Kalsubai Peak trek
- 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.
Photo Story of Kalsubai Peak trek
- Altitude: 5,400 ft
- Time taken: 4 hours to ascend, 3 hours to descend
- Water sources: None. Carry at least 2 litres of water.
- Terrain type: Grasslands, rocks.
- Trek gradient: Moderate
The trek starts from Bari village. Walkthrough 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.
This trek has been documented by Rucha Ghanekar & Sneha Rao.
Plan Your Travel to Kalsubai Trek
Igatpuri/Kasara-Ghoti-Bari-Trek to Kalsubai-Bari-Ghoti-Kasara/Igatpuri
Nearest railway stations:
Ghoti is the nearest railway station but not the most accessible.
The most conveniently accessible railway stations are:
How to reach Kalsubai trek using Public transport:
How to reach Kalsubai trek from Igatpuri station: Board the Sevagram Express train from Dadar Railway station to Igatpuri station. It takes about 3 hours from Dadar railway station.
Board a bus or a share auto to Ghoti (Share auto Rs 20/head) From Ghoti take a private vehicle to Bari Village Bus stop. It takes about 1:10 mins and 30 kms to Bari base village from Igatpuri station.
How to reach Kalsubai trek from Kasara Railway station: Board the Mumbai CSM- Kasara train from Dadar Railway station to Kasara railway station. It takes about 1:40 mins from Dadar.
Then board a bus or a share auto to Igatpuri which is 21 kms and 30 mins away. Then board a bus or a share auto to Ghoti (Share auto Rs 20/head) From Ghoti take a private vehicle to Bari Village Bus stop. It takes about 1:40 mins and 51 kms to reach Bari base village from Kasara station road.
Note: Taking a train from Dadar to Igatpuri station and then traveling by road to Bari base Village is a better option.
How to reach Kalsubai trek by road:
How to reach Kalsubai trek from Mumbai by road: To reach the base village at Bari take the NH 160 via Thane-Asangaon- Kasara- Igatpuri- Bari base Village. The distance is 152 kms and takes about 3:30 hours.
You can also board a train from Dadar to Kasara/Igatpuri and then take the road to Bari base Village.
How to reach Kalsubai trek from Pune by road: To reach the base village at Bari 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 the base village, Bari village.
How to reach Kalsubai trek from Nashik by road: To reach the base village at Bari take the route via Ghoti – Shirdi Rd/Ghoti – Sinnar Rd/Nagpur-Aurangabad-Mumbai Highway/Padgha – Shirdi Rd- Bari base Village. The distance is 50 kms and takes about 1:45 mins.
Nearest International and Domestic Airport
Frequently Asked Questions about Kalsubai trek
Can I do Kalsubai trek if I have never been on a trek before?
Yes and No.
It is an easy to moderate trek for a person who follows an active lifestyle and can consider Kalsubai for their first trek.
For people who lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle, it is more of a moderate trek. We recommend a slightly easier trek like Kothaligad.
Where can I get food and water during the Kalsubai trek?
There are many food stalls in Bari Village and locals sell tea and snacks on the way to the top/temple.
Do I need to obtain permission for trekking to Kalsubai?
No. You don’t need permission to trek to Kalsubai.
Where can I get accommodation on the Kalsubai trek?
There are many options for staying at Bari base village. Night stay can be arranged in Bari Village, at the start of the trek. Cost is Rs 500 for 4 people in a homestay. 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.
Nearest hospital: The Government hospital closest to Kalsubai trek is The Rural Hospital at Ghoti is 1 hour away (Contact Number is +91 2553 220730)
Police station: The police station closest to Kalsubai Trek is the Igatpuri Police station (the contact number is 02553 244 004, +91 244 004) This information is correct as of May’20.
Mountain rescue: Giripremi has started a Pan-Maharashtra rescue group called Maharashtra Mountaineers Rescue Coordination Centre (MMRCC). You can contact them on 7620230231 for help in the Sahyadris. Read more about this wonderful initiative here: (Link: http://www.giripremi.com/mmrcc/)
ERSS: For any kind of emergency help, you can contact the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number- 112
How to get fit for Kalsubai Peak trek
The Kalsubai trek is classified as an easy-moderate grade trek. From Bari Village at 2400 feet, you will gain approximately 3000 feet in altitude. Though the altitude gain is not much, the continuous ascent can be quite demanding for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Here’s a guide to help you get fit for an Easy-Moderate trek in 4 weeks.
