Register ASP.Net 4.5 on IIS 10.0

Brief background of the issue –  I was trying to deploy my ASP.Net application on IIS 10 on my Windows 10 machine. The application was originally built in Visual Studio 2010 with framework 3.5.

I never faced issues while hosting it on lower versions of IIS.

But recently I got this new machine which has windows 10 and comes with IIS 10.0 as default. While installing studio, I decided to go with the latest version, i.e. 2015.

This is when the trouble started! The IIS didnt seem to understand the ASP.Net application and gave abstract errors. Searching on Google didnt help much.


Many of the links asked me to reinstall IIS, few asked me to update Applicationhost file, few asked me to check the folder permissions etc. But nothing seemed to help.

Finally, in one of the links I got to know that our usual “aspnet_regiis“does not work for framework 4.5.

On searching further, I got resolution to my issue on stackoverflow

Below are the steps –

  1. Open the Developer Command Prompt for VS2015 as Administrator
  2. Run dism /online /enable-feature /all /featurename:IIS-ASPNET45
  3. It will enable feature to register ASP.Net with IIS


Thats it! This worked for me. Hope it works for you as well.

Happy coding!

Show or Hide Ribbon control based on Group Permission

In one of our releases, we came across a requirement to show or hide one of our custom button on ribbon control, based on the groups in which the logged in user is added.

To know, how to add a button on Ribbon control, refer – Adding a button on Ribbon

1. Add a class which will have code for the hiding the button. Lets say, we named the class as “ButtonShowHideDelegate

1. Add a delegate control to the solution from the installed templates as shown below-

Delegate option in Sharepoint Installed templates

Delegate option in Sharepoint Installed templates

2. A settings page will popup for configuring the Delegate Control as shown below –

DelegateControlSettingsClick on the Next button, and then Finish.

3. Open  the “Elements.xml” file and set the value for various properties as shown below –

elements.xmlDescription of above properties,

  • “Id” is the control of MasterPage  which we are replacing using our delegate control.
  • “Sequence” is the sequence set for control, set the value to any value below 100
  • “ControlAssembly” is the full name of the assembly along with the version and PublicKeyToken. You can get the PublicKeyToken from the assembly.
  • “ControlClass” is the class which will host the code to hide button

4. Below is the code to show/hide button on ribbon control based on the users permission

DelegateOnLoadDescription of the above code –

  • OnLoad” event – We have placed our code in this event so as to execute it while page is loading
  • The first “If” condition checks if the current URL is for the list for which we intend to apply the Show/Hide logic.
  • We take the collection of groups for which the current logged in user is a part of.
  • The LINQ statement checks if “sftp Owners” is one out of many groups of the users.
  • If user is not part of “sftp Owners” group, the custom button on ribbon is hidden for the user.

The above step takes care of the coding part of this requirement.

5. The only thing remaining now is adding this .dll to the SafeControls listSafeControlEntryAdd the “dll” to the SafeControl list as shown above. Please note the Safe Controls flag is set to Yes in the above screenshot.

After all the above steps, your delegate control is ready for deployment.



Adding a button on Ribbon Control of SharePoint site

In this post we shall go through code to add a button on the Sharepoint Ribbon Control. As many of you are aware, Microsoft has introduced ribbon control in Sharepoint 2010. Having introduced it, Microsoft also allows user to customize the ribbon control with activities like adding a button, a group, a tab etc.

So below is the code to add a button on ribbon control through code.

1.Event Receiver Code

Create a Sharepoint Feature and write the below code in the FeatureActivated event of Event Receive.


elevatedWeb.AllowUnsafeUpdates = true;
SPList list = elevatedWeb.Lists[“CustDocLib“];

//Creating Object for User CustomAction
SPUserCustomAction userCustomAction = list.UserCustomActions.Add();
userCustomAction.Title = “Execute Upload“;
userCustomAction.Name = “ExecuteUpload“;
userCustomAction.Location = “CommandUI.Ribbon“;
userCustomAction.CommandUIExtension = @”<CommandUIExtension><CommandUIDefinitions>
<CommandUIDefinition Location=’Ribbon.Documents.Manage.Controls._children’>
<Button Id=’Ribbon.Documents.Manage.Upload’ Sequence=’101′ TemplateAlias=’o1′
Command=’Ribbon.Documents.Manage.CustUpload.cmdCustUpload’ LabelText=’Cust Upload’ />
CommandAction=‘javascript:CustomCommandAction();’ />
userCustomAction.Sequence = 1001;

