Kharghar Hills- The Unplanned Nature Trail

Kharghar hills signify the start of Kharghar, welcoming everyone who enters the node; with beauty at its peak during monsoon. I see them everyday, every time my train reaches Kharghar,every time when I take a train from Kharghar. But seldom do I go walking there, maybe because I am busy exploring the interiors and because of other commitments. I went there in December, but not during or just after the rainy season. Finally got a chance to visit, thanks to long weekends.:)
My friend Sneha and I had planned for an early morning walk, which ultimately became a nature trail. It is open only from 6 am – 9 am in the morning. But we started only late, 7 50 we were at the gate. People were coming down, while we were just about to start. The guard even warned us to be back on time, maybe because he saw Sneha’s camera or assumed we are lazy to come so late 😉

We started walking, initially at a good pace. Everyone there seemed so energetic and fresh, wishing each other good morning. The path was surrounded by green trees on both side. Our pace started reducing gradually, and then there was a time, when there were just two of us on the path !! We started capturing the beauty around us.While Sneha was capturing everything on her camera, I was just living the moment, and capturing everything in my heart. Due to monsoon, and even post monsoon showers, the flora and fauna were richest. There were  waterfalls also, some almost dried, and some small ones. Banana trees, Gulmohar trees and many wild plants accompanied us in our leisure walk. Crabs are very common, and keep running and side-walking throughout. Even butterflies, we saw so many of them !

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We were meeting after a long time, and there was lots to talk about. And the serenity of nature, gave the perfect moment for heart-to-heart talking session. We shared and discussed each other’s problems, and then ultimately left on a note that if something is meant to be,it will happen; We can only give our best and believe in positivity.

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The path seemed so very photogenic that we paused so many times for that perfect shot. The song “Tanha Dil” by Shaan came to my mind. I even shared this with Sneha, and then we both started singing the song. Then we realized that it was already 8:16 and we were not even half-way !! I told her to rush, but a photographer can’t miss to capture a place in its entirety. We saw a chameleon and she tried to capture it, but could not. We find them very fascinating, we discussed how it camouflages. In my mind, related it to life, how one should adapt to a situation, however it is.

Speeding up, I reached a little ahead of Sneha. There was a beautiful silence all around, and also the sounds of nature. The chirping sound of birds, the flow of wind, the humming noise of the insects and birds. It was so soothing. With the crowd of the city, and noisy horns we fail to listen the beautiful and diverse sounds of nature. I was lost for a moment, in the silence, in the beauty, or in my thoughts !! And then suddenly Sneha shouted, “Hey I got it”. She managed to capture a chameleon(not sure a garden lizard or a chameleon). Again, we restated, the power of positivity, hope and “if its meant to happen, it will”

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We reached the first view point, that time we realized that we have covered some distance and height. We saw some people there, resting after their walk/jog. It was a little foggy morning.

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Sneha wondered if there is more to see, and if we should go back. I told her to keep going, and it is worth it. By this time, all sweaty and drained because of humidity, still kept walking. We anyway had crossed the allowed timings, why not experience fully 😉

We met few villagers on the way. They seemed happy and content. I was wondering that they must be so used to climbing up and down the hill for basic necessities. I smiled and waved at them, they smiled back too 🙂

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Paced up and finally reached the end point. The point where it diverts into the village, and the view point. The Kharghar hill plateau was seen from there, full green and live. A better view of Kharghar, the entire node, the well planned one.

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Hence we considered our journey as successful, reaching till the top of hill. Learning so many things, getting so close with nature, spending quality time and clicking so many wonderful pictures. We asked for a lift while coming down, the driver had permissions to take the villagers, hence we were not asked any questions..

Let the journey never end…Keep moving

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Photo credits:  Sneha Panchal

Special thanks to her, contact her for photography assignments Contact Sneha Panchal

Contact me for exploring Navi Mumbai 🙂

Straight from My Heart,

Prakriti Singh

Gallery:

Owe Dam, Kharghar: The Beauty and the Beasts

The more I spend time with nature, the more I find myself, the more I realize that happiness lies within, yet we search it in others.

Owe dam, Kharghar is such a place, to find oneself , to get lost in nature, to experience peace ! The moment I reached, I was mesmerized by the beauty, green hills all around; the calm and quiet water in centre.

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The journey is more amazing, starts with wide clean roads and ends with off roading on muddy ground; starts with city and ends falling in love with a village, Owe camp.

I have been there many times, and every time I go there, I find and learn something new. The first time I went there, I was speechless. The nature lover within me wanted to stay there forever, and experience nature in its true form. Only a few minutes there can make someone feel so relaxed and peaceful from within.Every time I promise myself to be there back again. My friend took me there for the first time, it was an unplanned visit. We were four of us in car. The way is through Owe camp, and includes off-roading.Muddy roads surrounded by rice fields accompany us till the destination. We felt like dancing in joy, the colour green has some energy attached to it; it denotes freedom, freedom to grow. The green grass all around made us feel free, free from pollution, free from the crowd, and free from the hustle and bustle of the city. There were few villagers who were swimming in the dam water. We crossed the hill and sat peacefully on the other side. The place seemed untouched by humans, and that fascinated us more.

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The second time, we were three girls on a two wheeler. More fun to drive on the muddy roads 😉 Actually no, I was at the last and had to get down every time it got stuck. Unaware of the destination, they kept doubting me and my decision to come there, somehow I convinced them to keep going. This time we had to park our vehicle, a little far from the destination.

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On the way we met a villager, she owned the rice fields there. We confirmed our way to the dam, and kept going. The feeling and sight on reaching was just the same, but there was something which was changed. The beauty of nature, which I described as untouched by humans, seemed disturbed. The place which was earlier just green had plastics and wrappers for biscuits and snacks. There were bottles at some places, bottles of alcohol. I don’t understand why people destroy nature to consume alcohol. There are places meant for that. We just sat for sometime, discussed few life-goals and left. On our way back, we met the same female, she was so excited to show the fields, so we had a look. She even posed for us. She explained a little about her life, and views on how “city people” act smart and destroy the beauty of the place. It was nice interacting with her, we learned that few boys got drowned while swimming in the dam. She then continued her work, and we continued to the “city”.

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The next time, I went there in the morning. My office friend wanted to see the place. It rained a lot the night before, hence the drive was difficult this time too. We had to park a few metres ahead of the destination, because of the fresh wet mud and puddles. Everything seemed more beautiful in the morning, the fresh green grass, the fields, the hills and the water ! We tried to capture the serenity of nature, which slowly got transferred within.  It is difficult to describe the feeling, because some things can only be experienced.

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On our way back, I was disappointed to see that the stone quarrying activities near it, have increased to a significant level. In the middle of such beauty, it was a disturbing sight !!

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I wonder why do we humans keep disturbing nature ? Why do we disturb the balance, why do we destroy beauty, litter, pollute and spoil everything ! Are we humans , or beasts ? Can’t we keep some things as it is ? Can’t we live in harmony !

Hoping the next time I go there I don’t find some new beastly activity of humans. Till then, have a feel of the journey…

Humble request – If you plan to go there, please do not litter and be a human, not a beast 🙂

Thanks

Straight from my heart,

Prakriti

Video credits: Matthew Varkey

Song suggestion for video: Sindhya B.

Contact me for exploring Navi Mumbai 🙂