MUMBAI: Hyderabad-based mountaineer Rachita Gupta-Kanodia (27) who had gone trekking to the Prabalgad fort near Panvel was found dead, police said.
"Rachita had gone to Prabalgad Fort and Kalavantin Durg about 10 days back. Her body was found at the Prabalgad peak on Tuesday," Senior police inspector of Panvel police station Maloji Shinde told the Express.
Prabalgad located at around 15 km from Panvel, is a popular trekking destination.
Rachita, a professional trekker, had come to Panvel on November 25 and was to return to Hyderabad on November 29. When she did not reach her home and attempts to contact her failed, her family started searching for her. Her family members and friends along with a team of Hyderabad police reached Panvel in search of her. When they could not find her, they sought help from local police and local trekking group and found Rachita's body on Tuesday, Shinde said.
"She was found behind 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," he added.
"She had gone directly to Thakurwadi, the tribal village at the foothills of Prabalgad from the airport on Nov 25. Just about 10-15 minutes after started climbing the fort she sent her location to her husband Amit Kanodia over WhatsApp. That proved to be her last contact. We participated in the rescue operation taken up by police on Tuesday morning. We started the operation at around 4 AM. We took 5 local tribal youth along with seven of our members and started search operation in the jungles in the crest region and found her body by 11.30 AM," Parag Sarode of 'Nisarga Mitra' - the trekker's group in Panvel that participated in the rescue operation said.
"Prabalgad is about 2,100 metre in height. Rachita's body was found at around 1500 Metres, while her belongings were found at around 1400 Metres from the base," Parag said.
Preliminary probe revealed that Rachita, fell off the 600-odd metre peak and died.
Gupta is married to businessman Amit Kanodia for five years and has been a frequent trekker.
Sources said that Rachita had come to the same place for trekking in September and had then climbed the 500-metre high Kalavantin Durg. The partially decomposed body was sent to postmortem examination.