Kalsubai, highest peak in Maharashtra.
|Elevation||1,646 m (5,400 ft)Google earth|
|Location||Border of Igatpuri Taluka, Nashik district and Akole Taluka, Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India|
Kalsubai Peak (Marathi: कळसूबाई शिखर) is the highest peak (1646 meters) of the Sahyadris on the border of Igatpuri Taluka, Nashik district and Akole Taluka, of Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, an Indian state.The entire hill is a part of Harishchandragad Kalsubai Sanctuary.
'Kalsubai' temple is located at the topmost peak of Sahyadri mountain range of Maharastra. At the summit there is a small flat portion with a small temple of Kalsubai, a local deity. A traditional prayer (pooja) service is held every Tuesday and Thursday by a local priest. Local villagers sell the pooja materials almost all year long, while sending their cows for grazing. On Navratri occasions many stalls are set up near the summit for the pooja materials. During the Navratri period, for all nine days, special poojas are carried out and idol is fully decorated. Special Mela (fair) is organized for Navratri. Local guides often accompany climbers to the summit.
To reach the summit there are various trekking routes and animal tracks. The main route starts from the village of Bari which is about six km from Bhandardara. To reach Bari, one has to travel to Igatpuri on the Mumbai Nasik route. From Igatpuri take the early morning bus (at around 5.00 am from the Igatpuri Bus Stand) going towards Pune and alight at Bari. Those who want to reach from Mumbai easily travel through local train in morning hours and get down at Kasara station. From Kasara one can get buses and share taxis to get down at Bari. In Navratri, period share taxis are their at 15-minute regular interval.
For those coming from Mumbai by Local Train—Get down at Kasara Railway Station. There is a bus "Kasara-Akole" connected to the first Local Train arriving at Kasara i.e., at 6.52 in the morning which will take you to Bari. If you miss that bus then there are several jeeps available for Ghoti from where you can reach Bari either by Bus or by jeep. If you are planning to return on the same day to Mumbai then there is a last bus "Akole-Kasara" at 6pm at Bari which takes you to Kasara Railway station around 8pm, which helps you to catch the local train that leaves station at 8.17pm. This bus is meant for the people who want to go to Mumbai via local train in night. If you miss this bus, then you have to rely on private vehicles which may charge more than the usual fare.
The main route to the temple is at small climbing slope . It usually takes three hours to reach the top from Bari. Soon after leaving Bari, a small stream needs to be crossed followed soon after by a Hanuman temple. The route from behind this temple takes the hiker straight to the summit. As you climb first ridge there is a temple. It is meant for people who aren't fit enough to make to the temple on the top. There are small huts in this area which could be very helpful in case of any emergency. There are three iron ladders along this route. There is a well near the last iron ladder as one approaches the top but the water is not potable during summer. The rest of the route is without water, so it is best to fill water bottles in Bari. It is an easy hike, but parts of it are quite steep.
Reptiles like lizards and snakes could be spotted sun-bathing during winter mornings near the ladders.
The vastly spread out backwaters of Bhandardara attracts one's attention from the top. To the north of the mountain range forts such as Ramsej, Harihargad, Brahmagiri, Anjaneri, Ghargad, Bahula, Tringalwadi, Kavnai can be seen. To the east one can spot Aundha, Vishramgad, Bitangad, to the west Alang, Madangad, Kulang, Ratangad (south west) and to the south Pabhargad, Ghanchakkar, Harishchandragad can be seen.