Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bhimashankar trek from Karjat.The King of all treks

Bhimashankar trek from Khandas near Karjat.The King of all treks

The reason why I am calling it as king of all treks is because 
1) Very long walk(Almost 12 to 15 kms from base village through long and difficult route)
2) Never ending steep climbs till the end
3)All aspects of a trek is covered like Crossing ferocious rivers,walking long distances,steep climbs,rock climbing and all this through a wildlife sanctuary

Height in meters(1008 meters)
Height from Base village:(850 meters/ almost 2.5 times more climbing and 10 times difficult than Rajgad,Raigad,Sinhagad)
Total time takes for the trek: 3.5 hours
Grade Rating: Easy from Ganesh ghat and moderate to little difficult from Shidi ghat(Ladder route)
Base village: Khandas Taluka Karjat dist Raigad

Well I earlier planned Ganesh ghat the easy route for Bhimashankar and conveyed this trek plan through email to all colleagues but finally only 3 people including me were ready hence after reaching Khandas,We decided that we will be using Shidi ghat to reach Bhimashankar and that day,it already rained early morning and weather was clear hence no possibility of heavy rains till we reach the top hence Shidi ghat was finalized and the easy Ganesh ghat route was cancelled.

Also now I am looking to do Durg-Dhakoba trek soon.Reason because if I do this trek,There will be a record against my name of trekking each and every mountain continuos in Sahyadris right from Salher-Mulher-Mangi Tungi till Bhimashankar.Only Durga-Dhakoba near Darya ghat Junnar is remaining in between.

How to reach the base village Khandas

We took Sinhagad express from Shivajinagar around 6:12 am and reached Karjat till 8:00 pm
From Karjat,we took a bus till Kashele 22 kms from Karjat on Murbad road
From Kashele,we and another group of trekkers totally 8 people hired a Omni for 200 rupees(25 rupees each) till Khandas village
We reached  Khandas around 10:00 am
From Khandas,it was again a 3 kms walk till the bridge from where the trek starts
We reached around 10:45 am till the bridge
After the bridge,towards right,the road is to Ganesh ghat,straight is to Shidi ghat and left is to some other village nearby

Bhimashankar has two routes from Khandas village

1) Ganesh ghat:It is an easy route but very very long route traversing the neighbouring Padar fort and reaching Bhimashankar upper Plateau.It takes 4 hours or more through Ganesh ghat.Through this route,from bridge after Khandas,take right and this route traverses through longer way and reaches a Ganesh temple.Further there is a well.From that well,take left towards Bhimashankar.Towards right,there is a tricky road to Padar fort from that well.

2) Shidi ghat:-It is a tough route but well defined one through steep climbs up and down,crossing ferocious rivers,waterfalls deep into the forests,climbing rocks and of-course ladders affixed into rockfaces.One has to be very cautious while going through this route and not recommended for beginners.

(For more details of map routes, see the first photograph where details are given)

We started the trek around 10:45 to 11:00 am from that bridge.The ganesh ghat route was crowded and noisy hence we decided to go through Shidi ghat.Hardly 5% of that crowd were going by Shidi ghat hence it was good one.
Right from the start of that route,the steep climb welcomes you and in 30 minutes of walking,you encounter a waterfall in deep forests and a flowing river over waterfall.
After crossing this river, again the steep climb continues and after 1 hour of trek is finished,you encounter the first ladder affixed in rock.
The scene from this is immaculate from this point.You can see huge waterfalls, clouds sailing all over and greenery everywhere in form of dense forests hide and seek game between sun and clouds going hand in hand
After crossing the first ladder,there are rock patches all over hence after careful climbing of 1 hour and after crossing the remaining 2 ladders,you can reach few huts on a flat pleateau
After reaching here,you reach halfway mark.At this point,the route coming from Ganesh ghat meets the Shidi ghat route.
This point is the halfway/Interval of the trek
At this point,you can get tea/snacks and food also
From here,again the steep climb starts.These steep climbs are like a never ending story.It continues on and on.When we feel like the trek is almost coming to an end,one more steep climb is in your way and this happens almost 10 to 12 times thus the steep climbs are never ending ones
Finally after 3.5 to 4 hours hours of walking from the base village,you finally reach the open ground on the top nearby the stairs of Bhimashankar Temple(You can feel it due to huge noise because in month of Shravan,there are almost 2 lakhs devotees visiting Bhimashankar)
We started the trek around 10:45 to 11:00 am and reached Bhimashankar top around 3:15 pm.We tried to see whether we can get the Darshan but seeing the crowd,it was impossible for us till 5 to 6 hours to get into the temple hence around 4:30 pm,we moved back to Pune to reach Shivajinagar till 8:00 pm
Thus an interesting journey came to an end here

Here are the photographs

Reference Map of Bhimashankar trek from Khandas village.This is just a reference map providing general information of the trek.It does not guarantee accuracy

Khandas village and Bhimashankar in background

The Trek Route.You might be thinking that Bhimashankar is this much high only.But more than half part is not visible due to clouds.This is just 30%  part visible and it takes almost 2 hours to complete this part through difficult route.You can see how steep rock faces are there.Ladders are fixed in these rockfaces

The Shidi ghat route

The first Ladder

Anirban on the ladder

Myself on the ladder with our new trek colleague Dipti

Scene from the Ladder route.Yes you have to traverse through such narrow path and steep climbs.It is not easy through this route

This was the trek route.Somewhat difficult on the edges and on the ladders affixed in rock.Also some rock climbing was involved by this route.
Padar fort or Kalavantin Mahal seen behind

A close view of Padar fort neighbouring Bhimashankar.The Ganesh ghat route traverses through this fort and joins Bhimashankar.This fort is difficult to climb

Dipti near the final ladder of Bhimashankar

I and Anirban near during the final climb of Bhimashankar

Through the forests with clouds sailing all over

Scene while climbing Bhimashankar.Half cloudy and Half part in  bright sunshine
A view from Bhimashankar top

Finally reached at Bhimashankar after long trek of 3.5 hours

Our Trek group Left to Right Anirban, Dipti and Myself


  1. thank you very much for sharing such information...

  2. Thank you for this information. It has helped me in my trek planning - especially the reference map!

  3. Mesmerizing pics. Thanks for sharing

  4. beautiful information, gr8, keep it up man, god bless you!!

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  6. Awesome,
    Thank you so much for sharing such an awesome blog...