There were a couple of missteps during the descent for the topsoil had eroded and the rocks had weathered into gravel which lay strewn on the path. There are numerous points for photography which serve as pit-stops, allowing one to gauge how far they’ve come. However, unlike some other treks where there are vendors at these pit-stops serving lemonade and the like, the Mahuli fort trek is devoid of the same so make sure to carry all the essentials in abundance when trekking in the off-season.
What puzzled me the most was the inefficiency of the administration which fails in the maintenance of a popular hub for tourists and trekkers. Barring the trek route, the village of Mahuli seems to be suffering from abject neglect by the authorities. The road is not fit for commute and one can only imagine how the woes must pile up for both locals and trekkers during the rains. On our way back to Asangaon, we wanted to take the ST bus. However, we learnt that the bus remains erratic in its schedule and sometimes, goes for days without circling Mahuli on its route. This leaves trekkers and locals at the mercy of auto-rickshaws which are overpriced and can’t carry a whole bunch of trekkers at once. The locals, few in number and hence, their voices falling on deaf ears. Important facilities like healthcare and education are a far cry in Mahuli but what is more ominous is the lack of transport which can take one to the nearest hospital at one’s beck and call. The trekkers come and go but the village remains in isolation.