Monday, July 11, 2011

Tasubai Varsubai Bhimashankar

Monsoon is just started. Its not raining too much but there are some drizzles all around. ah... the most ideal time for trekking... :) With all this excitement, Tasubai-Varsubai-Bhimashankar trek arranged by Pinnacle club was the most lucrative opportunity to start the season. so I just jumped into it. What a trek it was..!!! Exploring different path in a denser forest, very stiff climb and constant curiosity of what will happen at next moment, with all this thrill we expedited almost 70 kms of distance within 3 days..!!! All credit goes to gang of fourteen mad trekkers...!!! Approximate path followed was Mumbai-talegaon-khed-Tasubai-Varsubai-Bhimashankar-khandas-Karjat-Mumbai. Team was Prafulla, Pramod, Hemant, Pratik, Sushil, Vasudev, Abhijit, kaka, Jitu, Rajesh, Shantanu, Sashi, Mohan and myself. It was very disciplined and fantastic trek under leadership of Prafulla and guidance of Kaka. Kaka is an encyclopaedia of treks. He knows all the paths in forest. He can identify any fort or region just by looking at hill peaks.

We started our journey on Friday morning and reached Talegoan by Deccan express. We commuted Talegoan to Chakan by ST bus. From Chakan we again caught one ST bus to reach exact village from where we wanted to start the trek. We were not very sure about name of the village so we started asking to other peoples in bus. One grandma was sitting next to me and I started conversation with her to know name of the village. She was typical Maharashtrian grandma. Very big kumkum tikka on her forehead, big nose-ring, cotton sari and very simple nature. She couldn't tell me exact village name but helped to disturb some other people to know the name of village.... he he he ... Finally after having discussion with lot of people Shantanu found out that we need to get down at Koliye village. This was bit touching experience.... whenever we meet any village people, they are so simple and helpful in nature. This was just start of conversation and after that she gave lot of information about those villages and nature around it.

We reached Koliye around 12pm and had quick lunch from our tiffin's, meantime kaka had conversation with one village person who was like grandpa to help us as a guide to reach Tasubai. So around 1pm, we actually started our trek and started climbing for Tasubai under the guidance of Grandpa. Our trek started directly in third gear... he he he he .... yes, before our body will get warm, we faced very stiff climb. Our guide Young-Grandpa was singing songs and leading us.....Young-Grandpa???.... yes... after looking at his energy I realised that its mistake to call him Grandpa just because of his age... he he he he.... He was more energetic than us.. he he he he... slowly we reached top after completing that stiff climb. We were expecting some rain drizzles but atmosphere was just cloudy and no rain at all.... :( We took rest at many places and had water but as soon as Prafulla says "Sack on..!!" it means your time is up and you have to move ahead as per your leaders instructions. We didn't realised How time passed and after walk of around four hours we reached Tasubai temple. Its really small temple in this hill and not famous at all. it just acted as trekking path marking for us.... We had some photography session at this point and started walking towards "Varsubai" which was our next destination.

While going towards Varsubai, Young-grandpa just showed us path to Varsubai and he left us. We had plan that before night we should reach Varsubai and have tonight's stay over there, so we increased our speed so that we will reach Varsubai before sun set. There are many wind mills on this hill. So we were just crossing wind mills one by one and marching towards Varsubai. In some wind mills all the work is done and transformer is fitted for electricity generation. Also there are some wind mills where work is still is going and no transformer is fitted and its door is still open. We went into one of the open wind mill and had a look from inside. Suddenly we realised that we are just walking not sure if we are on right path. So two pairs went into two directions to get more details. Rajesh-Vasu in one direction, Sushil-Abhijit in another direction and in meantime we had bit rest. After half an hour Rajesh came with information that he met one village person who said if we keep walking in one direction then we will reach Varsubai within half an hour. Everyone got excited and started following Rajesh. Half an hour???....... we walked almost for one and half hour but still we were not able to see Varsubai.... oh on.... don't know in which time zone that village guys said half an hour.... he he he he ..... Slowly slowly sun got set and fog started increasing.... looking at the situation kaka and Prafulla took decision that lets again wait here and again two pairs will go in two different directions to see where to go further.... every moment there was constant curiosity what's next???.... darkness was increasing and bad part was it was the new moon day... he he he he ... no moon light at all... we started our torch. After some time Rajesh-Prafulla came back and said there is no way to go further.... oops... What to do now? again we had huddle... everyone came together finally kaka said we have two options either look for wind mill which is close to us and its open or we have to walk back for one and half hour to go back to same wind mill where we had taken some rest in the evening.... oh God..!!!... After entire days walk, everyone was really tired and just wanted to have rest so this news was bit shocking... Kaka said just eat something and lets get ready to go back so that we will be safe for tonight. We had some food like biscuits and wafters... In addition to all these things it started raining... ah... Situation was getting more worse... We had huddle, Prafulla said who will lead and who will be at the back... and he said "Sack on..!!!" I really like magic of these two words. You may be really tired, but these words gives you energy to start. It was raining heavily, road had become muddy and total darkness. Our shoes were entirely in mud, the only thing I could see is torch light of person next to me. Just walking.. walking and walking.. dont see your left or right, because of darkness you wont realise what it is..!!! It was really getting thrilling and this was kind of real adventure... he he he he.... around after one and half hours walk we reached the wind mill which could gave us shelter and everyone rejoiced.