SPUserCustomAction scriptlink = elevatedSite.UserCustomActions.Add();
scriptlink.Location = “ScriptLink“;
scriptlink.ScriptSrc = “/_layouts/RibbonButton/CustUploadRibbonButtonScript.js“;


2. Java Script

As you can see above, it is calling a javascript method “enableCustUploadApproveButton()” to enable the newly added button.

You need to add a mapped folder for Layouts, and add a JScript file to accommodate your script.

The below script has functionality to enable button on selection of document


  function enableSFTPUploadApproveButton() {
var context = SP.ClientContext.get_current();
return SP.ListOperation.Selection.getSelectedItems(context).length >= 1;


The below script is called on click of the button which  we have added. You can customize it based on your requirements. In my case, I am opening an application page on click of button.


function CustomCommandAction() {

this.currentSiteUrl = ‘http://abcde:2222/sites/testSite&#8217;;
var context = SP.ClientContext.get_current(); // get client context
var web = context.get_web();
var selectedItems = SP.ListOperation.Selection.getSelectedItems(); // Get selected List items
var selectedListId = SP.ListOperation.Selection.getSelectedList();
if (CountDictionary(selectedItems) == 1 && web != null) {
var selectedList = context.get_web().get_lists().getById(selectedListId);
var listItm = selectedItems[0]; // this will only return ID of list item, to get list object server call has to be mad
this.listItem = selectedList.getItemById(;
context.load(this.listItem); // Load listitem in spcontext to fetch all properties of listitem
context.load(context.get_site()); // To fetch site properties

var options = SP.UI.$create_DialogOptions();
var appUrl;
appUrl = this.currentSiteUrl + “/_layouts/RibbonButton/UploadFile.aspx?title=” +

options.url = appUrl;
options.height = 600;
options.width = 800;
options.dialogReturnValueCallback = Function.createDelegate(null, DialogClosedCallback);
SP.UI.ModalDialog.showModalDialog(options); // To Open Page in Model Dialogue

context.executeQueryAsync(Function.createDelegate(this, onQuerySucceeded),
Function.createDelegate(this, onQueryFailed));


Rajgad – King of Forts

Rajgad – literally means King of Forts! I have been craving to visit this place for years, but somehow was not able to make it. This fort is said to be and is actually a must visit for any trekker! It is huge and majestic. Historically, it is arguably the most important fort with respect to Shivaji maharaj’s fight for Swarajya. Even more important than Raigad.

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About the Fort
Rajgad, most aptly described as the King of forts. At 1395 metres it literally gives an eagle’s view of the surrounding region. It has three machi’s called Sanjeevani, Suvela and Padmavati. The Bale Killa (Bastion) of this fort is well known for it’s peculiar characteristics. There are many routes to climb this fort. One route can take you from Torna to Rajgad.

The two forts are facing each other and are enjoined by a range of hills. It can be a tiring trek of 8 to 9 hours. The royal route or the Raj rasta comes all the way up from Pali village and takes you through the Pali Darwaja which is located on the northern side. It had broad stone cut steps and is an easy access up the fort.

Presently the most used pathway goes from Gunjavne village and instead of taking us to Gunjavane Darwaja, forks to the right and takes us to Chor Darwaja on Padmavati Machi. Gunjavne Darwaja on the south-east side is not much in use due to thick vegetation surrounding it.

The Day Begins

Rajgad is almost 250 kms from Vasai so it was going to take us any where between 5 to 6 hours of traveling from Vasai to Rajgad Base village. We didn’t had the luxury to push the schedule to the second day. Hence we decided to start at 3:00 in the morning, to give us some extra time. We started accordingly at around 3:00 AM and managed to reach Gunjavne village at around 8:30 AM after spending almost 40 mins for searching this place. After a small snack break, we started our trek at around 9:00.

