I can still remember very well .. It was my first trek to Karnala a year ago I overheard some one talking about this place called Gorakhgad and they had so many tales to narrate of this trek, its thrilling rock patch,ambience at the top and lovely Malshej Ghat range so since that day I always had this fascination that I too will go and do this trek but destiny has its way Jaana tha Gorakgad aur uske chakkar me pachhis doosre trek kar dale, a year passed by and I still wasn’t able to go to this place.But yesterday as I was chatting when by chance I told Anusha that Iam planning to go to Gorakhgad, she replied she too is doing the same so we thought why not let us go together. This is how this trek atlast happened for me
Sunday morning had its usual bout of excitement and I got ready quickly and dashed out of my house very early because the meeting time at Kalyan ST stand was at 6.30am and Mai Bechare 🙁 stay in Andheri so I have to catch atleast 4.39 am train to go to Dadar and from there catch Badlapur Local of 5.13am so that I be in time for my 6.30 rendezvous.I kept hopping trains and in between kept co-ordinating with Mayur who was to join me in this local. At Kurla Station Mayur along with his friend Pratik joined me, as we were meeting after a long time so we had lots of stories to share and perhaps this was the reason that we never realised how the time went by and we were at Kalyan station.
|Our gang all assembled at Kalyan ST Stand
Surprisingly we were the first guys to arrive at Kalyan ST depot Aisa kyo hota hai hai ki door se aane wale hameesha waqt per hote hai…As Pratik and Mayur were hungry so they quickly had a idli dosa breakfast from a roadside vendor...aur kya kare subh 6.30 am kon sa hotel chalu hota hai…
By 7.30 everyone arrived and we took the bus to Murbad.Bus journey from Kalyan to Murbad took around 45 minutes thanks to some adventurous driving by the bus driver.”Late hum hog hua per tension lagta hai driver ko thi humara sara time delay apni khatarnak driving se cover karne me laga tha” Each one of was swinging like clothes hung for drying on wire. It was here I got introduced to Ashu,Anjali,Chinmayee,(so thin creature that I was worried she will be blown away in all this swinging act)Gaurav,Shreyas,Rahul ,Yatin all fun loving fellows.Soon our Bus reached Murbad. Now actually we were suppose to move to Dehari from here hence we started to inquire for the ST bus or pvt jeep. we ultimately settled for the jeep. We spoke to few jeep drivers and inquired the rates for jeep but the price quoted were just too high Sab jeep walo ne pagal bana diya koi bolta hai 1500 Rs toh koi bolta hai 800 Rs lekin trekker bhi toh dedh sanne hote hai na…we took local jeep to Mahsae village.12 ppl went in one jeep and other 5 in other jeep.
|Arre yaaro head count toh le lo!!!
Leaving Murbad we realised that we have not taken head count so we took head count and realised that we are one short..OMG !! kon rah gaya 2 bar wapas count kiya …ab best part,…… hum log 17 log hi aaye the and we were trying to complete the count of 18ppl …lolz and believe me this was the indication of the things to come on this trek. Complete craziness, Full of fun and frolic…to put it in right perceptive this trekking group was now total Madhouse…
We reached Mahase village within 15-20 min drive. Here we had our garam garam breakfast of Batatwada and Tea to top it.After fooling around for a while we went out to check the connecting jeep to Dahere village.
|Photo session at Mahase Village
Luckily for us one sumo jeep guys agreed to take us all for 350 bucks but with a condition that everyone will have to fit themselves in one jeep. We all jumped in with few guys wanting to hang outside the jeep local trains istyle as inside the jeep was fully stuffed , however sanity prevailed and everyone adjusted themselves me and driver were sharing the same seat and this situation ensured that I sit in the fear of protecting myself from his vigorous shifting of gears.(Akir me uska hath kahi bhi lag sakta hai ..)
|Ladies be ready for the bumpy ride with 17 ppl stuffed in one sumo Van….
