It was again decided at the very last moment. Soon after convocation the plans for the mahuli trek was finaled. It would be my last chance to trek in monsoons in sahyadris. Me and Sameer Kelkar (Sam) decided to do a quick and short trek to Mahuli next day. I had been to the place couple of times, though was lost on second time.
So we took the first train from CST for Asangaon. I joined Sam on train at Dombivli. Alighting at Asangaon we had a breakfast of vadapavs and took some for eating on the way. We took a rickshaw till the base of the fort. Its about 6 kms from Asangaon. Though we could have walked the way we wanted the trek to end quickly. We reached the base by 7 in morning.
It was the same mistake I did in the last trek here, I took a wrong turn.Left was right and so right should have been left.In short one should keep left at start. This time I was aware of that, so got the right track quickly. The whole way then is marked by arrows showing the way.In way we found a huge snake on the road, later realised it was dead! There are some 3-4 patches of steep climb, however we both having same speed climbed the whole, about 2300 feet in one go. The old ladder at the top has been replaced by a new one, better one. This has railings on the side. We were at top by 0830. Then walked the plateau on top to the cave. There was fog out everywhere, whole top was covered by clouds. The common seen at Mahuli in monsoon, the same wavy elephant grass, the horizontal rain drenching us at times. It was a pleasure spending sometime in Sahyadris after a long time. We then went to the lake on the top which is hidden in bushes and trees. It was still 0930, but no view from top, clouds everywhere. Hence decided to leave. It took us an hour to reach the base.
We couldnt find rickshaw on our return journey, else we would have reached home by 12. We had to walk some 3 kms when we found a rickshaw. Reaching at Asangaon station we had to wait for another half hour for the train, alighting train we reached home by lunch.
Finally,story is I am posted to Pondicherry by my company, Whirlpool. So it would have been my last trek till I come back to Mumbai. I was really short of time. But this short and fast trek gave me enough time with the Great Sahyadris. Will be missing the Sahaydris the most.
NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!
Its very hard to restrict oneself from going outdoors when its raining. And especially when out where the nature is now at its best. We felt like going for trek, and so the plans began. I could manage to none other but Sudhir (Chillu). Ek se bhale Do! We decided quite late to go to Mahuli the next morning.We took the early morning train from Kanjurmarg for Asangaon (station on the Mumbai Kasara Central Railway). Got down at Asangaon station, had Misalpav at the hotel outside the station and took food for lunch. Mahuli village from where the trek starts is some 8 kms from Asangaon station. It about two hours walk from Asangaon. Rickshaw are available at a cost to the village. Since we were only two of us, we took a shared rickshaw to Sahapur, as told by the hotelvala. He told we could get a shared rickshaw from there. But in Sahapur we had to wait a long till we could find a rickshaw. Finally to a rickshaw to a place midway to Mahuli, near the railway crossing. From this place Mahuli is some 4 kms.
Finally reached Mahuli! Whole atmosphere was great, clouds had covered the pinnacles of Mahuli. Took the path from behind the temple through the jungle. I had been to Mahuli a year ago, but somehow we lost the path near the stream. After crossing the stream we took a path towards the backside of the ridge we have to travel. But it was late when we realized this.the hill we climbed We made our way through the dense monsoon vegetation and slippery soil. We reached the hill neighboring to Mahuli! The way was through the stream, and finally we came to a dead end. We decided to get back, hoping we again don’t miss the way down. But we dint miss any enjoyment. Had a bath in the stream and the small water fall. By this time the sun had shown its face. We took our lunch in the shade. This part of Mahuli seemed to be undisturbed, there was lots of vegetation, many flowers could be seen. Did some photography. Then finally came back.
While coming back, somehow we found the way leading to Mahuli. It was 1-2 in the noon by then. We decided to go up to Mahuli, and would return from the place where we reach till 4.30. In the way we meet one other group from IIT. They were too new to the place, so we made the summit together. Reaching the top was a great experience. Elephant grass making a Mexican wave! It was simply uncapturable in as camera. In the small tank above we saw a snake! Then we went to the cave. It was quite cool out there. Ate some food and then left to the lake on the Mahuli. This lake is almost hidden by the dense vegetation. We can find some ancient stone sculptures in the way, some broken temple too. the ridge we have to traverse
Finally by 5, we decided to leave. It was getting dark, and more darker by the black clouds gathering. It was hard leaving such a beautiful place, whole valley was open, at distance we could seen Sahapur and Asangaon clearly. The whole land had only one colour: green and we could see the small water stream originating from Mahuli. We reached the base by 630. Whole top was covered with dark clouds. Only a small patch of sky could be seen between the pinnacles. Through this we could see the bright light of the setting sun. It was an awesome site!awesome!!
It was all dark when we took the road to Asangaon. This 6-8 kms walk after a very long day was stamina testing. And we knew from the railway timetable that we had to cover this distance quickly else we got to miss the train. When we came some distance away from the Mahuli base, we saw a great site, one one tree we saw thousands of fireflies on it, which made the tree to shine like anything in the dark. It was simply great moment.
Finally took train from Asangaon to Kanjur and were back to our hostels.
In the end, good trek, decided at the last moment, lost in the way, but finally made up the Mahuli fort. Nature was awesome through out the way. What else is required?
NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!!