Padmavati Temple

Padmavati Temple

It was raining very heavily,  and the view of the surrounding area especially the valley was getting better and better. The trail from Gunjavne was leading us to Padmavati machi. The peak was covered under fog and hence was not visible until we reached close to it. The path until Padmavati machi is not very difficult with few rock patches in between. The authorities have built iron railings at places wherever it is a bit risky. It took us a couple of hours to reach Padmavati Machi.

On Reaching the Summit

Trail leading to Padmavati Machi

Trail leading to Padmavati Machi

On the summit we can visit four major parts of the fort – the three machi’s and the bale killa. Padmavati machi is broader than the other two, Suvela and Sanjeevani. The ruins of Rajwada, Gunjavne Darwaja, a few temples, Queen Saibai’s tomb and Sadar could be found on this machi . They are fading reminders of the forts glory.

Padmavati temple is in a fairly good state today due to renovation done recently. As one moves away from Padmavati machi with the bale killa on the right there is a small Bhagirathi temple on the other side.

As we move from Padmavati machi keeping the bale killa to our left, we approach Sanjeevani machi.  This machi is enjoined with Budhala machi on Torna by a range of hills between the two huge forts. Since we were running short of time, we skipped the Sanjeevani and Suvela machi and moved directly towards the Bale Killa.

Bale Killa is the crown of Rajgad. It has a unique triangular structure and a single point access. The tricky section is a vertical climb of around 20-25 feet with small holds in the cliff. It is a road to heaven on the slightest mistake. The authorities have tried to build some railings, but the trail remains risky. But the risk is worth the view on top. After climbing the difficult section, we reach the Maha Darwaja. After killing Afzal Khan, his head was sent to Rajgad and was buried near this door following all religious processes. There are a couple of temples, and a small crescent shaped lake called Chandratale on the bale killa. It offers an enchanting view of Padmavati, Sanjeevani and Suvela machi.

For almost 25 years this fort was Shivaji Maharaj’s capital. Rajgad boasts of the highest number of days stayed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on any fort. The fort has witnessed lots of historic events, including the birth of Shivaji’s son Rajaram, the death of Shivaji’s Queen Saibai, the return of Shivaji from Agra, the burial of Afzal Khan’s head in the Mahadarwaja walls of Ballekilla.

Mahadarwaza, rajgad

Maha Darwaza

This fort was also one of the 12 forts that Shivaji kept when he signed the Treaty of Purandar (1665) with the Rajput king Jai Singh in 1665 who was leading the Mughal forces. 22 other forts were handed over to the Mughals under this treaty.

We spent some time on the pinnacle and then started descending towards Padmavati machi. We lost our way down to Gunjavne, but fortunately an elderly village lady guided us back till the base village. We had some rest and began our journey back home. We started our journey back at around 3:00 in the afternoon. Taking our morning time as a yardstick we had informed our homes that we’ll reach by 9:00. But whatever energy we had in us was further used up in huge traffic which we encountered first near Pune and later again near Thane. Finally we ended up reaching home at 1:30 in the night. It was a long day for us, more than 22 hours. But yes, we had successfully accomplished one of the most challenging treks in our lives. This feeling of accomplishment far surpasses the exhaustion. The King of Forts is any time worth the pain! Continue reading

Spare a Thought – Part II

Sanmitra Association, Borivli had organised a free medical camp, for Shri Pandurang Narayan Kore Marathi Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Urse – an ashram school near Dahanu on 1st Dec 2013. My wife Dr.Sangeeta Lotlikar, had volunteered with this trust since its earlier camps. I requested the trust members to allow me to take part in the team for this camp.

About Sanmitra Association

Students of the 1975 old SSC Batch of Gokhale Education Society, Borivali High school have formed and registered an association Namely, Sanmitra Association, Borivali, a Charitable trust formed for amongst other objectives to help the children who because of paucity of funds are unable to continue their basic education or people who are unable to continue their treatment for serious disease because of paucity of funds.


Dr.Sangeeta, while checking one of the student

Unlike our earlier camp near Pen (Spare a Thought), this one was quiet well organized. Sanmitra association members had already contacted the school. They already had ample of information regarding the school, the number of students and their specific needs.

