Most of the friends and blog gave itinerary of 2 days only. But, we wanted to do Bhimashankar Trek in one day from Khandas i.e. Karjat side. We were interested in difficult route of Bhimashankar Trek via Shidi ghat.
Planning and plotting
We searched most of the Bhimashankar trek blog. We got enough milestones, clues and basic information about Bhimashankar trek via Shidichi Vaat.
Khandas to Bhimashankar trek
There are two famous routes from Base village Khandas
- Bhimashankar Trek via shidi Ghat or ladder route
Difficulty level – High
Endurance – Medium to High
Technical equipment and support – Safety Rope for stream crossing
Average Trekking Time – 4-5 hours to climb.
Our trekking time – 3 Hours to climb
- Bhimashankar trek via Ganesh ghat
Difficulty level – Easy
Endurance – High
Technical equipment and support – Not required
Average Trekking Time – 5-6 hours to climb.
Our trekking time – 3 Hours to descend
- Best season for Bhimashankar trek – Monsoon obviously
- Our trekking Date – 23 Aug, 2016 (Tuesday)
- How to reach Khandas (how to reach bhimashankar from karjat)?
Nearest railway Stations
- Neral – 25 KM (50 Minutes)
- Karjat – 29 KM (55 Minutes)
How to reach Bhimashankar from Karjat?
Mumbai to Khandas
Board any Karjat/Khopoli train from central line. Get down at Neral or Karjat. [ Transport contact numbers and name mentioned below in Blog ] Get the INR 20/person share auto till Kashele village. From Kashele, change the share auto to Khandas (INR 40/ person). Shared auto/ Tum-Tum will drop you at the bridge built on rivulet just before Khandas. It’s a T junction. Left is for ladder route i.e. shidi chi vaat and right one is for Ganesh Ghat route.
Pune to Khandas
Board any Pune – Mumbai train. Alight at Karjat Station. And follow the same above instructions after Karjat.
Food and Stay –
Food and Stay is available at Villagers of Khandas. You can contact Hari bhau ( +91 88050 89073) for the same. Most of the people choose temple for night stay and start next day early morning as well. Otherwise Hari bhai provide stay at his place.
Food and stay is available at Padar wadi. It’s a place on plateau where shidi ghat and Ganesh ghat meet.
The place is also called as “Chaha cha Amba” by locals.
And obviously, many hotels and lodges are available near Bhimashankar temple. For stay in Bhimashankar hotels, you might need to book in advance during weekends and season times.
Our Bhimashankar trek Itinerary (with actual execution timings)
- 06:00 AM – Start from Panvel
- 08:15 AM – Reach Khandas
- 08:30 AM – Start Bhimashankar Trek via ladder route
- 10:00 AM – Padar wadi (halfway)
- 11:20 AM – Bhimashankar Temple entrance
- 12:15 PM – Darshan after standing in queue
- 12:35 PM – Lunch (Misal Paav)
- 01:25 PM – Start descend
- 03:00 PM – Bhimashankar trek Via Ganesh ghat
- 03:50 PM – At Ganesh Temple
- 04:15 PM – Tar road
- 04:30 PM – Back to Khandas
- 04:50 PM – Snacks & Tea at Hari Bhau
- 05:15 PM – Return journey bike ride
- 08:00 PM – Reached Panvel safely
Bhimashankar Temple Information
It is one of the 12 Jyotirlings dedicated to Lord Shiva. Bhimashankar temple steps count is 300. Devotees climb these temple steps for Darshan. Monsoon & Winter are the best seasons to explore Bhimashankar Temple.
Bhimashankar Temple Timings –
- Morning 4:30 AM – 3:00 PM
- Evening 4:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Places to visit near Bhimashankar Temple
- Gupt Bhimashankar
- Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Hanuman lake
- Mumbai Point
Our Bhimashankar Trek
Around 6 AM, Ravi and I started our journey from Panvel by bike. Beautiful old highway with greenery on both the side was making it a good start for the day. It was cold in the morning. We reached Chowk after crossing Kalavantin Durg, Prabalgad and Irshalgad. We took left turn at Chowk village. Suddenly, it started raining heavily.
Somehow we managed to get into our raincoats. With such heavy rainfall, nothing was going to help us. We were completely wet before reaching the Khandas.
