What does one seek on a beautifully drenched monsoon Sunday … a bunch of crazy, enthusiastic and rustic friends who are passionate about getting drenched in the lap of nature on a trek far far away from the concrete nature of the ultra urban life. That’s precisely is the most preferred recipe for a fantastic Sunday. Don’t ya buggers agree ??
A trek to Ganpaty Gadad, in the Murbad belt, was on the calling this weekend of 27th July 2014. It was conceived, planned and conveyed to a select group of friends who used their goodness to spread the word around to some of own close buddies. Finally by 26th [Saturday evening] we were 22 enthusiasts finalized in a 17 seater bus [that proved to be more cost and convenience effective], along with 5 in a heart breaking waiting list. From Murbad, drive straight on Highway 222 until Umroli and take a right turn to Dhasai. You’ll not miss noticing the milestones or boards out there. Here, one should ask around the locals for directions to Sonavale, the base village. You may just be talking to a local of the same village who’ll be happy to join you in the bus on a win win journey of few kilometers.
Journey started from Borivali dot at 6 am as planned and followed route towards Bandra and Eastern Express Highway, enroute pick-up of high voltage gang of enthusiasts who had either never heard about Ganpati Gadad trek or were armed with their google researched notes on it. Post delicious and hot kanda pohe / upma in the bus and a halt near Murbad for a piping hot and refreshing chai, we reached Sonavale, the base village. Somewhere in our research, we had read that the previously marked arrows on the path to the caves was erased / removed, because of which we were not in favour of creation of confusions and therefore, negotiated hired a guide.
Shortly after brief round of introductions and introductions we embarked on trek started led by a local lad as our guide, the rain gods answered our prayers by showering soothing and incessant rain all along the way and right until the conclusion of the trek. Enroute, the fields were lush green and enchanting. We dodged thru the muck filled path upto a small stream, crossed over and began a smooth ascent until we reached the thicket of green woods and alluring waterflow where we clicked several pics. Its from this point the steep and slippery ascend began but in no way to dissuade us from our objectives as bang on the right front was the constant vision of the most picturesque and straight out of some fairy tale, caves, and the waterfalls that seemed desperate enough to conceal the views of the caves.
About two little steep slopes we reached a narrow plateau with stream of water flowing vertically as if it were flowing on the floor. From this place on up to the caves, a plain walk of not more than 20 meters, all of us were attacked by shutterbugs from within the own group. Ecstasy of reaching Ganpati Gadad caves, Rise and shine of very childlike and playful grown-ups models in the bathroom shower like soothing, pure and cool waterfalls, the alluring view of the rural expanse and dam, are some experience worthy of only experiencing again and again. All in all, Ganpaty Gadad is a simple and easy endurance trek that a trekker should gain self experience.