Malanggad

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Malang Gad (Haji Malang)

Climbing up to the Malang Gad is an exciting and a hard trek. A motorable road takes you to "Malangad" which is about 13 kms, from Kalyan railway station. The shrine has been drawing pilgrims and sheer trekkers for a long time. You can also reach Malang Gad by Buses or Rickshaws a good road gets you there with no problems. After you leave the vehicles a 1-½ hour climb takes you straight to the Dargah. Shops on either side for the entire stretch try or coax you in to buying something. There are also stalls that sell soft drinks, sugarcane juice, etc, which also offers you a place to sit and rest a while if you are so inclined.

History:

In Thane district of the state of Maharashtra a king by name "Nal Raja" ruled. The atrocities on the common folk and the havoc created in his state by the demons reached unbearable proportions. The cry from the oppressed had reached to God abd God ordered Baba Malang to pay a visit to the place from where these crimes against the society are committed and to ensure safety and wellbeing of the common man by eliminating these demons.

Baba Malang and his followers reached the small village called Brahman wadi near this mountain. On reaching, he felt very thirsty and asked for water from a house belonging to a Brahman Ketkar Family. The Brahman, realizing that Baba Malang and his followers are tired, arranged for a place to rest and offered them Milk instead of water. This holy act of the Brahman was duly appreciated by Baba and he blessed him. He took leave from the Brahman in order to complete the work ordered by the God at the earliest.

They found a small and cleaner place where Bakhtawar wanted to put so Baba Malang blessed him, and said "that during "Kalyug" this place will be known as "first Step" and will be treated as sacrosanct."

According to legend the King and Queen have been turned to stone and even today are stoned by believing public. A climb to the mountain includes being carried by a rope across two peaks for Rs. 20.00 After this you carry on climbing and try to stone the peaks and it is believed that if your stone hits one of the peaks then your wish will be granted as long as you do not wish for the throne of Delhi.

URS Once a year it is time to celebrate a big festival on this mountain named after Baba. This year on the 3rd of February is the annual Urs or the birth centenary of Baba Malang. The devout followers of Baba from every caste and creed attend to the celebrations with great fervor. During these annual celebrations Baba's Palkhi is carried out and it forms the Juloos. The Palkhi route covers the entire mountain and is then brought back to the Dargah. The bursting of crackers and lightening of the mountain highlight the night on which this Palkhis makes round. The fireworks display from the mountain is a delight to see. The pilgrims desiring to stay overnight can hire temporary huts on small rentals. From the Dargah, a further hike of 45 minutes to 1 hour, takes you to the graves of " Panch Peer " which are of the disciples of Baba who came with him. Along this stretch, one visits the place of "Chasma". It is believed that from a spot where Baba's horse leg touched, water spouted.

Till today water is still coming and people take this water home and drink it with good faith. On the eastern side of this mountain, trekking is good. An eight-hour walk by the natives, which translates into at least 10 for us lesser mortals, keep you still overlooking Panvel, Badlapur, Kalyan etc. Shacks can be arranged which have been erected for this purpose. Some animals like Peacocks, Leopards, and Huge Snakes are spotted, though you are quite safe. Light snacks should be taken from the Dargah itself for the journey.

Buses back from the shrine ply till quite late though it is better to inquire about the last bus back.

Major features[edit]

Haji Malang.[1] This plateaus is called Pir Machi.

The next higher level is called the Sone Machi as it is the lower part of the fort. This is a projection of rock with is 70 feet broad and 100 feet long. It is shaped like an elephant trunk.[1] It has a parapet wall with bastions on two sides but there are no machicolations to fire at the an invading army.

The highest level is the Citadel which is 200 yards long and 70 yards broad. This is the summit of the hill and has no fortifications. The water supply is from five cisterns at the top of the hill with a copper pipe to carry water to the lower levels.

Haji Malang is different from other forts in Maharashtra. Whereas other forts have several gates and multiple watchtowers, art of the main gate itself. With a wall with no machicolations to fire at the enemy and no fortifications, Haji Malang is one of the few forts to depend completely on natural aspects of the hill to defend itself.[1]

History[edit]

Malanggad was built by King Naladev of Maurya Dynasty in seventh century. The fort was home to one Nathpanthi Saint named Machhindranath during this period. The fort was captured by Marathas in 17th century and later it was captured by British. Ketakars were the Killedars of the of fort. Today also Ketakar family holds various rights to the place.

Nearby Kalyan East 15 kms, the reinforcements arrived in early October as Colonel Hartley and Captain Jameson and their troops advanced on Malanggad and finally defeated the Marathas.[1][2] [2]

[2]

Haji Malang Dargah from the summit

Current usage[edit]

[2] In 2007, Govt. of Maharashtra awarded a contract to Supreme-Suyog-Yashita consortium to build a Funicular Railway to Malanggad plateau from Malangwadi, towards Kalyan. The permissions from Forest Department took 4 years to come and the work has now started. The Malanggad Funicular Railway will be more than 1 km in length and will gain 320 M in height. It will be able to carry 1000 passengers up and down the hill every one hour.

References[edit]

List of all forts in Maharashtra

  1. ^ a b c d Kantak, M.R. (1993). The First Anglo-Maratha War, 1774-1783. Popular Prakashan. p. 99. ISBN 81-7154-696-X. Retrieved 2009-03-16. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gazetteers Department. "Places of Interest". Government of India. Retrieved 2009-03-17.