As I had searched and read many Bhimashankar trek blogs, so I was bit aware of the route. We managed to reach Khandas on time but fully drenched.
Base Village of Bhimashankar Trek
Before Khandas base village, there was a small bridge on a rivulet. After crossing the bridge, we took left turn for Shidichi vaat and right was for the Ganesh ghat route.
Quaint Village located at the base of Bhimashankar trek was dead. There was no sign of a single human. We kept riding till the end. There was a temple on our left which is generally used by trekkers for overnight stay. I stopped the bike and tried calling Hari Bhai but to our surprise there was no network.
Ravi was bit scared. He was in shock to see empty village. Once again, we tried with 360 degree round view but no hopes. It was time to knock someone’s door.
I chose the closed small shop to beg. I yelled and knocked at the same time. Within seconds, wooden door opened for us. We smiled, cheered and took a relief. Luckily, it was Hari Bhau’s place only.
One by one, we met every family member of Hari bhau except him, as he was out of town for purchasing material for his Kirana Shop. We had Tea and amazing Kanda Pohe. With the on going discussions, I got the starting Bhimashankar trek route.
Due to rainy season, everyone was inside shelter. Villagers were amazed to see trekkers on weekdays. That too like me, the one with the spectacles.
We followed the same route and took right after well. It was well Trodden trail till the first streamlet. More important was that the rain stopped as we started our Khandas to Bhimashankar trek via Shidichi Vaat.
Waterfall Series View
With clouds moving, picture got bit clear. We were standing in front of the big wall. Waterfalls were given start points equidistantly. It was picturesque sight. It was first time I was able to notice series of waterfalls.
The Wall of Bhimashankar Trek
Looking at the height and length of a wall, my eyes started searching the route. Nothing was visible, not a single human or ant like human.
Near the stream, it is very much dangerous during downpour as water level rises in no time. First hurdle, it was terrible slippery patch and we had to took a U-turn and search for another possible crossing route.
While looking here and there, I attempted and got through it. Immediately, Ravi followed the same. It was bit dangerous crossing due to slippery patches. One has to carry safety ropes during monsoon.
Lost the trail
We followed the trail and started marching towards the wall. We reached the wall and there was few cows waiting to told us that we missed the route.
From the stream, sometimes one can easily make out ladders and thus the route but at that point in time, even clouds were not in our favor.
Again, we went to the stream and this time took the trail exact opposite to the one from where we came. And we guessed it right this time. We saw few chocolate and biscuits wrappers. This means we were on right track.
With the dark vegetation and continuous thumping sound of water droplets, we came to know that how dangerous is Bhimashankar wildlife Sanctuary.
Bhimashankar Trek via ladder route
Before hitting the wall, we gained some height while crossing slippery scree. Climbing route was confirmed as the roots of trees were used to hold against scree.
Most awaited, first ladder was in front of Ravi. Though it was looking strong, we climbed one by one.
Second ladder was immediately tied to the end of first ladder. We easily gained height due to ladders.
The view was getting much better. We came across few villagers. At that point in time, we were happy to see walking humans in dense Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary.
I asked few things and wanted to struck a word. With some hand direction they kept walking like they had some urgent meeting in Khandas.
First Rock Patch
We moved and crossed the small Rock patch. All rock patches get slippery in monsoon. Be alert guys. It was tricky situation to watch on our left – the free fall or to focus on skiddy rock patch with water gushing down.
Cave & Waterfall
We managed to cross that bit easily compared to the expectation it wasn’t that hard. We reached to a cave and big waterfall. I Wanted to take a halt but Ravi was more interested in finishing the ladder route.
Third Ladder & Dead End
The ladder was in front of us. It was bit loose. We held it tight and climbed one by one. Ravi went ahead. After the third ladder, there was no route. It was dead end. No one was to help. Villagers which we crossed were far away from us. No internet to check.
Close-up with the Waterfall
Ravi was looking confused but he went to the open valley side. We were able to perceive the sound of waterfall. It was so prominent that we were pretty close to it but not able to see it. To check that waterfall, Ravi moved towards open valley and took a leap across the dangerous valley facing rock.
Ravi was not visible. Few thoughts crossed my mind. I was about to finish the third ladder. Instantly, I reached a point which was looking like a dead end. Eventually, I followed the same route that Ravi chose.
