Trek in Ladakh? Check
Trek in Spiti? Check
Trek in Bhutan? Check
Trek in Maharashtra? Nope
Well, at least it was a ‘nope’ until two weeks ago. And for my maiden trek in my home state what better peak to scale than the highest one: Mount Kalsubai.
Interestingly, Kalsubai - also located in the Western Ghats (near Igatpuri) adjoining my previous two weekend haunts – Dehena
and Sula Vineyards
– is the highest peak of the Sahyadris (1646 meters).
The trek begins from the base which is at a village called Bari. I was accompanying a Mumbai based travel group Mapping Journeys
for the trek and we drove from Mumbai on a Saturday night to get to the village. The trek is, like our group’s guide had said, ‘not too easy or too difficult’.
Having trekked in terrains where the oxygen levels are quite low therefore putting an additional strain when climbing up, Kalsubai in comparison does not quite knock the wind out of your lungs. You are however exerting enough force making your way through upward inclines, stone steps and mother of all tortures – three steel ladders. Not one but three of them. It’s an experience in itself nevertheless – stepping on to steel strips while holding on to the railing/side bars.
The ladders are as much an experience as is finding yourself surrounded by couples who prefer holding hands when climbing up and coming down! It’s cute and I’m no killjoy unless you’re in my way restricting my rhythm as I’m trotting downhill.
The view is picaresque – the world does look and feel a lot better at every 100 feet! Not just at the top where you’re likely to be overpowered by the ecstasy of having completed the trek but even as you ascend to the top it’s quite the challenge to not want to stop and pause to breathe in the view.
But Lady Luck better be with you and on your side. Chances are that you’re either going to have cloud cover therefore no scorching heat of the sun with no clear view of the hills OR clear skies with a guaranteed view of all hills stretching through the horizon but the sun wearing you out!
As with all treks nothing beats the sense of achievement having completed the uphill climb and then gaping at creation around you. There’s a little temple at the top that’s famous with the pilgrim trekkers.
However what I’ve found particularly true for this trek is a greater need to be even footed as you navigate you’re way climbing down – must add here that this seemed to have been one of the more challenging downhill climbs/trots I’ve done yet.
Special mention to the myth surrounding the peak: Legend has it that there was a young girl who was found in these same hills by a family who’d gone up there to collect wood for fire. They invited here to stay over with them in the village at the foothills. She agreed however she had a request – She would never be asked to do any chore or be expected to help out with household duties. The request was considered and she lived a few good years without ever being asked to do anything until of course it was time for here to get married. The pressure was beginning to increase as was the sudden expectation to partake in household chores as it would be a way of life for her soon. In a huff it is believed that she left the house and went back to the mountains where is believed to have stayed until her death
This is NOT
a sponsored post.
Other treks I have accompanied Mapping Journeys on:
iTrudge | Monsoon Trek To Harihar Fort