Standing at a staggering height of 5400 ft. above sea level; Kalsubai is highest peak in Maharashtra.
This Everest of Maharashtra offers stunning views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges and lush green cover surrounding the mountains.
This towering natural phenomenon is part of the Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. Standing atop the Deccan Plateau, it is located exactly on the border of Nashik and Ahmednagar District.
There is a Kalsubai Temple at the summit of the peak draws people from the nearby villages throughout the year.
As adventure point of view, Kalsubai is also great spot for trekking, camping and Star gazing.
Therefore, it is visited throughout the year by avid trekkers, Kalsubai temple devotees and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
The peak is known to have been titled after an ordinary girl named Kalsu Khade from Indore village who was adopted by Shinde of Bari’s village.
It is believed that one day she left the Bari village, to save herself from the slavery of her new parent’s ruthless cruelty.
Since she loses all her faith in people, she escaped the society and climbed the mountain and lived alone at top of the peak for rest of her life. During that time, she cured animals and even villagers. Therefore, after her death, in her memory, a small temple was built at her home on the mountainside and the main Kalsubai temple was built on the peak.
The peak is thus called Kalsubai as she is believed to be the guardian deity of the region.
Many Kolis worship her as their household goddess for the people believe that the goddess favours those who make a vow to her in cases of trouble and difficulty.
Later on, peak was used for keeping watch on their enemies during the Maratha rule in the region.
BASE VILLAGE & REGION
Bari is a farming village in Akole Taluka in Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra State, India. It can be reached by road, via Igatpuri on the Mumbai-Nashik route.
Bari has a lot of homes which are open to hikers and trekkers for food. If you wish to stay for a day or two to explore the area, there are Homestay options available.
Kalsubai mountain can be viewed, in its entirety, from Bari village located on its eastern side.
Kalsubai is small triangular peak geologically identified as a large igneous province, it consists of solidified flood basalt dating back to the Cenozoic era.
The peak along with the adjoining hills spans along a downward-slanting east to west axis eventually merging with the formidable escarpment of the western ghats at almost right angles.
The Waki river, a tributary of Pravara, takes origin on Kalsubai’s eastern slope and flows as a stream through the outer fringes of Bari.
Reference is taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalsubai
The truncated summit provides a modest area of flat land which holds a sacred temple of a Kalsubai. Temple is small that only 2-3 people can barely stand inside it.
A traditional prayer service is held every Tuesday and Thursday by a priest. During the festival of Navarati, for all nine days, special poojas are carried out and the idol is fully decorated and 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.
HOW TO REACH
- KASARA – GHOTI – BARI – KALSUBAI (50km)
- IGATPURI– GHOTI – BARI – KALSUBAI(33km)
Local trains leaving from Mumbai provide an alternate mode of transport till Kasara railway station with connecting State Transport (ST) buses, plying on the Akole-Kasara route, leading up to the base village.
Catching Express train from Mumbai(CST) gives you both options to get down at Kasara or at Igatpuri railway station.
State Transport(ST) buses directly to Bari village via Akole route from Igatpuri or Kasara station is available, though not very frequent to travellers.
Better option is to reach Ghoti village from Igatpuri or Kasara by ST bus or shared auto. From Ghoti, take another ST bus or local shared vehicle to Bari Village.
Private vehicles from Kasara or Igatpuri provide yet another alternative to public transport.
Milind who having his own Xylo and also Bolero and can peak up you from Kasara or Igatpuri station directly drop you at Bari village. So if you are planning not only to Kalsubai but also any nearby places in that region, plan your journey and contact Milind in advance and inform him about your schedule.
He very friendly person and charged us Rs. 2500 including return journey during Night trek to Kalsubai.
MILIND : 9890935594, 9028159266
TREKKING & ADVENTURE
Trek to Kalsubai is easy to moderate level trek and offers a breathtaking combination of natural environments like waterfalls, forests, grasslands, and historic forts. It is a 6.6 km long trek with an elevation gain of around 2700 ft.
The trail to Kalsubai is well marked and well developed, the local authorities ensuring that no discomfort is caused to those undertaking the trek. Considering the increasing foot fall in recent years, the government has built iron ladders along the vertical hill slopes.
These assist trekkers to allow for a convenient and safe ascent and therefore from children to even old age people can able to summit the Kalsubai peak.
The Kalsubai Peak trek trail starts from Bari Village and can be divided into 2 sections.
- The first section is from Bari Village, through fields, grasslands, and a short forest section. (EASY level)
- The second section is the challenging ladder sections with about 4-5 steep ladders. (Moderate level)
The descent is the same way back down (Moderate in monsoon because of slippery soils and Easy in other seasons)
Trek started from Bari village as you pass through the local villagers’ houses and then walk straight through fields and farming lands of villagers once you leave the village behind.
You will come across a stream that flows except summer season. You will need to cross this and continue walking through the fields.
Further steep ascents will start that takes you to a small local hotel where you got refreshments.
Moving further, the trail becomes a little rocky and shades by trees. The first small ascent leads you to the second temple of a local deity Kalsu. This is an ideal place for some quick rest. The summit is visible from this point and looks deceptively close but you’re at least 2.5-3 hours away.
The trail ahead is marked almost throughout with no scope of getting lost.
