Trek to Ghoradeshwar. Not.

The Monsoons should have arrived in Pune last month, but the rain gods are yet to bestow their benevolence on us. I guess summer still lingers, what with the sun making its brilliance felt and seen! Of course, that doesn’t stop us trekking enthusiasts from throwing on our backpacks and setting out to conquer a hill or two!

An enthusiastic bunch of us from my apartment complex decided to trek to the Ghoradeshwar Temple last Saturday. It stands on a hill and can be reached by a flight of stone steps snaking up from the base – or so the Internet had informed us. We had a fairly good idea about its location, so didn’t feel the need to have Google Maps assist us.

We set out at around 7am and drove along National Highway 4, until we reached a hill with an orange flag at the top. There were a few stragglers on their way up, which made us come to the conclusion that we had reached the right place.

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It had taken us roughly 45-minutes to drive to the hill. Trekking up took an hour.

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The kids in the group ran up, sure-footed like mountain goats, while the rest of us trudged on, slipping every now and then on loose stones along the way and taking breaks on conveniently scattered rocks.

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The surrounding land looked dry and dusty, badly in need of a shower. We observed some interesting colours in the rocks and some delicate, blue flowers along the way too.

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We broke out the few munchies we’d brought along when we reached the orange flag at the top. Only after we had completed this quintessential task did we realise that we had not yet come across any stone steps. Nor was there any sign of a temple. We continued further, in search of it.

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Beyond the flag, the hill flattened into a small plateau of sorts, before it sloped gently down the other side.

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On our descent, we came across these natural water reservoirs in which we found a few frogs enjoying a swim.

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We made it down the hill and back to our vehicles in half the time, and through a unanimous vote, made for the closest restaurant for breakfast. Less than half a kilometer ahead, we chanced upon the much-sought-after steps leading up to the elusive Ghoradeshwar Temple. But the temple would have to wait to see us another day. With the sun racing up to reach a high point in the sky, breakfast made way more sense than challenging gravity again.

Despite the fact that we had climbed the wrong hill, the trek had been vastly enjoyable, ending on a rather pleasing note with plates of fresh vada pav and crisp dosas, washed down with steaming masala chai.

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When we returned home at 11am, we still had the weekend, stretched out gloriously before us.

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