Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Khandas-Bhimashankar Trek

Type: Trek/Long walk
Base Village: Khandas
Where: 135 KMs from Pune
Route: Pune-Karjat-Kashele-Khandas
Time visited: October 2012
Time to climb: 5+ hrs.
Difficulty Grade: 2 Endurance: 3.75

Note: This might be difficult especially in rains as lot boulders in the way and the trial goes through several streams which might be gushing with full force in heavy rains.

How to reach: Travel by Singhagad Express to Karjat. From Karjat catch a state transport bus to Kashele (20 kms/30-40 mins journey). Catch a van/vadhap till Khandas (20/person, 20 mins ride). Once you complete the trek catch a state transport bus from Bhimashankar back to Pune (4 hrs journey/110+ Rs ticket)  unless you want to stay in Bhimashanakar and climb down again to Khandas.


Trek routes
1) Ganesh ghat: A km away from Khandas after the bridge take a right turn for Ganesh ghat. The Tar road ends after another km or so and rough road goes all the way to start of the trail. From Khandas the distance should be of
around 35/40 mins walk. After crossing Ganesh temple the route traverses the Padar fort towards Bhimashankar upper Plateau. Overall it takes around 5+ hours.
2) Shidi ghat:-As per internet, this is a tough route but well defined one through steep climbs up and down and you have to cross the ladders affixed into rockfaces. I was told that you have to take a left after the bridge from Khandas. By this route it said you could a tleast save an hour's time...

Both routes meet before the final steep climb. See below.

Singhad reached Karjat at 8.10AM. Although a sunday there was still a huge rush. After a yummy but oily vadpav we headed for Karjat ST stand which is a km away. A bumpy 35 min ride took us to a village called Kashele. From kashele it was another bumpy ride till Khandas.


Fresh tea and some chocolates marked the beginning of first trek in spring. 


Through the Khandas village. 


All along the way you can see padar gad at extreme right of a huge mountain.


A 40 min walk along a dusty tar road took us to base of the ghat.

The silent victim of an accident? 



Once the ghat starts the green tranquil surroundings welcome you.


There is a old hoarding describing the details of the jungle. All along the trial directions are nicely given minimizing the risk of loosing the way in the jungle.


First milestone- Ganesh Temple.
Refreshing butter milk tones down the scorching heat.


Traverse- Keeping Padar fort on the left.


Second milestone- The well.



Creeply crawlers on the way...  


Through dense dark forest


Wild mushrooms in fanatasy red.
  

Third milestone- Meeting point of Route 1 & Route 2.
Second point where you get butter milk or tea!
Need to gather all energy for the hardest and steepest climb from here on...

Beware of the monkeys in between who try to steal anything you are carrying.

Padar fort view caught between breaths on the right as you start climbing.

  
And down below on the base plateau some inhabitants busy in their own world.



Some relaxing stretch through dense jungles after a tedious climb, but a break before the final steep climb again...

As the darkness engulfes the vast valleys, its a sense of pride and achievement on another successful milestone...


16 comments:

  1. Thanks for the good information and pictures describing the route.

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  2. many many thanks for great pic & info, i just wanted to know any st bus going to khandas from karjat early morning....?

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    1. Santosh, I dont have a detail info on that. You will need to inquire that on ST stand itself. But the buses are irregular and frequency is low. You may to have to catch a busy to nearby location like Kashele and then Catch a van/vadhap till Khandas. There are some jeeps/6 seaters available on Bus stand too but they charge a lot...

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  3. Heyy how good is the frequency from karjat to khandas bus?please tell me if u know for sure....!
    & do vadap or tumtum will surely take 20-25 per person?
    I don't want to get fooled by them....:D

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  5. Heyy...dude...thanks for this valuable info.
    I want to know if vadap or jeeps will take max. 20-25 per person ri8?
    Because I don't want to get fooled by locals..:D
    Tell me how much u paid?that will be useful...

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    Replies
    1. Yes it was 20/person. Now maybe its more bcos it was 2 yrs back...But should be around 30-40 max. I think we had hired 2-3 vans as it was group so we had paid the bulk amount.

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  6. Hi Smit,

    Nice Info!!! We are planning to visit bheemashankar by trek and none of know the proper routes. If we will go by the route described by the you, then 'through dense forest', are there any hoardings available describing the further directions towards bheemashankar ? Is it straight route or confusing?

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    Replies
    1. Hi
      Yes there were few signs boards put up by some group back in 2012. Not sure if they exist and their condition at the moment...Try checking if some locale can accompany you. The trail is mostly visible and good enough but again its a long trek after Ganesh Ghat and confusing at times as forest is very dense. Also typically its get dark quickly in late evenings...

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  7. Can you tell me how to go from Mumbai ....? And how much time to reached there from Navi Mumbai ?

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    Replies
    1. Catch a local to Karjat. Rest of the details remain same.

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  8. To reach Kashele from Mumbai, one need not go to Karjat. Get down at Neral Station and come to the bus stand on West side (PF No.1 side) from there u can get mini vans/vadaps to Kashele which is only 11 kms from Neral..

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  9. Can we hire local guide from Khandas for trek via Ganesh Ghat?? Do you have any reference/contact number?

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    Replies
    1. Nope I do not have reference number. You will need to check at Khandas village. Locals often go till Ganesh temple. But yes its advisable to take a guide.

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