Thursday, January 01, 2009

Exploring the Sahyadris

It was 12 ‘o’ clock in the night. I had just come home from work and I couldn't make up my mind if I should be going on this trek tomorrow. The usual excuses - don't know most of the people in the group, too difficult to get up early... But next day morning come 5.45, I was ready - fresh and raring to go on the Mahuli trek. And thus began my explorations of the Sahyadris.


A temple on the way to Duke's Nose



I take no credit for these trips. It all goes to my colleague, an avid trekker and the initiator of these one-day hikes into the Ghats. One of the best things I like about these treks is that I have nothing to do but just land up at the appointed time in the Kanjur Marg station. I only know 3 things - 1) place we are heading to 2) time to meet and... Oh well, actually only 2 things to remember!


The village sprawled below - as seen from atop Duke's Nose



My Sahyadri round up for the year included Mahuli fort, Duke's Nose (near Lonawla, Khandala), Naneghat and then Siddhaghad. The first three happened during and slightly after the monsoons, when the landscape was bright green - almost with a fluorescent blaze. The Siddhaghad trek was filled with hues of golden and brown.


Our target in the distance -Mahuli Fort



Obviously, the landscape doesn't wary widely between each of the peaks and passes. I wouldn't call any one of these places a must do over the other- but we still have our favorites. Siddhaghad was particularly my favorite because we spent the night over at the top of the hill. There is a temple on the top of Siddhaghad and there is an empty “mandap” where people can camp. No rooms or anything, just a roofless courtyard of sorts. The food cooked by the couple living there was one of the most delicious meals I've had. We sat out in the night talking about this and that. Then retired to sleep under the sky!


A view of the ranges shrouded in mist, Mahuli




The start of Naneghat



The treks are good fun for other reasons too. We travel in a way I would have never otherwise done in Mumbai - take 2 or 3 trains some times, local buses, share autos, unreserved class. Then there is the food in some roadside-dhaba-like places serving some of the most spiciest and tastiest of dishes! Then, you meet people - nope haven't made thick as thieves friends from these jaunts, but there is always some new stories, new conversations.

And of course, it gets you far away from the madd(en)ing crowd.

9 comments:

Anu & Karthik said...

i envy you so..how come you get to see all these lovely places!

Sriram P said...

didnt know there are so many places around mumbai for a day trek... nice...

raven said...

Oye... ping me before the next 1/2 day trip ... wanna out of bombay for cheaps!

Ms.N said...

@ Anu & KArthik...
:) - actually its not a lot, but i am happy i do get to do some! So whats stopping you ? :)

@ Sriram P - well, we are on the western ghats. There are tons of places - (though may not be guide book worthy if u get what i mean), some ruins, mostly passes- though a lot take atleast 3hours to get to before we can start the hike

@raven - will do:)
btw, the invitation was extended to u-know-who, who obviously hasn't passed it on :P

Sriram P said...

1 Q. How do you do the blogrolling thingy on your blog that gives the latest blog from each link? How do i go about adding that to my blog?

Hemamalini said...

Love all your pics - both the Sahyadris and Kanchipuram..the green simply leaps out!

Sriram P said...

Oh.. never mind.. I got it. it was very simple.. I thought it involved some complicated HTML coding that I can just knick it off you... :).. I m so amazed how much they added to the blogger since the last time i checked...

Ms.N said...

@sriram - yea, i love their new blog roll feature... i wasnt much impressed with others...

@hema...thanks! yea... the green that u see during monsoon is unbelievable! once u are out of mumbai of course ;)

Final_Transit said...

Hi Neeraja, I miss trekking in the Sahyadris... your pics brought back so many exciting memories! Thanks!