So I’m back posting after a long hiatus. I was in Mumbai, my hometown, last weekend and decided to check out the local countryside. The location of choice was the forested hills around Kankeshwar temple in Alibaug. Alibaug being a small coastal township south-east of Mumbai.
The outing was organized by the Bombay Natural History Society. We left Mumbai at around 6am and reached our destination by 9 and started our ascent.
The climb was to an estimated 10000ft and took us about an hour and a half to reach the temple at the top. The climb wasn’t steep at all and therefore lacked the challenge many trekkers crave for. But the adjoining groves and forests more than made up for this shortcoming. It played host to a myriad of life forms and provided travellers shade from the harsh April sun.
The higher we reached the denser the canopy was and louder too, filled with the cacophony of insects and birds. The top of the hill was surprisingly populated, accommodation and food were also available.
a stray at the temple.
We reached the Shiva temple at about 12pm (I know I said it should take 1.5 hours but the photographers among us got overexcited, myself included). The temple at the summit itself wasn’t anything significant but the view from the top certainly was. Most of the township could be viewed from this vantage point including the Arabian Sea in the west.
The view from the top.
At this point we were kept company by the local troupe of monkeys (bonnet macaques). Unlike their brothers at other hill stations these preferred to mind their own business.
Hmm..wonder what this dude's upto??
We had our lunch in a local house-cum-mess. Apparently the entire meal was sourced from the same hill, how awesome is that? It was quiet tasty too.
The descent surprisingly was far more taxing than the climb up. The mid afternoon sun taking its full toll on travellers. The peculiar nature of the steps didn’t help either; they were sloping downward instead of being at right angles.
We reached the base of the hill at around 2pm and boarded the bus oblivious to the traffic jams we were about to encounter.
Geographical Co-ordinates: 18° 38′ 24″ N, 72° 52′ 48″ E