Monday morning, I received a message as “Worst Harihar Trek Experience” from one of my friend (will not mention the name) and then later it was a trending topic on facebook and many trekking Whatsapp Group which I am part of.
Here is the Harihar Trek Pictures that went viral on Monday (24-06-19).
Harihar Trek Pictures
P.C – anonymous (Whatsapp Trekking Group)
Looking at the pictures anyone can tell that it must be worst Harihar Trek experience for all, not only for my friend. But, here point is, not about the only best experience that you expect while wondering in Sahyadri but the safety of every individual trekker.
Do you know how many people visited?
So, inquired about the count with the villager of Nirgun Pada i.e. the base village of Harihar Trek. He told me that he took food order of some 200-250 people and he had received request for more another 50-100 trekkers but he rejected as he can’t provide the service on time. To my surprise, he shared with me the shocking count of approx 400 trekkers who had food at his place.
When I discuss the same scenario with another person who went to the Harihar Trek on Sunday, astonishingly, he measure out more than 800 people during the Harihar Trek on the same day.
Let’s consider 800 only for our discussion, not more than that. So guys, what you think who all are these 800 people.
Few of them are amateurs who just hit the place looking at the stunning pictures, selfies on the Instagram and others who go through the trekking organization which suddenly starts organizing treks in monsoon and vanishes after the monsoon. And obviously, there were few not many, old and respected Trekking groups.
So, all these formed the corpus of 800.
I don’t have any problem with anyone, as anyone can roam anywhere. After all, it’s India. I am sharing my thoughts just you to be safe and not to make your trekking experience worst. Your life is important and valuable. As you are reading this, share this link with your loved ones as well. If every trekker reads this, then such situation might not arrive.
What all Trekkers can do?
First thing, obviously try not to visit more hyped places as you know it will be over crowded.
Explore unknown trekking places and enjoy your trekking with experience organizer.
This is not the first year of Harihar. The same scenario happened last year as well. After that, many reputed trekking groups have stopped planning for such treks. I can write such crowded and risky trekking places to avoid – Harihar Fort Trek, Kalavantin Durg Trek, Peb fort Trek, Karnala Trek, Kalsubai Trek.
So point is, best trekking groups know facts and have knowledge and experience. So follow them. There are few old & good trekking organizers in Pune, which deliberately organize trek on some less unknown forts and places. Just to avoid crowd and let the real trekkers enjoy the nature & history.
Last for amateurs and beginners, trekking places are not tourist places or hill stations. It is risky adventure. Even for Solo adventure freaks and any beginner trekking group should have good experience, prior knowledge of trekking, local area, basic first aid, rescue contacts, contacts of local villagers, and contacts of local transport.
For beginners, I want to tell you that good trekking groups have rough idea, prior notification and information about weather or any other unexpected thing like the expected number of people in this scenario. These trek organizers will inform you not to venture into such adventure, just to avoid getting “worst experience”. They will cancel the plan at last minute in such type of scenarios. So respect them. Respect their decision. It is for your well being.
There was no injury or accident or death recorded on Harihar Fort, Nashik. Luckily, it was just a worst Harihar Trek experience and not another Elphinstone bridge accident.
It’s high time. Wake Up Trekkers!
This is all from my point of view to keep you all on safer side of adventure. If there is anything else that you can recommend me to add, please let me know. I will be happy to hear from you.
Keep Trekking! Happy & Safe monsoon!
***Suggestion for Gov office or Local Authorities – Make sure that every trekker brings & plant one tree at the base then only allowed to visit the fort. Such scenario mostly occur in the first month of monsoon which is good for plantation that too at the base of such amazing places. What say?