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Time Required : 1 day

Entry Fee : INR 50

Andharban, Lonavala Overview

Andharban, also known as the ‘Dark Forest’ is a popular trekking destination clad in the folds of the lush green Western Ghats and the Sahyadris in the state of Maharashtra. The spot is located near the village of Pimpri and is only an hour and a half’s drive away from Lonavala. Perched at a height of approx. 2160 feet, Andharban is known to be the most ideal monsoon trekking destination. Enveloped in misty clouds and dreamy forests with tinkering waterfalls and shadowy pathways, the most unique factor about the trek is that is offers a descending trail ideal for amateurs and beginners as well.

Boasting of scintillating views of the Kundalika Valley, thick emerald foliage, dainty ponds and a rich flora and fauna, the trek is not only a thrilling adventure activity but is also a surreal escape into the lap of nature. Other than giving you a high adrenaline rush, you will be mesmerized by the scenery and the picturesque landscape around you. There are also a few lakeside temples (some of which are in ruins), where you can stop to rest or explore around. Andharban Trek is considered to be one of the most easy, beautiful and scenic treks in the region.

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Trekking Routes at Andharban

The trek commences from the Independent Point in Pimpri village which is located near the Pimpri Dam. In the initial leg of the trek, the pathways will be completely shadowed by the towering trees and you will come across several small ponds, waterfalls and the backwaters of the Bira Dam. Soon after, you will walk the wall adjoining the Pimpri Dam and in the clearing ahead, you can admire the gorgeous poppy fields. Continuing the journey further, you will have to walk around a few winding roads that will lead you to the darker part of the forest. You can spot the beautiful Kundalika Valley from here and can also stop at the Bhirdi village for refreshments. From here, you will have to begin your return journey.

The return journey will take you to the backwaters of Bira Dam again. A little distance away, you will reach the Patnus village where you can stop for a break or also opt to lodge at, at night. If not, you can keep descending to reach Pimpri from where you can take your ride back home.

Tips

  1. Wear comfortable and airy clothes.
  2. Wear comfortable footwear, preferable sports shoes or sneakers with a grip as the road is very slippery.
  3. Remember to carry a torch light and extra batteries.
  4. Also carry a bottle of water or two, and light snacks or ready to eat food. 
  5. Carry a monsoon jacket and an extra pair of clothes, in case it rains.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Andharban is obviously during the monsoons which lasts from June to September. The rains make the entire area glow green and the waterfalls are all brimfull cascading down in all their glory. Another time to visit the region is during winters i.e. between October and January. Although it is a little chilly but the misty mountains and foggy green woods are a sight to behold.

How to Reach

The Andharban trek starts from the base village of Pimpri. There are regular public buses that ply regularly from both Lonavala and Mumbai that can bring you to the village.

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