It was rainy June of 2007 when first time I stepped in this city surrounded by forts. Early morning when I opened my eyes, I witnessed the marvel of green Sahyadri through the drenched glass of my bus window. The feeling was as if I was seeing a pearl in the ocean!! I always wanted to be in the beautiful green arms of the city as it had something which mesmerized me! My very first experience in Sahyadri was the trekking of tiger valley (Khandala). I could feel the warmness of rock which rubbed my body and my heart almost sank amidst the fresh water of this sacred mountain. The affection with Sahyadri became so irresistible that I was back again in 2011, with the sole purpose of spending much larger volume of time in the serenity of this heavenly city.
My affection & attraction leaped with every single visit I made in Sahyadri. I don’t know the reason but this temptation may be because of my urge to enjoy the spectacle of Alang Madan, Kulang in moon light of sharadpoornima from back water of Bhandardhara or to spend a night in dark forest of Tamhini Ghat and shiver with excitement with the lightning and thunderstorms entire night. Furthermore, the breathe-taking feel of the gust of wind from top of Torna, sight of the highest pinnacle of Bhairavgad from Moroshi, making of delicious barbeque between colorful wild flowers of Kas Pathar, reaching at the bottom of Raireyshar in search of few drops of water, hanging the body well above 3000 ft while rock climbing at Kalakrai pinnacle, posing with the adorable statue of Shivaji Maharaj at Pratapgad, listening Baba Purandhare about bravery of Shivaji Maharaj and finally chatting with Kokila by playing successive rounds of whistle in the morning, all these justify, well beyond doubt my love and affection for this lovely heaven on Earth. Many a times while trekking Bhairavgad, Rajagad and the like, one question pondered in my mind that “How could Shivaji Maharaj climbed such steep uneven terrain and that too with his 40 kg swords!!! His courage & patriotism rightly deserves a standing salute. I always feel him alive in mountains with echo of “Jai Bhavani Jai Shivaji” I could feel his endurance by gazing at his statue in Raigad & when last few rays of sunlight fall on his body ….
It appears that the brave soul is bidding saying good bye. Apart from all these, one thing I could never afford to forget is my never ending workout to sight a glimpse of giant red squirrel in forest of Mahabaleshwar. Nevertheless following path of her nest was an experience to cherish for long, as I always felt inspired by her
appearance in front ofmy tired eyes as if she is saying “Dekha !! itna assan nahi he mujemeelna”
Nevertheless I have always come across great & divine people during travelling. It’s hard to forget people whom I met while roaming in Sahyadri, my friends with whom I shared my last drop of water, it was an amazing experience being in deep forest, stretching the limits of verticality of terrain. Some say it pain of trekking, while I feel it to be the joy of achieving new heights. All said, the reality is that I have fallen in love with Sahyadri and wish this journey continue with more spectacles to explore