Yesterday it was time to get out of Mumbai. We have something called an outdoor adventure club in the company and they hosted a trek to a place called Naneghat. Naneghat is a mountain pass in the Western Ghats range near Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra, India. During the reign of the Satavahana (200 BCE–190 CE), the pass was extensively used as a trade route between Kalyan and Junnar
This meant that I had to wake up at 5.30 on a Saturday morning. A bit way too early if you ask me, but well, I guess you have to sacrifice something to get something nice. At 6.30 we were a bunch of people at the bus and ready to go.
After a stop at a hotel where we had some breakfast and got divided into groups we came to our starting point. Of we went! Ohh, and did I forgot to tell you that it is still the monsoon season and it was raining the whole day? I was quite happy that I had taken with me my rain jacket and even an umbrella! Yes, I know, it doesn’t sounds really right to take an umbrella for trekking, but I didn’t really know what to expect, so well, I was happy I had it. And quite many of my Indian colleagues also used an umbrella, so I guess that is a common tool for trekking here?
We started off at a quite flat land. I thought then that it would be just like “a walk in the park”. But suddenly we started to almost wade through some creeks. And it became quite deep at some places. You could really tell on the face of some of the people that they didn’t really like it. You can read more about that at one of my colleagues blog. For me as a Norwegian, it was just a perfect day! Maybe the first time in Mumbai that I was a bit cold. The temperature was a bit like a nice Norwegian autumn day, which made everything quite nice. After coming out from the forest we started to really climb uphill. Due to the rain, it was a bit fogy, so not that easy to see too much. But still the trek was really nice! I guess I will try to go back here sometime when it is not that much rain/fog, in order to get a better view of it.
At the top we had our lunch in a nice cave. According to some of my colleagues this was used as a kind of a convent for Buddhist monks. They used to live here for some years and to get toll or donations from people who passed the place with their goods for trading. The inscriptions in the caves indicate that they are the work of Satavahana rulers who came into prominence after the fall of the Mauryan empire. It is believed that a powerful woman ruler Naganika, the wife of Satakarni (180–170 BCE) of the Satavahana family commissioned the cave, the statues and the inscriptions. Inscriptions in the cave mention her and her family members. Though the statues adorning the sides of the rectangular cave are now gone, the inscriptions still record some of the achievements of the dynasty.
According to my GPS we were at about 800 meters above sea level. I’m not really sure if that was correct, but well it doesn’t matter. After a long bus ride, I was home about 1 am in the night. A really long day, but really worth it.
Talk to you soon!