Incredible Step by Step Guide To Kalsubai Trek - The Highest Peak of Maharashtra 10
Are you an avid trekker? Do you just love to scale larger than life mountains and peaks? Then you are definitely in the right place! Trekking on high peaks is one of the most thrilling activities that make essential life experiences. So how about summiting Mount Everest? Too difficult and expensive, right? (around $50,000 per summit!) Then let’s go for an alternative. How about the Mount Everest of Maharashtra? The highest peak in the state is none other than Kalsubai.
The apex cap of the Western ghats, Kalsubai is the first thing that comes to mind of passionate trekkers while talking about their love for trekking. Amidst the steep route, paddy fields, lush greenery and the playful shuffle of sunrise and sunset, you would be infatuated with the entire landscape of Kalsubai mountain. Your adrenaline would go as high the peak, say more than 5000 feet!
So what is Kalsubai trek all about? Is it really worth the hype? Let’s find out!
About Mount Kalsubai
- Standing valiantly at an elevation of 5400 ft, Mount Kalsubai is the highest peak in the Sahayadris and the Western Ghats. This towering natural phenomenon is part of the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. Standing atop the Deccan Plateau, this high summit of rugged basalt rock is decorated with lush greenery. It is located exactly on the border of Nashik and Ahmednagar District.
- According to the local legend, the name Kalsubai comes from the girl lost within the hills. The girl named Kalsu was employed by a local family to do household work. They promised are better living environment without any pressure. Breaking their promise, one elder from the house did abuse while ordering her to take out the litter. She did it but later climbed the peak and is believed to have stayed on top till her death.
- The peak is thus called Kalsubai and a temple in her memory is built on top of it. She is believed to be the guardian deity of the region. The final summit ends right here once you reach the temple.
Why you should go on a trek to Kalsubai?
A trek to Kalsubai is all about making life an adventure! Let us know a few reasons why planning a trek to Kalsubai is the best thing to do:
1. Ideal place for nature-lovers
Since you know that the Kalsubai peak is sitting amidst the Sahayadri ranges, it blooms with lush greenery and flora that is rarely found anywhere else across the planet.
You find yourself surrounded by exotic forests, fresh air and soul-soothing natural landscape quite contrasting to the concrete jungle.
- Mount Kalsubai is also a part of Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary and therefore is also the perfect place to spot different kind of birds, carnivores, herbivores, and amphibians that are found only in the western ghats.
2. An abode for adventure-seekers and trek enthusiasts
Being the highest peak of Maharashtra, Kalsubai has always been a significant challenge for trekkers. And a challenge is what trekkers seek at all times.
Rugged terrain, steep slopes, and a pretty exhausting route are quite enough to beat down any trekker.
This what adrenaline rush is all about and the reason why adventure seekers are in love with this place! And you would love it too once you scale it!
3. Hotspot for a holiday getaway
- When you reach Mount Kalsubai, you wouldn’t fail to notice that it's surrounded loads of attractions! Its topography is beautiful having heart-lifting destinations around it!
- Since the Pravara river flows through the vicinity of Kalsubai, you could go on sightseeing to spots like Wilson Dam, Umbrella Falls, Randha Falls, and Arthur Lake. You could even stay in tents while enjoying camping near Bandardara Lake.
Best Time To Visit Kalsubai
- Arguably, the best time to visit the Kalsubai peak is during the Monsoon season and the Winter season. The Monsoon season lies between July to October glorify the green canopy with moderate to heavy rains.
- The route gets tricky but some assistance from experienced trekkers makes it easier to scale the peak amidst the green cover. Plus, you also get to witness breathtaking views from the top of the mountain and see clouds pass-through your feet!
- Winter is also an ideal time to trek to Kalsubai. It lies between the months of October to March. It becomes a great exercise for the body during cozy winters. Again you may find spectacular views from the top of the mountain with the route and sights frequently engulfed in mist.
- The Summer season is quite unfavorable for trekking since the climate is quite humid and may lead to exhaustion.
Route of Kalsubai Trek
The route of Kalsubai Trek is quite simple yet exciting. This long trail is 6.6 km long and is full of rocky patches, steep slopes and mesmerizing view of paddy fields. There are two routes to reach Kalsubai. One is from the Bari Village and the other is from the Indore. Let’s know about them further:
Bari Village Route (Difficulty - Easy to Moderate)
Your trek starts from the base village of Bari. This village offers magnificent traditional homestays and meals. You could have some food before proceeding towards your trek.
Once you start the trek from the Bari Village, elevation increasing slowly. It starts from the eastern side of the mountain.
Walking further, you would come across a small stream flowing from the eastern side. It is a tributary of the Pravara river known as Waki. During the Monsoon season, the water level is moderate and you can cross it easily since its quite enjoyable. Other times the water level is very low with puddles of mud.
- As you move further, you would notice a local Hanuman temple. Consider this the point where the trek gets more challenging. You would notice a sharp increase in elevation. Watch out for steep rocks and sharp stone outcrops.
- To make this route relatively easier for all age groups, the Government has installed iron railings along the trekking route. Stone steps have been replaced by concrete steps along with metal landings at various spots for a safe ascent. This is a perfect solution for those suffering from Acrophobia.
