November to February are the best months to visit Bhimashankar. Though the temple can be visited anytime of the year, trekkers can visit during winters if they are first time climbers as the climb can be tough during the monsoons because of the slopes being slippery. However, experienced trekkers will find trekking in monsoon quite pleasing because of its challenging nature and the chill weather.
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Bhimashankar in Winter (October - February)
Winter brings with it a steady decrease in the temperature. With a maximum of 30°C and a minimum of 13°C, Bhimashankar is a delight in the winter months from October to February. The sky is clear, there is excellent visibility, and the weather is perfect for outdoor activities. A visit to this sanctuary in winter is sure to be exciting for the entire family. Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the Giant Flying Squirrel, leopards, hyenas, barking deer, wild boars, Sambar deer and elephants. Winter is the best time to spot mammals in the sanctuary. Look out for leopards hanging from trees and deer lounging by lakes! Bhimashankar in winter is every wildlife photographer’s dream come true, as the weather, lighting and animals are perfect to snap.
Winter is the best time to trek and hike in the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. With prior permission, you can camp out there too, and watch the Milky Way from your tent as you lie under the starry night sky. The routes are well-marked and pass through waterfalls, rivulets, cliffs and rocks that are sure to be a treat for both experienced trekkers and novices alike. The exquisite panoramas of the 130 square kilometre Sanctuary from the viewpoints are definitely worth the exciting trek. Hanuman Lake is an ideal location for a family picnic or a quiet evening with your significant other.
Makar Sankranti is a harvest celebration held in January. Bhimashankar comes alive during the festivities, and local delicacies are made in abundance to commemorate this festival. Mahashivratri, held in February every year, is a night-long prayer and penance ceremony conducted to please and contemplate Lord Shiva. This festival sees a massive influx of devotees at Bhimashankar so that it may get a little crowded. These highlights make winter the best time of the year for families and couples to visit Bhimashankar. Keep in mind that winter is the tourist season – hotel prices are usually hiked around this time. Book your stay and travel beforehand to avoid last minute rushes. With a host of activities to engage every kind of traveller, Bhimashankar is a perfect tourist destination that should be a must-visit on every bucket list! Be it a weekend getaway or a family vacation, choose Bhimashankar for a memorable trip!
Bhimashankar in Monsoon (June - September)
Bhimashankar receives ample rain from the southwest monsoon, between June and September. Temperatures are lowered during this time, ranging between 20°C and 32°C. The heavy rains make sightseeing difficult, but you can easily visit the temple during the monsoon because there are not a lot of tourists. The nights are comfortable and cosy. The generous showers give a new lease of life to the area, covering it in lush vegetation. Adrenaline junkies and adventurous trekkers are sure to have the time of their lives as the routes become even more challenging in the rain. Appreciate the majesty of nature in its full glory as you take in the stunning views. These postcard-perfect panoramas are every photographer’s dream. The Nagphani Point, Bombay Point, Gupt Bhimashankar and Vanaspati Point offer the most spectacular views of the valley. The monsoon is the best time for bird watchers, as the air is full of the mating calls of the quaker babble, the Malabar grey hornbill, Malabar whistling thrush and the black eagle. Keep in mind that some trekking paths turn precarious in the rain because the routes get muddy and slippery, so it is not recommended to go trekking in Bhimashankar in the monsoon if you’re a novice.
A festival to watch out for in August-September is Ganesh Chaturthi, which commemorates the birth of Ganesha, the elephant-faced Lord. A grand procession with a huge idol of Lord Ganesha is taken all around the town during this week-long celebration. There are dance, music and merriment everywhere, and the celebration is a riot of colours. Do not miss this festival if you’re planning on visiting Bhimashankar in the monsoon! October brings with it the celebration of Navratri – a nine-day Goddess festival ending with the magnificent celebration of Dussehra on the tenth day. Witness stunning spectacles and feats including majestic floats of Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati, and other carnivals. Another festival celebrated around this time is the festival of lights – Diwali. Held between October and November, this day commemorates the victory of Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after a fourteen-year exile. Prayers are offered to Lord Rama and Goddess Lakshmi, to ensure prosperity and wealth. The celebrations look ethereal as the entire town is lit up with joyous lights and celebration.
Bhimashankar in Summer (March - May)
The Maharashtrian summer is sweltering hot. The season starts setting in from March and lasts until May with temperatures ranging from 23°C to 37°C, and low humidity as well. This may make trekking a bit difficult, but you can still visit the other sites nearby. This is the off-season time when there are not many tourists in Bhimashankar. Hotel prices are considerably low. This is the best time for tourists on a tight budget to visit Bhimashankar. The afternoons get exceptionally hot, so embark on trekking or sightseeing in the evenings. The Sanctuary is full of mango and Jamun trees, so feel free to buy some from the local stalls. Stand by the banks of the Krishna River in the evenings and contemplate the meaning of life as you watch the lilting waters sway, or indulge your family in a fun picnic!