It was Friday evening and I received a call from a dear friend asking me if I would like to join her for a trekking expedition. It was too short a notice, but since I did not have anything of much importance I decided to go.
We were to climb (call it a trek if you so please) Kalsubai Mountain. There is an old temple by the same name and the story says that a maid named Kalsubai climbed this mountain in order to escape the harassment and torture from her employer. She lived here on top of the mountain and after her death the temple was made in her honor.
My friend is from Nashik, while I am from Mumbai, so we decided to meet at Sinnar Phata. I took the State Transport bus that being more convenient for me. She had booked a cab and an Instructor for the trek all I was supposed to do was accompany them. In all we were a small group of five people, my friend and her 8 year old son, our instructor and the driver.
|My Travel Buddies|
The following evening we met at Sinnar Phata and from there we drove to Bari village, in Ahmednagar district which was about an hour’s drive. The roads were bumpy and I was relieved to find that it was a wise decision of not bringing in my car 🙂
From a far distance we could see our destination. “The Kalsubai Peak” stands tall at 5400 feet and hence is also claimed as the ‘Everest of Maharashtra’
|Our Destination- The Kalsubai Mountain Peak|
We reached the base village Bari by about 06:12 pm and started the climb after gathering all the required stuff. Since we went for a night trek we carried with us the tents and the mats for night sleep. Also since its November and we expected some amount of cold we also carried winter wear and blankets. We were not very sure about food and water so my good friend brought a food basket which contained 3 packets of Maggie (Double pack), 16 Onion Parathas, few packets of Biscuits, Dry fruits, Poha chiwda and 4 water bottles. So with all this luggage with us we went hiking the mountain climb.
Although we were carrying torches to light our path, the bright moonlight from above the sky of the half-moon was good enough for us to maneuver through the entire stretch. It was a beautiful night and the lack of any electricity made the whole journey even more appalling. Apart from one little incident wherein my friend have had a cramp while climbing one of the steep stairs in her left leg the entire climb otherwise went well. She did face some difficulty after that, but she had a great will power and mental strength which I think helped her overcome the pain and move forward towards her goal, which here was to reach the top. We did make few stopovers every half an hour or so at small stalls put up by the local villagers. These stalls sold lemon juice, and tea, water, cold drinks, maggie, biscuits, wafers, and cucumbers. To our amazement, we discovered that they also rent out tents and you can also order food for yourself if you s desire. They will deliver it to you at the site of your camping if you are staying back. All they need is an advance intimation and good one and half to two hours to serve the delicious food of your choice (Veg or Non-veg). Had we known this earlier we would not have carried all the unnecessary stuff we were carrying 😦
It took us about four and a half hours to reach the top, and we put up our tents and a little campfire to ward off the cool winter breeze on top there.
|Our little Campfire|
It was already 10:48 pm and we were starving so we all had our dinner. Since it was cold we asked the stall’s man at whose place we were camping to make Maggie for us. He happily obliged. It was one of the best dinners… cold parathas with piping hot maggie… just the kind of food you would want to have on a cold night 🙂
We did not want to miss the view of Sunrise from the mountain top, and the climb too had us tired so we all decided to retire early for the night. I got up first and the clock showed 6:22 am. The morning sun was about to emerge out on the horizon and so I caught hold of my mobile phone and woke up my friend to see the magnificent view of the Sunrise. I could not capture the first glimpse of the sunrise on camera but did manage to get one close to that.
|Sunrise from the Top of Kalsubai Mountain|
After greeting the morning sun we looked around and took some pics of the surroundings, and now we could see in clear daylight the little stalls, an old well and the Mountain peak of Kalsubai mountain.
I was surprised to see this well here so high close to about 5300 feet from the ground level and the water was clear and edible. The local villagers at times use the water from this well
|An old well near Kalsubai mountain peak|
Here in the pic below you can see the peak of the Kalsubai mountain and up in the sky you can see the flag marking the place.
|Site of Kalsubai Peak from our basecamp|
We got fresh and straight away headed to the peak. Once there I was mesmerized by the view. We finally made it to the top 🙂
Enormously deep valleys surrounded the peak on all the sides and sitting in middle on top of this peak was the temple dedicated to Kalsubai. The vastness of the place was something which took me a while to fathom. I have never seen a view as amazing and as grand as this. What lied in front of my eyes was sheer vastness which I fail to put down in words. The wind was blowing hard and the sound of it was something I wanted to capture and hence made an attempt to make a video. I hope you will be able to listen to the sound of it in this video below.
After absorbing all the glory from this mountain top we came back to the base camp. Had a sumptuous Kanda poha for breakfast with tea.
|Yummy Kanda Poha|
Our host for the night who allowed us to set up our tents for the night and his contact details should you want him to make some arrangements beforehand your trip.
|Contact details for Your Night Camping and Food arrangements|
Now that our journey to the top was over, we took to the descending journey marching downhill. It was only when I turned around to see the view from where we started did I realize to what heights we had been only on the previous night. In the night time we did not get the understanding of the height but now in the broad daylight we could see it quite clearly. And this did not even cover 30 percent of the ground.
|View less than halfway down from the peak|
The iron stairs we climbed in the darkness of night looked terrifying in the visibility of daylight. These four rows of the Iron stairs were by far the most dangerous points of this trip. Not that they were not safe, but the empty space in the gaps will probably make you dizzy. Unfortunately I could not take the pics of these so-called stairs.
We managed to see the cuckoo bird while climbing down, sitting hidden deep in the bushes. See if you can see her too ???
|Can you see the Cuckoo Bird ??? 😉|
As we reached foots of the mountain we came to our first and last lap of this mountain. An old temple set up by the villagers. We rested here for a while on both the occasions while climbing up and then coming down. This I guess is the first resting place where most of the trekkers halt while they start the journey up and also while on their return, for us at least it was.
|Local Village Temple|
Although the journey ended but the memories attached to this wonderful trekking trip with good friends will stay with me forever in my heart and with this piece it will remain immortal. This was my first ever mountain trekking and I am glad I went for it. Of all the pics and stories I shared there is one more last pic which I wish to share. This is my personal favorite from this trek, man approaching the temple (place of Divinity) with sun shining as if lending a Halo to all that was captured in this frame of camera.
|The divinity all around|