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The Complete Guide to Tavli Trek

The Tavli trek  at 2594 ft is a prominent group of three pinnacles visible from Kakuli lake or Badlapur station and is one of the northern most peaks in the Matheran mountain ranges. The flat top near the pinnacles is known as Tavli. It is connected to Badlaput, another top, through a saddle, which is connected to another top Badlapur hill through a saddle at a height of 600 mtr.

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

The usual trekking route to Tavli begins from Badlapur station. Most of the routes from Badlapur to Tavli have many ridges, streams, small hillocks, and thick forests which make this trek challenging and exciting.

During the dry season, water is only available at the top of the mountain. In the monsoon, finding a route is a challenging task, especially in the mosquito-infested forest. The rock patches become slippery and you must be careful.

by Vinita Chhatwani 

➤ Short Itinerary

  • Tavli at 2594 ft is a prominent group of three pinnacles visible from Kakuli lake or Badlapur station.
  • Its proximity to the city makes it easy to access, yet it remains as elusive as ever.
  • It is one of the northernmost peaks of the Matheran mountain ranges. It is also connected to the Badlapur top through a saddle at 600 mts.
  • The usual trekking route to Tavli begins from Badlapur station. Most of the routes from Badlapur to Tavli have many ridges, streams, small hillocks, and thick forests which make this trek challenging and exciting.
  • Wild banana tree spreads can be seen in abundance on both sides when passing a ridge.

➤ Trail Information

Day 1: Tavli Trek

Badlapur – Tavli (2594 Ft) – Badlapur, 18 – 20 kms, 11 – 12 hours

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

Tavli is a long and challenging trek where you should leave early and reach Badlapur station. You can take an auto or walk down to Panvel highway which is around forty-five minutes from Badlapur station.

After reaching MohPada walk towards the right end of the mountain range. Tavli pinnacles which lie behind the mountain range are barely visible from here. Within a few minutes of walking, you will come across fields and a well to fill water. After about ten minutes you will come across a small stream on your left and eventually, the trail enters trinkets on the right.

Continue walking for about ten minutes till you come across some paddy fields. Within almost ten minutes you need to climb the hill at the rightmost end of the mountain range. It takes roughly twenty-five minutes to climb this hill and reach the meadow from where the Tavli pinnacles are visible. Follow the cart trail through trees and bushes towards the left which leads to the pinnacles. After another fifteen minutes, you reach the second opening. Tavli pinnacles will now be to your right. The trail enters through the forest. It takes around thirty minutes to reach the third and the final meadow.

Image from Indiahikes Archive

Image from Indiahikes Archive

The Trail

The trail then gradually ascends through the forest. There is no definite trail here so do not search for one. After hiking for roughly twenty minutes you will reach a small valley. Proceed on the trail that ascends towards the right to reach a ridge at the top. It takes around 2 – 2.5 hours to reach this point from Mohpada. You will see Ambernath MIDC on the right and Badlapur on the left from here and the trail then alternates between ridge walk and rock patches.

The view below becomes clearer as you climb up the ridge. After fifteen minutes you will come across wild banana trees spread on both sides of the ridge in abundance. After about fifteen more minutes you hit the first rock wall and the trail on its left. Once you are on the top, continue on the trail that climbs up the ridge. You must be extremely careful while passing through the banana trees as you may spot snakes hidden in them.

Image from Indiahikes Archive

Within thirty minutes the trail again climbs up from the left side of a rock patch. Another twenty minutes of the ridge walk and you will reach the top of the hump. After about twenty minutes of hiking, you will reach the final ridge that connects the Tavli pinnacles. It takes around 4-5 hours to reach this place from Badlapur station. At the end of the ridge, the trail turns right.

You can see Ulhas river and Tavli peak from here and on a clear day you can also you can see the Matheran range. (7 pinnacles of Badlapur hill, Haji Malang, Chanderi, Mhasmal, etc).  Proceed ahead on the trail that turns right. After traversing for about forty-five minutes through the hump you reach a point where you see stairs cut in the rocks. You can then reach the caves that are naturally formed and provides shelter.

