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Kalsubai Trek Blog

Kalsubai Trek Blog

About Kalsubai Peak - Highest peak of Maharashtra

Kalsubai is a mountain in the Western Ghats, located in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Its summit situated at an elevation of 1646 meters (5400 feet) is the highest point in Maharashtra. The mountain range lies within the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. It is visited throughout the year by trekkers

Click to join our trek this week: https://www.treksandtrails.org/tours/kalsubai-trek-highest-peak-of-maharashtra

How to Reach Base Village Bari for Kalsubai Trek

Igatpuri is the Nearest Town to Bari. Igatpuri is 40 km from Bari. Road connectivity is there from Igatpuri to Bari. There is no railway station near to Bari in less than 10 km. However, there are railway Stations from Near By town Igatpuri. are the railway Stations near to Igatpuri. You can reach from Igatpuri to Bari by road after.  After a bumpy, tiresome  ride, we finally arrived at the base village, Bari and quickly hit the floor for a short nap

Kalsubai Trek Begins

The trek had been described as having medium difficulty, and that certainly seemed to be the case. At the outset, we had to cross a rivulet, which morphed into a mini-waterfall a few meters away. Having passed the first obstacle unscathed, we trudged on. The scenery consisted of mainly paddy fields surrounded by lush green foliage with the hills beckoning us in the backdrop. After some tossing and turning, I stirred to the sound of someone announcing @7.30 in the morning, “Wake up everyone! It’s time for the trek.” After a light breakfast of delicious poha and tea, we were all raring to go. Even a torrential downpour was not going to dampen our spirits! After a brief round of introductions, we were all set to scale the peak, under the watchful eye of our guide, Mr. Prashant, from Treks and Trails, India.

Kalsubai Peak Trek Muddy Roads

We made several stops along the way to regroup and recharge our batteries as there were people of varying ages and experience. Many of these points provided amazing panoramic views of the surrounding Sahyadri range. The topography varied from muddy tracks to rocky slopes and slippery steps, with patches of plateaus. There were man-made staircases at several spots to support the ascent. Mentally, I thanked my stars for having purchased proper trekking shoes from Decathlon a few weeks earlier without which it would have been well-nigh impossible to take on this challenge!

Kalsubai Trek Difficulty

Cold, unmerciful rain battering down upon us, violent gusts of wind trying to knock us down and gravity attempting to gobble us up if we made the slightest misstep these were the conditions which got me wondering, Hey what on earth was I thinking of when I signed up for this! But all that vanished in a trice, once the euphoria of having made it to the top of Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra at  5400 feet kicked in.

Around the 75% completion mark, we came across a stall selling hot tea and onion pakoras, the smell of which sent our shivering group's taste buds into overdrive. We entered the cozy stall, already jam-packed with other trekkers having similar cravings. While waiting for our snacks, my analyst friend and batchmate Harsha and I tried to estimate the daily earnings of the chai wallah. It turned out he pocketed between Rs 2,000-10,000 a day, depending on the season, with the monsoon being a busy period.

Kalsubai Peak Temple

After a brief but satisfying repast, we covered the last leg of our expedition and reached the top within an hour, around 11 am. Nothing could have prepared me for the scene I witnessed- winds howling and rain lashing down on a large number of people gathered- some were huddled together, too cold to move, while the more adventurous ones moved about carefree. There was a small, quaint mandir to pay respects to Kalsubai devi, whose walls offered some protection from the elements.

Highlights of Kalsubai Peak Trek

During the ascent, I’d imagined that the return journey would be more arduous as due to gravity, we would have lesser control over our movements. To the contrary, the descent turned out to be much easier and faster. With growing confidence, our speed accelerated and six of us soon managed to outpace the larger group. We touched base within 2 hours, around 2 pm where a hearty meal of roti, mixed beans, Zeera aloo, dal, and rice was waiting for us, prepared by the village residents. This was followed by suji halwa for dessert. With our hunger satiated, we decided to change into dry clothes and waited for other members of the trek group, who took another hour to arrive. Once everyone had eaten and had sufficiently recuperated, we departed from the village for Mumbai at 5.30 with fond memories of a day well-spent. My adventure drew to a close, only for another to begin soon.

Blog Author - Divyang Saxena

Kalsubai Trek – The Acme of Maharashtra

Experience the thrill of being on the highest point of Maharashtra in the Sahyadris. The" Shaan" of all the treks in the region Kalsubai has some breath-taking views of the grasslands, the forts, the waterfalls, the rustling leaves in the forest that levitate you to another level. What else can you ask for from a trek that leaves an impression on your mind for a lifetime?

