Kalsubai | Kulang | Mandan | Alang | Ratangad | Amruteshwar.
On our way cycling to Yeur, a friend told me about this trek to Sahyadris. I was excited but skeptical of my parents allowing me to go for the trek. Against all odds, I got a “Yes”.
We went to Kasara on 24th Dec 2013, midnight. Took a cab (okay let’s say it was a cab) to Igatpuri and reached Bari village by 4am. We had Chai and Poha, and waited for sunrise.
This is the house, at Bari village, where all of us, strangers if I must say, met for the first time. Little did we know about the bonds that we were going to make in next few days!
Sir, or Vitthal Kaka as we call him, will tell us, everyday, about activity of that day – what fort are we going to see, which route are we going to take and what should be out approximate timing.
We started climbing Kalsubai Peak, the highest peak (1646 meters) in the Sahyadri Range.
This was out first halt, at a Hanuman temple, while climbing Kalsubai.
Rahul Daa sang folk songs for us at almost every halt. Boy is he blessed with an amazing voice! All the weariness, owing to the climbing and trekking, would just vanish listening to those songs. Poetry to ears!
It took us almost 4 hours to climb Kalsubai Peak. We climbed down the peak and came to Ambewadi, with lungs full of unadulterated air, and mind, which was in the real sense of the word, blown!
I had dinner and went to the roof-top of that brick-walled house. I could see stars. I don’t remember the last time when I lay down on floor and looked at stars, shining bright, like diamonds in the sky.
This was day one.
Next day, all of us woke up fresh! Packed our rucksacks, and had Chai and Poha. Mornings were awesome. Bah! Whole days were awesome!
Hearing those orders from Kaka, well more of encouraging words and hardly any orders, we started from Ambewadi to climb Kulang. Climbing Kulang on the second day was a bit easier for me, maybe because by now I was comfortable carrying the rucksack while climbing.
I was so comfortable carrying the rucksack by now that I did not mind buckling up those extra ropes, you see that smile!
This is the entrance to Kulang Gad.
Okay, you don’t agree? Have a look at this! 😀
But now do you agree? Good.
Later that evening we were enjoying the sunset at Kulang. Talking, playing, laughing.
This was day 2.
We started the third day with the first ray of light.
We reached a place from where Alang Gad was just 50 meters. But for that we had to cover 2 patches of rock climbing. First patch was almost 20 meters. We (25 of us) did that in an hour, but it was 6:30pm already. Covering one more patch (bigger than the last one) before the sun sets seemed difficult. We decided to stay in a cave and take another route the next day.
These were the eyes which made me compose Behne Do in that cave at Sahyadris.
The day ended playing Antakshari in cave! Yo! 😀
We started the next day taking a different route to Alang Gad.
You can sit on the rocks and climb down, but, don’t do that. Trust your legs and your balance. Initially it will seem difficult, but you will develop that confidence. You will learn how to walk on mountains.
This was at the base of Alang Gad.
We headed to Samrad village that evening.
Mornings are awesome in villages.
It has a natural rock peak with a cavity in it at the top which is called ‘Nedhe’ or ‘Eye of the Needle’. The fort has four gates Ganesh, Hanuman, Konkan and Trimbak. The base village Ratanwadi has an Amruteshwar temple which is famous for its carvings. The fort is origin for the river Pravara/Amrutvahini.
On the foothills of Ratangad, is Amruteshwar temple.
After all of that, we came back to Samrad village, had lunch and left for Mumbai.
5 days of awesomeness ended. “Strangers” turned into bunch of buddies. A trek, my first trek, was amazing.
A lot of treks lined up now. 😉