'Remember how you used to be adventurous in the before our marriage. You used to take me out for night drives' said Suchita on a perfect lazy Saturday morning.
'Even after marriage we had driven late night to places like Harihar and Goa' she continued.
'Sigh!! Seems like guys indeed turn boring after marriage. All the initial excitement is just a show off' came her final blow.
My male ego was hurt. I could feel the Hulk inside me turning green with anger.
'GUYS GET RESPONSIBLE AFTER MARRIAGE. YOU DONT KNOW ANYTHING... ITS VERY EASY FOR YOU TO SAY THIS !!!!' I shot back.
'I can go on a night trek whenever I want understand that...' I continued.
'Its just that I am very busy now days' I continued 'otherwise I have a very exciting life and .....'
'You dont seem busy today' she interrupted.
Dang !!! Me and my big mouth.
So even though I am scared of dark and the thought of all ghosts sitting on top of mountains at night... I decided to make plans for a night trek in Maharashtra.
After a short research came to know that the fantastic group - Trek Mates was organizing a night trek to Kothaligad near Karjat.
'Ghosts are afraid of many people together' my Zee horror show theory popped up in sub conscious mind. Hence safe to travel in packs.
As peth is the base village, many recall Kothaligad as peth fort. Being a medium grade trek, any average trekker can conquer the peak. There’s a stair route towards the summit, which adds up to the thrill.
So after making all necessary arrangements, we caught a local train to Lonavala and from there took a train from Pune to Karjat.
Expectation: Leave at 4 PM. Take local to Lonavala, kill some time there and then move to Karjat by 11 PM
Reality: Superfast train from Pune at 5 PM and reached by 8.30 PM at Karjat.
The next few hours were a lesson in patience- avoiding stares of suspicious police, wondering chai walas, curious beggars and an angry wife.
Finally at 1 PM the rest of the gang arrived from Mumbai.
We set out on a 1.5 hour drive to base village of Kothaligad. The drive was pleasant and the air cooler during night time.
Finally we reached the base and began our summit in pitch darkness with only few torches showing the way.
Night treks have a unique charm to them with starry nights, a full moon, quiet surroundings and a sense of constant thrill.
There is a medium incline along the trek and you need to climb holding just a water pipe going along the slope.
We reached the top of the mountain after an hour of trek at approx 4 PM. It was very very cold and I cursed myself for lack of preparation.
We laid down on the ground and awaited sunrise looking at the starry sky.
View of walls of fort from the location we woke up to
Moving towards the fort entrance
Morning brought along with it the beautiful view of surrounding and also along with it a fort built on top of the small hill.
We were informed there was a further climb using steep inclined stone cut ladder to the top of the fort.
View from top....
Once at the top, we heaved a sigh of relief and enjoyed our breakfast. After taking in the view for some more time, we commenced on our return journey to the base of the fort.
Group selfie with the fantastic trek leader Mr. Mahen Pandya
Looking at the descent, we realized climbing was only half part of the trek. It was a steep decent with seemingly a wrong footing sending us down flying.
Finally after an hour of walking we reached the base and heaved a sigh of relief.
Selfie from the base
Breakfast was arranged at the base village. After enjoying a good breakfast under watchful eye of an angry bull, we commenced on return journey to Pune
Had posted this on my Instagram account
This is a must do easy-medium night trek in Maharashtra if planning over a weekend. Remember to take help from expert guides or groups for this trek. Also essential is to carry a torch and 2 ltr. water for this trek.
Thanks for reading and happy travelling:)
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