The Camp

The High School which we had visited, was run by a trust for poor children, free of cost.  There were around 150 boys and 25 girls, almost all the boys had come from far off places like Jawhar, Wada and VikramGad etc. The trust provides the students with free accommodation facility, food, clothing and books. But it finds it difficult to meet expenses for such a large number of children. The Head Master told us that children usually get two meals per day i.e. one in the morning at 10:00 and the other at 6:00 in the evening. But there are few days when the trust cannot even afford these two meals and the children have to sleep with their stomachs empty. Despite so many challenges the school has managed to maintain a passing percentage of 70% in 10th Std. The 2013 topper from the school was a girl with 76% in SSC. With the resources they have, achieving such kind of result is a remarkable feet.


Dr.Mhatre, advising girls based on their examination

Sanmitra has been associated with the school for quite some time. Prior to the camp, they had provided other means to school like cupboards and tables etc. Since the school is in rural area where primary health checkup facility is scarcely available, this time Sanmitra had decided to hold a medical camp for them. The camp was to be held in the school itself. Apart from my wife, Sanmitra had requested two more physicians and an eye specialist for the camp. As part of the camp, each students weight, height, eye sight was noted and they were thoroughly checked for any medical discrepancy. It was observed that a very high percentage of the students were underweight, and many of them were suffering from basic skin diseases occurring mostly due to bad hygienic condition.

Dr.Sangeeta, while checking one of the student

Sanmitra members guiding the students for maintaining hygiene in the surrounding

The students were given tonics and other necessary medications wherever required. They were later advised how they can maintain good hygiene in their surrounding even with the minimum resources they have. Since the school had sufficient water due to a nearby stream, they were told to wash their bed sheets and cloths more frequently etc.

Well, the camp was conducted very well. It gave us immense satisfaction. In  a sense, we had contributed our bit for the betterment of our society. As for Sanmitra, They are doing a wonderful job for young children in search of knowledge. As Swami Vivekananda once said –

Next to spiritual help comes intellectual help. The gift of knowledge is a far higher gift than that of food and clothes; it is even higher than giving life to a man, because the real life of man consists of knowledge.

Trek to Mahuli

Failed on First Attempt

It was 16th Jan 2010, when we (Team NDS) had planned a Trek to Mahuli. It is not that we were trekking for the first time or we had only trekked to smaller forts. Our team had good experience in trekking, but somehow many small unwanted things happened and finally we fell short of reaching our target. We had to retreat after completing almost 90% of our trek. First of all, our train which was supposed to reach Asangoan around 8:00 reached almost an hour late. By the time we reached the foothills it was almost 10:00. After starting the trek, for the first couple of hours we were lost in the jungle (since not many trekkers trek over here in this season, you hardly find anybody to ask directions), going in a completely incorrect  direction. So the actual trek started only after noon, which is quite late given that it is reasonably hot at noon in January. To add to our problems, we were running out of water and had exhausted almost all of it before getting on the correct path. Thanks to the teams commitment, we attempted to reach the top even after such shaky start. But just commitment was never going to be enough. We couldn’t complete it. Slow and steady we almost reached the top. The final bastion was within our sight. But we couldn’t complete it. 😦

The Second Coming

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Planning for Trek

Coming back to present, as the monsoon had set in on time, all the trekking enthusiast of our office (Team Mphasis) started discussing about possible places for trek. Krishna, my friend, who is leaving our organization in a month, took the initiative and coordinated amongst the team members. After a lot of deliberation we decided to go to Mahuli on 7th July. Since we had sizable number of people who were coming for the trek, we decided to hire a small bus. Every team member was also asked to carry a food item and ample of water.

At The Crack of Dawn
On our way to Mahuli

On our way to Mahuli

The bus was scheduled to leave from Borivli at 6:00. Gagan, Shraddha and Me boarded 5:26 local train from Vasai. Apart from us,  Abhijit, Chetan, Bhavik, Rama and Bhakti too had come to Borivli. Everyone came on time, except the Bus itself. 😉 So after waiting for around half an hour we finally left Borivli and picked others (Rupali, Adarsh, Rushabh, Krishna, Ishita, Neha, Lovjit, Lavanya & Krishna M respectively) on our way.  Santosh was the last one (Eighteenth) to board the bus at Thane. Time was passing but we were having fun in the bus, playing antakshari, having Idli and dosas. Every now and then Rushabh use to come up with his own versions of hindi songs. Followed by Bhavik , with his witty jokes. In an hour we had reached the foothills of the fort.