In case you’re just starting with a fitness routine, start slow and increase your pace every day in the following manner –
- Target completing a brisk walk of 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin.
- Gradually increase your pace by walking 5 km, 4 times a week.
- As you become more comfortable, introduce jogging in your routine.
- Progressively increase the distance you jog in a workout until you can complete 5 km in 40 mins.
If you prefer cycling over running, target covering 15 km in 60 minutes when you begin.
- Progressively increase your pace to cover 18 km in one hour.
This is an important area you need to work on.
Strength training is equally important to trek comfortably. Work on your glutes, calves, and knees. Additionally, work on strengthening your core.
You must strengthen your core muscles. For strengthening your core muscles, holding a plank and it’s variations (elbow, side planks) are the best exercises to go about doing it.
Also try these exercises for strength-
Target 4 sets of squats with 20 in each set
– Squats (Mix it up with sumo squats)
– Lunges (Forward, backward and lateral lunges)
Flexibility determines the amount of movement your bones can make in any direction around joints such as shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.
It is an aspect that will help you trek comfortably. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain. Stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, and lower back muscles regularly promotes relaxation in the tissues reducing the strain on your back.
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.
Packing list for Kalsubai Peak trek.
- Basic First Aid kit*
- Identity Card
- Cap/ Scarf/ Bandana & Sunglasses
- Water (Minimum two litres)
- Lemon and salt OR Electrolyte Powder/Drink (Electral/Gatorade/Glucon D, etc.)
- High-calorie snacks (Nuts & dry fruits, home-baked cake, etc.)
- Multi-Tool/ Swiss Army Knife
- Safety Pins, Rubber bands & Whistle (Useful in emergencies.)
- 2 Quick Dry T-shirts are preferable over cotton tees.
- 1 pair of trekking pants/track pants
- Sunscreen (SPF 50+)
- Optional: Camera.
*First aid kit:
- Band-aids (Regular & Waterproof)
- Analgesic spray (Relispray, Volini, etc.)
- Antiseptic Liquid (Savlon, Dettol, etc.)
- Antiseptic powder (Povidone-Iodine based powders like Cipladine, Savlon, etc.)
- Cotton roll & Bandage
- Crepe Bandage
- 1-inch wide medical tape (paper or cloth.)
- Micropore tape
- Tablet for motion sickness (Avomine), Acidity (Gelusil, Digene, etc.).
- Mild pain relief tablet (Crocin)
Note: Always consult a doctor before taking any medicine.
Mobile network and nearest ATM
Mobile network is available on the entire trek.
Nearby places to visit & Short itinerary for multi-day treks
If you attempt this trek, you can visit the places mentioned below:
Igatpuri is a lovely hill station in the Western Ghats in Nashik district. It is situated on the Mumbai Nashik National Highway, NH 3. It is well connected as it has a railway station with trains from Mumbai. You can visit the Bhavali Dam and waterfalls which is 11 kms from the station and takes 20 mins to reach. Darna Dam, Vaitarna Dam, Tringalwadi fort, and the famous Vipassana International Academy are some of the places you can visit from Igatpuri. You can also visit the Amruteshwar temple of Lord Shiva and is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India.
Bandardara Dam is 12 kms and 22 mins from Bari Village. It is constructed on the Pravara River and has a natural environment with mountains and waterfalls, Wilson Dam, Arther lake. From the top of Bhandardara Dam, you can see. Harishchandragad, Ratangad, and Alang-Madan-Kulang forts.
Ratangad Fort trek is about 32 kms from Bari Village and takes about 1:10 mins to the base. It is a 400-year-old fort at an elevation of 4225 ft and in Ratanwadi Village. The natural rock formation has an emerging tip at the top known as “Nedhe” or “eye of the needle”. It lies in the Ajoba mountain range on the banks of the Bhandardara lake.
Harishchandragad fort trek is the 3rd highest peak in Maharashtra and has an elevation of 4668 ft. It is a physically daunting trek climbing at an 80 degree to a concave cliff that looks like a cobra head.
Alang Madan Kulang fort treks are 3 different fort treks and are one of the toughest treks in the Sahyadris. There are rock climbing areas which makes the trek difficult. These are usually done together as one trek. It is situated in the Kalsubai range in Nashik district along the Bhandardara river. Alang is at an elevation of 4852 ft, Madan at 4841 ft.