Do you ever feel like doing something spontaneous like taking a trip to a near by hill station or go for water sports? Yeah, same. Last week, I also did something spontaneous ; I hiked to the highest peak of Maharashtra with two of my friends. This was till date the happiest I felt coming back to Mumbai. Trekking makes me feel surreal so this trek was nothing but a spectacular experience.
Kalsubai Peak is steeped in rich Indian history and culture. It is the highest peak in Maharashtra levelling 5400 feet. Kalsubai Mountain lies in the Sahyadri mountain range falling under kalsubai harishchandragad wildlife sanctuary.
In order to reach to the base of this mountain, Hire a car and drive there or take to train to Kasara station and from there a taxi to the bari village. Bari Village is the base of this mountain range. During the day, its very cheap to hire a taxi from Kasara to bari village. It costs between 100-150 rupees, but at night due to less customers, the rates go up to 1500 Rs because you have to hire the entire cab.
We started to trek at night and I believe night time is the best to hike. Why? Because the weather stays pleasant throughout the hike; while going up and coming down, both the ways the weather would be least of your concerns. However, if you hike during the day, it might get hot and your hike could become a pain for you. Plus, climbing the Kalsubai Peak under the stars and moonlight add to the thrilling experience of night trek.
It took us 4 hours to hike this mountain. We started at 12:30am and we were on the peak by 4:30 am. If you are a frequent trekker, it will take you approximately 3 to 3.5 hours to complete this. It took us long because we took some stops while hiking to do photography. Since Kalsubai Peak is extremely famous, enough effort has been made to make this trek easy. There are steel railings, chains and ladders at places where it is difficult to climb.
Once you’re reach to the top, just relax under the sky of a million stars and get mesmerised by the beauty. Every moment becomes pure magic as the time stands still. You’ll be blown away when you’ll see the spectacular golden sunrise. The sun rays breaking through the clouds and the sky turning into the hues of orange and yellow is nothing but breathtaking. At the summit there is a plain ground with a small temple of Kalsubai, a local deity. From this temple, you can get a 360 degree view of the entire area. The peak even offers a commanding view of nearby forts and Bhandardara Dam.
I will categorise this trek as a moderate one. With efforts made to make it easy, you will not feel fatigued. The windy weather and moonlight will keep you company while you hike. Carry some snacks for your trek and you’ll also find food stalls of pakoras and Maggi along with hot tea.
The entire experience of hiking the ‘Mt Everest of Maharashtra was nothing less than magnificent and astounding. Pack your hiking bag and if you are a Mumbaikar and are wondering a place to see stars from then this is the place for you. I am sure you will return with views you’d never forget!