Bhimashankar Trek

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Time Required: 1-2 days

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Bhimashankar Trek, Mumbai Overview

Located in the beautiful expanses of the Western Ghats, the Bhimashankar Trek takes you through the thickets of the Bhimashankar jungles right up to the temple. Bhimashankar is located in the village Bhorgiri in the ghat region of the Sahyadri range. Situated at a height of around 3,250 feet, Bhimashankar is surrounded by hills and is covered by thick green rainforests. Legend has it that the name Bhimashankar was originated from the river Bhima which evaporated due to the generated between the war of Lord Shiva and the demon Tripurasura. It is considered to be one of the holiest places in India because of the jyotirlinga. Bhimashankar is also a popular destination for trekkers. Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary is another important reason why people come here.

Bhimashankar Trek is one of the most famous treks in Maharashtra. Trekkers from Pune and Mumbai often head to Bhimashankar for a day-long recreational activity which can easily be completed over a weekend. The forest is home to a number of animal and plant species. Nature lovers would enjoy exploring the lush greenery but some prior experience in trekking is advisable. 

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The trek to the Siddhgad Fort is thrilling and all the rivers and waterfalls along with the rocky unequal terrain through the dense forest are sure to give you an addictive combination of adrenaline and a deep sense of peace at the same time. You also get to cross many paddy and rice farms on the way. Except enjoying the trek, there's really not a lot to see on the Siddhgad trail but some remains of Fort once regal and proud but now long forgotten. The point is an important part of the history of Shivaji Maharaja's reign. The view of Gorakhgad and Bhimashankar from the entrance of the Fort is spectacular and a definite Kodak moment. Bhimashankar is house to one of the 12 Jyotirlings held sacred in Hinduism. The Shiva Temple, the point Bhimashankar is most famous for, is a pilgrimage site 3500 feet above the sea level and without a doubt one of its kind in the world. This temple is 1200-1400 years old and an architectural masterpiece of its time with beautiful sculptures and pillars. This is an ideal place to reconnect with your spirituality. Another attraction of Bhimashankar is the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to the endangered species of Indian Giant Squirrel along with many other animals such as the Leopard, Sambar, Barking Deer, Grey Junglefeowls etc. This is a trek that you just cannot miss!

The best time to go on a Bhimashankar Trek is during the spring and the winter season. Spring (February to March) is a magical time to explore the forests. The temperature is just right (between 15ᵒC and 31ᵒC) and the climate is dry and perfect for trekking. Winter season also is a good time for a recreational activity between November and February. But, since the day-time average temperature hovers around 20ᵒC, trekkers may want to carry jackets or woollens. During the night, the mercury level drops further to 11/ 12ᵒC.

Between June and September, the region receives seasonal rains. This time of the year is not recommended because the Western Ghats of India receive heavy rainfall (average annual precipitation 3900 mm approximately) and the climb becomes slippery and dangerous. Summertime trek is also not recommended because the humidity is high and trekking might be extremely exhausting. But daredevils can prep themselves and head to the trails if they are ready for the rains or the hot and humid season.

The trek to the Siddhgad Fort is thrilling and all the rivers and waterfalls along with the rocky unequal terrain through the dense forest are sure to give you an addictive combination of adrenaline and a deep sense of peace at the same time. You also get to cross many paddy and rice farms on the way. Except enjoying the trek, there's really not a lot to see on the Siddhgad trail but some remains of Fort once regal and proud but now long forgotten. The point is an important part of the history of Shivaji Maharaja's reign. The view of Gorakhgad and Bhimashankar from the entrance of the Fort is spectacular and a definite Kodak moment. Bhimashankar is house to one of the 12 Jyotirlings held sacred in Hinduism. The Shiva Temple, the point Bhimashankar is most famous for, is a pilgrimage site 3500 feet above the sea level and without a doubt one of its kind in the world. This temple is 1200-1400 years old and an architectural masterpiece of its time with beautiful sculptures and pillars. This is an ideal place to reconnect with your spirituality. Another attraction of Bhimashankar is the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to the endangered species of Indian Giant Squirrel along with many other animals such as the Leopard, Sambar, Barking Deer, Grey Junglefeowls etc. This is a trek that you just cannot miss!

  • Trekking gear is essential. Make sure you carry a rope to climb through the steep, rugged portion with large rocks.
  • The trail does not have any eateries till the point the two routes (Shidi Ghat pathway and Ganesh Ghat route) meet. This point has only a few local vendors selling refreshments for passers-by. So, trekkers must carry enough water and snacks for themselves.
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers (nearest police station, hospitals and fire brigade), carry a torch, charge your mobiles completely and carry a power bank just in case.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and good trekking shoes. The forests are infamous for leeches, so choose your clothing accordingly or properly tuck them to avoid any injuries. Carry a raincoat if a trek is planned during the monsoons.

Food is available in the base village quite easily but not at all during the trek. Make sure to keep quick bites with you.

  • Rail: The nearest railway stations, Karjat and Kalyan, are both very well connected to Pune. But from here, you will have to depend on public busses or private jeeps.

  • Road: One can take a S.T. Bus from Pune to Kalyan and then from Kalyan to Murbad. After reaching Murbad, hire a private jeep to base village Narivali, although sometimes busses are also available to Narivali, but they are not very frequent. If going through Karjat, the route is still almost the same. This journey will take about 4 hours.


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About Bhimashankar Trek

Availability of night trek : Available

Base Camp : Khandas/Khatewadi for Bhimashankar; Narivali/Uchale for Siddhgad

Days required for the trek : 1 to 2 days

Difficulty level : Medium to High; but requires a high endurance level as a significant amount of distance is to be covered

Height above sea level : Both peaks are around 3500 feet above sea level

Nearest Airport : Mumbai Airport

Nearest Railhead : Karjat and Kalyan are both equal distance (almost 30 kms)

Region : Sahyadris - Bhimashankar (Konkan)

Starting point of trek : Since we are starting the trek from Siddhgad, the start point would be Narivali or Uchale. Otherwise, if beginning from Bhimashankar, the point would be Khandas.

Type : Hill Fort

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