Trek to the highest point in Maharashtra –
- The summit provides beautiful views of the Bhandardara dam, constructed on the Pravara river.
- On a clear day, get imposing views of the surrounding forts such as Harihargad, Harishchandragad and Ratangad. Views of the Alang-Madan-Kulang forts from the top are a bonus.
- Experience the thrill of climbing four iron ladders on vertical rock faces.
Trek guide: Kalsubai
- Altitude: 5,400 ft
- Time taken: 4 hours to ascend, 3 hours to descend
- Water sources: None. Carry at lease 2 litres of water.
- Terrain type: Grasslands, rocks.
- Trek gradient: Moderate
The trek starts from Bari village. Walk through the village on the path that leads straight through it, without taking any of the turns that you come across.
Once you leave the village behind, the trek begins with a walk through some fields. Take a right after you reach the end of the hutments. In monsoon, it’s likely that there will be a stream flowing here. You will need to cross this and continue walking through the fields.
The path naturally turns upwards to the left after the fields. The trail now becomes a little rocky. It is well shaded by trees. The first small ascent leads you to the temple of a local deity. This is an ideal place for some quick rest. The summit is visible from this point and looks deceptively close but you’re at least 2.5-3 hours away.
The trail ahead is marked almost throughout with no scope of getting lost. It continues to ascend from here and the terrain is rocky. The tree cover disappears in around half an hour.
After an hour of trekking, you reach the first set of iron steps. Be careful while climbing this. It becomes a little slippery in monsoon. There are four such climbs ascents. Each of these is a quick and steep. The descent might induce knee pain. These steps are only at spots where climbing the rock surface is difficult for a layperson.
Each of the ladder sections is followed by an ascending trail which flattens out in small sections. It’s mostly grassy here. If there are many trekkers in monsoon, the path tends to get slushy.
After close to 3 hours of climbing, you reach a ridge-like area when you might believe you have reached the summit. However, there’s still a small last climb left.
The final ascent is again facilitated by steel stairs. People with vertigo/mild vertigo need a lot of courage to complete this one! The descent can get scarier.
Panoramic views of the different mountain forts and the Kalsubai-Harishchandragad range makes the summit worth the demanding trek. Make sure you spend enough time to absorb what the mountain views offer!
From the ridge are to the summit, you are likely to face very strong winds. Secure your bags and any lose items you might be carrying.
The descent is down the same trail and takes 2.5 – 3 hours.
Food: Wholesome food and snacks are available at shacks in Bari village. There are also 4 shacks along the trail, located at different places, that sell tea and snacks.
- There are many options for stay at Bari village. Cost is Rs 500 for 4 people in a home stay. Contact: Santosh on 99234 42273.
- You can also opt to stay in the temple in the village for free. The space is big enough to accommodate about 15 . However, during winters it gets extremely chilly. It is highly recommended that you carry a lot of warm clothes.
- You can pitch tents about 200-300 ft below the summit. It is recommended that you take along a guide from the village if you plan to stay. Note that this place can be very windy. There are no water sources.
This trek has been documented by Rucha Ghanekar & Sneha Rao.
Route from Mumbai by road:
Take NH160 to Ghoti, which is on the Nashik road. At Ghoti, turn right and get on the Ghoti-Shirdi road. Follow this for around 24 km to reach Bari village.
Route from Pune by road:
Take NH60. After you cross Chakan, Rajgurunagar, Manchar, Narayangaon, take a left at Ale Phata to reach Otur. Take a right to Maharashtra SH 46. Turn left at Brahmanwada and follow MH SH 21. Take a left at Kotul junction and keep following MH SH 21. Take the MH SH 44 at the next junction and you will come upon Bari village.