Harishchandragad: A challenging trek in the Western Ghats of India
It all started with a thought to go on a midnight trek to this third highest peak in Maharashtra. One day my friend posted a message on WhatsApp saying that there is a trek to Harishchandragad fort. It’s been almost 20yrs since I did my last trek. So I thought let’s explore a new place and relive which I the travelling experiences I used to love doing when I was pretty young, as in in the college days. There were doubts in my mind that whether I will be able to do it or not as it was really long since I have done it. Keeping all doubts aside I gave it a go ahead.
We started from Cidco near Thane station from where the bus was supposed to pick all of us. We were a couple of friends who have decided to give it a try, among them there was one who is a freak traveller and keep on going to solo trip, and we were excited to take it ahead. We all started around 11:00 PM in the night from Thane station and reached around 2:30-3 early mornings to the base camp. After taking a break of around 30 minutes we all started our trek around 3:30 in the morning. The moment we started we saw fireflies all over scattered on the trees, there were plenty, and the sight of them was charismatic. They were in hundreds and it was mesmerizing to see them, in fact, for the first time in my life, I took a couple of them in my hands. Wow, that was a too cool experience which for me is tough to express in words.
We moved from there and started walking with torches in hands as it was early 4 o clock. It was so calm and quiet that you can feel the essence of the forests and feel like you can talk to the trees and enjoy the nature. We kept on moving between jungle with the rough patches where at one point came and it looked like that was impossible to cross as the rocks were steep and straight to the height, where at one side it was a deep moat and if you slipped then you are gone for life – it was dangerous, yet we pulled off by helping each other.
We moved ahead towards a Shiva temple which was pretty old where we took a halt for some time. The temple was stunning and the stones throw warmth and simultaneously a cooling feel to you. Morning sunlight came to the ray of hope and when the sun rises that first light gave such a great feeling especially when you are away from the materialistic world just with nature enjoying the forest and landscapes.
By the time we reach the top hill, it was almost 8 o clock. The moment we all looked at the view everyone’s mouth was open by seeing the beautiful and mesmerizing clouds decked with ranges. We all went speechless by the beauty of this place. Each and everyone wants to just sit there quietly for some time and get engrossed in that feeling of nature. We were there for almost 3 hrs. Sitting, relaxing and watching how the clouds change their shape and nature. After having breakfast we started again to return back to our base camp which no one wants to do, but we all have to. While getting down we stopped again at the Shiva temple. We all refilled our water bottles and that’s when we realised that the pond water was pure and cool.
Not just this we got a chance to speak with the locals and the villagers who had kiosks on the rocks offering the travellers fresh kokum drink or lemon water. By the time we reached the base camp, it was 4 o clock in the evening. We had our lunch and then we started back for Thane. The trip ends here but I’m sure no one wishes to go back. But we all were taking back some of the beautiful memories for a lifetime. We did say a goodbye to that place with a thought in mind that someday we will come again to see the beauty which has put a stamp on each and everyone’s heart.
This blog is from the pen of Ankur Jain, one of the co-traveller with us on this trek.
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Happy Travelling Guys 🙂