Thursday, October 1, 2015

Paradise found at Paragad, and lost!

Not too late I hope, I left my account of the visit to Karjat at the Sparsh resort and now over to the day of destiny.

The Western Ghats have mesmerised me with their allure. Unlike the mighty Himalayan that I have always cowered under, the Western Ghats seem a lot more dynamic, a lot more alive and green. The slopes change colour with the passing of every cloud and ith the slightest change in the sunlight. It is absolutely marvellous.

So, I head off with the resort team to a little trek that I could attempt. I must add here that I am strictly forbidden from trekking or hiking on account of my weak bone structure. I need to get my calcium right and will be sprinting around soon enough. Being new to the region, I had no idea what to expect and kept staring at every scene unfolding before my eyes. We crossed a village called Khandas and suddenly a strange sight made me want to stop, and we did.

As you can see, it was cloudy with a heavy chance of rain and yet, something seemed to b calling out to me. As I franctically clicked pictures of the hill before me wit the setting of the river beneath, the clouds parted and I saw the light. The top of the mountains seemed like Shiva (complete with the jata and a snake coiled at his neck)... The hills is called Paragad and lies above the Bhimashankar temple.

It stayed cloudy for better part of our stay there... and after a refreshing break at the stream, we started the last leg of the drive towards the Bhimashankar temple.

But, first a tea break at Patekar's tea stall... the image above is of trekkers returning after a day's trek to Bhimashankar hills. I sat leisurely to sip on a tiny steel cup of the sweetest tea.

And then, I decided to the do what I do. Disobey the doctor! Okay, not all the way. I went up little bit to get feel of the trek. The path was slippery.

I was quite out of breath even as I crossed the first shamble, remains of a tea shop at some time. My ankles were wobling, something that doesn't happen to me easily. I do not know if medicines work as much as fear of the doctor and so I stopped. Not before I spotted this.

And that's where the magic disappeared. I returned walking slowly, measuring my steps with a cool, logical head - now that the romantic notions of divinity were lost on me. I decided to journey home and write this article. Hoping that someone somewhere can help me bring about a change. Nature trails are meant to explore nature, not swim through plastic waste. What are we to do?

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