Romancing The Rain: A Trek To Bhimashankar

I have never been keen on getting wet in the rain…so much so that when a few years ago, darling husband had very romantically suggested a motorbike ride to Lonavala in thick of monsoon I had, with an equal ardour, convinced him to cozy up at home instead of getting wet and cold in the rain!

But a few weeks ago, I decided to join a group of young trekkers from Pune and trek to Bhimashankar temple in the Sahyadris Hills of Western Ghats and that too in pouring rain!! Aim was to find out the romance of the rain…

Though the scheduled departure was planned at six but travelling in a group you always end up being late. And so we set course at seven in morning from Pune. The cool morning breeze and an overcast sky were signs of a pleasant day ahead. Meandering down the road I waited for the mushrooming concrete jungle to taper away…

Soon the bus was cruising along  lush green fields of paddy swaying in the gentle breeze. Have you ever smelled a Paddy field? I never knew that it smells like the cooked rice…reminds you of the warm food at home!

Lush paddy fields

Lush paddy fields

Brimming seasonal rivers flowed exuberantly, small water bodies, bridges and small dams rolled past but the hills draped in layers of variety of greens remained our constant companions soothing the eyes and filling me with general sense of well-being ….no matter how much the terror-spreaders and skewed-brained people tried to destroy, the world was beautiful and I was alive to experience it, to breathe in the fresh air, to see the beautiful colors, to smell fragrances…

Sahyadri hills of Western Ghats draped in greens

Sahyadri hills of Western Ghats draped in greens

Brimming rivers

Brimming rivers

Three hours drive through beautiful countryside later, we arrived at the foot of the trek-trail. The group leader Mukund Kale and Wild Trek Adventure organizer Prasad had forewarned us to carry rain coats, umbrellas and salt to fend off leeches. Armed with all rain gear and cameras we began our trek to Bhimashankar temple.

Bhimashankar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and a popular pilgrimage. According to the mythological stories, Lord Shiva was invoked by all other Gods to defeat and end Bhimasur, the son of Kumbhakaran of Ramayana’s fame. While the war was on, Lord Shiva’s sweat fell on the ground and River Bhima was thus formed.

No sooner had the bus left and we began the gradual hike did the skies decide to come down on us in an incessant drizzle that would last us for the entire trek. Out came the rain coats and umbrellas from the backpacks and in went my camera, extra lens and all!

The terrain soon turned into slippery squishy muddy trail testing and teasing me. Weighed down by the heavy lenses and camera on my shoulder I stumbled along the slippery rocks. Though the slope was very gradual but I found it cumbersome in continuous rain. An hour later when I was on verge of giving up, the terrain flattened out much to my relief.

Small and big crabs peeped out of their holes and scurried past. Little rivulets streamed down the ground. Freshly formed small waterfalls gushed along the trail. The young trekkers despite being soaked in rain splashed in the waterfalls drenching themselves to the bones. I however looked on….trying to find a foothold on the slippery ground and protecting the camera from getting wet.

The perpetual rain had not particularly pleased me but the excitement and revelry of those fifteen year old trekkers was infectious and I had gradually begun to enjoy the journey. The breathtaking beauty was growing on me…the greenery calmed me.

Somewhere along the trail a shallow seasonal river had sprung up with clear gurgling water rushing in great abandon…dancing over every stone and rock…a picture perfect view!

Shallow seasonal river along the Bhimashankar Trek

Shallow seasonal river along the Bhimashankar Trek

Picture perfect...

Picture perfect…

That was the time when I fell in love again…with the unadulterated beauty of nature. I  understood what it was that made poets write paeans on rains… And from that point forward, rain stopped bothering me…I let it drip down my neck,  squelch under my shoes and  chill my finger tips.

After seven long kilometers trek we reached the footsteps of the Bhimashankar temple wading through another deeper and fiercer stream. The rain had stopped by the time we reached the temple and was replaced by thick white veil of mist obstructing view beyond a few meters.

I was wet, cold and shivering but I had my share of romance with the rains and loved it….

Good to know facts:

Reaching there:

  • Bhimashankar is about 110 km from Pune and a popular destination for pilgrims as well as adventure seekers.
  • Treks to Bhimashankar vary in degree of difficulty. There are treks for more adventurous to the Bhimashankar Forest Reserve, Bhorgiri Fort, Buddhist caves Amba and Ambalika and to the origin of River Bhima.
  • Trek trips from Mumbai, Mahabaleshwar, Matheran are quite frequent during monsoons.
  • State transport buses and private commercial vehicles ply from nearby areas to Bhimashankar.

Stay:

  • Cheap lodges and dormitories that serve basic local food are available near the temple.
  • Nearest resorts for accommodation are in Matheran, Alibaug or Mahabaleshwar.
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About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
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12 Responses to Romancing The Rain: A Trek To Bhimashankar

  1. N. E. White says:

    The rain does bring out scents, which can transform a trip (for good or bad). I’m glad you went despite the rain. I hate doing anything in the rain, too, but once you’re out there, it usually doesn’t matter. It is just nice to be out. 🙂

    Like

  2. Asha Sudhir Bhagwat says:

    Beautifully written.

    Like

  3. Rahna V Nasar says:

    beautiful words. could feel the adventures you had.. love your writings.. 🙂

    Like

  4. bazilpatel1 says:

    http://dubaiaed.com/100 is there a possibility to become a guest blogger or let me know how can we collaborate if possible or any blogging tricks do check my blog it feels good and motivates too

    Like

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