The folklore says that this pinnacle of Maharashtra was named after a girl named Kalsubai, who was blessed with healing abilities and would serve the villagers and the animals. She was also quite active in Village activities, which earned her respect and fame amidst all the inmates of the village. Its believed that once she went for a hike to the peak and never returned, hence in her memory the peak was named Kalsubai and the Villagers would hike to the peak regularly to take the blessings of the Kalsubai Devi. There was a small temple built at her home and the main temple was built on the peak, named as Kalsubai Temple.

Kalsubai also gives a sneak peek into other challenging treks like Madan, Alang, and Kulang forts. If you get clear skies on your day of the trek you may get a glimpse of other peaks known as Harishchandra gad, Harihargad, and Ratangad. If you are a seasoned trekker you may combine all the treks, you may pitch tents or ask for accommodation from the locals, they would be more than happy to host you.

Being one of the longest treks in Maharashtra, it's also famous among the night trekkers, who flock in here to witness the Sun God bestow his first rays on them.

Reaching Kalsubai Trek

It’s the Bari Village, which is the base for the Kalsubai Trek. Easily accessible from both cities of Mumbai and Pune, this farming village stands at a height of 2400 feet.

You can travel to and fro to the village, either in your vehicle or in public transport. The Village base has ample parking space hence be assured that your vehicle is safe and secure at the parking slot.

Reaching Kalsubai Shikar from Mumbai

It’s the Bari Village, which is the base for the Kalsubai Trek. Easily accessible from both cities of Mumbai and Pune, this farming village stands at a height of 2400 feet.

You can travel to and fro to the village, either in your vehicle or in public transport. The Village base has ample parking space hence be assured that your vehicle is safe and secure at the parking slot.

Reaching Kalsubai peak from Pune

Reaching Via Pune: This distance of 180 km for about 5 hours through Pune to the Village Bari is easily accessible. Set up on Google map and you can follow the route which goes as Pune-Sangamner-Rajur-Bhandardara and then finally to Bari Village.

The elaborated route goes via Agarwal Road, the Kamala Nehru Road, and the Jawarharlal Nehru Road that finally leads you to Mumbai Highway NH 60. From Highway you have to get on to MH SH 21 and MH SH 44 to your final destination of Base Village Bari.

 

Reaching Kalsubai from Nasik

Compared to other routes it's closer to Nasik. The total distance of 60 km, takes about one hour forty-five minutes.Navigate the route on google map and follow the route from either of the routes like Ghoti-Shirdi Road or Ghoti-Sinnar Road or Nagpur-Aurangabad route that eventually lead you to Mumbai Highway-Pagda-Shirdi Road to Bari Village.

Reaching Kalsubai by Public Transport

The Nearest Railway Station: Though the nearest station is Ghoti the easily accessible ones are Kasara and Igatpuri. From Dadar, take a local train to Kasara Station. From there you can take a shared cab costing around INR 2600 to 3000 to and fro and is divided between 6-9 people.

The other way is to reach the Igatpuri Station through an express train from Mumbai's Dadar Station. Then again from here, you take a shared cab to Bari Village. This distance of 51 km via Kasara station road can be covered in one hour forty-five minutes.

Pro-Tip: State buses are running from both Igatpuri and Kasara Station to Ghoti Village. From Ghoti Village you can take another bus to Bari Village. It's always better to utilize public transport as far as you can and then take a shared vehicle to Bari Village. This execution of transport is fairly economical and safe.

The Nearest Airports to Kalsubai are Chhatrapati Shivaji Internation Airport, Mumbai, and Pune International Airport, Pune.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.) Do we require permission to go to Kalsubai Trek?

 A1.) No Official Permission is required but it is a good idea to inform the Gram Panchayat and the Sarpanch of the Bari Village. That’s a great gesture of gratitude to the locals so that they don’t feel their privacy being invaded by your presence.

 

Q2.) Can we pitch a tent on Kalsubai Peak?

A2.) The tents can be pitched 200-300 feet below the summit of the Dabbawalas. Please ask a local to accompany you if you plan to pitch a tent as there are no water resources at the summit. It can be windy so carry Winchesters as it can get chilly. There is also an option of staying in the temple near the Hanuman Village. Being a huge space it can accommodate up to 15 people. Winters are pretty cold hence do carry warm clothes.

 

Q3.) Are there water resources at the Kalsubai Peak?

