If you came here looking for fundae on how to do a good trek, then this is surely not the place. I am only a beginner. In fact, I can't even tell you how not to do a bad trek! This was effectively my first trek (if you discount the baby-trek of IIT Sameer Hill in my first year). But surely it was an awesome trek and what follows in this travelouge is a brief account of it.

Surdy decided to tell me about this trek at 2:00 am in the morning, and we had to leave by 4:00 am. He had done his homework and had got all the information required from Deva. So Mirchi, Surdy and I had a little mid-night meal at Maddu Mess and set-off for the trek.

We took the train from Kanjurmarg to Karjat and got down at Vangani (the station next to Badlapur). We then hitched an auto-rickshaw to reach the point from where we would start our trek. The morning was pleasant - we started walking. We walked and we walked some more. Deva had told us that he completed this trek in two hours flat. We are still to ascertain what his starting point was! Because after we started walking, it took us more than hour just to reach the village. After the village, we had two hills to cross even before we could reach the base of hill we were trying to climb - the Chanderi Hill!

We trekked. We crossed the first hill. Then came a stream. We crossed the stream. Then came the second hill. We trekked and we trekked somemore till we got lost on this hill. But determined that we were, we did get to base of Chanderi Hill. It was almost noon, the sun was over our heads and we were still at the foot of the mountain. We needed to rethink our plan. There was no way we would ascend and get down before sunset.

As we thought about it, we chanced upon a beautiful stream running into a little waterfall. It was such a lovely sight, all plans to get to the top of the hill were immediately trashed. The water in the stream was clear and it pounded the slippery stones in the fall before ending up in a small pool below.

Surdy said, "Hey look, we discovered a pond ... what shall we name it?"

I promptly quipped, "The ZMH pond."

Surdy said, "F*** you."

I knew he would say that! That I was so self-centered and selfish to name the pond after myself, Zishaan Mohammed Hayath. But I had a better reply up my sleeve. I told him, "Come on, I only meant Zishaan - Manish - Harpreet pond." It was a one-up!

We had an amazing time in the waterfall and pond. Too difficult to narrate in words, perhaps the pictures will do justice.

We started our return journey at about 1:00 pm. Of course, we did not remember the path we took to get here. And so began the trail-hunt back home. After about 2 hours of wrong paths and back tracing, we finally reached our first stream in between the two hills. With little help from the sun and a lot of belief in our intuition, we were finally able to get back to the base village. We had covered about 20 kms in 7 hours of trekking. (I have skipped the 'points' part of the story in which we scored +1 for good judgement and -1, -2, -3 for a blooper. I scored 7 points while Manish and Surdy managed 4 and 3 respectively.)

We were so tired from the day, I could feel every muscle in my body crying for relief. We just lay down in the shallow river that flowed by the village. The feeling was very soothing and relaxing. And after a good sleepy journey in auto-rickshaws and trains, we finally got back to where we belong - IIT campus.

At the end of the day, we did not climb the Chanderi Hill (Surdy has vowed he will do it sometime). In fact, our day out was more a jungle hike than a mountain trek. It was so much fun. And now as I wonder why I did it, I do not seem to have an answer. Surely, I didn't have to do it. Nobody had to. But then, what is life without a pinch of adventure?

Tags: India

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  1. I came across your website while doing a bit of homework about Chanderi Hills. I googled up to gain some insights regarding the trek all the way up there. The description on your travel journal is simply wonderful and has just infused a little more excitment in me. - Anandita Ashok Kumar