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A Memorable Hiking Trail in Kharghar Hills

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various knowledge and educational sites in internet.

Introduction

Due to the crowd and congestion in Mumbai city in India, the Govt developed the nearby area in the Eastern side and named it as Navi Mumbai. There are about 13 towns developed in this locale. Most of these are well planed and not as congested as that of Mumbai. These towns are about 1-2 hours far away by road from main Mumbai city. The Parsik hill range starts from Navi Mumbai area and many of these towns are situated on the foothills of these elevations. Kharghar is one of these towns and situated in a very serene location and there are good opportunities for going for hiking and trekking in the nearby hills. There are some villages scattered on these hills and it is always a pleasant surprisse to reach them at the end of the trail. A motorable road also goes to this particular hill top namely for the two villages Fanaspada and Chapewadi situated there. By road that is about 8-9 km from the town while the hiking trail is only about 2 km climbing up the hill. As this comes in forest area, visitors going by road are allowed to enter there by 9 AM in the morning only so that they are compelled to return back in time. For hikers, there is no such restriction but it is better to go early and come back before the evening.

This article presents the intricacies of this particular trail which was undertaken by the author with some of the friends. As I am not a regular hiker, this was a very unique experience for me to climb the hills through this trail which consisted of many steep parts along the ascent and there were so many zig-zags along the path that you do not see the person following you for some time.

This particular trail is very popular among the serious morning walkers in this area.

About the trail

There is one golf course in Kharghar along side of which a road is going to the foot of the hills from where this trail starts. We can park our car at that place and then go for the hiking. Initially the path is easy to step up but soon after the first 300 m there are some steep rises and one must have a long stick in hand to maneovre the climbing. It is advisable to go in the group as sometimes a new person may need a soft push at places to move up in those steep risings. Those who are going first time will surprise to find a few stray dogs accompanying them which usually follow the hikers here in hope of some food at the end of the trail.

Children can accompany the adults in this trail as the total length is not much and there is no problem except that we have to give them hand in torturous steep places. Even the elderly having good health can endeavour for it. The length of this trail is only about 2 km and even with a slow pace it will get completed in about an hour. In fact many regular walkers in this area go up the trail in 30-35 minutes once in a week during the weekends.

Golf course end from where trail starts

Golf course end from where trail starts

Forest area, Kharghar hills

Base of hill to end of the trail

Trail from the base of hill to the end of the trail above the hills

Trail from the base of hill to the end of the trail above the hills

Things you should keep in your backpack

This is not a long trail and is only about 1.9 km in length and one can return in about 3-4 hours back to the car parking place after spending a good hour on top. Of course one can stay there for a longer time also and return in the afternoon. The best time to go for this climbing is early morning. The best season is winters. During rainy season the trail is practically lost in the mud and water and one should avoid it during that time.

Anyway it would be advisable to check the following items in your backpack before taking up this hiking experience.

1. Water bottle.

2. Cool drink/ tea in a thermos.

3. Napkin/ towel.

4. Snacks for refreshment.

5. Foldable light weight mat.

6. Walking/hiking shoes.

7. Some basic medicines as analgesics and anti vomitting alongwith a pouch of electrolyte powder.

8. Each person should have a stick at least about 3 feet length to take support in steep places not only during climbing but also while descending.

9. Binocular, camera and mobile phone.

10. Misc items like paper napkin, small towel etc.

Hiking shoes

Kharghar hills in rainy season

In rainy season the trail is disrupted due to mud and water flow and after each rain the trail is slightly modified at places and comes in clear vision later once people start walking and climbing on it. The rainy season starts in June and lingers till September. Many water-falls appear during that time but subside soon after the end of rainy season though one prominent one is visible for a month or so. Kharghar hills turn green during this time and present a scenic beauty. The months of October to January are the best time for visiting this area as the weather is pleasant. After it summer starts though one can even visit there in early morning when it is not so hot.

During the rainy season people come at the Foothill and enjoy bathing in the small water falls which emerge out at so many places at the foothills. Nearby, one seasonal river is also having good flow of water during the rainy season where people throng with family for fun and frolic.

Small water fall during rainy season

Small water fall during rainy season

Nearby river during rainy season

Nearby river during rainy season

Climbing the hills

This is relatively a smaller trail still the steep slope at places makes it difficult for the normal people to climb up. A long stick is very helpful in mitigating the slippery surface due to rough and broken soil.

We started our ascent at about 7:30 AM slowly as two of us were first timers and the regulars wanted to be with us in case we felt any difficulty and wanted to go back. After about 15-20 minutes we reached a flat place and took a short break and then continued hiking. Another 20 minutes we reached a flat plateau where on our right there was a small plantation of cashew and we were told that it was an orchard owned by the villagers nearby. There was no one to be seen there. Another 15-20 minutes and we reached the end of the trail and were on the road going to the nearby villages. For the regular walkers this trail was hardly a matter of 30-35 minutes but for a person like me even an hour and quarter was worth of feeling proud.

