Trek to Bhimashankar (3-4 August 2002)
Bhimashankar is one of the highest place in the Sahyadris. And during the monsoon the beauty is worth seeing. Greenery, dense forest, heavy rainfall, fog, waterfalls, and scenic view of the region – words insufficient to describe. Bhimashankar is a wild life sanctuary area, with lots of butterflies, birds and animals around. Flying squirrel rare species of squirrel is found in the forest. Also it has a spiritual importance, it is one of the twelve jyotirlingas.
Ways to reach Bhimashankar:
From Mumbai, one can catch a train to Karjat. From Karjat catch a bus to village Khandas, three wheeler are also available. Khandas is at the base of Bhimashankar. A small hamlet, tourist attraction due to Bhimashankar. From Khandas, one has to cross a stream nearby. From here two ways are available for Bhimashankar, one via Shidighat, while other via Ganesh Ghat. There is one more way, GogalGhat which later joins the Ganesh Ghat.
Shidi Ghat is a difficult but adventurous route to reach the top. Used generally by locals, is a route through the narrow path in the rocky patch equipped with three wooden ladders. One has to walk carefully through this route with cliff on one side and valley on one side, and slippery during the monsoon. First two ladders are simple to rock climbwhile the third ladder is thrilling. Even after the third ladder there is a final rock patch which one has to climb, to reach a great waterfall. After this one reach to a plateau, there is a tea stall from where another climb starts. It is the place where the Ganesh Ghat meets this route. After this the climb is relatively easy, just going up, transversing, going on other side of the mountain face and up comes the Bhimashankar!! There is a small pond just on reaching the top. Walking for some minutes one reaches the Bhimashankar village.
Ganesh Ghat is fairly simple with just climb and walk through the forest of Bhimashankar. One has to go along the base of the Padhar Fort. Along the way one get view of ShidiGhat, Padhar Fort and Tungi fort.
From Pune there is a road coming to Bhimashankar via Talegaon. Buses are also availbale to Kalyan from here.
Bhimshankar being one of the pilgrimage place, many place are available to stay, lots restaurants and hotels at the top. Place worth to see are the Temple, the origin of river Bhima, Gupt-bhimashankar, Nagling point