Sunkissed at Gorakhgad!

20150926_141115

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’!

IMG_5264

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

Navigating through the dense foliage
Navigating through the dense foliage

Our Experience

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!

Our Jeep from Murbad to Dehri. 13 people in one Jeep! :P
Our Jeep from Murbad to Dehri. 15 people in one Jeep! 😛

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.

Time stands still, beauty in all she is!!
Time stands still, beauty in all she is!!
Now imagine having a home here!
Now imagine having a home here!
View after completing the dense foliage
View after completing the dense foliage

Floral Pathways

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.

IMG_5163

There were huge spider webs we had to make way through.
There were huge spider webs we had to make way through.
This one caught my eye! Sunlight made it even more beautiful!!

Halfway Through

As per local folktales, the mountain behind resembles face of a man from one angle
Halfway through and you can see our excitement!

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!

Doorway to heaven!
Doorway to heaven!

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.

The Orange Door and stairs to go ahead - Group Pic
The Orange Door and stairs to go ahead – Group Pic

Reaching the Cave

Trek leader Yamini assisting fellow trekkers climb the final incline before the cave comes in sight
Trek leader Yamini assisting fellow trekkers climb the final incline before the cave comes in sight
20150926_151531
10 minute walk to the caves from the orange door

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

Nearby moutain as seen from the cave
Nearby mountain as seen from the cave
The eyes which want to read, travel, write and stare into infinity - Aarti, a fellow trekker
The eyes which want to read, travel, write and stare into infinity – Aarti, a fellow trekker

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.

Fresco on the cave walls
Fresco on the cave walls
When Drama > Action ;-)
When Drama > Action, Badlapur turns to Dostana 😉

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.

Lord Shiva temple at the top
Lord Shiva temple at the top

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 on the edge admiring the view

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

High Jumps

No trek is complete without high jumps!!
No trek is complete without high jumps!!

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.

Naveen and Dinesh trying to lift the imaginary Goavardhan Mountain (Cave)
Naveen and Dinesh trying to lift the imaginary Goavardhan Mountain (Cave)

The Descent

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!

On our way down!
On our way down!

We saw a lot of butterflies in varied sizes and colours.

20150926_163703

The Conclusion

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.

Group pic at the caves with the banner
Group pic at the caves with the banner

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.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Sunkissed at Gorakhgad!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s