There are few peaks in the state of Maharashtra which I have trekked multiple times. One amongst them is the Kalsubai Peak – The highest peak of Maharashtra, also known as “Everest of Maharashtra”. But why do I return to the same peak again for trekking? The main reason is to keep myself fit which additionally causes me to stay weariness free amid my long excursions.
View from Kalsubai- Highest peak of Maharashtra
So, can travel a lot be tiring? Truly, it can be. Traveling implies holding your body upright in an assortment of ungainly positions for quite a while. Energy is utilized holding those positions, regardless of whether your body is lashed in. A year ago when I was exploring the parts of Northeast India for about a month, I began feeling fatigue following a couple of days of traveling. What I realized is that if you are more into daily exercises (running, swimming, cycling, trekking), you can minimize the tiredness.
Breathtaking landscape as seen from Kalsubai Peak
Standing at an elevation of 1646 meters, Kalsubai Peak’s summit is the highest point in Maharashtra. It lies within the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary and offers a breathtaking view of the nearby forts and the Bhandardara dam. The trek is little difficult, yet with little exertion, anybody can achieve the summit.
Bhandardara Dam view from Kalsubai Peak
How to reach Kalsubai Peak base village from Pune – Mumbai
The cheapest way to reach Kalsubai Base Village “Bari” is via railways and roadways bus. The nearest railway station to Bari is Igatpuri which is around 32 kms from the base village. Igatpuri railway station is well connected to major Indian cities (Mumbai, Pune, Varanasi, Bhusaval, Jabalpur, Nagpur, Aurangabad) via railways.
Once you reach Igatpuri, you can catch a state transport bus for Bari village (INR 40). What I would suggest is stay overnight at Bhandardara (around 13 kms away from Bari) and catch an early morning bus from Bhandardara to Bari village (5:30 AM – INR 10). You can put your tent near Bhandardara dam and do camping.
My journey to Kalsubai Peak – Highest peak of Maharashtra
It was my second visit to the Kalsubai peak. Right around two years back, when I initially climbed this peak, it was indeed very challenging for me to reach the summit of the highest peak of Maharashtra. In route to the summit, I thought of quitting a dozen times, but at the end after a lot of efforts, I finally made up to the top in around 3 hours.
Ladder in route to Kalsubai Peak summit
It has almost been a year since I am regular into running marathons, cycling, swimming, and trekking. I knew that it would be a little easy for me to trek the highest peak of Maharashtra compared to my previous visit. Earlier it was a solo journey but this time I was accompanied by few of my friends. One among them Hiren Patel is an Ironman finisher, and I knew it would be very exciting to trek with him.
At Kalsubai Peak top
We took the Pune BSL express which starts from Pune around 11:45 AM and reaches Igatpuri around 5:15 PM. From Igatpuri, we took a bus for Bhandardara which takes about an hour to reach the same. We arranged the firewood and tent from the locals and set it up close to the dam side. I still remember the essence of the scrumptious Maggi we cooked over there alongside tea and enjoying the music.
Tea making at Bhandardara Dam
Early morning (5:30 AM), we took a bus from Bhandardara to reach the Bari Village – The base of Kalsubai peak. It was still dark when we started our trek; thanks to the mobile flashlight which helped us a lot to find the route. We wished to see the sunrise at least from some height, so we started trekking at a decent pace. The view of the sunrise was simply amazing.
Sunrise view in route to summit of Kalsubai Peak
If you are trekking in the monsoon season, you need to be a bit more careful as the route becomes quite slippery. Few times during the trek, you would feel like you have made it to the summit, but that won’t be the case.☺ At the top, there is temple named ‘Kalsubai temple’ named after a lady Kalsubai. It is believed that she vanished close to the mountain while endeavoring to get away from her employer’s persevering torment.
From the top, the view of the surrounding region is absolutely outstanding with Bhandardara dam in the vicinity. It took me about 1 hrs. 40 min to make to the top and around 40 min to descend all the way back. I was exceptionally satisfied as it took only 2 hours and 20 min to ascend and descend the highest peak of Maharashtra compared to approx. 5 hours which I took on my previous attempt.
View from top of Kalsubai Peak – highest peak of Maharashtra
Best time to visit Kalsubai Peak
Without any doubt, the monsoon months from July to September are the best time to trek Kalsubai, the highest peak of Maharashtra. The surroundings are lush green with numerous waterfalls in the vicinity. Also, the winter months from October to February is a good time to trek this peak. Avoid summers, as it becomes very hot during the daytime.
Food and stay options at Kalsubai peak
There are few dhabbas at the base village Bari, where you can get the local Maharashtrian Food. Also, there are lots of stalls in between where the local villagers sell lemon juice, tea, biscuits, chips etc. But I would advise you to take some eatables along with you as well.
Cat at one of Tea Stall
If you thinking to stay overnight, you can either set up the tent on the top or somewhere on the route to the summit. Also, there are few budget options available at the base village Bari. I would suggest you stay near the Bhandardara dam and enjoy camping over there.
Our tent at Bhandardara Dam
To summit the highest peak of Maharashtra is a dream for every trekker of Maharashtra. I can guarantee that once you reach the summit, it would turn into a memory that you would esteem for the lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and hike to Kalsubai, the highest peak of Maharashtra.
Camping at Bhandardara Dam
Looking for more weekend gateway options near Pune? Check out these blog posts:
- A cycle trip to Lavasa city from Pune (INR 100)
- Andharban jungle and Devkund Waterfall Trek – Time to get lost in the dense forest
- Satara – A road trip to the Maharashtra’s Valley of Flowers from Pune (INR 800)
- Rajmachi Fort Trek, adventurous one day trip near Mumbai and Pune (INR 350)
- Tikona Fort Trek and Pawna Lake – One day trip near Pune (INR 250)
- A two-day trip to Torna Fort and Madhe Ghat Waterfall(INR 400)
- Matheran – Asia’s only automobile free hill station
- Daman – A Glimpse of Portugal Heritage
- A road trip to Harihareshwar, Shrivardhan and Diveagar Beach from Pune (INR 1200)
Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my blog post on What’s in my Backpack.
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