The Trek Begins

The trek begin at around 9:30. Unlike my previous attempt, when there was hardly any group in that season, this time the crowd was in good numbers. Hence there was no scope of getting lost. Apart from the crowd, there was proper arrow markings at regular intervals for people to follow. At the base itself we were required to cross a stream to proceed further. The climate was pleasant, with dense green forest all around. It was not raining though.  The initial climb was very gentle, but as we went higher it became steeper. Since many amongst us were trekking for the first time and Mahuli being the highest peak in Thane district, Expecting everybody to reach the top would have been quite ambitious. Even then, everybody were climbing with reasonable ease. In around an hour, we had our casualty. Gagan, one of our first timer was fully exhausted. After waiting for a while, he asked us to proceed. Neha who has reasonable experience in trekking, was also not feeling well today. But even after that she managed to complete almost half the trek before giving up. Gagan too, tried his level best to continue, but he was too tired to do so. Ishita had some initial hiccups, but she is not one would give up so easily. She took some rest and in few minutes was back with the team.

Yogesh Lotlikar

Its me! On the way to the fort!

Meanwhile, rest of the team continued without any issues. Abhijt was leading the team. Bhavik was helping Rupali to climb. Notably, Rupali and Bhakti, both first timers, were doing exceptionally well.  Looking at them, no one would have said they were trekking for the first time. Infact Rupali was climbing few of the rock patches with utmost ease. Me and Rushabh were at the end for most part of the trek, helping Lavanya over the difficult patches.

Everything was going on smoothly when suddenly Chetan received a call from Gagan. He was saying there was a snake in front of him. According to him, the snake was not allowing him to make any movement. To add to the problem another snake had come to the scene. Everyone went into a tizzy. Poor Gagan was standing alone in that part of the jungle having two snakes staring at him. We had come a long way from where we had left him. So reaching back to him quickly was not a possibility. Anyways, we were contemplating going back to where he was. Just then he called us back to inform us that he is fine. Luckily two other trekkers were returning back and they helped him out. He went back to base village along with them. Phew! What a sigh of relief!! I have been trekking for so many years now. But such an incident have never ever happened to us. At times we have seen snakes, but they never bother us. This was something unusual. But then, it did happen!

Team Mphasis, After reaching the top of the fort

Team Mphasis, After reaching the top of the fort

By this time, we had almost reached the spot where I had stopped on my first attempt. Lavanya was very tired, she would have stopped there itself if any other team member had agreed to stop with her.;) But, fortunately everyone was excited to reach the top and there was no question of going back from there. Also, Gagan’s incident was fresh in her mind, so stopping alone was also not an option for her. We assured her, we were almost there and won’t take much time to reach the top. But to be honest, the last part of the trek was the most difficult. It was steep and rocky. To top it all, it had started raining heavily by then. But we were determined to make it to the top, and yes, we did it!! All of us had reached the pinnacle by 1:00. It was quite pleasant up there. Mild drizzle accompanied with thick fog, with visibility hardly few meters at times. We had some snacks which we had carried and started our descend in some time.

About Mahuli

The peak of this fort is the highest point in Thane district of Maharashtra. The origin of this fort is not known. The forest around this fort is declared as a protected sanctuary. The view from the top is amazing. Due to heavy fog the adjoining pinnacles were not visible though.

When Shahaji Raje became the secretary of Nijamshahi, Adilshahi and Mughals of Delhi together tried to end Nijamshahi. In the year 1635-36, in difficult circumstances Shahaji Raje transferred himself with Jijabai and Shivaji to Mahuli. Khan Jaman, son of Mahabat Khan beleaguered this fort. Shahaji Raje asked for help to Portuguese. They refused and Shahaji Raje surrendered himself.

