6th February 2016
A week has passed from the time I have last written a blog post, not that I have not been away from my blog for long, but this time it was more about scarcity of time than the scarcity of intention. However, this weekend has been a weekend which I will remember for almost all my life. This was a weekend of one of my many firsts! Yes, this weekend I went for an overnight trek to one of the most sought after trekking destination named Harishchandra Gad.
A little about the Harishchandra Gad trek : There are total 6 ways to trek to Harishchandra Gad, the route which we chose was one of the easiest(as per articles on the net). We took the route thru Paachnai which is the base village and is approx 200 kilometres from Mumbai. We choose this route for mainly two reasons, first we had two kids with us and second the trek being of easy to medium difficulty would take less time. Sumit and Shailendra went thru Khireshwar route the last time they went and thought better of it this time because of the kids and few first timers including me.
The trek consisted of a mixed group which had friends, their families and their mutual friends. We all got along instantly and there were no inhibitions or awkwardness between anyone right from the first moment. The group consisted of Sumit, his wife Manasi, son Neel, Shailendra and his daughter Yashika, Deepak and Narendra. The con calls for planning were equally exciting and fun and Sumit kept diverting from the topic only to be brought back and reminded about the agenda after regular intervals 😛 . The common whatsapp group created was buzzing with messages and statuses a couple of days before the trek which heightened the overall excitement of the group. Read on for the virtual experience of a fun filled trek.
The group was to travel in two car and meet at a common point midway, Sumit, Manasi, Neel and myself were to travel in one car and Shailendra, Yashika, Deepak and Narendra in the second car. Sumit picked me up at around 4.30 am in the morning from my residence, we went back to his place picked up Manasi and Neel and we enroute by 5.10 am to meet the other gang at around 5.45 am at the decided place. We had breakfast at a restaurant on the way and got going only to halt again after sometime to stretch our legs and ofcourse to click some more photographs.
We reached the base village Paachnai after a long drive which became a bit stretched due to the road conditions to be welcomed by the family of our trek guide. We freshened up a bit, had tea and light snacks and were on our way to the trek. The gang had warmed up to each other and was brimming with excitement by the time we started. We clicked some pictures (not to mention) at the start of the trek track and had a good laugh about them being the before trek pictures to be compared to the after trek pictures to be taken the next day.
We were on our way at 11.45 am with the kids Neel and Yashika leading followed by me and other members. We took regular breaks and refuelled ourselves with fruits and other light snacks that we were carrying. Shailendra had insisted on carrying fruits as snack which was a fantastic idea. The delight of having juicy fruits in middle of nowhere to refuel yourself is an amazing experience. Neel and Yashika warmed upto each other pretty well and were soon competing with each other. We took regular breaks to offload the weight we were carrying and to catch up with the gang. We reached Harishchandreshwar temple and then went to the Kedareshwar Cave which has only one pillar left out of four and the myth is that world will come to an end when this pillar breaks. The water in the Kedareshwar cave was ice cold but when we immersed our tired feet in the water all the exhaustion in the body vanished magically and we were all feeling like fresh flowers.
Our tents were setup near the famous Kokan Kada and we reached there there after a short snack break. We reached our camping site by 3 in the afternoon and had a delicious homemade Maharashtrian lunch at our guide’s shack. After a short nap we were off to Kokan kada witnessing one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen. This place has a charm like no other and has rekindled my love for valleys and this one is now in the list of top five valleys I love. Yes, I have fallen in deep and irrevocable love with Kokan Kada! After the sun had almost set but there was still light, I excused myself from the gang and sat by myself a little distance away listening to some of my favourite songs.
By the time we came back to our tents, the camp fire setup was done and we lit the camp fire and enjoyed the warmth with some amazing songs for company. After another round of mouth watering Maharashtrain Food and some chit chat around the camp fire we decided to head back to tent at midnight.
The day had officially ended according to the clock!