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A Memorable Hiking Trail in Kharghar Hills

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various sites and portals in the internet.

Small water fall during rainy season

Small water fall during rainy season

Exploring Navi Mumbai on Foot

Due to the crowd and congestion in Mumbai city in India, the Govt developed the nearby area in the Eastern side and named it Navi Mumbai. There are about 13 towns developed in this locale. Most of these are well planned and not as congested as that of Mumbai. These towns are about 1–2 hours far away by road from main Mumbai city.

The Parsik Hill range starts from the Navi Mumbai area and many of these towns are situated on the foothills of these elevations. Kharghar is one of these towns and situated in a very serene location and there are good opportunities for going hiking and trekking in the nearby hills.

There are some villages scattered on these hills and it is always a pleasant surprise to reach them at the end of the trail. A motorable road also goes to this particular hilltop namely for the two villages Fanaspada and Chapewadi situated there. By the road that is about 8–9 km from the town while the hiking trail is only about 2 km climbing up the hill. As this comes in forest area, visitors going by road are allowed to enter there by 9 AM in the morning only so that they are compelled to return back in time. For hikers, there is no such restriction but it is better to go early and come back before the evening.

This article presents the intricacies of this particular trail which was undertaken by the author with some of the friends. As I am not a regular hiker, this was a very unique experience for me to climb the hills through this trail which consisted of many steep parts along the ascent and there were so many zig-zags along the path that you do not see the person following you for some time. This particular trail is very popular among the serious morning walkers in this area.

About the Trail

There is one golf course in Kharghar alongside which a road is going to the foot of the hills from where this trail starts. We can park our car at that place and then go hiking. Initially, the path is easy to step up but soon after the first 300 m there are some steep rises and one must have a long stick in hand to maneuver the climbing. It is advisable to go in the group as sometimes a new person may need a soft push at places to move up in those steep risings. Those who are going the first time will be surprised to find a few stray dogs accompanying them which usually follow the hikers here in hope of some food at the end of the trail.

Children can accompany the adults in this trail as the total length is not much and there is no problem except that we have to give them a hand in torturous steep places. Even the elderly having good health can endeavor for it. The length of this trail is only about 2 km and even with a slow pace, it will get completed in about an hour. In fact, many regular walkers in this area go up the trail in 30–35 minutes once a week during the weekends.

Trail from the base of hill to the end of the trail above the hills

Trail from the base of hill to the end of the trail above the hills

Things You Should Bring

This is not a long trail and is only about 1.9 km in length and one can return in about 3–4 hours back to the car parking place after spending a good hour on top. Of course, one can stay there for a longer time also and return in the afternoon. The best time to go for this climbing is early morning. The best season is winter. During the rainy season, the trail is practically lost in the mud and water and one should avoid it during that time.

Anyway, it would be advisable to check the following items in your backpack before taking up this hiking experience.

What to Carry in Your Backpack

  • Water bottle
  • Cool drink or tea in a thermos
  • Napkin or towel
  • Snacks for refreshment
  • Foldable lightweight mat
  • Walking or hiking shoes
  • Some basic medicines such as analgesics and anti vomitting alongwith a pouch of electrolyte powder.
  • Each person should have a stick at least about 3 feet in length to take support in steep places not only during climbing but also while descending.
  • Binocular, camera and mobile phone
  • Misc items like a paper napkin, small towel, etc
Nearby river during rainy season

Nearby river during rainy season

Rainy Season in the Kharghar Hills

In rainy season the trail is disrupted due to mud and water flow and after each rain, the trail is slightly modified at places and comes in clear vision later once people start walking and climbing on it. The rainy season starts in June and lingers till September. Many water-falls appear during that time but subside soon after the end of the rainy season though one prominent one is visible for a month or so. Kharghar hills turn green during this time and present a scenic beauty. The months of October to January are the best time for visiting this area as the weather is pleasant. After it, summer starts though one can even visit there in the early morning when it is not so hot.

During the rainy season, people come to the foothill and enjoy bathing in the small waterfalls which emerge out at so many places at the foothills. Nearby, one seasonal river is also having a good flow of water during the rainy season where people throng with family for fun and frolic.

Golf course end from where trail starts

Golf course end from where trail starts

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Climbing the Hills

This is relatively a smaller trail still the steep slope at places makes it difficult for normal people to climb up. A long stick is very helpful in mitigating the slippery surface due to rough and broken soil.

We started our ascent at about 7:30 AM slowly as two of us were first-timers and the regulars wanted to be with us in case we felt any difficulty and wanted to go back. After about 15–20 minutes we reached a flat place took a short break and then continued hiking.

Another 20 minutes we reached a flat plateau where on our right there was a small plantation of cashew and we were told that it was an orchard owned by the villagers nearby. There was no one to be seen there. Another 15–20 minutes and we reached the end of the trail and were on the road going to the nearby villages. For the regular walkers, this trail was hardly a matter of 30–35 minutes but for a person like me, even an hour and a quarter was worth feeling proud.

This was not the highest point in the area as other hill ascending was visible to our right side but from this point, we were able to see around with quite a clarity and ability to visualize the Eastern side well. By this time sun was shining almost at our levels hanging above the hillocks on the Eastern side.

