About Kalsubai :
Into the green beauty of Western Ghats lies the highest peak in Maharashtra State, Kalsubai. Its summit is situated at a height of 5400 feet (1646 meters) which gives it the title ‘Everest of Maharashtra’. The base of Kalsubai mountain is at an elevation of 1926 feet (587 meters) as the mountain lies on the Deccan Plateau. The mountain range lies within Kalsubai and Harishchandragad Wild-Life Sanctuary.
It is said, that in the ancient times, a lady named “Kalsu” came to nearby Indorey village to work. However, somebody forced her to clean utensils and clean up the residence by force. So she left the place and eventually died at this spot. So comes the name, Kalsubai. A small temple is built here, in her memory.
Height : 5400 feet (1646 meters) from sea level and 3474 feet (1059 meters) from base.
Location : Akole Taluka, Ahmednagar District (Border of Igatpuri Taluka)
Base village : Bari
How to reach : By Train – Get down at Igatpuri or Kasara station (Igatpuri suggested) and then to Bari village via bus
. : By Road –
. : From Mumbai – Via NH-3 till Igatpuri then from Igatpuri to Bari village via Ghoti-Shukl Tirth road
. OR NH-222 till Otur (Malshej Ghat) then from Otur to Bari village via MH SH 46
. : From Pune – Via NH-50 till Otur then from Otur to Bari village via MH SH 46
Trek Time : 2 and half hours to 3 hours (from Bari to topmost temple)
. : 1-day trek
Difficulty Level : 3/10 (Easy to Medium)
Best Time to Visit : For day trek – June to February
. : For night trek – Anytime (Preferred June to February)
Food and Water : There are food stalls on the way at every point till the end (only on weekends or on holiday)
Alternate Path :
The route via Indore is relatively unexplored as not many people are aware of it. Unlike the regular route via Bari, which has fixed ladders, cemented steps and several people flocking during the monsoon, the route via Indore is raw with stone steps and a huge iron chain for support at the dangerous patches. This path is dangerous so not suggested.
1) If you are planning night trek then make sure you start your trek around at max 1.30-2 am if you want to enjoy the sunrise from the top. Even if you are little late you will catch sunrise as the trekking side is East side of Kalsubai mountain.
2) If you are planning a day trek then you have to reach Bari village very early in the morning so if you are going by train then reach Kasara station or Igatpuri station at night only. Buses start from early morning. 1st bus from Kasara is at 7 am while 1st bus from Igatpuri is at 5 am.
3) You need your tent if you want to stay on top as there are no caves on top. There is just 1 Temple and open area on top. You can get tents and sleeping bags on rent from the base village or are available on few stalls as well.
4) During winter season, in the morning, lizards and snakes can be spotted near metal ladders taking a sunbath. so be little careful during winter season.
View From Top :
The view from the top is mesmerizing. As this region comes under Wild-Life sanctuary the open high-altitude forests dominate the scene. You can see the green beauty of western ghats with beautiful Wilson/Bhandardara dam and Arthur lake. In the post-monsoon period the region witnesses a dramatic makeover with flowers of different colors and varieties blossoming along the landscape. This attracts a hoard of butterflies, bees, dragons and other insects to feed upon the precious nectar.
To the east side, you can see the forts Aundha, Vishramgad, Bitangad while to the east side one can spot Ratangad, Alang, Madangad and Kulang. To the north, you can spot forts such as Ramsej, Harihargad, Bramhagiri, Anjaneri, Ghargad, Bahula while to the south side Pabhargad, Ghanchakkar, Harishchandragad can be seen.
Surrounding Spots :
1) Bhandardara dam which is just 6 km away. It is impounded on the Pravara river to form Arthur Lake.
2) Arthur Lake: The clear and placid lake is bounded by thick canopied forests of the Sahyadri hills. The Lake gets its water from the Pravara River. It also attracts one’s attention from the summit. There is an island in Arthur lake where you can go for camping. A villager takes you there in a small boat and comes back on the next day to bring you back. Camping is possible only during winter and summer as due to heavy rain the island disappears during rainy season.
The trek to the highest peak in Sahyadri started with Bike ride of 210 km to reach base village via the beautiful scenery of Malshej Ghat. We went via NH-222 and we came back via NH-3 as latter is shorter and quicker. We started our bike ride at 7.30 pm and reached Bari at 2.30 am. As it was night time the wind near Malshej was very cold but luckily we had driving gloves.
In base village Bari, there is a big Temple at the middle of the village. During Navaratri festival, a fair comes to be organized each year with many stalls being set up near the summit to provide pooja materials to the devotees. On these special occasions, local villagers participate in this fair which helps to supplement their livelihood and as well as provides them an opportunity to revere the mountain. There is a hand-pump in front of Temple where you can fill your bottles. Yes, the water is drinkable.
The path is not that confusing (but still we lost for an hour as it was dark). So its better to ask someone for the 1st right turn and from there onwards its a straightforward path. Right turn is from the last house of Bari Village and yes don’t forget to check on Mango trees as all the turns we took were from Mango tree (funny but true).
There are so many food stalls on the way offering Snacks, water and lime juice (Nimbu Pani). Few stalls and houses offer a complete meal as well.
The path is little steep that’s why the trek becomes little exhaustive. Till half of trek journey its proper way through the forest like all other treks but for the latter half it’s mainly either stone steps or metal steps (as shown in pictures). 1st and 2nd metal ladders are small ones and easy ones. The 3rd ladder is pretty big one and it takes 90-degree turn in between also its broken at some points or not having side holding rod for few steps that makes it little thrilling especially when you are descending. 4th and final patch takes you to the top.
There is a Kalsubai Temple at the top with Saffron colored Flag of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (The Great Maratha King) proudly waving high!!
News and events :
1) Known for the most unusual wedding, on 28 December 2014, in the presence of close family members, a couple tied the knot at the temple situated on the summit.
2) Celebrations for India’s 69th Independence Day took place at the summit where the Navy unfurled the largest flag of India measuring 60 feet in length and 40 feet in breadth.