A further trek of 1- 1.5 hours from the cave will take you to an ashram. The trail to the ashram traverses through loose scree, so care must be taken. You can either get down from the same side or take an alternative trail towards Ambernath / Kalyan side.

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

 Trek Diary 

MissionTavli – A mysterious trail … by Vinita Chhatwani 23 – Jun 2013

A trek from Badlapur to Tavli had been pending for a long. So close to the city and yet elusive. This is one trek that goes through dense forest and can be missed even on a clear day. The last time we attempted this trek it was raining heavily and nothing was visible, we trekked through the dense forest for almost seven hours and reached a beautiful waterfall before abandoning the trek. Since then we had decided that we needed to visit Tavli again!

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

This time around we came prepared and brought our friend Abhinav along who did this trek from Mohpada. We reached Badlapur station at 7:30 am, had breakfast, packed some food and continued ahead towards Mohpada. The three pinnacles of Tavli can hardly be seen from here. We crossed the fields and moved towards the end of the hill, on our right. It took us around an hour to reach the top of the meadow. Looking down we can see the point from where we started and the Badlapur city.

The meadow is a carpet of green with a small pond formed due to rain. We reached the meadow at around 9:45 am. After a small break we followed a cart trail towards the three pinnacles. Thankfully, due to a clear day we were able to see the pinnacles and therefore found it easy to navigate our way through the thickets and multiple confusing trails. We arrived at the third and final meadow at around 10:45 am. We moved ahead and reached the end where we came across a shallow valley the ridges. We climbed up the hill with the valley on our left.

Once we reached the top, all we had to do was an easy hike towards the pinnacles. Ambernath MIDC, Badlapur city, Matheran range, Badlapur and Chikhaloli Dam are all visible from this point. After walking on the ridge for around 1.5 hours, we reached the final ridge that connects to the pinnacles. It took us about five hours to reach, keeping in mind a few breaks in between. From here the Tavli pinnacles are up close andthe trail that goes towards Ambernath can be seen.

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

Some decided to explore the area further and reached the caves. The trail for the cave turns towards the right from the end of the ridge, climbs a hump and then descends down. After moving down for a few minutes we reached the rocks that took us to the base of the pinnacle, and from there a traverse took us to the cave. Since it was getting late and cloudy we decided to move back. After navigating the patches and traversing through the ridge we reached the meadow where we took a small break here and had some snacks. At 2:45 pm we moved ahead and after a few wrong directions, we reached Mohpada at 5:30 pm.

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

PC: Vinita Chhatwani

Here are some of the alternate routes that you can take to reach Tavli

– From Ambernath: On reaching Badlapur road, proceed towards Kakuli Lake. From the lake, a ridge on the mountain will take you to the  pinnacles from where it takes 4 hours to reach the top.

– From Kalyan: Alight at Kushivli village stop. It is on Kalyan-Malang Gad road. The way towards Tavli trek passes near the village, passing through the col between two mountains. It takes around 2.5 hours to reach the top from Kushivili village.

– From Badlapur: Yet another route is from Savaroli village and takes around 4-5 hours to reach the top.

Recommendations:

– Carry enough water. In summer the only source of water is at the top. Even during monsoons there are few streams, usually filled with muddy water.

– Since this is a day trek and long one, travel light. However, make sure you carry extra water and food in case you have to halt midway. There are several blogs on the net that mention the possibility of missing the trail and getting lost.

– On an exploratory difficult trek like this one should carry at least basic survival kit (matchbox, knife, sweets, energy bars etc.)

➤ How to Get Fit

Cardiovascular endurance

The secret to ascending any trail lies in building your cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Ideally, you should be able to jog 4 km in 20 minutes before the start of the trek. It takes time to be able to cover this distance in the given time. Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too. Strength This is another area you should work on. You will need to build strength in your muscles and in your core body. You can do some squats to strengthen your leg muscles. Do around 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set. Apart from this, you can add planks and crunches to your work out.

Flexibility

Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek. Working out indoors

➤ Getting to Badlapur station

The trek begins at Badlapur station. You can take an auto or walk down to Panvel highway which is around forty five minutes from Badlapur station.

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