Shivaji Raje took this fort from Mughals on 8 Jan 1658. In treaty of Purandar, in 1665, Marathas lost these forts again. On 16 June 1670, after two months, Moropant Pingle conquered the forts and Mahuli, Bhandargad and Palasgad became part of Swarajya.

The Descend
Rushabh & Bhavik, relaxing in river water

Rushabh & Bhavik, relaxing in river water

Usually it takes less than half the time it takes to climb any fort. But at Mahuli it was not that easy. The ladder at the top allowed just 2 people to either climb or descend at a time, thus creating a kind of bottleneck. It was raining erratically, making things a bit difficult for us. The trail had become quite slippery. But apart from 2-3 incidents of slipping and falling down, no one else was hurt. Before getting back to the bus, we had some fun in the stream. After all the physical exertion we had been through since morning,this was a welcome break for us. Anyways, this is how we completed our trek. For me, it was a kind of personal score which had to be settled.

Trek to Tikona

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A little late though, today I have decided to complete the post on our trek to a small fort called Tikona. As has been the trend, we start discussing about treks with the onset of monsoon. Accordingly, we came out with two possible destinations for our trek, Tung and Tikona. Tung being very easy, our friend Praphulla suggested us to go for Tikona. So we finalized on the latter. The date for the trek was 25th Aug.
As per plan Vishal and Siddesh(Sid) came down all the way to Vasai, so the three of us started from Vasai in my car. Mandar(Mandy), Vidya, Devendra(dev), Shraddha and Khyati came in Mandy’s car from Kandivli. We met at Ghodbander and proceeded further towards Navi Mumbai. We picked up Samir(Bhai) and Mukesh(Mukya) on our way. Mukya made us wait for some time but he got us some freshly made “Aluwadi”, “Jalebi” and “Samose” :). So it more than made up for the time lost.

Fort Tikona as seen from foothills

Fort Tikona as seen from foothills

We had targeted to start the trek by 9:30 -10:00, but we were running late by a huge margin. We took the Karla exit on the expressway and proceeded towards Kamshet on the old Mumbai-Pune highway. At Kamshet we took a right turn towards Pawana nagar which is around 15 kms from Kamshet. Tikona Peth (Base village) is around 7 kms ahead of Pawana Nagar. No one amongst us had been to this place before, so finding our way to the foothills cost us some valuable time. The road from Kamshet till the base village may be just 20-25 kms, but is narrow and not in a good condition. Finally we reached the base village after 11:30. A villager allowed us to park the cars in his backyard and so, we started our trek only after 12:00. The trek as such was easy, but after driving for almost 5 hrs, we were feeling a bit tired.

After walking for some time, there was a board giving directions towards the fort on the right hand side. This is where the ascend to the fort started. The climb is gradual with some minor rocky patches. The atmosphere was amazing, it didn’t rain even a bit, the sky was clear with the sunray’s  falling on the lush green grass around giving it a kind of glow. The afternoon sun was shining on us too but the cool breeze was more than sufficient to offset it. After ascending for  around 15 mins, we were able to see the Pawana lake which is close to the fort.

Steps leading to the main bastion of the fort

Steps leading to the main bastion of the fort

Khyati, amongst us, was the first one to get exhausted, so she decided to rest for a while. Mukesh was waiting with her. Rest of us continued with the trek. Shraddha, who was probably on her first trek, was most excited and was leading everybody. On our way we found a cave followed by statue of lord hanuman near a cave.  In just about 45 mins we had reached base of main bastion. We had tea from a vendor and relaxed for some time before advancing for the final leg of the trek.

The final leg had some 100 odd steep steps which are to be climbed. Unlike our normal steps these were a tad tricky. There is one wire on the side wall throughout the length of the steps. One has to hold on to this wire while climbing the steps for going up “safely”. We took 10 more minutes to reach the pinnacle of the fort.

Standing on the top, you get a spectacular 360 degree view of the surrounding area. Pawna lake surrounds the fort from Western and Northern side. There is a valley on the eastern side whereas a cliff connects the fort with an adjacent mountain from south. Beyond the lake on the northern side we can see the twin forts of Visapur and Lohgad forming a formidable wall. Fort Tung, which is surrounded on three sides by Pawna lake can be seen on the west. Korigad lies to south western side of the fort, but it could not be seen due to heavy fog. There is also a small temple on the fort.

