Tunga Trekkers

Where adventure meets nature

Author: bhushanrgk (page 2 of 3)

Maitrakul Visit

We Tunga trekkers insist on spending our weekend in the mountains or else in some kind of social work where we can help people in our small way. It has also been added to the extent that even the children’s definition of having fun in our group has also changed. They like to spend their time in such work.

Similarly, on one Tuesday, we have decided to visit the ‘Maitra Kul’ a Social organization with all this children, to know something new. The main person behind this organization is Kishor Pavitra Bhagvan Jagtap. We have come to know about this person via Facebook. Over the years this person went through many hardships due to numerous conflicts and social movements, but still he managed to continue his work in this field by maintaining his low profile.

We always say that ‘education is the next revolution’, Kishor sir’s work is the perfect example of this quote. The journey that started from working in ‘Bagshala’ for students coming from underprivileged background till the Maitra Kul today is not only astonishing but includes may success stories. Basically in our country not only we are in lack of good affordable education system but also a good social system. In this situation students inMaitrakukare taking higher education, also working in different sectors like law, engineering, fine arts etc. These students by managing their daily work are also working here in Maitra Kulwith the Kishor sir and helping him to shape a next generation who will also join this work.

Maitra Kul is situated in a village near Kalyan. When we visit that place, firstly we can see well equipped and updated library of hundreds of books and with that we can feel the overwhelming confidence and lots of love in that place. Students here with their daily studies also learning how to become a responsible citizen by participating wholeheartedly in this movement of education. In this place we can see that there is a discipline and a proper structure but we never feel any kind of burden due to these things. Students here are everyday learning values like self-reliance, co-operation from Kishor sir and with the help of this learning they are trying to figure out how we can resolve conflicts in the areas like counselling, addiction, constitution, human rights, politics and democracy.

This experience was really educating. With This experience we learnt that even if sometimes we feel depressed about situations which are happening in our society,which makes us worry about our future generations, still we should keep working. After meeting Kishor sir you will learn two things, first one is if you by any means feels overconfident about yourself then you will come back to reality and second one  is if you are hesitating to accept any challenges then you will defiantly get a strength to do so.


Dilwali Diwali 2017 reloaded

This year’s Dilwali Diwali was a scaled up version of our efforts over last few years. Our efforts to partner with other agencies are bearing fruits gradually with team Gadvat and team Durgaveer being our regular allies. While our ZP school network continues to grow strong, our new partners SRCC- Mumbai (School for differently able children) has joined hands with us for activity based / outbound learning program.

Our Dilwali Diwali team reached out to three different locations this year.

Pethe Wadi Pachnai – Harishchandragad base

This was a unique experiment to have meet up of villagers / local administrative body / political entity and Gadvat ( NGO) to discuss problems faced by local tribal hamlet and come up with easier and sustainable solutions pertaining to basic employment, education and water shortage . Funds are being released and necessary work is followed up with completion target of 26 Jan 2018 (Republic day ) .

Also, 150 sarees, 30 school kits/t-shirts , 50 set of utensils and of 50 boxes of Diwali sweets found their way in tribal households as a token of our connection with them. This was followed by a memorable trek/camp to HCG by all participating members.

Chaulherwadi Baglan, Nashik

Team Durgaveer has been our strong bastion in Bablan from the very beginning. We had organised a pilgrimage to Jain spiritual abode of Mangi Tungi with a very enthusiastic bunch of senior citizens while we visited Chaulhergad. 150 School kits and T shirts were graciously donated by them. Also  sarees, utensils, solar lamps and mithai was distributed amongst needy families. This was again followed by a fantastic trekking / camping trip of five fortsSalher, Salota, Mulher, Mora and Hargad with our trek mates from Sangli

Vidhyayak Sasad, Parol village, Palghar

This location is at a foothills of our home base of Tungareshwar. Blessed are we that we were given an opportunity to conduct a camp for a unique mix of kids as a part of our Dilwali Diwali 2017 campaign. 30 kids from SRCC school Mumbai, along with some of our regulars from Sports Gurukul kids and 20 children from Sai Aadhar orphanage spent a weekend together learning about village life, farming, tribal culture, skills exchange, leadership, team buildings etc. Highlight of event was a star gazing session and a campfire activity with Warli folk dance.

We @ Tunga Trekkers take this opportunity to thank all the participants, our patrons, concerned NGOs for being supportive and getting involved in this noble cause.

Dilwali Diwali 2017

The season of festivities has always held a special meaning for Tunga Trekkers. It is that time of the year when we trek and spend time away from all the glitter of the city and in lap of the nature. Each year we identify a difficult to access remote village around Western Ghats. The idea is to celebrate Diwali with our less fortunate tribal brothers and sisters . Spending quality time, sharing little joys while trying to identify problems faced by these tribal folk and provide solutions if possible .

This year we chose a hamlet called Pethechi Wadi located at the base of famous trek destination; Harishchandragad. Little background of the village follows.