This was not the highest point in the area as other hill ascending was visible to our right side but from this point we were able to see around with quite clarity and able to visualise the Eastern side well. By this time sun was shining almost at our levels hanging above the hillocks in Eastern side.

We took a break and enjoyed the cool breeze and clean environment on the hills. This was my first hiking experience in this area but I had come to this place earlier with my friends by car and there was nothing for me to see which was new but this time the achievement of completing the trail successfully was the only thing that made a difference to this trip.

Kharghar hills in background through which we climed up to the top

Kharghar hills in background through which we climed up to the top

Road on the top of hill

Road on the top of hill

Sun has risen in the East

Sun has risen in the East

Share your hiking frequency

Additional explorations

Once we reach the road on the top above then one village (Chapewadi) was to our right and crossing it we can walk a little bit through a hillock and our view to western side emerges where we can cleary see the towns in that side and vastness of Mumbai city in the background.

Instead of going to our right if we go to left following the road then we go from the side of the other village (Fanaspada) and then reach a view point from where we can see the Kharghar town just downwards almost in a South-Easterly direction.

Returning to base

Returning back was much easier and only thing is one has to use the stick not to stumble ahead at times. There is another option where some other friends who are coming by car to the hill top can be asked beforehand to take us back with them. Many people do that who want to avoid the return walk.

In our case we descended the trail and it took hardly 30-35 minutes to reach the base down where we had parked our cars. While descending we met a few groups of people going up the hill and we waived at them generously.

Update - after the rains, year 2020

Generally, rain arrives during the month of June in this part of the country but this year (2020), it was late by about 25 days and started to pour down only in the third week of July. Anyway, it rained nicely and is almost over by now that is the beginning of October. During rains the track was damaged and it was difficult to climb up conveniently but now the hikers have started to go up routinely. As per information received from some of my friends, due to soil erosion and landslides, the track is much modified and some places it has become easier to climb up while in some places it has become steeper. So every year after rains there is some change in the track here and there. The regulars would observe this interesting thing.

Conclusion

I am not a regular hiker or trekker and have undertaken very few such endeavours. Still this one was very exciting and satisfactory for me in many ways. This is comparatively a short trail in the hills and even children can accompany the adults. I will definitely suggest to the regular walkers in this area to give it a try. It is worth going for.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Umesh Chandra Bhatt

Comments

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on November 03, 2020:

Nanasaheb, thanks a lot for your beautiful comment.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on November 03, 2020:

A K Tiwari, Thanks a lot for sharing your experience here. Thanks for visiting.

Nanasaheb Mohite, Kharghar on November 02, 2020:

Before Corona period I have done trekking meny times. This is very nice natural hill station.

A K Tiwari on November 02, 2020:

Excellent write up, gives insight of tracking adjoining hills around Kharghar. I tracked the hills about 5 years ago. It was rainy season the beauty of the hills during rains is splendid. While reading the write up i was imagining as if I am walking along the track.

Thanks for such a nice depiction.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on November 02, 2020:

Kaushik, thanks a lot for sharing your experiences and visiting this article and making such a lovely comment.

Lt Col (Dr.) Y D Kaushik on November 02, 2020:

Excellent. It is good experience for you. I have done high altitude trekking in Uttarakhand, Kashmir (Darcha to Padam) and many small trekking in Assam. It gives immense pleasure.

I have also enjoyed trekking in Kharghar.

manatita44 from london on October 28, 2020:

Go over to my dedication to you, before they make it a niche site

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on October 27, 2020:

Mantita, happy to know that you love trails. Thanks for your lovely comment. Hari Om!

manatita44 from london on October 27, 2020:

Great! I was enjoying the trail-walking with you. I love trails and I have done a lot in Ka'waii, Tanzania and Nepal. Well worth it. The mountain range and waterfall, though small, looks beautiful! Om Shanti!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on October 24, 2020:

Thanks Divya for such a nice comment.

Divya Sharma from India on October 24, 2020:

I will visit the place after the coronavirus pandemic gets over. Nice article sir.

Robert Sacchi on June 10, 2020:

You're welcome. Thanks for posting.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on June 10, 2020:

Robert, thanks for your nice comment.

Robert Sacchi on June 06, 2020:

It seems a wonderful place to hike. I like the pictures.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 07, 2020:

Devika, thanks for your observation. Appreciate.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 07, 2020:

Information here is helpful for others visiting Mumbai. in detail and sounds a great adventure.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 23, 2020:

MG Singh, thanks a lot for your comments. It is good to know that you have played golf in the same golf club near which people go for this climbing. Appreciate sharing this in the comment. Keep in touch. If you visit Mumbai tell me, we can have some good time together.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 23, 2020:

Liz, thanks for visiting. Good that you liked the elaboration.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on January 23, 2020:

Nice article. When in Mumbai I make it a point to play golf at the CIDCO golf club. Nice 9 hole course.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 23, 2020:

This is a detailed and helpful account of your experience. The information and tips that you give are useful for others planning a hike here.