It was my third day of the break and I started my trek to Naag Tibba at around 7:30 am (which I must have started early). With little hopes of staying back at the peak, I packed some food for myself. The trek started with crossing a few village houses and buffaloe sheds. As I started birding, I realised that I am in a paradise of birds and it might take me the whole day just to reach the peak. I stopped my bird watching at around 10am to focus on the trek. To name a few, Himalayan Bulbul, Skimitter Babbler, Red billed blue magpie etc. were my lifers.
Crossing several shepherds on my way, I realised that this trek for me is a day to day activity for the localities. Climbing uphill relentlessly, I reached a point of absolute solitude. I stood there for a while to refill water from a source and reenergise myself. Crossed were also a few points where tourists camp (pre booked camps) and also the infamous Goats Village. Surprisingly, I was the only traveller that day on the trek. Enjoying conversation with the locals passing by, I learned a lot about the vegetation and source of livelihood about the place. Also learned that how 2017s unpredicted change in rainfall pattern effected the livelihood of farmers.
I did get lost once but again the kind hearted and helpful people of the mountains showed me the way. Finally, after several ups and downs (literally) I managed to reach the Naag Tibba temple at around 2pm. As I entered the temple, I was welcomed by a group of people who were worshiping the deity and performing rituals. I hesitated initially but couldn't resist after I was treated with much of love and affection. They offered me food which was probably the best I had in past few years. Khichdi, Dahi, sabji and lots and lots of sweets. The kind of hospitality I received made me realise the importance of being humble to everyone. Treating everyone equally and loving everyone equally is what makes you a complete being. I was a complete stranger, yet I was treated as if I belonged to them. I have lived that moment and I wish to relive that moment again. My plans were to cross Naag Tibba and reach Jhandi (2 hours away from Naag Tibba). Guess that will have to wait for my next trip.
I started moving down with the same group of people as they too were from Pantwadi. It was getting dark and I had to ensure I reach before that, hence, I ran down the valley, which was again one of the most interesting things I did in a while. While coming down, I did find a couple of travelers moving towards Naag-Tibba (Guessed they were camping). With all pride, I showed them the way up.
As I got back to Mamaji's hotel, I was cheered up by the people for making the trek in one single day. And boy! that felt like an achievement.