There was greenery all over the place – be it in the form of shrubs, trees, leaves strewn around here and there. We had been trekking, rock climbing and had remained in constant motion for the past 3 hours at least, and all this while, I felt as if I was engulfed by silence in the wilderness. There was not another living soul save for us in the vicinity. It was time to halt. The steep slope of the hill ensured that standing with both feet at one level was not possible. After merely 60 seconds had elapsed, I realized the irony that though the silence was missing thanks to constant music, there was a strange mesmerizing tranquility and placidness to be found there - there, in the middle of nowhere…
Ah! The music! It was drizzling. The gushing waterfalls nearby, the rain drops falling on the trees' leaves, the drops from leaves hitting the ground, the restless insects, the inquisitive frogs, the slightly soggy leaves and branches rustling in the rain-laced breeze – all resembled different musical exponents competing against each other to showcase their best performance, the combined end result being a musical composition as soothing as any I have ever heard. Mother Nature, needless to say, was the perfect conductor of a symphony orchestra made up of her varied elements.
The last thought on my mind at that heavenly moment was that we were lost!!
I could brag and boast about my amazing weekend trip with 4 friends (sans any guide or a huge group) to a little known place called Rajmachi Fort somewhere amidst the lush green forests of Maharashtra, but none of it would do justice to Mother Nature in her entirety!
From the late night journey on Friday from Hyderabad to Karjat; the yummy Vada Pav’s at Sattu’s; the daunting 8-odd kms long trek and treacherous climb commencing from Kondivade; the hypnotic sceneries, the hundreds of waterfalls seeping through the rocky hills; getting lost after hitting a dead-end but luckily finding the helping hand of tribals to put us back on the right track; the undying spirit of my gang which trudged on despite rain, slush, bushes, thorns and pain; the fantastic night stay at a hut in Rajmachi village; the early morning climb in the rains to Manaranjan fort up in the hills, the 14-odd kms long trek back to Lonavala encountering muddy roads and streams (both usually ankle deep), wading through a knee-deep river, to finally ending it all on a successful note when boarding the Hyderabad Express at Lonavala - it was an experience of a lifetime!
Best part was taking the risk and clicking hundreds of photographs in harsh, camera-unfriendly conditions! Memories galore…
There’s something special about traveling to distant places, especially those which are yet to be ravaged by commercialization and pollution. I only wish people learn the art of not dirtying up places they visit, and help preserve the virginity and dignity of such untouched lands. Anyway, taking no chances, I’m all set to explore such unchartered territories whenever an opportunity presents itself, lest I get to experience the beauty in preserved form later on only in some bloody history museum *shivers*
Thanks to the constant state of being drenched in the rains over the weekend, and walking all over the show like that, I’m down with a leaking tap of a nose *snort snort* It’s another matter that the source of mesmerization has changed hands, and the slight fever and phlegm have taken a back seat J
Fingers crossed for my Hydventura nomination for the Silent Valley Trek later this month getting accepted! Visiting and exploring Kerala has been a childhood dream! Also, need to start preparing for the Hyderabad Marathon if I plan to run the 21 kms in under 2 hours. Sighs!
Time to head home and recover!
Plan some neat travel trips, you all… :)