We took a break and enjoyed the cool breeze and clean environment on the hills. This was my first hiking experience in this area but I had come to this place earlier with my friends by car and there was nothing for me to see which was new but this time the achievement of completing the trail successfully was the only thing that made a difference to this trip.

Kharghar hills in background through which we climed up to the top

Kharghar hills in background through which we climed up to the top

Stone laden tracking path

Stone laden tracking path

Additional Explorations

Once we reach the road on the top above then one village (Chapewadi) was to our right and crossing it we can walk a little bit through a hillock and our view to western side emerges where we can clearly see the towns in that side and vastness of Mumbai city in the background.

Instead of going to our right if we go to the left following the road then we go from the side of the other village (Fanaspada) and then reach a viewpoint from where we can see the Kharghar town just downwards almost in a South-Easterly direction.

Road on the top of hill

Road on the top of hill

Returning to Base

Returning back was much easier and the only thing is one has to use the stick not to stumble ahead at times. There is another option where some other friends who are coming by car to the hilltop can be asked beforehand to take us back with them. Many people do that who want to avoid the return walk.

In our case, we descended the trail and it took hardly 30–35 minutes to reach the base down where we had parked our cars. While descending we met a few groups of people going up the hill and we waived at them generously.

Sun has risen in the East

Sun has risen in the East

Update: After the Rains in 2021

During the rainy season, this track is unusable due to the rainwater flowing through the track at many places and also at some places there are small landslides which cover the track and it is only after the rains when the trekkers and walkers start walking through them that the new track is discernible.

During 2021, there was sufficient rain in the region and it rained almost continuously during the months of July to September once the rains subsided almost at the end of September people again started to climb these hills. There was a good amount of grass grown and at certain places and the track was covered with it and the trekkers simply moved over it using some long sticks in their hands for taking care if some snake or other lizard moves or passes near them.

Within a week more people joined and the usual activity of climbing up to the road and village above became a usual thing just like it was there before the rains. The number of people using this track for their morning walk has increased significantly as the place became much popular with the locals. During the corona pandemic period the road entry to this place was closed and it is still closed for the public except for the villagers who live there.

Anyway, the trackers are going there in the morning time and enjoying the beauty of nature from the hilltop. I am sharing one of the photographs of the sunrise from the hilltop which one of our friends has recently shared with us.

Sunrise from hilltop

Sunrise from hilltop

Conclusion

I am not a regular hiker or trekker and have undertaken very few such endeavors. Still, this one was very exciting and satisfactory for me in many ways. This is comparatively a short trail in the hills and even children can accompany the adults. I will definitely suggest to the regular walkers in this area to give it a try. It is worth going for.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Umesh Chandra Bhatt

Comments

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on November 03, 2020:

Nanasaheb, thanks a lot for your beautiful comment.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on November 03, 2020:

A K Tiwari, Thanks a lot for sharing your experience here. Thanks for visiting.

Nanasaheb Mohite, Kharghar on November 02, 2020:

Before Corona period I have done trekking meny times. This is very nice natural hill station.

A K Tiwari on November 02, 2020:

Excellent write up, gives insight of tracking adjoining hills around Kharghar. I tracked the hills about 5 years ago. It was rainy season the beauty of the hills during rains is splendid. While reading the write up i was imagining as if I am walking along the track.

Thanks for such a nice depiction.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on November 02, 2020:

Kaushik, thanks a lot for sharing your experiences and visiting this article and making such a lovely comment.

Lt Col (Dr.) Y D Kaushik on November 02, 2020:

Excellent. It is good experience for you. I have done high altitude trekking in Uttarakhand, Kashmir (Darcha to Padam) and many small trekking in Assam. It gives immense pleasure.

I have also enjoyed trekking in Kharghar.

manatita44 from london on October 28, 2020:

Go over to my dedication to you, before they make it a niche site

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on October 27, 2020:

Mantita, happy to know that you love trails. Thanks for your lovely comment. Hari Om!

manatita44 from london on October 27, 2020:

Great! I was enjoying the trail-walking with you. I love trails and I have done a lot in Ka'waii, Tanzania and Nepal. Well worth it. The mountain range and waterfall, though small, looks beautiful! Om Shanti!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on October 24, 2020:

Thanks Divya for such a nice comment.

Divya Sharma from India on October 24, 2020:

I will visit the place after the coronavirus pandemic gets over. Nice article sir.

Robert Sacchi on June 10, 2020:

You're welcome. Thanks for posting.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on June 10, 2020:

Robert, thanks for your nice comment.

Robert Sacchi on June 06, 2020:

It seems a wonderful place to hike. I like the pictures.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 07, 2020:

Devika, thanks for your observation. Appreciate.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 07, 2020:

Information here is helpful for others visiting Mumbai. in detail and sounds a great adventure.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 23, 2020:

MG Singh, thanks a lot for your comments. It is good to know that you have played golf in the same golf club near which people go for this climbing. Appreciate sharing this in the comment. Keep in touch. If you visit Mumbai tell me, we can have some good time together.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 23, 2020:

Liz, thanks for visiting. Good that you liked the elaboration.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on January 23, 2020:

Nice article. When in Mumbai I make it a point to play golf at the CIDCO golf club. Nice 9 hole course.

Liz Westwood from UK on January 23, 2020:

This is a detailed and helpful account of your experience. The information and tips that you give are useful for others planning a hike here.

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