  • Remotely located with at least 3 hours of drive from any small town. Road conditions bad to worst
  • About 50 odd households with a population of 300/400
  • Small scale farming, livestock is only source of income
  • Extreme water shortage during summer
  • No access to basic healthcare even in case of emergency
  • An ill-managed primary school with student strength of 20 only . Secondary school is 30 odd kms away

Life is tough is it not?? The story does not change!! All we can do is shed a few sympathetic tears right????

NO… Sometimes we need to take matters in our own hands and ensure that plight of these villages and many others gets heard of. And that is exactly what we did.

We partnered with another agency called Gadvat (गडवाट); who has strong local presence and arranged for a meet with local political / administrative bodies along with villagers . Because of our persuasive support, villagers actually could communicate their grievances to the authorities .


  • A sum of 3,00,000 was sanctioned for a water storage tank by authorities
  • New pipe line work to source water from a nearby reservoir is scheduled
  • Expansion of school building to commence before next academic year
  • An ambulance with the help of a medical trust situated in town of Rajur with OPD access will be effective from next week
  • A project to encourage tribal craftsmanship to help generate employment is planned

Local political leadership has adopted this village to create a template for government supported tribal welfare schemes.

A little support from us city dwellers and with relentless persuasive efforts by Gadvat family have borne such sweet fruits I must say.

This called for celebrations off course…. We Tunga trekkers enjoyed our fruits of labour by sharing few goodies such as cloths for elderly n kids, sarees for ladies , school kits and sweets for kids and other household items for families . Thank you all those who participated and contributed towards our cause.

And last but not the least, icing on the cake – press coverage by local news paper.

– Vivek Patil

Mission education

Month of June is here and kids everywhere are ready to get back to school. Arrival of rains during this month brings hope for a fresh start in agriculture based village economy in our country. For kids, it is the joy of fresh uniforms, new books and stationary.

Enough has been said about plight of farmers as such in recent times but we as Trekkers/travellers of the remotest places in Western Ghats get to experience it firsthand. Breaking through that poverty cycle is an uphill task especially when education system and much needed resources are at bare minimum.

We Tunga Trekkers have developed atleast a of better sensitivity towards everyday issues faced by kids in such tribal hamlets. That is why we have started #Edu_Kit_Drive through which we provide basic stationary items to needy children. Though we are aware that much work is needed in this area; it is a starting point… a gesture to show that we care.

Through this project we have reached out to almost six hundred kids in year 2016-17. Details are as follows.

June 2016
Mangi Tungi ( Nasik )
100 primary students, 40 secondary students.
One recycled PC. Event coordinators Durgaveer Pratishthan.

July 2016
Saiwan ( Palghar district) Secondary school
110 kits

July 2016
Saiwan (palghar dist.) Primary school
140 kits

Jan 2017
Sankshi fort (Panvel)
50 primary kits. Event coordinators Rajmudra Pratishthan

Feb 2017
Mangaon Indapur
50 primary kits. Event coordinators Durgaveer Pratishthan

April 2017
Karpewadi (Kolhapur dist)
100 primary kits. Event coordinators Sahyasakhe.

We take this opportunity to thank Dushal Amrit Shah ; a good friend who made all the stationary available at a very reasonable price. Also sponsors like Revathi Shivakumar, Mahesh Vaze, Ashutosh Mishra, Namrata Poddar, Dr. Krishna Shetty, Ashley Shetty, Mahima Saruprias, Anu Agrwal, Asmita Harshajit, Mu Rashi Kumar, Salman Rangwala Vitthal Kane, Kavita Jain, Swati Patni, Jassi & Shailaja Patole always stepped up with a helping hand. We are grateful for your timely help. Thank you.

This year we have upgraded the target to minimum 1000 kits thanks to encouragement and appreciation received from all quarters. Please be a part of this journey by donating generously for this cause. Be a giver. A giver of joy n happiness. Every little gesture counts.

Rajmachi trek

Rajmachi is a small village situated in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Rajmachi has two fortified peaks – Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts, located near two famous hills of Lonavala and Khandala.

At the base of the fort is the village Udhewadi which is another name for Rajmachi. Rajmachi has seen many change of hands from Shivaji Maharaj, Emperor Aurangzeb, Shahu Maharaj and eventually the British reign.

If you want to test your endurance this is perfect trek. You can start from the Kondhane caves side which is at the base of Rajmachi from Karjat side. This is a steep climb which will take 3-4 hours.YOu can also start from Lonavala and go 20km cross country. This is a pleasurable trek in monsoon crossing several ranges on the way and experiencing village life.

Patta-Vishramgad trek

Patta Fort, or Patta Killa, also known as Vishramgad, is a fort situated between Nasik and Ahmadnagar in Maharashtra. Shivaji Maharaj once visited and rested there. The residents of Patta Killa are known as Pattekar, meaning “residents of Fort Patta”. The height of Patta Fort from sea level is approximately 1,392 Meters (4,566 feet).

Shivaji Maharaj arrived at this fort in November 1679 after winning Jalnapur, the Mughal army trapped him from three sides. It was because of the skill of Bahirji Naik, head of the detective department that Maharaj, that he was able to reach Patta safely. On 11 January 1688, this fort was captured by Moghul army headed by Matabarkhan. He appointed Govindsingh of Bhagur as the chief of the fort. This fort was captured by Peshwas. In 1818 this fort was won by the British.

