The Everest Of Maharashtra – Kalsubai
The Everest Of Maharashtra – Kalsubai
Last December, around this time, Reshma Rohra was at Kalsubai doing what most of us only think about. What is this place, you may wonder. Well, it’s the highest peak in Maharashtra, and certainly worth a visit.
Read on to know more about her awesome adventure!
When the winds are cold, and the sun is soft, you know that it is an ideal time to climb a mountain. Last December, with a bunch of four friends, I summited Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra (1646meters). It might sound daunting, but this trek is an amazingly pleasant journey. And, not an arduous one.
From Kalyan Station, at around 1:30am,we got into a train that halts at Igatpuri. I kept gazing out of the window. The moon was lost in sweet slumber beneath soft clouds. However, the twinkling stars unwaveringly ensured that I admire the gorgeous surroundings. The mountains, fields, trees, houses and lakes were nothing, but strikingly distinct shadows in the mystical dark blue light. I wondered what if the Sun never reincarnated. We would have never been able to the witness the effervescence of the hues of nature.
At around 4:00am, we were at Igatpuri Station. The first bus in the morning from the bus depot, which is less than a kilometre away from here, is at 5:30am. We had tea at the station before marching towards the depot as we had too much time to fritter away. When we got into the local bus, it was still dark. From the window, I saw the silver moon had finally woken up. With each passing minute, it was transforming into a golden shade, and growing in size. The sight was divine. It was cold and the stars were just as sparkling as they had been throughout the night. We were rapidly pacing towards dawn.
Baari, the base village for our trek is where we alighted from the bus. The phenomenon of sunrise had just begun. Five different shades emerged one after another in the sky. The moon was still biding goodbye and the sun had risen.
At a small house in the middle of the road, we had Poha for breakfast before we embarked on our journey to the mountain. The family living there would sell food and refreshments to the trekkers during season time.
The road to the mountain goes through the village. The inhabitants are helpful and guide you accurately towards the right path. Kalsubai peak is also a holy spot as there rests the sacred Kalsubai Temple, painted in vibrant orange. It is one of the reasons this mountain of the Sahyadri ranges is so popular.
As we walked away from the village, the ascent began. By 9:30 am, we had climbed quite a distance and decided to halt here for a while. The view of the villages and fields that lay below was magnificent. This part of the mountain was relatively flat, not too rocky. It was rejuvenating to watch mischievous monkeys frolicking around us. We came across a lemonade-seller here. All of us had a refreshing drink before we continued.
For the convenience of the devotees heading towards the temple, railings have been built, steps have been carved, and iron ladders are also affixed in certain areas. Due to these facilities, this trek is fairly easy to do. However, one has to be extremely vigilant while climbing the iron ladders.
At around 10:30 am, we took another break, there was a shanty on the top where we could rest under a roof, and have lemonade. It was morning time, but at that altitude and with no shade, the sun was extracting all our energy.
From this point the journey was somewhat challenging. But as we reached the peak, we were rewarded with marvellous sights of the Bhandardhara Lake, other Sahyadri mountains, forests, fields and various rural settlements. We were tired; it was 12pm. The sun was spewing harsh rays of heat and yet, we were up there for an hour. I put my jacket on my face, and slept under the sun after savouring the splendid vistas around. It wasn’t a very comfortable sleep, but it felt good lying there on the peak.
At about 1pm, we began descending the mountain. Climbing down was more exhausting as we didn’t carry food along. Therefore, as soon as we reached, we had our lunch at the same place we had breakfast. It was 3:30pm by then, so we did not have many food options. We happily consumed what was served to us. After eating, we took the same route for the return journey.
It has been a year, but the memory of climbing the Everest of Maharashtra remains untouched and just as blissful.
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