- While you almost reach the summit, you could enjoy exceptional panoramic views around Kalsubai. These include the Bhandardara backwaters as well as the nearby hills of Harishchandragad, Ratangad, Harihargad, and Alang-Madan-Kulang forts.
- After reaching the summit, you would come face to face with the local Kalsubai Temple. Prayers take place here every Tuesday and Thursday. You could click some pictures, rest for along as you wish to, have food and fall in love with the heavenly views all around you!
Indore region route (Difficulty - High)
Relatively tougher than the Bari village trail, the route from Indore is quite unexplored and challenging. There are no concrete steps, iron railings, iron ladders or safe landing here and therefore makes it risky.
This route is highly recommended for experienced trekkers and climbers. There are thick iron chains to provide support while scaling dangerous rock patches, still flawless expertise is required to handle them.
Things To Know Before You Go On A Trek To Kalsubai
The route towards Kalsubai is highly enjoyable. Make sure you choose the route from the village of Bari if you are visiting Kalsubai for the first time.
You could choose between a day trek and a night trek to Kalsubai. Day trek is preferable for first-timers until you get an idea of the route.
Night treks are ideal during the winters and the summer season and must be done under the purview of a guide. You could stay atop the summit by setting a camp and later enjoy a beautiful view of the sun rising.
You could even set up camp near the Bari Village or opt for a homestay. The locals offer traditional Maharashtrian food along with a wide array of snacks and meals.
Don’t forget to carry proper trekking equipment to ensure a safe and convenient trek.
Washroom and sanitation facilities are available at the base village. There are no such amenities on the summit.
Try not to carry too much weight during the trek. It may make scaling the peak difficult.
It is not advisable to carry valuable items during the trek
Wearing chappals or slippers during the trek is risky. Trekking shoes are a must.
Carefully follow the guidelines of the trek guides and instructors.
Smoking and consumption of alcohol and related beverages are strictly prohibited.
What to Pack and Things to Carry
If you want to make sure your trek to Kalsubai goes without any hindrances then follow this list:
Luggage packed in big good trekking sack
Drinking water bottles
Complete spare set of extra comfortable clothes & socks if required. Make sure they are full sleeves.
Sweater, Raincoat, and other clothes as per the climate
Sunglasses, cap, sunscreen lotion, mosquito repellent and moisturizer
A torch (optional)
Camera and binoculars (for pictures and sightseeing)
Rehydration powders, energy powders, and energy bars along with personal medicine
Proper trekking shoes
Any Identity proof
Toiletries such as Napkin, facewash, and tissue papers, etc.
Slippers (When you reach the base village before and after trekking)
How to reach Kalsubai
Reaching Kalsubai is quite easy and convenient. Here’s how you can reach Kalsubai:
The best and the fastest way possible to reach Kalsubai is the railways. You could take a train from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) towards Kasara Station. It would take around 2 hours to reach Kasara Railway Station.
From there onwards you could hire a cab, local rickshaw or take a bus to Bari Village.
Igatpuri is the nearest railway station to Bari Village with a distance of about 31 km.
You could take a train towards Igatpuri from CSMT or Dadar Railway Station. The journey amounts to almost 3 hours. Once you reach Igatpuri you can hire a cab or take a bus to Bari village.
You would have to take the state highways from Mumbai to reach Bari. By road, you can take the route via Kasara - Igatpuri - Ghoti - Bari Village.
To reach Kalsubai from Pune city take NH60 through Otur, Rajur, and Bhandardara to reach Bari Village.
Things To Do At Kalsubai
Incredible sights and activities in and around Kalsubai make sure to not make this just a trekking trip. Most of these interesting places are located particularly in Bhandardara, Ahmednagar district. Here are the best things to do in and around Kalsubai:
1. Wilson Dam
Also known as Bhandardara Dam, this engineering marvel right here is the largest earthen dam in India. It accumulates water of the Pravara river at a height of about 200 ft.
Built-in 1910, it is the main water reserve of Akole taluka and is a popular tourist attraction.
Views in and around the dam are breathtaking, especially during the Monsoon season.
2. Umbrella Falls
Umbrella Falls is a major tourist attraction at the bottom of Wilson Dam. Water is released from the dam during Monsoon.
If you visit the dam then this is a great addition to your trip. The shape and natural placement of rocks give the waterfall an umbrella-like shape.
3. Arthur Lake
Also known as Bhandardara Lake, it is surrounded by forests, thickets, and majestic Sahayadri ranges.
Arthur Lake is formed by an inlet of the Pravara river is a famous tourist destination.
It is quite popular for activities like lakeside camping and boating.
4. Ratanwadi Fort and Village
- Also known as Ratnagad, it is a spectacular village that is home to the Ratnagad Fort. It is a famous fort captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and provides fascinating natural views all around.
- The village is home to the Amriteshwar temple that is dedicated to Hindu Lord Shiva.
5. Randha Falls
- Another set of a natural waterfall, Randha Falls is a mindblowing natural phenomenon around Kalsubai. The waterfalls from a height of over 150 ft and must be captured in your camera!
- Other prominent places of interest near Kalsubai include Agastya Rishi Ashram, Ghatghar (Kokankada), Sandhan Valley, Necklace Fall, Nhani Fall, Reverse Fall, and Harishchangdragad Fort.