Singing shouting and doing whatever possible to make us forget the present position we reached Dehere village.
|Beta itna muskuro mat baki log aakar tumhare upar hi bathane wale hai…Sumo Dhaba pack hone wala hai !!!
As we were approaching Dehere village we could clearly see Gorakhgad and Machindragad right in front of us.
|First view of the Gorakhgad peak from our jeep
Once reaching the Village we assembled at the Village shop and told him that we would be having tea on our way back in the evening. and those who wanted to buy buicuits did so here. The reason I am mentioning this here is that don’t worry if you forget anything the village has a shop so you can buy whatever you need here.
|Village Shop from where you can buy dry snacks
The route to the Gorakhgad trek starts from behind the temple from the right hand side. We all assembled here had a introduction round and the fun was on with crazy photo session
|Crazy Photo session
.We all started to climb the hill through the muddy way created by the cascading water. The climb from the very beginning is little steep and as there was no rains so we could feel the pressure of climb.There is thick vegetation but the route is easily identified. After walking for 15 -20 minutes one could see the village below surrounded by the lush green fields.
|View of Village surrounded by lush green fields
The climb for me in this trek was completely different experience because as there were no organiser so we used to take break whenever we wanted and that whenever was too often.
|Frequent photo breaks
The reason was not the fatigue but the frequent bout of photo session.and this whole craziness started just because Mayur was a game for photography clicking everyone all the time. “aur hamare trekker dost poore ustad koi ped pakad ke latak jata hai toh koi pattar per jakar baith jata tha…kasam se sab ke sab pagal hogaye the….I once felt ki yeh trek pura bi hoga kya.”
|Abbe pose marna band karo abhi bahut trek baki hai !!!
After trekking for sometime we reached a plateau.The climb from the first plateau to the next plateau is little tricky as there is lots of muddy section so one has to climb taking help of tree roots or branches.while walking through this portion one can see the lovely valley on the right side and towering Gorakhgad peak on the right side.
|View of the top from Plateau
We move through lots of grassy section and almost through forest like area. the walk is gentle here and one reach a base of the hill.
|Tango with Mayur
Gorakhgad ke trek ka aasli maza ab shru hota hai leaving behind the hut at the plateau we take left to start our climb here you come across stone cut steps.
The climb is nearly at 60 degree some 1st timer had a weird look on their faces as if to ask” are you crazy” “are we suppose to climb that” But to be honest I was really surprised to note that all of them happily did the climb without fussing..
|Climbing with a smile
I saw a small cave painted in orange color entrance at the top which I assumed to be top
|And I thought Ki Top Aa Gaya Hai!!! LOLZ!!
but upon reaching here I realised that this was not the Top but one has to go through this cave, climbing the rocky staircase inside and resume the climb further. By God yeh kya ho raha hai !!!
|Rocky ladder from the cave
Climbing out of this cave we come to a plain section the view from here is to die for…Ek nazar aur dil wahi rook jata hai…Everyone was happy that finally the climb is over and we have reached the top but I was told “Sirji thodo aur aage aap ko chalna hai” so one more climb 🙁 …I heard some one say Papaji ai khatam hi nahi hoonda(I hope you remember Maruti ad of Sardar Kid)
|Beautiful view of malshej valley
Atlast we almost reached the top, the pinnacle of the Gorakgad was standing right in front of us. We take a left turn from the pinnacle and see a amall temple cut into the pinnacle and a water tank just ahead.as there was nothing much to see so we came back and moved towards the right hand side of the pinnacle which took us to the big cave( big enough to hold 50 people atleast) adjacent to this cave are water tanks but the water is not potable.( advise to trekkers please carry atleast 3 ltrs water because water availability at the top is not reliable.
|Cave at the top with water tanks on the right
As many people has yet to reach the top so I stole this moment to sit in solitary and take in the beauty of nature. The 20 minutes sitting all alone by myself at the rock on the edge for me was one of the high point of this trek.
|just stand and enjoy the beauty
The lush green valley in front of me,beautiful clouds enveloping the mountain range and the majestic Machindragad peak now what more I can ask for on a lazy sunday.
