At the plateau's edge!!!
Adventurous, invigorating with a lot of fun-filled memories! This sums up my latest trekking trip. Location being Naneghat, tucked away in the Western Ghats.
Naneghat is a mountain pass near Junnar in Pune district. During the reign of the Satavahana kings, the pass was extensively used as a trade route between Kalyan and Junnar. Literally, the name nane means "coin" and ghat means "pass". The name is given because this path was used as a tollbooth to collect toll from traders crossing the hills.
Typically a trek involves scaling a peak and having a 3600 vantage point, where you are at the peak. However, this was quite a different experience. On one side, lies the vast empty Deccan Plateau and the other, a steep drop into the coastal plains. And Naneghat is right perched at the top, where the two landforms merge.
Our journey started from Kalyan. While waiting for our bus, we were witness to some comical scenes of people scrambling into other overcrowded buses, jumping through windows etc!. We set off to Murbad, a 1.5 hour ride. After the introduction and courtesy exchange of pleasantries, the trek started. However, there was a problem. It was getting dark and we were already running late. This meant that a trek scheduled for late afternoon was going to take place through dusk and night. To make matters worse, we lost our way thrice through the dense forest. However, thanks to our experienced trek organizer, we were able to retrace our steps and finally were on the right track. So what was planned as a 3.5 hour late afternoon trek, ended up being a 7 hour sojourn through the night! Post a light dinner at 2 30 am, we pitched tent and crashed in the early hours of the morning.
We wake up to a slightly chilly dawn. This was our abode for the night.
What a sight to behold! The soothing rays of the sun breaking through the light mist. Hills and mountain tops as far as the eye could see. Only then we got an indication of how much we had trekked the previous night. After a light breakfast, we went to the topmost point from where we could get this breathtaking view:
All around us we could see the land falling away. Craggy mountain tops giving way to precipitous, sheer drops.
After spending sometime exploring the area, it was time to pack up and start the descent. On our way back, we came across these caves. They have Brahmi inscriptions in them dating to 60 -70 BC, believed to be wok of the consorts of the Satavahana ruler Satakarni.
Our descent was pretty quick. We reached the base point in the afternoon, got a jeep back to Murbad and from there back to Kalyan.
And that concludes a wonderful trip.! Thanks to P.E.A.K troops!