The forest department with the help of villages has developed the pathways, steps and gazebo on the fort. There are many windmills on the way to Pattewadi constructed by Enercon.

Winning marathons

Our hard work seems to be paying off. Ever since we started training the tribal kids with our Sports Gurukul project, we have managed to win several marathons. Some more added to our kitty in the last few months.

The Green Run Marathon was held in Vasai with two categories 10km and 21km. There were about 500 participants. Our kids had a podium finish in both the races and won a cash prize of Rs.25000/-

The next one Little Heart Marathon held at Mahalaxmi Race Course was piece of cake as it was only 5km. This marathon was an initiative by Wadia hospital and various associate sponsors to create awareness towards increasing heart conditions among young children. Our kids finished at top with prize earning of sports bike and sketchers shoes.

The kids visit to the race course was special one. For someone who has been living in a remote village this was something of a spectacle. This is great experience and exposure for the tribal kids who otherwise would have been forced into doing mediocre odd jobs during vacation time to help support family income or simply waste their time around the village doing nothing.

Tunga Trekkers takes great pride in these achievements. We have been training these kids, providing them nutrition and paying for their traveling expenses to these events. The progress so far has been extremely promising and satisfying.

Raksha Bandhan well spent

Every year on the day of RAKHI we Tunga Trekkers visit an institution serving the less fortunate sections of society. When you visit hospitals, orphanage, senior citizens home, you are put face to face with perils of human existence v/s our idea of pain n pleasure.

This year it was Sant Gadge Baba Maharaj Ashram jointly run by Mrs. Kamala Mehta trust. This is a residential facility for cancer patients taking treatment in Tata Cancer hospital and their relatives, providing free food and stay. We all know how tough and painful it is to deal with the C word. Tragically for the underprivileged, Tata hospital is the only last hope for getting treatment. These transitory families are comforted to an extent because of this facility. Efficiently run by a staff groomed by the Gadge Baba mission, it houses almost two hundred plus patients.

Surprisingly enough, we found the whole atmosphere in a festive mood with Rakhis being tied. Kids getting ready for outing / movie or a picnic. Surely enough Lord Krishna and Gadge Baba are watching over them to fight a good fight. We were fortunate enough to share those rare happy moments with them by distributing sweets and a small personal hygiene kits to them all.

This day will leave a lasting impression in our mind because we could be part of
an oasis of mixed emotions within the dark harsh reality of pain, disease and triumph of human spirit over it.

Thank you all for being ever supportive involvement in our thoughts and cause. Your kindness shall continue to inspire us through this journey.


Kavita Jain
Manoj Goel
Rachna Goel
Rittika Chokhany
Namrata Poddar
Revathi Shivakumar
Salman Rangwala
Vitthal Kane
Bhushan Kavthekar
Krishna Shetty
Dushal Amrit Shah
Ajay Tigdi
Swati Patni
Ritu Chordia Kudal
Anirban Banerjee
Puja Bothra
Mahima Sarupria
Nandu Chavan
Aashish Bajpayee
Sneha Katkar
Urmee Trivvedi
Mahesh Vaze
Ashutosh Mishra
Sunil Hadkar


Ganpati Gadad Trek

Tunga Trekkers had organized a trek to the beautiful caves near Murbad which has got Ganpati temple in the main cave on the 31st of July. There are several caves carved out of sheer rock cliff on this mountain and it is a paradise for true trekkers. The main objective was for kids to familiarize with the concept of trekking, getting to know and experience nature up close. Mission successful, kids loved this trek which was full of streams and waterfalls.

Vanotsav 2016

Program schedule for Tunga Trekkers Vanotsav 2016

Dates: 1st, 2nd and 3rd July

8.00am to 9.00am

  • Assembly
  • Breakfast
  • Project concept and briefing

9.00am to 12.00pm

  • Assignment of sight/ workload for the day
  • Shramadan – sapling making and sapling plantation

12.00pm to 01.00pm

  • Lunch break (simple home made food)

1.00pm to 2.00pm

  • Feedback
  • Future directives
  • Adoption of saplings
  • Pledge for conservation of forest and nature

Currently we are focused on Sports Gurukul and Vanotsav programs. You can contribute by adopting a tree for a year. We will run a crowd funding campaign for Adopt a Tree where you can sponsor a tree for just Re 1 a day for a year. The money generated will be used for creating and maintaining saplings, organizing tree plantation program, ensuring the saplings survive and sponsoring the nutrition of 25 kids for the entire year. Yes just 1 rupee a day can make such a huge difference to the environment and to the lives of so many kids. Looking forward to meet you all at Vanotsav.

Note: Come well prepared for the Mumbai monsoon, ideally get raincoats and an extra pair of clothes.

Address Details and map directions:
Virar-Ahmedabad highway, take right at Shirsad phata towards Vajreshwari, continue on Vajreshwari road till Saiwan and finally Chalisgaon. Landmark: look out for Baba bunglow after Saiwan petrol pump.

Vanotsav Map

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