Kalsubai Trek - The Everest of Maharashtra
Trust me every last man who likes hiking is always curious when it comes to climbing higher altitudes and especially when you know that the one you are going for is already glorified as the highest peak of the state so there comes Kalsubai in my mind, the highest peak of Maharashtra.
And I am sure when the plan was made every one our group had it in their minds as well. But then you need someone who is already been there to guide you along the path and of course to handle loads of responsibilities. Hence all the planning and execution was done by Omkar, Rahul, and Bhagwan. We owe a lot to these guys. Thank you so much.
Our plan began with a group of 36 trekkers gathering together in a nice and comfortable traveler on a night of 30th November at around 9:30 pm. We hit the road for the base village Bari which is nearly 170 km from Akurdi, the starting point. Singing, dancing, chatting made us forget the time and length of the journey, and at around 2:30 am on the night of 1st December we reached our base village, Bari.
Thanks to google maps I don't need to tell you the Kalsubai trek route. People in the village were so kind and helpful that even in the middle of the night with damn cold weather they opened their doors welcomed us and helped us out with drinking water and initial route to start our hike. Omkar made all the arrangements for the next day lunch post-summit in the same house. You will get much homely mess there ready to serve you. Omkar and Bhagwan made us aware of all the instructions and precautions and we were off to climb at around 3 am.
We hunted down our path to the summit. I remember it was as dark as hell that nothing was visible without a torch. All I knew we have to reach that point of the summit where an electric bulb was glowing. I am sure you know that there is a temple of goddess Kalsubai and an electric bulb was part of that temple. After an hour of the hike, we stopped for the campfire and it was the most beautiful part of our trek. Omkar sang something which we had to follow along with some kind of act. For a while, we were all kids doing those acts. Well, I am not going to tell you what song, it's a deep secret and comes out at the time of campfires only ;).. many out of our group were taking their first hike and I was surprised how enthusiastic they all were. They were tired but no one wanted to give up. We have been telling them about the sunrise story all the time that if you made it you will witness the first ray of sun in the state and probably that's the thing which kept everyone moving.
I was walking pretty ahead of many people so every time I saw a long gap I used it to stop and howl at those bright stars. There were thousands of them pulsating like white light bulbs decorated up above everywhere in the sky. I remember the game I used to play in a mean time like line game joining the stars and making pictures and objects from those. And hell.. there was nothing that I could not imagine in those stars. Everything was possible to visualize up there.
Although the climb is not so tough, You will find three ladders in the way and trust me their every step is made of two-inch width and sharp notch and there is a chance you slip off those steps. Slip and you break its that simple up there so better be careful especially when you are hiking in the night. When we were almost up there, summit still was far away from our reach considering time constraint. It was almost 6 am in the morning few of my friends and I was much ahead of others, and the last thing I said was " I can't miss this opportunity " and few of us just started running. We ran, we pushed ourselves and then we made it. Now what if I tell you our mother Earth seems much red and beautiful from that altitude during the sunrise that you can't figure out anything less than the red color of the burning Sun and the horizon appeared to be a huge wall or wall of waves propagating from all around you which too appeared so damn red in the east that you could imagine a red hot liquid is just coming to get you under it.
Right above us was a clean and polished blue sky like a blue pacific ocean had just shifted from ground to the sky. Soon enough birds started their morning music - chirping all around us and making us feel welcome to heaven and making us forget all our fatigue. I dont know what they were singing, but whatever it was, it was amazing. I don't know why I rejoiced in their voice. I believe it made me happy and I appreciate it. that's it. After an hour every last one of our group made it to the summit and enjoyed the view of nature.
There was something everyone did achieve and was showing up on every one's face, I believe it was satisfaction..
We got to see the surrounding forts from up there. Harishchandragad fort, ratangad fort and the one which every hard core trekker dreams to take, the great A.M.K (Alang, Madan, Kulang). Ajoba gad was looking damn cute as well. We also traced ratangarh to harishchandragad via katrabai pass route. We were having feeling to visit them all at once.. Of course we didn't go.. but we will be going there, I will be going there .. you know SOMEDAY.. :).
So we had our group pics and thank god Tanuj and Rahul clicked some amazingly beautiful moments up there as well as in base village. We all owe a thanks to these guys.
So then the time came to start our descend. The worst part of any trek for me is to have to go back down there away from that peace in that messed up world. But you have to go. you have to keep moving thats what trekking is about.. So carefully we got down back to the base village which cost us merely 2 hours.. By 12 pm we were down in the village.. we washed ourselves and had our hands on the food those kind villagers cooked for us.. When you go trekking to kalsubai, dont forget to ask villagers about the story behind the kalsubai peak, trust me they will tell you everything very curiously and in detail that its worth listening. On way back our home we also visited Bhandardara dam which is also visible from up there from the kalsubai and looks very beautiful. We did some boating thing there. Soon we hit back to our road and reached our destinations at around 9 pm.. I assume it was one of the nice treks I had. You better go there and have look at it once.. I hope I have managed to depict its beauty enough that you will realise it when you actaually show up there..
- Pratik Shaha
some useful information:
place- Kalsubai Peak
base village- Bari
Altitude from sea level- 1646 mtrs (5400 fts)
route from pune- narayan gaon- Aale phata- Sangamner- Akole- Bari
distance- 170 km
nearby places worth visit- bhandardara dam ( shendi gaon).
Thank you.... :)