“There is something more saleable than pain and fear. It is intoxication, that gives you the adrenaline rush.” The sentence is copied by the way from one of web show I like. But in my case, I found it true about hiking. When a person gets addicted to any toxic, he tries all the possible ways to get intoxicated with the same thing. This is about my experience of hiking around Nashik in 2017.
There are a lot of beautiful places to visit around Nashik, Like Kalsubai (The highest peak in Maharashtra), Ratangadh, Pandav Leni caves, Trambakeshwar etc. Most of them are within the range of 60 to 70 km from the city centre. But with no personal vehicle and only Sundays in hands, my exploration was restricted to some limits. And then I found two such places: Anjaneri and Harihar Gadh which could be completed in a day and also were accessible.
Anjaneri, according to Hindu mythology is considered to be the birthplace of Anjaniputra Lord Hanumana. It is located 20 km away from Nashik on Trambak Road, mostly visited in the rainy season. The Anjaneri fort is famous for its Reverse waterfall during the rainy season. With clouds all around, one can find a number of waterfalls on his way to top. Water flowing from stone steps and the beautiful view of Trambak makes you feel refreshed. I have hiked it a number of times during the different seasons, by different paths and with different people but climbing it solo during a hot summer afternoon, and with a group of four in cold winter midnight was none less than any intoxication.
Landscape photography is another thing I like the most. After every hike I make a different folder to store the captured images. Last time when I checked my hiking folder, the most recent folder was “Anjaneri _14”. Probably this was the next step when someone realizes that he is getting addicted to it. And the most dangerous thing about being addicted is everyone knows the consequences coming to him.
Just like that, I was very scared for the midnight hike that we have planned, especially after listening to the stories of animal attack incidents that had happened there in the past. We started walking through the jungle with the most experienced hiker in front of the line and two of my co- hikers behind me. I was getting frightened and disturbed even with the crunchy noise of dead leaves. Halfway between the hike, we stopped to have some water and my co- hiker walked up to me and said,
“Jungle will never harm you, until and unless you harm it”.
That was probably the much-needed enlightenment I received on the correct time. Believing his thought we continued our journey and eventually reached the top. The place at night is very satisfying for long exposure photography. Cold breezes in addition to tranquillity at the top add new flavour to your hiking. The mesmerizing view of sunrise blows your mind completely. This is like an addiction to me, probably the best addiction I have ever come across.