%(according to model) of my set target! May be this'll keep me running if triviality vanishes..;-)

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