Monday, 24 November 2008

Trek to the SGNP highest point

Went to the SGNP on Sunday for a trek to its highest point, organised by the BNHS. Met up with BD and PV at Borivli Stn. and walked to the park in time to meet the rest of the group at 7.30 A.M.

Took a few pics of these flowers near the entrance before boarding the BNHS bus to Kanheri.

With around 60 people attending, the bus had to make two trips, automatically splitting us up into two groups, ours being led by Sunjoy Monga, the other by Sanal Nair.

It normally takes two hours to walk to the caves from the park entrance; going there by bus only took us 15 mins. We were there by 8.00 A.M, long before the caves usually get crowded. At that early morning hour, we got to see the Kanheri caves as perhaps the Buddhists themselves saw them over a thousand years ago - silent and beautiful.

A quick brisk walk from the caves to a little hillock that comprised the halfway mark left us feeling quite refreshed. This is a great way to spend a Sunday morning.

The hill we were on consisted of black rock strewn with straw like vegetation, and was quite open, with a lot of breeze near its edges. We sat and rested here for a few minutes before looking around and taking pictures.

An interesting thing about the place we were on was that, from the end where we had climbed up, we could see the outline of the city bordering the park.

And from the other end, we could see both the Tulsi and Vihar lakes back to back.

There were a lot of Cacti formations on the hill.

This one had a spiders web on it.

We continued our way upwards, into what soon became a proper forest, with a canopy above us for the most part. Among the interesting things we saw here were many funnel spider webs.

A lone flowering plant that we couldn't identify.

And ant hills shaped like flowers.

We took a break in the forest before continuing onwards and upwards, at which point I managed to get a photo of almost the whole group.

Leaving the forest behind, and after a short walk through Karvi, we came to the highest point (486 metres), from where we could see 3 lakes (Tulsi, Vihar and Powai) in a row.

Rested here for a while before going back down. As it is with most large groups on a trek, descending invariably splits them up into smaller groups. BD, PV and I somehow deviated slightly from the original route on the way back down and ended up to the right of the caves. But we soon found our way back to the main path, despite the complicated maze like cave system.

There was some confusion getting transport to the main gate as our bus had parked in a clearing a little way ahead from where it had dropped us near the caves in the morning. Security wouldn't let them drive up to the caves in the afternoon, and most of the group, not knowing this, seemed to be waiting for the bus near the caves. We had already walked to the clearing and, tired of waiting for the rest of the group to figure out the situation and arrive, hopped into a BEST bus (they were running services that day because of a Buddhist meeting at the caves), which dropped us to the main gate, where we left the park, and went to a restaurant across the highway, whose power cut off the minute we took our seats. I had a chilled drink while my friends gorged on lunch Thalis; we then walked to the station and parted, promising to trek again soon.



Sarvesh Kantak said...

It was a pleasure to be a part of this Trek. As it happened we could meet in flesh :)

I must say this post made me relieve each moment of the trek.

Keep in touch!

Daniel said...

Yeah, it was fun. Keep writing. Also pls keep me informed if you're going on any other treks soon.

An Iengar Chick .... said...


I used to live in Borivli...a long long time ago .

The pix were a delightful treat for the eye and must I add a lotta
Déjà vu.

Daniel said...

@ AIC:

You should visit the park more often. It's almost unbelievavble that there's a place so green and large and beautiful and peaceful right in the city, that too between crowded and busy places like Borivli, Goregaon and Thane :-)

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