Transport from Kalsubai Peak to Harishchandragad Trek

#1 Jun 10th, 2018, 19:56
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  • blengend is offline
#1
Hi all,

I will be visiting Kalsubai Peak from Kasara via Bari village.
After I finish the hike at Kalsubai Peak, is there any bus that will take me to
Khireshwar so that I can start the hike at Harishchandragad Trek?

Thank you
#2 Jun 11th, 2018, 11:52
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#2
Direct bus - Nope

Options - From Bari, you can take a bus going to Rajur/Akole (i.e. the other side from which you came from). From Rajur, take a bus (if available a that time) or shared jeep to Pachnai. Pachnai is on the opposite side of Harishchandragad as Khireshwar. Start the trek from Pachnai (easiest route for HCG). You can descend the same way and return to Kasara/Igatpuri from Rajur.

Important questions: What is your experience of trekking in the Sahyadris? Who are you hiking with? Have you ever done these places before?
Your location says Singapore and that worries me.
#3 Jun 11th, 2018, 14:41
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#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post
Important questions: What is your experience of trekking in the Sahyadris? Who are you hiking with? Have you ever done these places before?
Your location says Singapore and that worries me.
First time hiking in India, but did hikes in other countries before, such as Great Walks in New Zealand.

Will be going there alone, and hopefully meet new people along the way.

Why are you worried?
#4 Jun 11th, 2018, 15:17
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#4
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Originally Posted by blengend View Post Why are you worried?
Rule 1 of trekking in the Sahyadris - do not go alone. The trails are unmarked, sometimes exposed, very very slippery and pretty much far away from any reliable medical help.

The rains have started - while this is the main trekking season in these parts, do remember that the trails here are very different than other parts of the world. You would need shoes with good grip - ideally a PVC sole with lugs. Rubber sole does not work on slick, wet and mossy trails of the Sahyadris. Also be vary of the fog - places like Harishchandragad have very low visibility.

Kalsubai is all mud - and a few rickety stairs. Harishchandragad, depending on the route you take, poses different kinds of challenges - Pachnaai route should be ok, but again, not very straight-forward.

I do not want to dissuade you from trekking the Sahyadris, but I'd plead you to take some company along, preferably someone experienced.
#5 Jun 11th, 2018, 17:39
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post Rule 1 of trekking in the Sahyadris - do not go alone. The trails are unmarked, sometimes exposed, very very slippery and pretty much far away from any reliable medical help.

The rains have started - while this is the main trekking season in these parts, do remember that the trails here are very different than other parts of the world. You would need shoes with good grip - ideally a PVC sole with lugs. Rubber sole does not work on slick, wet and mossy trails of the Sahyadris. Also be vary of the fog - places like Harishchandragad have very low visibility.

Kalsubai is all mud - and a few rickety stairs. Harishchandragad, depending on the route you take, poses different kinds of challenges - Pachnaai route should be ok, but again, not very straight-forward.

I do not want to dissuade you from trekking the Sahyadris, but I'd plead you to take some company along, preferably someone experienced.
Thank you for your advice.

But I am not a local, so I do not have any local friends. I am not sure where can I find company, other than to make friends on the bus or hostel.

I did try looking for a tour, but most of the companies have fixed dates, and those dates do not suit my travel plans very well.
#6 Jun 12th, 2018, 06:48
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#6
Also, do you think I can just show up at the town and try to get a local guide there?
Maybe walk into a hotel and ask for a guide.
#7 Jun 12th, 2018, 10:31
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Kapil aren't these routes usually full of fellow trekkers? In fact we faced a traffic jam enroute to kalavantin pinnacle. As for guides, I think that a local villager might be easily available.
And for the OP, exercise basic caution while trekking. Some patches look easy but aren't. I spent an hour clinging to a slope of loose rock and mud while taking a short cut to kalavantin. Thankfully my buddies were able to locate me.
#8 Jun 12th, 2018, 10:34
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#8
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Originally Posted by blengend View Post I am not sure where can I find company, other than to make friends on the bus or hostel.

I did try looking for a tour, but most of the companies have fixed dates, and those dates do not suit my travel plans very well.
What are your travel dates? If you're OK with a weekend, then there may be a group or two from Mumbai who would be doing the treks there. (I assume you start from Mumbai).

Kalsubai and Harishchandragad are not exactly beginner level treks, so not sure if any friends on the bus or hostel would help you much (probably bog you down for all I know).
#9 Jun 12th, 2018, 10:36
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by blengend View Post Also, do you think I can just show up at the town and try to get a local guide there?
Maybe walk into a hotel and ask for a guide.
You'll get a guide (a local villager) for Kalsubai at Bari and for Harishchandragad at Pachnai. There are no hotels there - just some makeshift homestays. There are no proper trek guides in towns or villages.

