I lovvvvveeeeee roadtrips! Especially during the monsoons! There is a charm in the greenery that builds up at this time making the landscape around so beautiful. Being a sucker for mountains, I always make sure to plan one road trip with my family just to enjoy the magic of nature and feel the rains upon and around us. But this year, before I could plan my own trip, American Tourister planned it for me and took me to this beautiful place in Igatpuri(on the way to Nashik) named Khambale, which is a mesmerizing place with mountains, waterfalls, fields and huts that give a very rustic feel and please your senses.
Trekking in the monsoons is a totally different kind of experience because you see the environment change its moods and make the surrounding countryside look pretty as a picture. Our trek to Khambale echoed these emotions. We started our journey from Mumbai and loved the lush green patches of trees and grasses along the way that were so vibrant and lively. Even at Khambale, you could see a different shade of green is every direction. It wasn't a very high climb as the hills were not steep but it was tricky as there were muddy patches that you had to dodge.
Igatpuri is a complete mountainous area, and the rain water creates its own path thus initiating waterfalls around on a few mountains. In between all the green, I also spotted some tiny floral blooms in white and yellow that added colour to the terrain.
Half way through the trek, mother nature decided to shower some love and it started drizzling which made the whole setting look even more alluring and stunning. This is the best part about monsoon treks! Since we were carrying our rain wear and umbrellas, the drama of the skies was a least of our worries while we witnessed the trees dancing to the tune of the rains. It was a fun climb to the top where we became a part of the clouds and admired the panoramic view of the scenery in front of us.
One of the best parts of the trek was the bit where we also got to plant a sapling as part of the Tree Plantation Drive by American Tourister. At Khambale, American Tourister maintains a 50 hectare plantation where they have planted 55,500 trees(1100 per hectare) of different varieties like mango, cashew, gooseberry(amla), custard apple and more. The plantation is beautiful and fully taken care of by them. It felt good to be a part of the drive and give back to nature and society after how highly responsible humans are becoming for the global warming phenomena.
Nature always has its own way to surprise and soothe you and that is why I love going to such places. The trip with American Tourister came just in time because it was a much needed break from my daily schedules. It was an amazing experience to jump into puddles, walk in mud trails, spot no urban civilization, spend time with those who matter and just enjoy the weather which brought peace to my mind. I surely recommend this to those who stay in Mumbai/Nashik and are looking to go for a trek close by.
American Tourister India is running a Monsoon Tourister Campaign where they are asking you to share images and videos from your Monsoon trips and win the title of #MonsoonTourister. For further details log onto their Facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/americantouristerindia2013
I am looking at heading for a few more treks this season and if you have any destinations close to Mumbai to check out, do let me know so I can head there too! :)
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