ah... one night in wind mill -- this was total out of the world experience...!!! as soon as we reached we got instructions from lead about who will do what..!!! so one group went for getting water, I was part of this group and other group just arranged everyone's sack in the wind mill. Wind mill was about 12 feet in diameter and very high hollow from inside. Looking at the situation, we thought that we will just prepare tea and have something with tea. Making of dinner was cancelled. We took out all the required things from sack and Rajesh-Prafulla made really too Good tea. Now we were so tired that somehow we just want to sleep. but that space inside wind mill was really small and also there were three wind mill guards with us. After having lot of fun for sleeping place we got adjusted and went to sleep. Everyone was really tired and was snoring like anything.... he he he he he .... because of hollow space of wind mill echo was getting generated for this snoring noise... he he he he .... Around 4am I got wake up but after looking at this full on snoring competition again went to sleep.... he he he he he .....

Around 6am kaka wake up us and said that one of the wind mill guard is ready to guide us till varsubai but he cant wait till we get ready with tea and all, so we have to get ready in 5 mins, lets reach varsubai and complete all the mornings things over there... Prafulla said "yes.... lets go". within 5 mins everyone was ready with their sack on their back.... he he he he .... we had to control all our morning pressures and start walking.... he he he he he.... it was denser fog and visibility was really bad. Still we started at great speed and because of fresh energy of morning, reached varsubai in around one hour and fifteen minutes.

Varsubai is again really small temple in this hill range which acted as marking for our trek. As soon as we reached there, we released our pressures... he he he he .... and everyone took charge of their duties like getting water, preparing breakfast. We had breakfast of "poha" and got rejuvenated for rest of the day. It was second Jully, Pinnacle club's 23rd birthday... wow..!! Rajesh gave us sweets on this occasion. At this time were not aware that what's there is new for us on that day??? .... he he he he.... but second day turned out to be a marathon race where we walked almost for 12 hours through denser forest. While having different discussions and enjoying nature around us we didn't realised How fast we were walking... mentally we had forgot what is tiredness...he he he .... In addition to this Mohan used to tell some really funny things or he used to pass some funny comment which was helping us to get refreshed. Initial plan was to go to "Kalambadevi" temple and have second night stay over there but while walking we realised that we are very close to our final destination which is "Bhimashankar" so just kept marching towards it. On our way to "Bhimashankar" we witnessed one really great moment, one cow gave birth to her calf in front of us. It was emotionally touchy moment... :) Finally around 7pm, we reached Bhimashankar and stayed in Ram temple. Again we were really really tired but at the same time hungry as well.... he he he he... so we had to prepare dinner for ourselves. I helped Prafulla in making dinner. I was sitting in front of stove making roasted "papad" and feeling drowsy.... he he he .... Prafulla used wake me up...!!! Finally around 11pm, dinner was ready. we had dinner and went to bed.

On 3rd day morning, we had bath and went for darshan in "Bhimashankar" temple. Around 9am decided to start trek for the day. before starting our activity for the day, we went to one small hotel and had breakfast of "poha" and "misal pav". This gave us enough energy for descending down the "Ganesh Ghat". Again it was really really difficult hill area to descend. Slowly we started getting down the ganesh ghat. On this way Kaka showed us How we had completed one complete round to "padar hill area". Also Prafulla showed us "shidicha ghat" way of going to "Bhimashankar" which is very very difficult to climb. yesterday, Vasu's knee had got heart and today he was feeling pain while descending down. But hats off to our team spirit...!!! Abhijit carried his sack for sometime and gave him some relief. oh man...!!! walking with two sacks??? ... yes.. its bit tough. This way we reached khandas village around in afternoon and trek was offically finished... Hurrrrrahh...!!! From there we caught one "tamtam" (autorikhshaw in villages) to reach karjat station and from there commuted to home by train.... ah... what a trek it was...!!! Full on mad activities, with so much of thrill where we almost forgot our own world...!!!

Please click on the following link to view all the pics