Wanderlust Tales #4: Beauty of the Western Ghats

This Segment “Wanderlust Tales” will bring fascinating stories of a young dreamer, a passionate traveller and a wandering soul. Witness her emotional stories coupled with exquisite photographs from her travel diaries, every Friday.


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From Wanderlust Tales of theWanderingSoul

Wanderlust-Tales-Curator, The Floating Thoughts Team

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” Take only memories, leave only footprints.


Born in a mountainous region, a piece of my heart has always been inclined towards magnanimity and beauty of mountains. I have always felt a sense of connection, more like an inner call to my soul, whenever I find myself staring at the photographs of hills or mountains.

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Mt.Kalsubai is the highest peak in Maharashtra. It has a height of 1646 mts or around 5400 ft, often called “Everest of Maharashtra”.Bari Gaon is the base village to start the trek which is located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.Locals tell different stories regarding the name of the peak “Kalsubai” as Bai is used to addressing a female in Marathi. One story says Kalsu was a maid who disappeared near this mountain while trying to escape her employer’s torture.Hence the name “Kalsu Bai”.

 

So Dear Readers, let me take you through a memorable tryst that I had with these mountains. It was during my first visit to Mumbai, one of the second most populous metropolitan area in India, that I got a chance to witness the beauty of Western Ghats. After having a busy week at work, I decided to spend my weekend in the serene and peaceful ambiance of nature. My inner wandering soul does always find an excuse, whenever it becomes possible, to escape into the lap of scenic vistas.

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Finally, after doing a quick research and gathering suggestions from friends, I decided to go to Lonavala/Khandala –  hill stations in the Indian State of Maharastra, western ghats. It was in the month of August when the entire region enjoys the blissful rainy season. On a Saturday morning, we started our short trip to Lonavala by a cab that we booked the day before from Navi Mumbai.

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“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson

What an amazing route with beautiful hills all the way long. It was like one of those beautiful places from the postcards and wallpapers. I had never seen such beautiful hills before. I was awestruck and anybody who would visit the Western Ghats in the monsoon would be too.

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Ratanwadi Village

When we reached Lonavala, as famous as this place is among the Mumbaikars and Pune residents, this place was crowded as expected. People played loud music in their vehicles while singing along, some screamed like crazy while dancing in the rain. The floating clouds, the drizzle, and the cold wind gave me a soothing chill through my skin.

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View of the base village for Mt.Kalsubai.

 

The Western Ghats is the perfect escape for the people living in these two cities(Mumbai/Pune)  from their mundane life not just because of the refreshing air but there are some eccentricity and magic in it.

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“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~Rachael Carson.  Taken after a 5-6 hrs dark jungle trek in Andarban. 

 

The story of the Western Ghats didn’t end here. I actually ended up hiking to most of the summits. Every place in the hills is unique and beautiful with a story of its own. Sometimes the hikes are difficult, you get bruises, you get covered in mud, your clothes get wet due to continuous rain, your body may give up…still, your heart just makes u keeps moving forward… for it will always yearn for that breathtaking view from the top of the hills.

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You will forget all your problems, you will immerse yourself in that breathtaking views and would definitely appreciate the Almighty for His beautiful creation as I always do when I am in these hills. These views make us realize that there so many beautiful things to be appreciated, so many things to be grateful for in life.

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It takes a thousand words to describe one picture and my words are really not sufficient to describe how astounding this hill range is in monsoon season. Moreover, pictures speak louder than words.IMG_20170419_192426_097

NOTE: As I hiked to the many hills in the Western Ghats, the easily accessible ones are often littered. The Western Ghats is home to hundreds of living beings. Let’s preserve them and save them for other living beings. Many organizations are putting in their effort to save it. Let’s do our part and be proud of being part of this change.

Let’s stop committing more mistakes. Together we can move mountains.

 InformationThe Western Ghats is chain of mountains running parallel to the Western coast of India traversing through the Indian states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerela. These mountains are believed to be older than the Himalayas and rich in biodiversity. It houses hunderds of species of flaura, fauna, amphibians, birds and reptiles. Considered one of the hottest hotspots of biological diversity, there are several Tiger Reserves, National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Reserved Forest in the Western Ghats. It is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

 

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For some monsoon may be the time to stay indoors, for some rain brings with it discontentment and desolation, but for me, the monsoon is all that I look forward to as it brings with it the sweet petrichor (fragrance to die for), that fulfillment and rejuvenation.


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