Cliff on the other side

Cliff on the other side

We had some snacks which we had carried with us and after some sight seeing we started our descend from the fort. It hardly took us 45 mins to get back to our cars. We started our return journey at around 3:30. While returning back, we took a different route. We took a left from Pawana Nagar. This road runs on the perimeter of Pawna lake for almost 8-9 kms. The road was narrow , quite curvy and full of potholes, so our speed was well in check. The view along the route was breathtaking. It goes pass Lohgad and further into Lonavla city. Since we had not had our lunch, we took a break at Mcdonalds on the Expressway. It was dark by the time we reached Airoli. I was feeling a bit worn out, so Vishal drove my car for the remaining part. We reached Vasai station by around 8:30. Mandy, meanwhile had reached Borivali. So, this is how we completed our small but tiring trek to Tikona! 🙂

Trek to Kohoj

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The year end celebration, this time round were some what muted due to various reasons. We didn’t had any specific plan for the 31st. Hemant and me had a discussion on Monday(31th Dec) about a small trek nearby for the next day. Based on that, I found Kohoj, a fort never heard of before. According to the limited information which I could gather, this trek was supposed to be easy. It was somewhere on the road from Manor to Wada. Around 70kms from Vasai. Ideal candidate for what we were looking for. After a brief discussion, we finalized on Kohoj.
Since this was a last minute plan, only Sachin and Prasad apart from us were available for the trek. As per plan I started off at the crack of dawn from my home, picked up Hemant and Sachin on our way to Virar for Prasad. Usually, for most of our treks, we travel towards Pune. Hence Prasad comes all the way to Vasai so as to proceed further. This was the first time we were picking him up from his home. This may sound a bit silly, but he was really happy about this one off exception. 🙂 Everybody was on time, so by 6:30 we were cruising on the Mumbai-Ahmadabad highway towards Manor. We took a right turn at Manor leaving the highway behind. Our next target was a small village named “Vaghote”. It is around 9 kms from Manor. Since it was early morning, there were hardly any people on the road to ask directions. Unfortunately Google maps had let us down, even it was not able to locate the tiny hamlet correctly. Finally we found a guy who told us that we had came around 2-3 kms ahead. Even after going back it took us some time to find a good place to park our car and to find the path towards the fort. We lost almost half hour in this activity. The fort was hidden in early morning haze.

Path Leading into the forest

Path Leading into the forest

We proceeded towards the fort based on the instructions we had got on our way. After around 10 – 15 mins the fort was quite clearly visible. As I had mentioned at the very beginning, this was supposed to be an easy trek. But, just at its first sight, honestly speaking, we were taken aback. It is not a tough one though,  but nowhere close to easy either. Another reason for our anxiety was that we were not carrying enough “water”.  We were left with just a half liter bottle of water and a sole orange in my bag,  thats it. Biggest possible blunder for any trekker. Such a basic necessity but the thought never crossed any of our minds till we saw the fort for the first time.

Demoralized though, we proceeded towards the fort. The atmosphere was very pleasant with early morning dew settling on grass and giving it the typical essence we find in forest or farms.  In some time we had crossed a small dam below the fort. The trail goes along the perimeter of the lake into the forest. After around 30 mins into the forest, we came across few villagers who were collecting firewood’s. They guided us on the trail ahead. But after climbing few minutes we reached a dead end.  The fort’s huge natural wall was just in front of us, but there was no trail which could have lead us ahead. We had to split in group of two, to explore in two different directions. But that effort too was fruitless. Finally we come down back to the villagers and requested them to guide us further.