EDIT:
Do note that the villager will only guide you for the route to the caves for Harishchandragad and return to his village. You'll be on your own after that on the plateau to explore. The locals who run basic food stalls at the caves may guide you on your further exploring.
#10 Jun 12th, 2018, 10:48
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#10
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Originally Posted by RahulDeva View Post Kapil aren't these routes usually full of fellow trekkers? In fact we faced a traffic jam enroute to kalavantin pinnacle. As for guides, I think that a local villager might be easily available.
And for the OP, exercise basic caution while trekking. Some patches look easy but aren't. I spent an hour clinging to a slope of loose rock and mud while taking a short cut to kalavantin. Thankfully my buddies were able to locate me.
Kalsubai and Harishchandragad are full of people on weekends. We call it a trek-jatra , i.e. fair, in Marathi. Most of the people would be well-meaning and helpful to a fellow trekker. But do note that unlike Kalavantin, these two are quite long treks and hence (especially on Harishchandragad) it is quite possible to be on your own for an extended stretch.

The trek route again, is not very friendly to a solo trekker. There are more chances that a simple slip or two may end up putting the person on a wrong track or stuck in a place where getting help would be very difficult on a solo trek than on a group trek.

A place like Harishchandragad sees immense fog and heavy winds in this season. The combination is enough to disorient even someone who is very familiar with the mountain. Being a part of a group means that there might be a rescue party coming in at some point.
#11 Jun 12th, 2018, 12:47
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post What are your travel dates? If you're OK with a weekend, then...
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post Kalsubai and Harishchandragad are full of people on weekends.
I can go on weekends, but I do not want to sit around doing nothing during the weekdays. Was planning to be trekking throughout the entire week.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post You'll get a guide (a local villager) for Kalsubai at Bari and for Harishchandragad at Pachnai. There are no hotels there - just some makeshift homestays. There are no proper trek guides in towns or villages
I don't suppose the villagers speak English. With the language barrier make it difficult to find a guide? Or are there shops with signages.

Also, is it also likely for the villagers to scam me, and bring me somewhere else instead?
#12 Jun 12th, 2018, 13:34
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The villagers would take utmost care of you.. (barring exceptions, which are not too common). Issue would be money, they would definitely charge more for you that usual, but I think it should be okay and not a ripoff.

I will wait for kapilankar to have his say on the same.
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#13 Jun 13th, 2018, 14:47
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Originally Posted by blengend View Post I can go on weekends, but I do not want to sit around doing nothing during the weekdays. Was planning to be trekking throughout the entire week.
There are a few easy treks in the Lonavala area that you can try. That will give you a general feel of the settings. The you can travel to Bari/Pachnaai.

What are your specific dates? Or even the week you're targeting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blengend View Post I don't suppose the villagers speak English. With the language barrier make it difficult to find a guide? Or are there shops with signages.

Also, is it also likely for the villagers to scam me, and bring me somewhere else instead?
The villagers would not speak English, but will definitely understand simple words like 'guide'. They will try to overcharge you and hence you should negotiate. Any shops will have signage in Marathi rather than English.

For Kalsubai, the trek is striaght-forward. If you are there on a weekend, you can ask a group to accommodate you. You may make friends as well . Treat them to lemonade sold in shacks on the way. If you go on a weekday, approach one of the makeshift restaurants near the parking place in Bari and ask them to arrange a guide. Pay no more than 1000 (and that is a very high amount) and ask for a 'return'.
Guide - Kalsubai temple / mandir - return Bari - haggle for less than 1000, (ask for 200 )

For Harishchandragad, you should ask for a guide to drop you to the temple and caves at the top. The guide would then return down to Pachnai, while you can stay overnight in the caves or the temple. Pay a similar price as Kalsubai.

See if you can engage the services of Bhaskar Badad to show you around the top. He knows the top of Harishchandragad like the back of his hand. If you go on a weekend he may be at the caves. If you go o a weekday, he may be at Pachnai.
#14 Jun 13th, 2018, 19:57
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#14
First of all I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been contributing to this thread. Your advice is a great help to me! Because there is very little information on the internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post There are a few easy treks in the Lonavala area that you can try. That will give you a general feel of the settings. The you can travel to Bari/Pachnaai.

What are your specific dates? Or even the week you're targeting?
28 Jul to 4 Aug
It's pretty short, which is why I did not consider the easier treks you suggested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snotty View Post Issue would be money, they would definitely charge more for you that usual, but I think it should be okay and not a ripoff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post
For Kalsubai, the trek is striaght-forward. If you are there on a weekend, you can ask a group to accommodate you. You may make friends as well . Treat them to lemonade sold in shacks on the way. If you go on a weekday, approach one of the makeshift restaurants near the parking place in Bari and ask them to arrange a guide. Pay no more than 1000 (and that is a very high amount) and ask for a 'return'.
Guide - Kalsubai temple / mandir - return Bari - haggle for less than 1000, (ask for 200 )
I think anything around 500 Indian Rupee sounds pretty good to me, though I am slightly concerned if they would scam me by bringing me to a different place.
However, I think I can rely on GPS and the map to see if I am on track.
#15 Jun 13th, 2018, 20:33
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#15
500 is too less. As the guy would be spending the entire day. Also there isnt any chance of a scam as once you reach the base village there isnt any other place to take you to.

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