Mt. Kalsubai Trek is an easy difficulty grade trek in the Sahyadri – Igatpuri region of Maharashtra, India. The highest point of the trek is at 5400 ft (1646 m), making it Maharashtra’s highest peak. This trek starts from Bari village located near Igatpuri, Maharashtra at an altitude of 2700 feet – which means you’ve already gained this much altitude just by car.
This trek falls under the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary.
Visit this trek for its lush green landscapes and multiple waterfalls during monsoons, beautiful rice paddies, cultural hotspot i.e. the temple on the top, and the beautiful play of clouds during sunrise and sunset.
- Want to climb the highest peak of Maharashtra
- Want to be above the clouds
- Love a comfortable, short, and easy hike
Kalsubai is the highest peak of Maharashtra, but contrary to what you would expect, the route is fairly simple. It does not involve any technical patches since there are 4 iron ladders that help you climb the complex vertical patches. It also does not involve very long, steep climbs. It’s a long walk through the mountains with multiple moderately climbs and ladders.
The route begins in Bari village beside a the Ramaji Baba Temple. From here on, you first pass through a village and then you cross a tiny dam on a stream (you might want to get rid of your shoes while crossing this - feels beautiful).
The entire hike from here till the top can take anywhere between 2 to 4 hours depending on your speed. The trail also has a lot of shacks and stalls all the way to the top. You can always find bottled water, lemonade, Maggi, bhajiya (pakoda), and similar local snacks at these shacks.
There are a lot of monkeys on the way so stay alert and keep all the valuable belongings safe especially near the ladders. These monkeys tend to ambush groups at the ladders and try to snatch their belongings.
The route is very well marked from start till the end and there are a lot of trekkers on this route all around the year. You can download the route of this trek and monitor the path.
If you do this as a night trek (and we highly recommend that), do not aim to reach the top by dawn. Try reaching till the sunrise point which is at the 70% mark of the route. You will be in for a treat.
During the entire, you will never be able to see the peak until the last leg of the trek. Once you climb the final ladder, you will on top of Maharashtra’s highest peak where’s a tiny temple. You can view a lot of popular peaks such as Ratangad, Alang-Madan-Kulang, and more if the weather is clear.
The base village, Bari, is at about 600m ASL in Akole taluka of Maharashtra. Bari is a farming village and has a lot of homes which are open to hikers and trekkers for food and accommodation.
How to Reach Bari Village with Local/Public Transport:
1. From Mumbai: Take a local train till Kasara railway station which is on the central line. Alternately, you can also go to Igatpuri, catching an express train.
Options of ST buses as well as shared Jeeps from both Kasara and Igatpuri are available. Buses going to Akole, Pune, Sangamner, etc. all have a stop Bari.
If you can’t find any direct mode of transport from Kasara, take a shared Jeep or bus till Ghoti. There are a number of options available from Ghoti.
These services start as early as 5 AM but avoid opting for bus/shared jeeps in the night. You can hire a direct Jeep till Bari from Kasara/Igatpuri for 3500 to 4000 INR. This can be shared by around 8-11 people and will be a good option if you have a big group. (You can find contact details for this in the “Local Contacts” section.
2. From Pune: Catch an Igatpuri bus leaving from Shivajinagar bus stand at around 1:30 PM and reaching Bari village around 8:00 PM. Contact your guide and they will arrange accommodation for you at nominal costs.
Alternately, travel till Nasik, catch a bus to Igatpuri, and get down at Ghoti. As mentioned previously, multiple options available for Ghoti-Bari (22 km) travel.
If you’re interested in some bus-hopping, travel to Sangamner from Pune. From Sangamner, go to Rajur or Akole and catch a bus going to Kasara or Igatpuri or Ghoti (all stop at Bari Village) from Rajur or Akole. Direct bus for Igatpuri via Bari is available from Sangamner at 5:00 AM. Use the same method to get back.
How to Reach Bari Village with Private Transport:
Bari village is accessible by road. Just make sure that you download the area before starting your journey because you might lose the signal multiple times on the way.
No natural source. Available at multiple food stalls on the way.
Maggi, snacks, packed food and traditional Maharashtrian style home-cooked food available at all the stalls and shacks on the way.
There are a lot of Homestays in Bari Village and they let you stay for a very nominal cost.
Food and Accommodation at Bari Village:
Goraksh: +91 7030635112 / +91 9689866962 / +91 9527686166
Food and Accommodation at Bari Village (Near Temple):
Santosh Khade: +91 9923442273
Transport from Kasara to Bari Village:
Ananda: +91 9823761312
September-October are the months when the Sonki Flowers (Senecio bombayensis) bloom in most parts of the Western Ghats. The temperatures, the rain, and the crowd isn't as extreme as the peak of monsoon. Additionally, the pictures of the beautiful clouds that you saw above were all clicked in September.
June to January:
Kalsubai is a pleasant place to visit pretty much throughout the year. In monsoons, you get to see lush green expanses of land and magical clouds all around you. In winters, you get to see the neighboring peaks which are otherwise buried beneath clouds during monsoon.
The scorching heat of summers makes trekking uncomfortable and hence you can avoid doing a day-hike during summers (between late February and late May).
- 3 Liters of water (compulsory)
- Torch with extra batteries (Do not rely on your phone’s torch) - preferably buy a headlamp
- Sun hat or cap
- Blankets and sheets (if you plan to camp or if it’s a night trek)
- Warm clothes during winters (Temperature could drop below 10° Celsius)
- Sports shoes or trekking shoes (strictly no sandals or chappals)
- Comfortable t-shirt (preferably dry-fit and full sleeves)
- Comfortable trousers (no jeans or shorts)
- Extra pair of clothes and a hoodie (weather gets chilly before sunrise)
- Electrolyte powder (such as Electral, Enerzal, etc.)
- Light snacks to munch on during breaks
- Fresh fruits / Dried fruits such as dates, figs / Nuts mix, etc for eating along on the trail
- A small day pack to carry all the above (Kindly avoid handbag/sling bag)
- Personal medications, if any
- Optional items: sun goggles, wet tissues, hand sanitizer, cameras, etc.
The schedule for the trek can be as follows:
07:00 PM - Reach Kasara railway station and leave for Bari
09:00 PM - Reach Bari Village and have Dinner at a local’s place
02:00 AM - Start the hike
05:30 AM - Reach the Peak and wait for sunrise
07:00 AM - Start descending
10:00 AM - Have Breakfast & tea, the leave for Kasara
12:00 PM - Reach Kasara and catch a train back to Mumbai