Friday night 11.30 PM, Mihir and I finally decided to go on a trek next day and rigorously started looking up on the net for treks scheduled the next day – 30 minutes of efforts and we were on on our way to Gorakhgad next morning with trekking group ‘Wandering Soul Riders’!
Trek Difficulty – Medium with a tricky last 20 minute patch. We had a 52 year old lady with us and she was able to do it easily.
Getting there – Reach Kalyan by 7 AM in the morning. From Kalyan bus depot, catch an ST bus to Murbad (45 Min). From Murbad catch an ST bus to base village Dehri, alternatively you can catch a jeep too (45 Min).
Total Cost – To and fro journey from Kalyan will cost Rs 100 – Rs 150.
Frequency of Buses – There is a bus from Kalyan to Murbad every 15 minutes. Buses from Murbad to Dehri are at an interval of 45 minutes to one hour, so while returning plan your descent according to the bus timings – There is a bus from Dehri to Murbad at 5.15 PM, 6.00 PM and so on (They generally run 10 min late)
What to Wear & Carry – There is 30 minute dense foliage you need to navigate through in the start which protects you from the rains and sun, but also leads to itching. Wear full track pants and a t shirt (half sleeve if its going to be sunny) and carry some lotion or mosquito repellent. Carry atleast 3 litres of water as there is no water source on the top
Boarding the Wrong Bus
We reached Kalyan bus depot at 7 AM and after attendance, rushed in to board an ST bus. Boarding a bus in Kalyan is a different ball game, although there are buses every 15 minutes, it is over its occupancy capacity. People will run towards the bus depending on which spot is it parked (there are 10 spots). Each bus can go at any place, there are no fixed bus numbers. The moment the conductor announces the destination, people will throw in their luggage through windows to reserve their seats and rush in the bus. We jumped into the bus parked on spot 9 (which generally goes to Murbad). After five minutes we realised we had caught the wrong bus, had to de board and walk back to the bus depot! It was humorous the way others looked at us while we were getting down.
Boarding the right bus
Our trek leader was Yamini, a versatile student, pursuing third year engineering, done a one month mountaineering course! We got engrossed in her stories of various treks, her mountaineering experience and voila, we reached Murbad
Boarding the jeep
We had arranged for a vehicle to take us from Murbad to Dheri. However, it turned out to be a jeep. How do you manage to seat 15 people in a jeep? Simple, 4 people sit on the carrier! It was fun!
Starting the trek
We reached Dehri by 10 AM, had breakfast and started walking towards the huddle point near a temple. It was sunny, something we hadn’t prepared for (we assumed it will be pleasant or raining). After brief introduction, we started walking through greenery making our way amidst huge bushes, some had flowers, some had thorns. But all lead to itching.
There were sunflowers for a huge stretch amidst tall grass, wild orchids in all different shapes and sizes, mushrooms, spider webs and lots of earthworms.
The path ahead was no longer mucky, but had rock steps. The sun was right above us and rocks were too hot to walk on or take support of. But the thought of making it to the top beckoned us!
We tried walking as fast as possible to make it to the orange door upstairs which was like an entrance to heaven – a cool spot which protected us from the sun.
Reaching the Cave
After reaching there, there is another 5-10 min walk which took us to the cave! The cave was magnanimous – could accommodate close to hundred people inside!
We sat there in the cave, soaking in the view
After taking some rest, testing our walkie talkie and clicking some action pics, we decided to go ahead for the final climb towards the Shiva temple.
The Final Climb
Coming to the final ascend, we crossed a small water tank, which had many kinds of fish in it, we managed to spot a salmon too! The walk up was tricky, but made easy by strategic holes drilled on the rocks. Luckily, since it wasnt raining, rocks weren’t slippery.
View from the top
We reached the top at 1.30 PM, the view from the top was amazing. Sun shined highlighting the various shades of green! There were huge mountains on one side and deep valley on the other.
Sitting there on the edge
I saw an upright green wedge
Separating the Present from the Past
I stared silently at the shadow it cast
Lunch with Monkeys
As we began to descend back to the cave, (our lunch point) we realised almost all had finished their stock of water. Getting down to the cave was trickier than climbing up, but it was made easy by Yamini through rope she had carried, we rappelled our way down!
We had lunch inside the cave consciously trying to avoid monkeys but they managed to locate us. Finally, we shared food with them and had a great time.
We started the descent at 3.15 PM and managed to reach down by 5.15 PM. Since our water sources had depleted, the walk seemed long under the scorching heat. Walking back the same route still felt different, the mere change of angle made scenery more beautiful!
We saw a lot of butterflies in varied sizes and colours.
We made it to the base village and ordered nimbu paani at a shop. It was like elixir of life!! It totally refreshed our tired bodies and hot heads, a vibe of energy sparked inside and along with it the aliveness of completing the trek!! We proceeded to catch the 5.15 PM bus (which came at 5.30 PM) to Murbad and from there took a connecting bus to Kalyan Station and managed to reach home by 8 PM, right on time for dinner! 😉
The trek was an amazing test of our patience to bear the heat and persistence to go on.
Trek Group Contact Details – I would definitely recommend ‘Wandering Soul Riders’. Trek leader Yamini was well equipped and well trained to handle various situations. You can connect with them on facebook here. Contact Number – 7303055000. They do trekking, rafting, rappelling and bike rides.