Join us on this trexperience to explore Maharashtra’s incredible natural and cultural heritage in one of the state’s most scenic regions. The village of Ahupe is home to several Devrais – sacred groves protected by rural communities to preserve their biodiversity.
It is due to this very biodiversity that the Sahyadris have been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We have much to learn about this environmental conservation model and take it back with us to the cities.
As with all Swadesee experiences, we will engage with the locals as we learn about their lifestyle and their culture. We will be staying in a local village homestay, eating delicious home cooked meals, and will see several Devrais on interactive visits led by local experts from the village.
Food served during the experience will be authentic village food freshly made and served by the villagers themselves.
Experience start point: Kalyan Railway Station
Start time: 7:15 am, Saturday 14th December
Return to Kalyan: 3.00 pm, Sunday 15th December
Day 1: Saturday
We gather outside Kalyan Railway Station at 7:15 am and then proceed by private transport to the base village, from where we will start our trek to Ahupe.
After a constant but straightforward 4 hour climb through the dense green forests of the Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary, we arrive at Ahupe and enjoy a delicious local-made lunch. On the way we will cross a stream and see innumerable waterfalls on the sheer rock faces of the Sahyadris.
In the late afternoon, our local village expert will take us to a nearby lake and a Devrai – where we will learn more about it and identify unique and indigenous species of flora and fauna. We will also visit a tribal school where you will be surprised to see their adoption of technology!
We’ll see a spectacular sunset on the edge of the cliff and head back to our homestay where our local hosts will be waiting to serve us dinner. After tasting the quality of organic rice the villagers of Ahupe consume, you will be jealous of their lifestyle!
After dinner we will head straight to bed in our warm and cosy homestay. Accommodation will be basic but comfortable, and men and women will be housed in separate quarters. If the weather is dry we’ll set up a bonfire where we can sit and see the stars.
Day 2: Sunday
We will get up early in the morning and explore another Devrai near the village. We will hear stories about the Devrai, the neighbouring villages, forts and lakes, and the impact of tourism and development on life in the mountains.
We will stuff ourselves with breakfast and then descend the ghat, reaching the base village around noon, where will board our transport to be back at Kalyan station by 3:00 pm.
How to get to the meeting point:
There is a local train departing from CST at 6:06 am that will get you to Kalyan by 7:07 am. You can also get on to the train at Dadar at 6:21 am, Kurla at 6:28 am or Thane at 6:46 am.
Participants may also choose to drive down to the base village by themselves. The journey is 3 hours from Mumbai. Please contact us for details and we will help you organise parking for your vehicle.
- Guided trek up and down Ahupe ghat
- Village, lake and Devrai visit with a local expert
- Overnight stay at a neat and clean homestay
- Private transport from Kalyan to Kalyan
- Refreshments, Lunch, Dinner on Day 1
- Breakfast on Day 2
- Comfortable clothes – no jeans or formal clothing for the hike
- Change of clothes/small towel for the next day
- Trekking shoes or sturdy sports shoes (better if waterproof)
- Two liters of drinking water – minimum
- Warm jacket for the night (it will be cold)
- Waterproof covers for your phone and backpack
- Torch for the night
- Camera – optional
- Curiosity and energy – compulsory!
The Ahupe ghat is a moderate one and there is no requirement of technical equipment or expertise. However, there is a decent amount of climbing involved (3000 feet) and basic fitness and motivation would be required. It will take about 4 hours to climb up and 3 hours to get back down. As we do the journey over two days it becomes easier. Also, we are going to explore the village and the devrais so it is not about fitness, and everyone will climb together, regardless of speed.
- No alcohol consumption will be permitted on this experience. Nature will provide all the intoxication you require.
- Participants will be required to sign a disclaimer before the hike begins.
- All minors will need to be accompanied by an adult.