The area in Prabalgad Fort peak, where Rachita’s body was found
The area in Prabalgad Fort peak, where Rachita’s body was found

A 27-year-old Hyderabad-based mountain climber, who had gone on a trek to Prabalgad Fort and Kalavantin Durg, located 15 km from Panvel, around 10 days ago, was found dead yesterday. Preliminary probe revealed that Rachita Gupta Kanodia, a professional trekker, fell off the 600-odd metre peak and died.

Rachita Gupta Kanodia
Rachita Gupta Kanodia

The search trail
Married to businessman Amit Kanodia around five years ago, Rachita was a trekking enthusiast. She had reached Panvel on November 25. Before starting her climb, she had sent her location to Amit on WhatsApp.

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Rachita’s family and friends started looking for her after she didn’t return home on November 29. They then reached Panvel with the Hyderabad police and started looking for her with the help of the Panvel police but couldn’t find her.

Yesterday, the family and the police, with the help of villagers and 10 trekkers from Nisarga Mitra Panvel, a group of professional trekkers, formed a dozen teams and started searching for her.

Body found
“On Tuesday at 3 pm, Rachita’s body was found at Prabalgad peak. She was identified with the belongings found in the area,” said Prakash Nilewad, ACP, Panvel district.

Trekker Parag Sarode of Nisarga Mitra Panvel said, “Rachita is suspected to have fallen off the peak, which is 2,100-metre high from ground level. Her body was found nearly 600 metres down from the summit, while her belongings were found around 500 metres down from the top.”

“She was found at the backside of the hill. Her body was swollen, indicating that it was there for over four days. We have sent it for post-mortem. Once that’s done, it will be handed over to the family,” said Maloji Shinde, senior inspector of Panvel taluka.

Second visit
Shinde added that Rachita’s family said she had come to the same place for trekking in September. Sources said she had then climbed the 500-metre high Kalavantin Durg.

Amit was contacted over phone, but he and other family members refused to speak to the press.