There is always one more track to follow, one more mirage to explore.
Monsoon is here and the Sahyadris are turning green, how one can spend weekend at home? Though it feels awesome to have a cup of tea and a plate of bhajiyas sitting near the window when it rains, but it feels like heaven to fully drench up on the hazy hill in the clouds and to have a tea and garmagaram bhaijyas with a wonderful foggy greenery view in the midst of the jungle. When Sahyadris turns green, it is a paradise for the trekkers and nature lovers.
This was Sunday and after a Chanderkhani Pass, time had come for another trek. And so this year’s first monsoon trek was to Peth-Kothaligad. With the start in the early morning, we reached to Karjat station. Second compartment from down end – filled with all enthusiast trekkers who sacrificed their Sunday morning sleep. There was a different kind of liveliness in them. Then after having a breakfast we started our journey to reach base village ambivali by tamtam (6 seater auto) by Karjat–Murbad road. Even though it was 6 seater, we were around 10 people hopped into it – Specialty of Indian rural public transportation. It was raining heavily. The roads were narrow and hazy. Once we reached at base village Ambivali, our trek started through the route to Peth Village.
Once we reached the Peth village, there was an introduction session. This was my third trek with YZ trekkers. We were total 55 trekkers. Some known faces some unknown. It gives us exposure to know more people around you.
A walk to Peth –
A small hamlet surrounded by the mountains, waterfalls and at the foot of the Kothaligad. Kids were running here and there. Few small tea shops and playing kids welcomed us. It is said that this village persists from the era of Shivaji reign. As it was raining heavily, the village with few huts was quiet and calm. Once we crossed the village, the steep trek started. The trails had become waterfall. We climbed all the way up from the misty trails.
To Kothaligad –
These misty trail meanders through dense bushes and trees. The views from this trail were breathtaking – numerous waterfalls, clouds, and the green sceneries. Kothaligad is a small fort of 3100ft height.Nothing is as intoxicating as drenching up on the hill in the fog.
There is a large cave with a temple at the base of the fort. The pinnacle is carved from inside forming a staircase like tunnel reaching the top. The steps are very steep. There are some stairs which are weathered and broken down. There is a one point which is extremely vertical with no steps where you need to support yourself from just one notch in the rock. And if you could not, firstly you are all down and then all up forever (kidding).
At the time of Shivaji Maharaj reign, the fort was a sort of lighthouse for the surveillance purpose. It was a watch tower to keep surveillance in the province of the Marathas.
So here’s one more gem in the travel diaries.
Difficulty level: The trek is easy and suitable for the beginners.
Photo credits: Arun Deore