Mt Kalsubai is the highest peak(1646 meters) in Maharashtra and a definite destination. The trek offers a mesmerizing combination of waterfalls, forests, field lands, and historic forts.
Being the highest peak, it commands a beautiful view of the surrounding forts. You can see Bhandardara backwaters and the peaks of Ramsej, Harihargad, Brahmagiri, Anjaneri, Ghargad, Bahula, Tringalwadi, Kavnai, to the north; Aundha, Vishramgad, Bitangad, to the east; Alang, Madangad, Kulang, to the west; Ratangad at the south-west and to the south you will be able to see Prabhalgad, Ghanchakkar, and Harishchandragad.
Scaling Kalsubai has become something of a rite of passage for ardent trekkers. The trek is moderately difficult, passing through lush paddy fields, jungles, small streams, highlands, and rocky terrains, and takes around 3-4 hours, with short intervals in between, to reach the crest of Kalsubai.
The base village Bari is a farming village and from the start of the trek, you will walk through extensive farms. This is the best of the trek and is an easy enjoyable walk. Once you reach the end of the village you’ll find a small stream (which needs to be crossed), and a Hanuman temple. The route from the temple leads straight to the peak and is well-marked so there is no risk of getting lost. During monsoons, there is a patch of fresh slush near the paddy fields, so don't worry much about the stains, they're bound to happen. Following the fields, you’ll go through a short forest section. Here ends your first section of the trek and the easy part too. The second section is Up the hill, and what you’ll see is white times infinity. Fog. Clouds. Drizzle. Wind. And in all this come the ladders! Wobbly as they are, one-at-a-time climb on the ladder, less support, you start thinking about all the things you had ever wanted to do in life. There are five such ladders en route to the top. The ladder section is the challenging part of the trek. After this, you’ll reach a viewpoint that is usually misassumed as the pinnacle but it’s not. From the viewpoint area, you’ll have to walk for another 10 mins for the final summit. Once you reach the peak, you’re above the clouds!
The final summit is where the Kalsubai temple is located. The Kalsubai temple is considered very auspicious and many villagers still visit the temple to seek the blessings of Kalsubai Devi. The temple is open throughout the year. The descent down takes about two to three hours of trekking. You will have to take the same trail down to reach the base village of Bari.
Both day and night trekking options are available. If you opt for a day trek, aim to be at the pinnacle at dusk when the sun sets behind the lush mountains, creating a magically beautiful landscape – it’s a sight to behold! And, if you’re considering a night trek, aim to be at the peak at dawn as you’ll be making a memory of a lifetime, watching the sun gloriously rise behind the mountains whilst the mist covers the valley below.
The trek is open throughout the year with each season having a different landscape. So choose the best time depending on what you would like to experience.
During monsoon season you get to see lush green landscapes and experience trekking in heavy rain. But at the same time, it’ll be heavily crowded and the views aren’t clear too. So, it’s best to avoid this season.
Post monsoon is the flowering season and one can experience the beauty of a variety of flora. You get to see the same flowers as the ones found in Kaas plateau(valley of flowers of Maharashtra).
The winter months are the best time for night trekking since you’ll have a clear view of the starry sky and the trial is less likely to be risky. And if you’re lucky enough you even get to spot fireflies.
Day 0 : Hyderabad to Igatpuri
Day 1 : Trek day 1
Day 2 : Trek back
Day 3 : Monday
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If you’re traveling on your own, the base village Bari is very much accessible from the Mumbai-Nashik highway.
Also from Kalyan station, you can take a local train to Kasara/Igatpuri station and then hire a shared auto/cab till Bari or alternatively catch an ST bus.