After an hour of trekking, you reach the first iron ladder. Be careful while climbing ladder and go one by one manner. There are four such climbing ascents.
After close to 3 hours of climbing, you reach a ridge-like area where you get beautiful viewpoint of Bari village and surrounding areas.
The final ascent is again facilitated by the longest steel ladder of Kalsubai that take you to top of the mountain.
NIGHT TREK TO KALSUBAI
Just imagine watching the Sunrise from the highest peak of Maharashtra!!
This enchanting view would surely give you peaceful feeling and unforgettable moment from lifetime.
I have experienced the same when I have done night trek to Kalsubai in winter 2017.
But you need to take local guide along with you if you are planning of night trek.
Reaching the top of the peak requires a good amount of dedication which pays off when you get the ‘on top of the world’ feeling. Also it will give you everlasting memories by clicking some breath-taking photographs.
Since You will reach the summit very early in the morning, so that you have ample time to rest for a while and explore the place.
Kalsubai mountain has ridges on north and south.
INDORE ROUTE (HARD LEVEL)
Northern route to Indore village is relatively as not many people are aware of it.
This route is raw with stone steps that carved out of rocks and a huge iron chain for support at the dangerous patches. Priest of Kalsubai temple regularly use this route to ascend and descent the mountain.
You need to go through three mountains to reach Kalsubai peak. There are many patches where you have to walk at the edge of the mountain to reach other side.
There are no railings to protect you from falling from the cliff on this route. It took 4 hours to reach the Kalsubai peak from the Indore village. There are 1st ST bus available for Indore village at 6 AM from Igatpuri station.
UDHAVANE ROUTE (VERY HARD LEVEL)
One can also use the south ridge and reach Udhavane village, that is also a tough route as you have traverse mountain with sheer drop at one end.
HARISHCHANDRAGAD WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
As Kalsubai is a part of Wildlife Sanctuary, it is also the perfect place to spot different kind of birds, carnivores, herbivores, and amphibians that are found only in the western ghats.
In 1860 Archdeacon Gell wrote the following account of a visit to Kalsubai:
[Chesson and Woodhall’s Bombay Miscellany, I. 8.]
“Daring the night, I mounted this king of Deccan hills, the ascent of which was more than usually precipitous. When we reached the foot of the knot of rocks, which form the highest bit of earth in the Deccan, so chill a night wind struck us that my guides declined the further ascent and assured me there was nothing whatever on the top, which we, being so close under the rock, could not see. Scrambling up, I found a little temple dedicated to Devi Kalsu on the bit of platform only a few yards in circumference, at a height of 5427 feet above sea level. I knew the sunrise would give me a fine prospect, and I was not disappointed.
To the north, lay a ruck of hills, sinking into the wide Godavari plain, the great rocks of Trimbak, Anjani hills, and Harishchandragad at its source being distinctly observable.
A shade of green in the far plain showed where lay the city of Nasik, over which rose the Dhair and Ramsej forts and their range of hills.
Above and beyond, the great Chandor range stretched Rajdher fort, and Indrai fort lifting their sunlit heads against the morning sky.
Beyond the hollow of Chandor, hidden by two projecting forts belonging to the line of the Kalsubai hills, were the Ankai-Tankai twins commanding the road between Ahmadnagar and Malegaon.
To the west on the Kalsubai range itself across the horizon;
Achla, Ahivant, Saptashring, Markinda, Ravlya-Javlya, Doramb or Dhodap, were Alang, Madan and Kulang, and to the east and north-east the giant heads of Bitangad, Pattah and Aundha.
To the south the eye ranged over dense forests, rising amid which, along the line of the Sahyadris, were several more forts, the chief of them Harischandragad;
Beyond, to the south and west, lay the Konkan, and resting on it the great fort of Mahuli. Further to the south the Matheran range was dimly visible, like islands floating on a sea of wave-like hills.”
Reference is taken from: https://mumbaihikers.net/blog/2010/12/06/kalsubai-history/
One can surely say Kalsubai peak is nothing but the greatest watchtower in the Sahyadri Mountains.
Apart from this, number of water resources like Bhandardara Backwater and Arthur lake attracts one’s attention from Kalsubai peak and you can visit nearby spots like Bhandardara dam and Umbrella falls.
ACCOMMODATION & OTHER FACILITY
There are number of houses at the base village that arrange Food or breakfast for visitors.
Visit this website for Stay, Food or other inquiry.
Otherwise, there is a one young boy name Manik who stays at base village with her mother.
He was also our guide during night trek. He charged us Rs. 1100/- for 11 people. You can negotiate with him as per your trek and number of people.
He can arrange food and breakfast at reasonable rate and his house also good place to rest after the trek.
MANIK: 9112830212, 2424219891
There is no proper car parking at the base village but you can ask and then park it any local houses.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Kalsubai is open throughout the year with each season having a different landscape. So choose the best time depending on what you would like to experience.
Although this is not the highest peak of entire Sahyadri mountain range, highest Sahyadri mountain is Anamudi in Kerala state of India.
FINAL THOUGH ABOUT KASLUBAI
Amidst the steep route, paddy fields, lush greenery, surrounding moutnains range and the playful shuffle of sunrise and sunset, you would be infatuated with the entire landscape this Everest of Maharashtra.
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Checkout my YouTube video on Sunrise from Kalsubai