Kalsubai, or what people call it ‘Everest of Maharashtra’ is a pride of Sahyadri Mountains. A hike to its Summit at 1646m height, passing through lush green forests and plateaus is a mesmerizing experience to have.
Geographically, Mt. Kalsubai, is located at borders of Ahmednagar and Nashik districts of Maharashtra, India. I always wished to feel the uniqueness of this place by exploring the its nature. Hence, laid out the plan during start of Monsoon in 2018.
Monsoon (Jul-Sep) is undoubtedly the best season to trek Mt. Kalsubai due to presence of lush paddy fields, gushing waterfalls and cloudy atmosphere. Winters are pleasant and mostly foggy but better avoid summers due to hot weather and dry terrain.
Though the hike to pinnacle is not dangerous in any way, but should be carefully done specially during Monsoon due to slippery tracks. It can be done in Night as well, In-fact many trekking groups organize the same. A Sunrise at the Peak will be a glorious moment watching the sun rising beyond mountains through a valley covered in mist!
My Trail to Kalsubai accompanied with bunch of friends, started with an early morning drive from Pune as it takes upto 5 hrs to reach Bari, which is the base village to begin the expedition. These early morning drives are best to see the colours of nature sprinkled across the sky by rising Sun. With short breaks enroute, and splendid scenery outside, we reached Bari in no time.
Bari is a small yet beautiful village located at foothills of Kalsubai Mountain Range. There are many basic homestays options available if planning to stay overnight. You can also pitch your tents and enjoy camping in surroundings. Needless to say, there are some food joints present too. We pre-ordered some delicious local food for lunch.
Staying overnight at Bhandardara town just 13 kms from Bari, is another good option. Camping gears can be availed from the locals near Bhandardara dam for a night to remember!
Now, we’re all set to begin our trail which starts from near a Hanuman temple, located end of the village. A water stream has to be crossed before beginning of the climb and there-after the entire route is well-marked and leads straight to the peak.
Moreover, the trail is simple, but little arduous as we ascend. At places with steep slope, iron ladders have been installed for safe climb. Whenever, we felt exhausted, there were ample of Tea and Snacks joints. It was a sunny morning when we started, soon veiled into clouds on the way and ultimately cloaked in fog and mist near the Summit.
Many-a-times it felt like if we’re on the peak, but suddenly wind blows the clouds away to unveil another higher pinnacle. But soon, as we climbed a huge iron ladder, we could spot the Famous Kalsubai Temple atop. It was the symbol that we had scaled it to the Peak, though it took almost 3 hours to achieve this feat.
As per legends, this temple of local deity Kalsubai, is named after a lady who vanished at this mountain while aspiring to get away from anguish of her employer. Every Tuesday and Thursday, a prayer by temple priest draws devotees.
The summit is sprawled over a small area with clouds playing hide and seek. Though it was blustery, but we felt lucky as it didn’t rain throughout, especially at the peak. Otherwise as per the experience from fellow hikers, the spiking rain drops won’t even let you stand in open. We spend some time gazing the panoramic views of the surrounding valleys, covered in meadows and beautiful lakes especially Bhandardara backwaters.
The delightful weather recharged our drained system and so we’re now ready to roll down the hill. Descend was through the same trail taking hardly 1.5 hours. Once we reach near Bari, we spotted a fulsome waterfall, and how can we miss plunging into the stream! This fresh water bath, directly in a waterfall, was followed by warm lunch which we had already ordered.
By the time we finished and packed to leave, it was about to sunset and we drove back to home with memories of conquering Everest of Maharashtra!
Some Useful Additional Information –
How to Reach Mount Kalsubai –
Though the best way to reach Bari, is to self-drive or to get a rental taxi. Alternative options are available too via public transport.
- Igatpuri (nearly 30 kms) is nearest Railway Station and receives trains from different cities. From here either catch a State Transport Bus or hire a taxi which can lead to Bari in another 1 hour.
- Bhandardara (nearly 13 kms) is another option to reach Bari by Bus. Few direct buses are available from Bhandardara which itself is connected with major cities by bus service.