Hey people! This is the second post in Trek Diaries (finally, after nearly two months).
The second trek I went to was the best one! It was a night trek to Naneghat, which is in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra.
It was again organised by my professor and most of us from my batch had agreed to go. The most exciting part about it was that it was a night trek, something I had never done before.
We were to catch a train from Dadar at around 12-12:15 pm for Kalyan from where our trek would begin.
Me and some of my friends decided to meet up in the evening itself and then travel together later. It just gave us more time with each other and we had a lot of fun before the trek even began. We went out for dinner and then spent a few hours at my grandparents’ house just relaxing.
We left for the station around 12. It was a great experience. There were hardly any people on the road and one of the busiest stations in Mumbai seemed a little quiet. But we soon realized that that was not the case. Although not as crowded as it is at peak hours, people were still travelling and we realized that Mumbai truly never sleeps.
We met some other people from our group at the station, some more joined us at different stations during the train journey.
We reached Kalyan and started our trek. It was dark, but if I remember correctly, it was a full moon night and there were absolutely no clouds to be seen. The moon lighted up our way and we started climbing.
The only sounds around were from insects or probably other small animals.
It was a beautiful night and we did not expect it to be cold either. Half way up, we stopped for a break. There was a plateau of sorts before another stretch of climbing. We could see the actual Naneghat from here. Naneghat comprises two words-‘nane’, meaning coin, and ‘ghat’, meaning a road through the mountains. The actual pass is a narrow stretch of rocks between two mountains. It was used by travellers to cross from one region to the other and it was at this pass that a road tariff was collected from the travellers. Hence, the name Naneghat.
That pass was still some way up when we stopped. We sat down on the ground and relaxed-ate some food, drank water.
Then some of us lay down on the ground using our bags as pillows and looked straight up at the starry sky, something that was so rare in our city life. It was so beautiful and quiet. One could feel truly at peace in such an environment.
The break didn’t last too long though and we started our climb again.
We were nearly at the top now and since we had made good time, we decided to spend the remaining hours of the night in a cave at the top. The cave was quite large and could easily accomodate most of us. We settled down, exhaused after the trek. What we did not expect, however, was the cold. It was freezing! None of us had prepared for it because, come on, when has it ever been freezing in this part of the world?
But it was-really, really cold! We allhuddled together and none if us could sleep. We spent the rest of the night trying to sleep and get warm, but almost completely failing at both. When the sun came up, we went back out, relieved to see some light and for once eager for the sun.
We crossed the actual Naneghat, there was a huge metal pot at the other end of the ghat that was used for collecting the tariff.
The sun was properly up now and it was a glorious morning. It was if the cold night had never happened. We spent some time in the sun, clicking photos and watching the sun rise higher in the sky. Eventually it was time to go. Our bus, which had dropped us at the foot of the mountain, had come the longer way by road to pick us up.
Our trek was over and we returned home exhausted but happy. This was the best trek I’ve been on because it was an experience I am never likely to forget.
Two more treks to go (only). I’ll definitely try to write sooner, I really should, I know. I will. The next two were pretty good too, so I do want to write about them 🙂
Until next time.