Come monsoon and the Sahyadris of Maharashtra get a stunning makeover. Emerald hills, roaring waterfalls, sprawling valleys enveloped in mist – its all just too irresistible! Here’s an account of one such gorgeous monsoon trek that I went on – Kalsubai – the highest peak in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra.
We clubbed a long-due plan of bike ride on kid brother’s new bike with a hike to Kalsubai peak. We started sometime in the afternoon from Pune, it took us around midnight to reach the base village near Bhandardara given the long route plus the incessant rains. A few friends had travelled from Mumbai and had reached there around evening. Our host, a local, was waiting for us with hot dinner of bhakri and bhaji – the yummiest, simplest and healthiest food one can find in the Maharashtrian villages.
Next morning we started for the Kalsubai shikhar. It was drizzling so we had geared up in our raincoats and jackets. To my horror, the trail was infested with tiny blood-sucking insects, something similar to ticks/flea. And try as much as I did, I couldn’t completely avoid them (and so yes came back with several itchy bites & marks adding to the leech marks from Sikkim and tick marks from Nagarhole forests ) That’s the worst part for me about any monsoon treks, though I love the rains, the trails and the experience, this is one thing I hate the most. And maybe coz I hate it, I end up getting bitten too I guess.
The hike was a pleasant one, except at one point. almost near the summit. One needs to climb an iron ladder installed here, which gets really tricky and kinda slippery in rains. My bunch of adventurous friends decided to go around and climb the cliff on the side of the steep rock face. I was convinced because after all, a little adventure would make these memories more stronger and last forever 🙂
A little temple stood undisturbed in the crazy wind at the summit. We were completely bowled over by the powerful wind and the rain drops that were now capable of hurting us. We were literally shouting at the top of our lungs to talk to each other as the sound of the wind and rain was deafening. After spending a few minutes (trust me you just can’t stay there for long in that kind of rain and wind) we started the descend.
After spending the remaining day and sleeping to the soothing sounds of rain and quiet wind in a makeshift hut that night, we bid farewell to our hosts the following morning. There are a number of homestays in the base village that provide food, accommodation and a guide. Our host had arranged for us to stay somewhere up the hill, closer to the trail so we had a different kind of experience.
Drop me a message if you wish to trek with the same guide, he is honest and his family will host you very lovingly.
Monsoon treks are my favourite (except of course for the part where I have to deal with leeches/ticks/ etc). Do you like monsoon treks too? Which ones have you been on? Tell me which is your favourite one?