Thursday, July 1, 2010


Walking through a dense forest while watching out for snakes, sleeping under a tree full of fireflies, trekking to the base of the peak over treacherous terrain, hanging only by a rope over 300 feet above ground and finally feeling the exhilaration of reaching the peak, that’s Bhairavgad for you.

Trekking to Bhairavgad is not for beginner trekkers, unless led by a team of professionals like I was. We reached Moroshi by ST bus at about midnight, and rested under a beautiful starry sky for a while. We then proceeded into the forest, trying to work our way up to Bhairobchi Wadi, where we planned to sleep for a few hours. We spotted a couple of snakes along the way, too. After walking for about two hours, we lost our way and had no idea how to proceed. So we went to an open field and slept for a couple of hours.

We woke up at 5:30 in the morning and looked for a way up. While the leader was looking for the way, I managed to snap a few pictures of Bhairavgad peak, which was at that time covered in clouds. The walk up was a tough one. Steep slopes and loose soil made it difficult to maintain our foothold in some parts. There was one part where we had to climb up a rocky wall, which was probably one of the more difficult parts of the climb up to the base of the peak. Meanwhile, the view was becoming progressively better and the wind increasingly faster.

We soon reached a village, thought we spotted no more than one man and a few angry bulls that we had to run from! After nearly 2 hours of climbing, we reached the base of the peak. While we sat down to have lunch, many of us first time trekkers were looking at the wall of Bahiravgad and wondering how we would ever get up there.

The one hour after lunch involved a climb up rocky slopes. Ominous clouds gathered above our heads and we felt a few rain drops. Fortunately the wind blew the clouds further ahead. A rainy day would have made it impossible to climb up, or get down, the rocky terrain. By the time the hour ended, we were at the place where the steps began.

We climbed up a few broken steps and reached a small cave. No one was glad about reaching the resting point, however, as a look above showed us the totally vertical wall we had to climb. And we saw no steps. Our leader, Vikram Singh, went above, scaling the rock face easily, and threw down a rope. So now we were hanging more than 300 ft off the ground by a rope, with no harness to protect us should we slip. After that rock patch, things were relatively easy. We reached the top in no time at all.

The top of the peak was covered with cacti. There was barely any space to walk through. Yet, determined, we scaled to the top, thus completing the part of the trek that led up.

The view from the top was exhilarating. At that moment, looking down at more than half of Mumbai, nothing else mattered. We could clearly see the shadows of the clouds as they swept across the city. We could even spot other peaks in the distance like Naneghat.

If the climbing up part was scary, the getting down part was downright dangerous. We took a route where the soil was extremely slippery and it was impossible to maintain a good foothold anywhere. Consequently, most of us sat down and slid down bit by bit, instead of walking down. On the way down we found a cave which had water in a tank. How it got there, I have no idea. But it was sweet and cool, and all we thirsty trekkers drank to our hearts’, or rather throats’, content. We started walking, rather sliding, down again. This was when I had a bad fall, sliding down for a good length on my chest, my face passing inches from many rocks. I was lucky not to hit any rock with my face; else I would have been a goner. Fortunately, I didn’t panic, and managed to do a somersault and dig my right foot into the ground, stopping my slide down. Apart from minor bruises on my hands, chest, shoulders, neck and legs, I was pretty alright.

We reached back to the village by about 5 in the evening, and halted for some noodles and tea. Priti says she’s doing a PhD in Pharmacy or something…but I am pretty sure she’s already done one in making tea! It was that delicious. We continued down at 6:30 PM. The rest of the path was a straightforward walk down a simple road. It was probably what the villagers used to get down and up. We finally reached the ST Bus Stop from where we began at about 8 and headed home.

The trek to Bhairavgad, Moroshi is one of the most exciting adventures one can have. If you are looking for some thrill over the weekend, this is where you should be heading. But ensure that you have an experienced trekker to guide you, since it is not to difficult to slide and fall hundreds of feet to a certain death.

No comments:

Post a Comment