Maximum Altitude: 3855 ft
Duration: 1 day
Monsoons are here. And so is the pitter patter of rain drops. A kettle of tea is boiling somewhere. And even the most health conscious people are gobbling up plates of pakoras/bhajias. Chap-chapaoing in rain can be declared as the favourite thing to do in this season. The filmy ones are dying to give their most awaited (balcony/terrace) dance performances. India has got talent! Rains also bring my absolute favourite scent. I would love to bottle up the smell of petrichor so that I can sniff it all year round.
The season has one more thing for us. The monsoon treks! If you have not been to a monsoon trek in Maharashtra, you are missing out on something really beautiful. Maharashtra is all shades of green during this time. Waterfalls are in their full glory. Sahyadris are alive with green carpet of grass, lush mountains, and the feeling of walking with the clouds. There is no dearth of options as well as the region is full of many popular weekend treks from Mumbai/Pune. But if you don’t want a trail full of people, then Ahupe Ghat is for you.
Ahupe Ghat is the mountain pass between Ahupe village in Ghat section and Khopivali in the Konkan side in Maharashtra. It is a beautiful gem that is yet to be discovered by the trekking crowds and therefore you will hardly find anyone on the trail. Start the trek as early as possible from Khopivali village but not before having a piping hot breakfast of missal pav with a cup of chai.
The entire countryside is painted green. The trail takes you through paddy fields and numerous small streams. There is a roaring river that you’ll have to cross which gives way to some of the ancient forests. These forests are known as Devrai which translate to “God’s forests”. The sacred groves are protected by rural communities of the region who worship nature and believe that the forests deity resides here. The forests therefore have a great biodiversity. In fact in last few years the locals have planted several thousand trees that are growing well. They have also constructed small spring water tanks with clean water for trekkers and pilgrims to drink and water holes for animals. The efforts have been really successful and the Western Ghats are now accepted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
As you walk upwards, the Gorakhgad and Machendragad peaks gives you company at a distance. Both of these mountains are famous for their stunning fort treks. You should stay here for few more days and go trekking to these places or you can come back on some other weekend. Weekend plans sorted for the entire month!
Walk steadily as monsoon means that the paths will be slippery. But it also means that you will encounter numerous waterfalls flowing through the stony path uphill which always came as an excuse to take a short break. You must jump in every waterfall you see. Must!
When you reach closer towards the Ghat, you will be amazed by the rising steepness of the trail. While ascending higher, you will also discover slim canyons with a steep slope. The scenery keeps getting better and better. From the top, you’ll be treated to the breathtaking greenery of the Sahyadris with hills disappearing into caught up clouds. The ghat drops vertically to the Konkan all around the Ahupe Plateau. The view from the Ahupe Plateau is one of the most enchanting and mesmerizing experience. You can witness the vast and seemingly endless Konkan Valley, which is spread over acres of land.
There is a small village known as Ahupe village at top of Ahupe Ghat. The village is very picturesque nestled among the mountains from three sides and valley on one side. The lush greenery of the monsoon, the floating clouds and the innumerable waterfalls together forms a landscape which is nothing short of a canvas painting. Make sure to click some photographs as they all will be breathtaking.
You can stay in one of the village home with the locals if you want to spend some more time in this beautiful place. The view from the Ahupe plateau is best early in the morning when the fogs cover the plateau and the sun rises through them. Alternatively, you can also return the same day. While descending, you’ll get a chance to see the golden sunset as if it is also saying goodbye to you.
This trek is perfect for those, who are seeking a day of solitude in the lap of nature. Get ready to indulge your senses during the trek to Ahupe Ghat.
Best Time To Visit
Do I even need to tell you? Go there in monsoon and add few more memories to your “monsoon memory collection”.
How To Reach
The nearest railway station is Kalyan station. You can get down here, and take a bus or a shared jeep to Murbad. From Murbad catch a bus or shared jeep to Khopivali village. The frequency of buses and jeeps is good.
You can also drive down to Khopivali. The journey is 3 hours from Mumbai.