to be the first monsoon trek of 2006. Peb was selected as the spot to
start the season. The response was tremendous and I was hoping that I
would rain to do justice to the response.
We started on the 12th of June reaching Dadar as early as 5:30 am. We
planned to take the earliest train possible. We took the 6:02 am train
from Dadar. People got into the train from Thane, Ghatkopar etc etc and
by the time we reached Neral the base of Peb as well the famous
Matheran it was about 8:00 am. About 3 of our friends were a bit late
and we waited for them.
Finally when they arrived the count was 39, pretty impressive for a
first trek and the encouraging part was that majority of them were
Breakfast done, we started moving towards the fort. You need to go
right towards CST side on the road just outside the station. You reach
the taxi stand and turn left and walk straight across the fields.
You can see the Peb fort right ahead of you, with the Panorama point of
Matheran to the left and Nakhind to the right. You start ascending the
hills and now you need to keep your eye on the electric poles. The path
is well trodden and you continue ascending till you reach a cemented
electric pole. You can hear the tension in the high tension electric
wires. Now continue along the right side path. After going for about
half an hour, we made a mistake. Instead of following still right, we
took the river bed route and that cost us a lot of time.
One of the most famous landmark while trekking the Peb is the electric
pole in the col between Nakhind and Peb. But we reached a point where
we could see the electric pole but we had to cover a very dangerous
scree to reach the pole. With a strength of 39 it was obviously going
to take a lot of time and we finally reached the electric pole at
around 1.30 pm. There was a cool breeze blowing and the effort was
looking worth. Seeing around Peb you can see Chanderi, Mhasmal and
Here a group decided it was enough for them and half of us decided to
stay back. We moved ahead and in about 15 mins we reached the famous
caves of Peb. Here sitting under the shade of the caves, we had our
lunch. Apurva and Chanda had already left to fetch drinking water - the
elixir of life. And we had the most beautiful lunch. Hunger and the
scenery around made every morsel tasty. Lunch done, some of us decided
to move back. And about 5-7 of us decided to go ahead and explore the
rest of the caves. The cave is actually divided into two parts. One
part has a samadhi and other has a statue of Shivaji Maharaj. Its said
that Shivaji used this fort to store food grains. The name Peb is
however derived from the temple of Godess Pebi at the foothills. After
seeing the cave we went around the fort. On the other end of the fort
is a ridge that takes us directly to Matheran - a free entry into
Matheran without paying the entry fee.
Anthony reached the top of the fort in a jiffy and was waving to us.
Actually I felt that as always we ran short of time to explore the
Anyways we turned back and now decided to explore the famous small cave
of Peb. Small but deep which allows only one person to enter at a time.
I entered with Apurva head torch. I crept inside and then after about
10-12 feet there is a way underground. Somehow the eerie feeling got to
me and I decided - 'ok thats enuf of adventure' The sound and smell of
bats did not help too :). And then I had to reverse back.. a funny way
of returning actually cause there is no space to turn. And Apurva came
up with his expertise :) saying maybe it was a hiding place in the old
days where you could cover the entrance with a huge stone.
Ok. Enough adventure and we turned back. By this Rajan had done a great
job of checking out the right route. We now went ahead and then reached
a junction. Straight lay the path to Nakhind. Path to right will take
to Neral and Path of Left will take us to Satyachiwadi - Panvel. We
turned right and rushed. It was nearing night time when we reached
Neral station. We had a quick session of tea and cofee and cold drinks
and what not.
It had been very tiring because God had decided it wasnt time for rains
yet. But rains or no rains, the trek to Peb was fun. We took the 8:56
train from Neral and off we were .. some standing, some sitting
....some sleeping. zzz
Written By: Krishnadas W.