- Ajaz Shaikh
Everest Of Maharashtra: Kalsubai Peak
Surrounded by lush green forests and fields, the trekking route towards Maharashtra’s Highest Peak i.e. Kalsubai Shikhar is a surreal experience for all the nature lovers and trek enthusiasts. Challenging yet fun-filled, trek towards the highest summit will test your patience and offer an amazing panoramic view of several more mountain ranges like Alang, Madangad, Kulang, Ratangad (south-west) and to the south Pabhargad, Ghanchakkar & Harishchandragad. Also, attempting to climb Kalsubai - the most wish-listed mountain in the Sahyadri offers a great sense of achievement for most trekking enthusiasts
How to Reach From Mumbai?
Train: Take a local train till Kasara railway station which is on the central line.
For Sunrise Trek: Take 07:25 PM Kasara-CSMT Train
Alternately, you can also go to Igatpuri, catching an express train.
Options of ST buses as well as shared Jeeps from both Kasara and Igatpuri are available. Buses going to Akole, Pune, Sangamner, etc. all have a stop at Bari.
If you can’t find any direct mode of transport from Kasara, take a shared Jeep or bus to Ghoti. There are a number of options available from Ghoti.
These services start as early as 5 AM. You can hire a direct Jeep till Bari from Kasara/Igatpuri for ₹3500 to ₹4000. This can be shared by around 8-11 people and will be a good option if you have a big group.
Private Car: If comfort is your priority and travelling in a group go by car. Bari is well-connected to Mumbai by roadways it will take around 4/5 hours with a break. The most preferred route is NH3, Mumbai Agra highway. The road well constructed. Ideal route - Mumbai-Thane-Bhiwandi-Shahapur- Kasara-Bari. Several ATMs, petrol pumps, hotels, restaurants and banks are located on the route. Just make sure that you download the area before starting your journey because you might lose the signal multiple times on the way.
Everest Of Maharashtra
The entire hike from the base village till the top can take anywhere between 2 to 4 hours depending on your speed. The route is very well marked from start till the end and there are a lot of trekkers on this route all around the year. The climb starts from the Bari village beside the Ramaji Baba Temple. For here on you need to walk straight on the route till the end of the village where you will find the house on your left and a tree on the right. You need to move down the way beside the tree and then cross a tiny stream (only in monsoon). You might want to get rid of your shoes while crossing this - feels beautiful. Walk for a while and then take a right turn.
After the end of the road, you may encounter several paths but choose the bigger path, which will lead you towards the temple. The way to the temple is very tiring and also steep. This temple was built for the people who cannot make it to the top to take the blessing of the original temple of Kalsubai.
From here onward the entire trail is well marked and the climb gets steepens. Most of the time it's just climbing the steps. This steep section takes an hour or so to climb to reach the first iron ladder. The trail also has a lot of shacks and stalls all the way to the top. You can always find bottled water, lemonade, Maggi, bhajiya (pakoda), and similar local snacks at these shacks. You can take a break and then proceed further.
After gaining considerable height you will feel the cool breeze. There are two more ladders to climb. After the second ladder, you will reach a plateau. From there just follow the marked trails and reach the final ladder which will take you to the top of the mountain. There are a lot of monkeys on the way so stay alert and keep all the valuable belongings safe especially near the ladders. These monkeys tend to ambush groups at the ladders and try to snatch their belongings.
If you do this as a night trek (and I highly recommend that), do not aim to reach the top by dawn. Try reaching till the sunrise point you will be in for a treat.
During the entire, you will never be able to see the peak until the last leg of the trek. Once you climb the final ladder, you will on top of Maharashtra’s highest peak where’s a tiny temple. You can view a lot of popular peaks such as Ratangad, Alang-Madan-Kulang, and more if the weather is clear.
Night Trek to Kalsubai is a wonderful trek and Winters are the best time to do this trek.
I was exhausted but the surrounding hazy views and the sun rising was a booster. I just can’t describe the view from the top. It was just mesmerizing. Wind current was at its high speed. You can assume it from the pictures.
One of the best sights in my life. You will get to feel what it is like to literally be on top of the world as you will be in the company of blue skies and fresh green grass. Heavenly feeling… It was a moment of victory. We just sat on the rocks and were staring the mountains. The best thing about any trek is the beauty of nature which we can experience. From the top one can enjoy the panoramic views of various forts and also the backwaters of the Bhandardara dam.
Spent about an hour on the summit before starting to descend. But don’t forget to take a picture when you’re at the top makes up for a great Instagram post that you might share with the world, under a wanderlust hashtag.
Magic Moments :
Witnessing the sunrise from the highest point in Maharashtra.
Kalsubai Mata temple.
View of Bhandardara backwaters
Listen To Me:
Please don't carry anything hanging from the bag or in hand because you will find many monkeys
For a sunrise trek: Very important to carry a torch with extra batteries (Extra batteries for backup). Don't rely on your phone’s torch - preferably buy a headlamp.
Carry some warm clothes during winters. - Temperature could drop below 10° Celsius
Wear comfortable collar t-shirt (preferably dry-fit and full sleeves) and comfortable trousers (no jeans or shorts)
Please cut your toenails so that they won't hurt during descending.
Accommodation: There are a lot of Homestays in Bari Village and they let you stay for a very nominal cost.
Kalsubai is a pleasant place to visit pretty much throughout the year. The scorching heat of summers makes trekking uncomfortable and hence you can avoid doing a day-hike during summers (between late February and late May).
Talk to the native villagers gently and give respect to them. Cause you are their guests.
Carry an Id proof.
Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Base Village: Bari, Igatpuri
Altitude: 5400 ft. ASL (Highest Point In Maharashtra)
Time Required: 6-8 hours.