Sundowner thrills in the hills: Night treks and trails near Mumbai
With summer at its peak, here are a few treks and trails you can embark on in the coolness of the night
High up in the clouds
Nishant Sheth, 41, founder at Treks and Hikes, a travel agency operating since 2016, says, "We do night treks in summers and post-monsoon. In summers, especially now, it is very difficult to trek because the heat leads to dehydration and fatigue. We arrange for treks after sundown, camp at a set location through the night, and since descending is easier we explore the region in daylight on our way down." There are a plethora of tours on offer, ranging from watermelon fests in Palghar and chikoo festival in Dahanu, to day and night treks to Matheran, Peb Fort, Rajmachi and more. For the tour this weekend, Nishant and his group of adventure-seekers will be Harischandragad-bound at night, to explore a medieval century fort, Kedareshwar Caves and the temple of Harishchandreshwar; following which the group will head to Konkankada, to experience a burst of clouds atop a cliff. Speaking of the view from Konkankada, Sheth says, "I've never seen anything quite like it."
ON May 12 and 13
STARTING POINT Kasara Railway Station.
CALL 8879418581 LOG ON TO firstname.lastname@example.org (for registrations) COST Rs 950
Manoj Kalwar, 32, founded Travel Trikon in 2016. He says the idea came from the wish to travel and connect with like-minded wandering souls. Trekking, camping, backpacking, wildlife safaris, cycling tours, and Sahyadri treks are some of the tours organised by his company. With a bias for night treks, Kalwar says, "Trekking at night is more exciting because it ensures a heavier dose of adventure. With zero visibility and route-finding tasks, you're sure to have immense fun." Their upcoming tour is a night trek to Kalavantin, "Kalavantin is beautiful because it is flanked by mountains on one side and by a plateau on the other. It will be interesting because we stress on designing these tours in an innovative manner. So, we have things like an ice-breaking session and games at night. It should be exciting, Kalavantin has forts to climb and forests to explore," Kalwar elaborates.
ON May 12 and 13
STARTING POINT Panvel Railway Station. CALL 9819021806 LOG ON TO traveltrikon.com (for registrations)
COST Rs 900
Lit up by fireflies
Grassroutes specialises in organising tours across central and western rural India. They promote conscientious travel in a bid to mitigate damage caused by commercial travel to rural environs. Their next adventure destination is the quaint village of Purushwadi, where nature-loving globetrotters will be witnessing the beginning of the scintillating fireflies festival. Speaking about the trip, Shreya Thaker, 22, marketing associate, says, "Fireflies are natural phenomena and when our founder, Inir Pinheiro, visited Purushwadi for the first time, he realised that people from cities would be truly interested because we don't get to witness this in the cities anymore. It's possible only in villages where biodiversity has been preserved properly. We started doing these events officially in 2009 and by that time we had the infrastructure in place in the villages we worked with, which enabled us to provide comfortable travel with a rural feel."
FROM May 26 to June 30
At Purushwadi camp site.
CALL 8879477437 LOG ON TO email@example.com (for registrations) COST Rs 1,100 to Rs 3,500
NIGHT TREK TO KALSUBAI
ON May 12 and 13
STARTING POINT Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.
CALL 9967690853 LOG ON TO eventshigh.com
COST Rs799 onwards
Fireflies Special Trek to Prabalmachi
ON May 19 and 20
STARTING POINT Panvel Railway Station.
CALL 8422888006 LOG ON TO trekmatesindia.com (for registrations)
COST Rs 1,050
Dress in covered clothes as there are more insects at night
Carry personal handy first-aid kits
Acquaint yourself with the village
Animals are unlikely to attack groups. Don't stray
Avoid flimsy footwear
Don't forget mosquito repellants, sunscreen, light snacks and water for the road
Weekend Getaways - Explore the scenic Bhandardhara