By now even the sun had risen quite a bit, and despite the dense forest we were feeling the heat. The villager took us through a trail which we could have never found. Since not many people visit this fort at this time of the year, the trail was kind of lost in the bushes. The path we had taken previously was going straight towards the fort where it meets the wall. The actual path circumnavigates the hill. The villager took us through the thick vegetation upto a place where the path ahead was clearly visible. The trail ahead from here was quite steep. After another 15 odd minutes we met another villager. He told us that it would take another 45 minutes to reach the top. From that point we were able to see a cliff which was probably at a distance of 10 mins. We were puzzled a bit as to why did he say 45 mins for such small distance. But the riddle got solved when we covered those 10 mins. We realized, we had covered only half the distance until that point and the actual top  was visible only now. Infact the 45 mins which he said seemed to be very aggressive. Prasad, by now was totally worn out. He had whatever was left in the half liter bottle we had with hope that we will find some water at the top.  Halting after every few minutes, we finally made it to the top :).  We were happy, we made it. But the feeling of triumph was diminished to a great extent when we came across the two cisterns at the top. There was water in them, but nowhere close to potable. Infact it was not even good enough to wash our faces. We had the sole orange still remaining, giving us some respite.

After spending some time, we started our return journey. We thought we could make it to the base in an hour, since it doesn’t take much time while declining. But this was not to be. There was still some anguish left for us. After reaching almost half way, we met a village lady. She told us that the path which we were taking is a bit complicated and hence there are high chances of getting lost. There was another path which is simple and would directly lead us to the main road. Unable to make decision, we proceeded on our original path, but then looking at the dense forest, we thought the lady’s suggestion made sense. So we took that path. This was another mistake we made that day. The path was almost two times the original one. The lake which was at the bottom of the hill, appeared far away now. We realized, we have messed up with the path, but we were already far away from the fort. There was a village below the hill we were on. We left the routine trail and started declining towards the village. Sachin and Hemant went ahead of us. We reached the bottom where we requested one villager to give us some water. He was generous enough to give us more than two bottles of water. “Water had never ever tasted that good before” :).He told us that the place where we have kept our car is now almost 45 mins from his home. We had to walk back this much  distance to get back to our car. It took us another hour to reach our home. So, this is how we completed one of our most exhaustive trek. Exhausted but very much Content. 🙂

Trek To Karnala

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The rain god had eluded us for most part of this monsoon. But it was raining heavily last Sunday i.e. 18th of Aug and apparently we had a leave on Monday for the festival of Eid. Such pleasant atmosphere and I was sitting at home doing nothing. This waste of time was making me impatient. So I asked my friends about a trek on the next day! Hemant and Anand could not make it. But Prasad and Sachin agreed.  I had suggested Karnala, since it is around 80-90kms from Vasai. Both of them were fine with it 🙂

Karnala trail

Prasad and Sachin on our way through the forest

We started on our regular time at 5:30 in the morning reaching the foothills in a couple of hours! We had assumed that this would be a very small trek and if we start early on time, we would be back home by lunch. But this was not to be. Most of the nearby hotels/stalls were still to open. We had to go further almost four kilometers to find a hotel for our breakfast. Thus loosing valuable time, we could only start our trek by around 9:00.

Karnala steps to fort

Sachin, standing at one of the entrance to the fort

It is actually a small trek, but we took our time while going up. Chit-chatting and taking occasional breaks. The area is a protected forest and comes under the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The authorities warn all the visitors against littering around in the forest. The forest is quite dense. The trail starts from western side of the fort leading to a long ridge. Both the Eastern and the Western side of the fort is visible from the ridge. A long walk along the ridge leads us to the main fortification. After a couple of treaky rock patches we reached the main fort. It has two main bastions. The main one has a 125 ft high rock pillar which emerges as the highest peak in the surrounding area and was ideal was being used as watch tower. There are few water cisterns below the tower. The second bastion is at lower height than the first one. The view from the pinnacle is breath taking. Standing on the pinnacle, one can have a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. This fort was used to keep a watch on the ancient trade route passing through Bhor ghat to the port at Karanja.

After having spent some time on the top, we started descending and reached the base in an hour. Starting the trek early has its own advantage. First of all, we were able to avoid the mid noon heat while climbing. Secondly, when we reached the pinnacle, it was just three of us over there at that time. We had the luxury of enjoying the calmness in the dense forest, which other wise gets disturbed by noisy visitors. Where as, while descending there were many groups and families who were starting the trek/ picnic!

It took us another 2 hrs to reach home. What a fruitful way to spend the morning. This is probably the shortest time we had taken for a trek and coming back until now, but could not make it until the lunch time though 🙂