A3.) There is only one resource at the base camp, a water pump. Else the only places you get water are the dhabbas on the way to the peak. Only during the monsoons do you find the streams on the way else there are no water resources. Hence you should carry your water for the trek, keep sipping in smaller quantities and you shall be fine.

 

Q4.) Are there any eating outlets available during the trek or at the base village?

A4.) The Villagers of the Base Village are kind souls, they open their hearts to all the trekkers and hikers and hence help you with the food for the trek. They also have their outlets on the trekking trail and at the base,to appetize you with some delicious local cuisines and snacks.

 

Q5.) Is Kalsubai Trek Difficult?

A5.) It's a moderate-level trek and consists of steep ascends that have Iron Steps and Ladders. If you are a first-time trekker it's not recommended for you unless your fitness level is high. Please do avoid the monsoon season as the rainfall will addto your agony.

Q6.) Are there Wild Animals on the way to Kalsubai Peak?

 A6.) A night Trek of the Kalsubai peak is fun but then it requires more vigilance from your end to keep yourself safe. Even if you are trekking in the daylight it's recommended that you always have a local with you all along the trek, as the area is a natural habitat to snakes, langurs, leopards, and many more.

 

Q7.) Are there any other treks recommended around the Kalsubai Trek?

A7.) The nearest other treks to Kalsubai is Harishchandgad Trek. The two basecamps are about one and half hours apart. Both are long and exhausting treks hence you may have to arrange for a stay if you wish to complete both of them in one visit.

The Difficult Part of the Kalsubai Trek

This picturesque trek trail can be divided into 2 sections:

The first section is an easy trail through the grasslands, fields, and a gorgeous little forest section.Then there comes a second section, the challenging one which is the ladder section with foursteep ladders. Within a few minutes, you reach a viewpoint of the final summit where the Kalsubai Temple is established. Being a trekker please be physically and mentally prepared to cross this section with ease.

  1. The first section is from Bari Village, through fields, grasslands, and a short forest section.
  2. The second section is the challenging ladder section with about 4steep ladders as mentioned earlier. Here’s why:
  • The section is the most challenging part of the trek, where on vertical rock faces you have to climb the iron rod ladders.
  • There is a total of four ladders and the third and the fourth ladders are a bit more challenging as they have rusted over time and have broken handles on and off the whole section.
  • Enjoy the adventurous ascent and the descent with caution as the human traffic is both ways comprising of both the trekkers and the villagers.
  • It becomes more tricky during the monsoons as it's overly crowded in the season. Moreover, the section after the temple is slushy and slippery, hence extremely good quality trekking shoes are required to hold on to the surface.

The other places to visit nearby Kalsubai Trek

The Bandardara Dam: This Dam is 12 km and is about 22 minutes away from Bari Village. Constructed on the River Pravara, you experience Nature at its best here. Surrounded by mountains and waterfalls all around. There’s Arther Lake and Wilson Dam. The place is also home to Agastyarishi Ashram which is about 24kms away from Bandardhara. It’s believed it was home to Lord Rama, who took his Diksha here.

Harishchandragad Fort: Being the third highest peak of Maharashtra, standing at a height of 4668 feet, this trek is mentally and physically daunting. Appearing as a Cobra head this concave cliff tilted up to eighty degrees.

 The Ratangad Fort: Situated at about 32 km away from Bari Village, it takes about one hour ten minutes to reach here. Believed to be constructed 400 years ago, this ancient fort stands at a height of 4225 feet in the Ratanwadi Village. Lying at the bank of lake Bhandardhara, it's covered under the Ajoba Mountain Range. It appears as a tip of the needle, hence the top of the peak is known as the "eye of the needle" or the "Nedhe".

Alang Madan Kulang Fort: These being the three different fort treks are considered as one of the toughest treks of the Sahyadris. Usually trekked together, the rocky patches make it difficult for them to be conquered that easily. Situated in the Nashik District near the Bhandardhara Lake, the fort Alang rises to the elevation of 4852 feet and Madan to up to 4841 feet.

Igatpuri: Situated in the Western Ghats of Nasik District and well connected through railways and roadways, Igatpuri can be easily accessed through the NH3. Its connectivity through railways is also pretty good. The Bhavali Dam and the waterfalls are like 11 km away from the station and take about 20 mins to reach there.  The other places of attraction in Igatpuri are Vaitarna Dam, Darna Dam, and Tringalwadi Fort, and the Internationally renowned Vipassana Meditation Centre. There’s also a famous Amruteshwar Temple of Lord Shiva that is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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