Enjoy The Monsoons, Go Trekking!

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Trekking in the Western Ghats

Enjoy Trekking in the Western GhatsI don’t like the indoors very much. In that case, given a choice between a mall and Marine Drive, you know what I would choose. And I am not the only one. There are plenty of us out there, feeling stifled in air conditioned rooms craving for some fresh air. But surprisingly, there are many who would rather go to a mall, eat some junk and join a gym. If you do belong to this tribe, then I am not sure if you would enjoy reading this. Nevertheless, give it a shot.

Yesterday’s weather was perfect. Overcast skies, light drizzles and no sign of the sun. And the best part is that for the next three-four months the weather will remain the same barring the  variation in rainfall. This brings out the best of this region, – The Western Ghats. Sahyadris, as we know the Western Ghats in Maharashtra stand imposingly all around our island city. The ghats are carpeted in green and the peaks shrouded in misty mystery. The winds are chilly and life blooms everywhere.

Trekking in the Western Ghats
Trekking in the Western Ghats

So what is the best way to experience this season? Easy, you would say – Drive down to Lonavala, have fudge at Cooper’s and chai at Tiger point. Right? Wrong. Best way to experience the beauty of the monsoons is – on foot, walking around in the forests, climbing hills and dilapidated forts, getting drenched to the bone, chasing fireflies and eating hot locally cooked food. And what comprises all of the above, you guessed it – Trekking!

Most of the trekkers will identify with the famous Helen Keller quote “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” Partly because it appears on one of the most resourceful trekking website around Mumbai Hikers and partly because they live by it without even knowing it. In three years of conducting treks for a living, I have seen lot of city dwellers convert themselves into active adventurers. How did the transformation take place?

Western Ghats
Western Ghats

Very simple, they got out of the house and reached a trekking spot. Considering the topography, we are spoilt for choice. There are locations tailored for every kind of trekker – Amateurs, beginners, veterans. All they had to do was pick a spot, go there, scale it and experience the trekkers high. That feeling of immense joy, pleasure and achievement which one experiences when you reach the peak. When the winds blow fiercely, welcoming you and your tired body is instantly rejuvenated with the views that you command from the top. At that moment, it doesn’t matter whatever you have been through to get there and that is the moment of emancipation. Setting yourself free from all the struggle and suffering. The emancipation of the city dweller.

Therefore, this monsoon, I sincerely hope that you get out of your bed early one morning. Take the train, hitch a ride on a truck or simply drive down yourself to one of the many trekking spots that abound in the region. Most of the villagers residing in these areas will oblige to guide you to the peak, be generous with them and take them along if you don’t fancy getting lost in the forest (which by the way, is also a lot of fun, trust me). Some enthusiasts have been kind enough to mark some of the more frequent trekking trails with arrows and signs on rocks making it simpler to navigate your way to the top. Also, Mumbai Hikers  lists most of the trekking groups that organise treks over the weekends. You could sign up with one of them as per your budget and location.

Trekking in the ghatsBuy good trekking shoes(I recommend Action Trekking shoes, 750 bucks for a sturdy pair),  a comfortable backpack containing water, first aid box, flashlights, matches are some of the essentials when you hit the outdoors. Also while you are out there, do not litter the place. Keep your plastic usage to a minimum and dispose all wastes in your own backpack. Remember, safety comes first. There might be a certain thrill in risking it out but please be careful. In the wild, you rarely get a second chance. However, let not these morbid warnings deter you from embarking on an adventure this monsoon! Until next, happy trekking!

Reproduced from Rushikesh Kulkarni’s Breafree Journeys page on Facebook

Post By Rushikesh Kulkarni (22 Posts)

Runs Breakfree Journeys, a cult tourism outfit interested in outdoor travel and backpacking. On days that he is not wandering around the Western Ghats, he is spotted roaming in the bylanes of Bombay scouting for heritage history and good food.

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Rushikesh Kulkarni

Rushikesh Kulkarni
Runs Breakfree Journeys, a cult tourism outfit interested in outdoor travel and backpacking. On days that he is not wandering around the Western Ghats, he is spotted roaming in the bylanes of Bombay scouting for heritage history and good food.