Monsoons always made me cringe. Bad roads, slushy commute, that heavy humid air ,if you are an atheist traffic in mumbai on a rainy day will make you question your atheism .This year the idea of rainy season was to change for me . One dull rainy day, sipping tea and gazing on the road from my window, a window in mind exhorted me to get out of here. Facebook came to my rescue , a friend had asked me to like this page about a trekking group intuitively i looked it up , there was something this weekend…..
Bhimashankar in the Sahyadris is a 2-day trek. “Trek from Bhimashankar via Ladder Route to Siddhgad” . Couple of clicks and all set for the weekend.
Something about these outdoor trips , waking up at 4 am was easy , my bag was ready and anticipating .I grabbed the local train to Karjat, one by one other participants trickled in , by the time we reached Karjat, we were already a group of 17.
The morning was fresh , the decision was instant, breakfast first and then the rest , we made our way to Khandas village, introductions were in order but after chai and poha.
No looking back now , it felt like a mission , 20 minutes into the hills , then the mountains rose, terrain was getting a bit treacherous, guiding each other we reached a waterfall ,an experienced member said something like behold ! ,zig zagging its way through the terrain i marveled at its enigma , watching the fall ,feeling its sound , i got lost in one of those zen moments . A dangerous zen moment as i was not willing to break its spell ,it was a moment for eternity , eternity as we know doesn’t last forever filling our souls we moved on.
A new inspiration had got hold of me , the world i knew was now becoming a distant dream soon to be forgotten as the terrain awarded us with challenges .After the initial hiccups we were moving like a smooth tune , a rhythm was set ,we soon lost the sense of time .
We were drawing near a plateau .Found some civilization , some farms a hut near it , like a reminder of the human persistence it stood there.one of the items in the trekking list was plum cakes , it made sense now , enjoying plum cakes here felt like ecstasy. The journey recovered we trekked on to some dense vegetation, some steep slopes , some mean and narrow paths ,questions about life were in order , the mind was coming to conclusions there was no need to think now , terms like future and past was not being comprehended at last. We unrestrained reached the top. The top . was this our aim we didn’t know . We reached Nagphani. My sights were subjected to one of the most underrated view , it was a stunning to say the least.Feeling the mist on my faces and rain drops on my skin , i felt alive.
We headed towards a temple in sight. Placed our luggage in the room and walked towards GuptBhimashankar, a hidden paradise in Bhimashankar. We walked nimbly in the forest leading to this place. It was evening and the light was dropping quickly , the brume was drifting with us .The leaves were playing tricks with a evening light , it was a complex physics phenomenon , we were all amazed to see this. One of our friends explained that this phenomena happens only in Bhimashankar forest. With ambient light and dense forest my spine was tingling. We sought blessing of Lord Shiva and returned to a room near the temple by night , the mood was buoyant , dinner was bhakri and pickles , some games and we dozed off
Whatever sleep i had , it felt less , inertia had gripped me , my body was offering me a choice to stay in bed or to get up and get going ,the mind tells me to go back to sleep , but the soul knows otherwise.
The path that followed for the next was the one to remember and cherish. Lush green carpets draped in heavenly mist with embroidery of bird calls and whistles encapsulated our inner self. surreal. no you must read it again cause it was as surreal as it can possibly be . we were drifting towards the base then ,we reached Kalyan and took the train home , everyone was quiet and we knew the dream was over , excel sheets and phone calls were waiting for us . but my heart was content for more , i know i had found something ,something no riches will ever buy ….there were some bruises and small small scars , but i choose to focus on the permanence that which will not heal , the quest for monsoons had begin i will await it every year , beyond these hazy city lights there are glitches of paradise,and this is only the beginning .
Photo credits: Hansraj Singh, Deepankar Mehta and Radhika Paul
Group Name: Trek Mates India
Name of Place : Bhimashankar
Nearest railway station: Karjat/Kalyan
Nearest airport : Mumbai
Ideal time : 2 days
Our narrator Dharmesh Vithalani is an Network and Security Engineer with lots of enthusiasm for life , he believes in discovery and is smitten by the thrill of adventure , he thinks he was a banyan tree in his past life , you can follow him @Dharmesh_vi on twitter ,message him at his facebook page https://www.facebook.com/dharmesh.vithlani.5 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org