Most difficult Patch
It was the only point where we can say it is more difficult. I saw Ravi after crossing valley touch faced rock. He was waiting for me. Later, he went ahead to complete the another vertical rock patch. Till then, I clicked amazing shots with the waterfall.
After crossing the last patch, we saw many trees. We guessed that the difficult patch must be over. We took a halt and enjoyed spine-chilling natural fresh water.
Following the easy trail, we came across the well, and then paddy fields of Padar Wadi.
We were on plateau of Padar wadi, a half way point. We reached a point called “Chaha cha Amba” where Ganesh ghat and Shidi ghat meet.
Confluence had shops with banners but today all were empty due to weekdays.
From this point, started the Mungi ghat, which was common for both the routes. We saw more groups descending the route.
This climb was steep. We were climbing another hill which was not at all visible from Khandas. We were walking with the clouds and crossed many small streams at the same time. After gaining much height, we didn’t come to know that it’s flat land walk.
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
We thought, we reached but nope. It was dark jungle area just before the last climb.
Slowly, we climbed the last patch, we were able to notice surrounding of Bhimashankar Temple but there was so much fog and trail was not at all visible.
The last struggle
15 minutes we were searching the route. It was very much difficult on the plateau to find the right trail.
You can hear voice of people and horn of vehicles. With so much low visibility, first time I used my sixth sense to locate the temple.
The relief. Finally, we reached Bhimashankar Temple. I checked my watch and was astound to notice that It was only 11:20 AM. We had started the trek at 8:30 AM in the morning. We looked at each other and were happy to complete ascending in less than three hours, less than our expectations.
We were tired and were looking for a break. Again Ravi said, let’s first take darshan as there was hardly any queue. Due to weekday, we were able to take quick darshan.
Lunch – Misal Paav
Immediately, we chose a hotel and sat down to relax. We ordered Misal Paav and ate for 45 minutes as we wanted rest.
After a long breathing space, we started our descending around 1:30 AM.
We gained lot of energy after the interval and secondly due to the lunch. We were able to descend faster as we had Action Trekking shoes for better grip.
Due to continued wet clothes, we started shivering. We reached Padar wadi plateau and took hot Tea twice.
Bhimashankar trek via Ganesh Ghat
Ganesh ghat was new again and we had to be alert to keep yourself on track. It was afternoon time but due to weather it was dark.
Villagers suggested us to reach Khandas as soon as possible before the sunset.
Without further ado, we started descending Bhimashankar trek via Ganesh ghat. It was an easy route. Route was more interesting as we were getting into the darkest vegetation area of Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary.
Again, it was empty route due to weekdays. Villagers prefer ladder route but we wanted to explore Ganesh ghat as well. Earlier in the morning, It was looking to be a hectic or haywire or impossible to complete Bhimashankar trek in one day. I was more worried about the same.
Series of Streams
We kept walking and crossing streams in every two – three minutes.
Shoes were wet. Also wet socks were making it more difficult to walk fast. We had no option to just walk continuously in that dark jungle. Only relief was that trail was prominent till the Padargad base.
We knew the route is along the edge of the wall which we had climbed in the morning. We have to opt right turn in case required to keep ourselves on the edge of a wall.
Padargad base plateau
Most of the trekkers, miss the route after Padargad base plateau.
We came into the open land. Happy faces after long time. Explored the view point from where the complete wall was visible. Even the ladder route was also visible.
Again keeping ourselves on the edge route we reached the Ganesh temple.
We took darshan and in 10 minutes. Just after that, we were on the tar road. It was 4:15 PM. This time also, less than three hours required to descend which was again our shortest time than expected.
The last walk
Tar road started. We reach the bridge from which we came in the morning. We had to walk more 2-3 km to reach Khandas to get our bike.
We met Hari bhau. He shared Jeep contact with us. (Suresh – 07350492119). Said good bye to the family and started our return journey on bike. Due to wet skin, it was more difficult to ride. Cold wind was making it more difficult.
Slowly and steadily, we reached Panvel around 8:00 PM. We reached home with satisfied soul. We were proud to complete the Bhimashankar trek via Shidi ghat and descend back Bhimashankar trek via Ganesh ghat on the same day. It was great adventurous day and lifetime memorable trekking experience.
Keep trekking! Keep exploring!