Towards the last leg of the Indian monsoon, it lashes down hard, really hard. The month of September is considered as the last month of the monsoon in the subcontinent before the gloomy sky makes way to the fluffy white clouds to rule the cheerful blue autumn sky. Keeping the pride and honour it pours lots and lots before it finally rests for the year. The monsoon waves a magic wand over the Sahyadri transforming it into a fantasy land. To cherish this season of bounty for the last time this year we visited Malshej Ghat.
I have been to Malshej Ghat in previous monsoons too and every time it was a tour through the clouds. The moisture-laden clouds kiss you at every other turn while meandering through the Ghats. Sometimes it descends down to the water level and sometimes it covers the hilltops. The game of hide-and-seek thus continues throughout the way.
Read my previous post on the magical monsoon of the Sahyadri.
Read my previous post on Malshej Ghat.
Read my previous post on Ganesh Utsav.
Most of the time the Ganpati festival falls in the month of September and thus coincides with the heavy rain of the last monsoon month. Again on this auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, I planned my visit to Malshej Ghat. The only reason to choose this day was to avoid the crowd in this ongoing pandemic situation.
So finishing the religious rites early we started off towards Malshej Ghat. As expected the crowd was unmistakably less but the clouds were unexpectedly more. Immensely dense and thick the surroundings were, we barely had the visibility to drive through the meandering roads with the deluge pouring on us in full force.
The visibility was so poor that we hardly could manage to see anything ahead and taking pictures seemed to be a distant dream. We managed to drive till the car wash waterfalls but the haze was even denser in this part and so was the downpour. An excellent car washing spot it was, I braved to get drenched while making efforts to capture the picture in this thick mist and the rain. To spoil my efforts, came a stinky chicken truck with empty crates to get a free bath. The staunch smell forced me to get into the car and leave.
I was equally happy and sad, happy to witness such an immensely pleasurable natural occurrence of extreme haze and sad as we neither could see what we expected to see nor could we capture them in our camera. We decided to turn around and carefully drive back home. It was an experience of a different kind where the magical aura of Malshej Ghat made a lasting impression on my mind and the glory of the final monsoon month painted it bright.