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Ballalgad fort in village Kajali near Talasari near the Maharashtra Gujarat border (India)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ballalgad is a small hill fort located in village Kajali near Talasari near the Maharashtra Gujarat border. The village of Kajali is located very close to the Mumbai Ahmedabad Highway.
View from Ballalgad Fort

Fathima and I had visited Valsad, last week to explore the forts of Parnera, Kille Pardi and Bagwada aka Arjungad Fort. Due to shortage of time, we couldn't explore Indragad and Dhinsu For located near Vapi. 

Raj wanted to do bike trip. We decided to explore these forts in the bike trip. As it was a one day trip, we decided to explore Ballargad near Talasari, Indragad near Moti Daman and Dhinsu Fort near Phanse village, again near Moti Daman in a day's time.

Watch out for this signboard on the Mumbai Ahmedabad Highway

I had asked Martina, another friend of mine, if she would be interested in joining us, to which she readily agreed. So on Saturday morning we set out. Raj and me on his Royal Enfield, Martina and Horatious on their Yamaha Fz.

This is my second bike trip on a Royal Enfield, the first one was with Massey to Indurigad near Pune. To read about Indurigad click on it. We had a great time on that trip. 'This trip should be nothing less, I said to myself.

That's us at GHORAKH CHINCHA’ (African Baobab) near Ballalgad Fort

We all met at 6:15 AM in the morning at Borivali at Anupam Superstore, from there we headed over via the Dahisar flyover to the Western Express highway. We got stuck in traffic at Hotel Fountain. But the traffic was just for 15 minutes,after crossing Hotel Fountain, we were on the Mumbai Ahmedabad Highway. The roads were clear so we managed to accelerate on the highway. As it was early in the morning, it  was cold but that didn't stop us from accelerating on the highway. We were hoping the sun to come out and shine, to make us warm. 

That's us atop Ballalgad Fort premises
We braked at Simla Inn around 8 AM, near the Mumbai Ahmedabad Highway, to have some snacks and hot tea. But the weather was so cold, that our teeth were chattering. We had snacks followed by hot tea, took a couple of selfies and then headed on the road to Ballargad near Kajali, the first fort on our itinerary. 

After crossing Talasari, watch out for a signboard stating Kajali on the left hand side of the highway. After traveling for around 5 minutes on the bike we reached a small school. The trek to the top of Ballargad starts from near the school, but on the opposite side of the road.  ‘GHORAKH CHINCHA’ (African Baobab) trees near the school premises. They would be the perfect prop for a haunted tree. Lol. 

Fortification of Ballalgad Fort
There are a couple of houses near the school premises. We asked for directions and started on our trek. Walked a little and reached a dead end.

I immediately walked to the school and asked if the boys could accompany us to the top, to which they readily agreed. It was a smart move to take the boys along, else we would have been lost on the hills.

Fortification of Ballalgad Fort
It took us around 25 minutes to reach the top. It is a easy trek.  Again there is no proper route to go up, so make your way uphill.
We finally reached the fort walls, though portions of it are broken. The fort is very small in size and can be seen in 15 minutes. The fort is in complete ruins. There is wild growth within the fort premises. It has a small water body within its premises. It is currently filled with huge stones. The boys informed us that during Navratri, water appears at one corner of the water body and disappears post Dassera.

Looking at the size of the fort, I guess it might have been a watch tower to guard over the land. As it offers a fantastic view of the land below. 

Spot to sharpen swords on the rocks atop Ballalgad Fort
We could see the Mumbai Ahmedabad Highway from here. The sound of the trucks was audible even at this height. 

We walked on the other side of the fort walls, the boys should us a two stones, as per them one has bullet marks on it and the other was used to sharpen the swords. The boys also told us that a couple of the stones are worshiped by the locals. Not sure how much of it is true, or if it is just a tale told by the village children. 

Bullet marks on the rocks atop Ballalgad Fort
Stones used for worship atop Ballalgad Fort
I am not aware of the history of this fort. 

After exploring we headed back to the school, where our bikes were parked. It took us 20 minutes to reach base (school). 

The school at Kajali Village
There are no hotels here, so one has to carry food and water.
Also not sure if there is any public mode of transport to reach their village. The closest rail station is Talasari and Bhilad. 

The motobikes
We then headed off to see Indragad near Pali Karambeli the next on our itinerary.


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