After this lovely sojourn I went to join everyone in the caves but what is this koi bi nahi tha udhar only trekking bags neatly stacked up I came out of the cave and saw rahul,gaurav and yatin napping on the stone!!! (Kamal hai trek per bi aakar log kaise neend nikal lete hai) outside the cave. I enquired with them as to where everyone has gone I was informed that they have gone behind the pinnacle to explore so I thought let them explore I will rest for a while now that the trek is over per yeh kya I see Krishna coming from behind the pinnacle and He asks me aashish sir aap nahi aa rahe ho I said yaar ab bahut hoga I will rest akhir me top aa gaya na…he smiled and said sirji abhi picture baki hai…
|We traverse from here to reach behind the pinnacle for the final summit to the topmost point of Gorakhgad
I exclaimed What !! @#%&*. Yeh baat sunte hi I was all alert like a soldier and followed him traversing from the right ,threading carefully along the water tank because one slip from here and you will be a lost dead body.
|Stone cut stairs
Anyway once I reached behind the pinnacle I was surprised to see a very steep staircase carved in the stone pinnacle. Standing below one is left wondering as to how one will climb but what again surprise me to no end is the way the trekker attempt anything and manage to come winner. So taking the strength from the guys who were ahead of me I too started to climb threading carefully
|I was climbing very cautiously because a slip here and you are a lost dead body
I finally managed to reach the final top I took a brief survey of the entire top plateau to ensure myself that no one drops another bomb and tell me sirjee abhi picture baki hai and one more climb. But thankfully this was indeed the final top.
|Show Time !!! Now take your pick of Spiderman,Superman or Batman
At the Top there is a small temple painted in orange with a lingi inside and nandi idol outside. Top being the pinnacle point is not very large so most of us was almost together. As usual we had photo session and enjoyed the view from top. After spending sometime we decided to move down.
|I must say this was one of the best trek I did and my co-trekkers were just awesome
If climbing up was scary getting down was doubly scary specially when you look down you don’t see any support but the valley. People having height phobia must be very careful. Bhushan and Anusha managed very well here helping the people get down
|You almost do not see anything under your feet but the Valley below !!! Scary!!!,Scary!!!
I reached the bottom first because I knew while climbing this rock patch there is 7- 8 free hand rock climb and then the actual climb starts so naturally while getting down this could be trouble spot so I helped the participant at getting down along with Bhushan.
|Helping friends to get down.
Everyone managed to come down safely.After coming down we sat in a circle had our lunch beating the world’s greatest buffet with so much variety of dishes ranging from chapatis,theplas,omlettes.boiled egg,pickle,curd rice,stuffed sandwich,bread-butter,soyamilk, chocolate cake, till gud ladoo and upteem variety of farshan and Cadbury bar.It was indeed a lunch to remember !!!
We rested for a while and started the decend rumbling,tumbling we all reached the base temple at 3.30.
|Finally at the Base village
Soon we all came to the village shop had lots of water and tea. We were told not to take jeep instead wait for the bus to Murbad. As there was one hour for the bus to come so we waited under the village chowk in the meanwhile Anusha and Swapnali sneaked to nearby village park to have masti on swing , some of us moved around only to be confronted by a small snake , seeing gaurav holding the snake in his hand and shouting to mayur to take his pic fast before the snake bite him was really hilarious.The Minibus to murbad arrived we all jumped in to get the best place after all it was a hard and grueling day at the office.
|Maaja and masti in Minibus!!!
The chit chatting went on and we soon reached Murbad from where we changed our bus to Kalyan.We reached Kalyan at 7.00pm at Kalyan station and took the local train back home. But just see the intensity of this small group that even after such grueling trek participants were busy making plans for a dinner feast at thane.Hats off to the energy of these kids and special thanks to Anusha and Krishna for initiating this outing.