Prabalmachi is a campsite situated in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. It offers the view of the gigantic Kalavantindurga and Prabalgad fort.
My best friends and I had made a bucket list of the things we want to do together. Trekking and camping was one of them! So, we planned to visit Prabalmachi with a trek group. We were very excited as it was going to be our first trek together and also about seeing the fireflies!
So we left home in the evening and reached Panvel station from Thane station which takes 1 hour.
We met our trek group there. From there we travelled by van in a group of 7 in each van. We reached the base village ‘Thakurvadi’ in 45 minutes. We had a quick introduction session and then we started our trek.
As it was a night trek, we trekked using the torches that we carried. The path was almost plain. There was not much climbing. In about 10 minutes of walking , we reached the starting point of the trek which was a check post where we were supposed to pay an entry fee and our bags were also checked for liquor or cigarettes as it is strictly not allowed .
Then our trek began.Most of the ascend was a very easy plain path where we were just supposed to walk. There were some rocky cliffs. The thing that I loved most about this trek was that there were small stalls after covering short distances. There were 8 such stalls. Thus it gave us a sense of achievement and kept us motivated. Snacks and nimbu sherbat were available at the stalls.
We saw fireflies on 3-4 spots on our way. They were present on the trees. It really was a magical sight! As they blinked, they resembled the stars in the sky . The trees looked like christmas trees which are decorated with lights! We were supposed to be quiet and to turn our torches off as the torch light would have disturbed the fireflies.
We reached on the top in about 3 hours as we stopped at various locations to spot the fireflies. Otherwise, it woud have taken about 2 hours to complete the trek. The local villagers living there provided food to all the trek groups. We whole heartedly had our dinner after our adventurous trek. Vegetarian as well as non vegetarian food was available. Chicken curry, bhakri, chapati, rice, papad was served to us in our non vegetarian dinner. The food was really good and filled our tummies!
Then we were taken to our camp site where tents were arranged for us. 2 people were accommodated in each tent. We settled there and then we were taken to the forest area nearby where there would be more fireflies shown by our guide. We enjoyed the serene view of the bioluminescent fireflies. Then we sat near our campsite from where we could see the city lights below us and listened to some calming music. It felt very peaceful!
Then we went back to our tents to sleep. Loved the feeling of sleeping under a sky full of stars.The next day we woke up by the crowing sound of the hens early at 5:30. The sky looked beautiful in shades of pink. Then we enjoyed the view of sunrise after some time.
We freshened up, clicked some pictures and had poha and tea in breakfast.We also bought fresh karvanda which was sold by the villagers . There were many hens and chicks present.
Then we started the descend. We had nimbu paani (lemon juice) in one of the stalls . It took about 1 hour to reach the base village. Then we reached Panvel station by van in an hour. We bid our trekmates goodbye and went back to our homes.
This trek will always be a special one because I made so many wonderful memories with my besties. Also, I would recommend this trek for beginners as it was really a very easy and non tiring one!
Out of all the paths you choose, make sure a few of them are dirt.John Muir