On a rainy day during this monsoon, I was hunting for some good destinations in and around Mumbai which are economical and could be covered within a day. Well need less to say! After a pretty expensive trip in chauffer driven car to LONAVALA and KHANDALA we were really looking for some pocket friendly options! After some googling and bit of research we zeroed on a spot called Tungareshwar (a wild life sanctuary) on the outskirts of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivili.
After getting down from a ST bus at SATIWALI one has to walk for around 1.5 kms to reach the highway junction (Mumbai- Ahmedabad). From here you will have company of our UP-BIHAR Bhaiiyyas for a while on either side of the road till you reach the base point. Its here from where actually the trek starts. The entire trek can be divided into 3 parts,
-Ascent till Tungareshwar Temple, roughly 3~4 Kms
-Ascent from Temple to Ashram , around 7 kms
-Descent from Ashram to Parol( which goes to Virar) around 8 Kms
The second and third leg of the journey is pretty exciting, with most of the noisy Mumbai crowd get exhausted at the first pit stop, then one can enjoy the serenity of the nature along with hustle and bustle of the birds around. Well... Thanks to the incessant rains, except for the beginning we were not fortunate enough to have the company of the birds all along our way. Hmmm…. hang on…. with Monsoon in full swing we could see crabs all along our ascent till the Ashram.
All along our way it was pouring cats and dogs with a little break at regular intervals. When it stopped raining clouds will come along and make the scene more memorable with the visibility of only few feet! We waded through the rough terrain to reach ashram. It was during this time my friend was little worried on what would happen to two souls wandering in the jungles if something/somebody attacked us :-). Nevertheless it is not that hostile place either! Except for some ANTI Maharashtra slogans written here and there by our bhaiyyas from UP and BIHAR.
Upon taking shelter at Ashram premises wherein the visibility was further reduced, we were greeted with cup of herbal tea. We were really not a in a position to say NO :-). After waiting for the “Baba’s Darshan” upon the insistence of a disciple, we headed our way back home. The descent terrain was pretty rough compared to the other one. With monsoon at our backs we finished descent pretty fast to reach a village called parol. After hitch hiking a ride in a Vikram(A big auto which can accommodate around 10 ppl) to reach a nearby bus stop, we took a bus to reach Virar. Return journey was pretty eventful since shivsaniks had called for a bundh, but our good luck made us to reach home safely.
Summary: Roughly 18 Kms trek (both ways) which can be planned for a day.
How to reach:
Take a train on central route to reach VASAI JUNCTION (takes an hour or hour and half from Andheri). From VASAI take a ST bus till SATIWALI village (this is around 15 minutes journey). From here walk of around 20~30 mins will take to the gates of Tungareshwar bird sanctuary.
Best Season: June till November
Back Pack: Nothing special required, have some energy bars, candy’s and some lunch. During monsoon water would be available all thru the way. If you are not very particular about the hygiene factor you can relish the fresh water.