Disclaimer: The actual beauty of this trek is just to be drunk, soaked in and lived. The pictures here represent only the first part that is nothing compared to the granular feel of the rocks under the feet, the shroud of vast-girded trees making a colonnade, the spring colors splashed with abandon across the landscape, and the luminosity of the early morning sky — all coming together in a perfect blend. To top it all, the air was fragrant with the Mahuda and Umra in full bloom. Do you want to trek and live free of regret (unlike the gujarati poet who lamented that he wanted to roam mountains without a guide)?
Then trek up from Khandas village via Shidi ghat to reach Bhimashankar in Maharashtra. The ghat/pass derives its name from the iron ladders that are placed in a number of spots because the mountain is too steep to climb or the rocks are set too wide to span without equipment. People say it is beautiful during monsoon, but it was no less charming on March 17, 2014. We went from Matheran right upto Khandas and parked the car there to continue on foot.
Slightly up on the mountain and we had already lost our tiny, misty village below.
Next we came up on to a cliff. A look backward revealed the dark tree tops silhouetted in the sun, and then the persian carpet-like weaving of the green, orange and yellow of the young leaves in springs against the light brown of drying grass..
I was thinking of the story of Savitri as I treaded the stones dusted with dry leaves …
… under the weaving of ‘red-eye’ sun and branches
and the blush of newly sprung leaves
The stones strewn everywhere made me wonder what lava would have boiled here and what volcano must have rumbled and been spewed up over here ages ago..
I would not regret if I never got to see any sunrise again:
… what would this place have been like in other seasons? Monsoon? A sanskrit expression flashed in the mind:
क्षणे क्षणे चैव नवताम् उपैति तदैव रूप: रमणीयताया: (only that, which attains newness by the moment, is the form of beauty). Foreverness has no season. Be there, partake of it and live through it by seeing, breathing, walking it. Leave a morsel of you in that wilderness and take some of the pristine back with you, I told myself.