If the little village of Khandas in Maharashtra is known for something, it is the enthralling experience of the monsoon Bhimashankar trek. The Bhimashankar trek is a dream destination for people who enjoy exciting eco-adventures. The mesmerizing views of the Sahyadris covered in lush greenery are sure to invoke the poet in you. Once you have completed the Bhimashankar trek, you will realize the valuable gift of nature, now found scattered only in these rare patches in Maharashtra. City life restricts us from experiencing the true beauties of nature, and you can revive this lost connection with nature on the Bhimashankar trek.
The name Bhimashankar originates from the mythical and heated war between Lord Shankara and Rakshasa Tripurasura, resulting in the birth of the river, Bhima. A beautiful Jyotirling temple on the way to Bhimashankar displays the faith of the Khandas villagers in this story.Getting to Bhimashankar
Reaching Khandas can become a journey of its own. Getting from Mumbai to Bhimashankar takes about a couple of hours by road. Getting from Pune to Bhimashankar takes about the same amount of time. One can sip hot cups of tea while travelling from Nerul Station or Karjat station to the village of Khandas. Several kinds of terrain can be witnessed on this bumpy trail, but it is nothing compared to the natural paradise that is Bhimashankar. The trail takes you through an evergreen forest, and crosses two forts, Tung and Paddar Killa.Routes to the Bhimashankar trek
The Bhimashankar trek can be accessed through two routes, Ganesh Ghat and the Shidi route. The former route is considered to be the easier one and can be used by first time adventurers with little to no difficulty. It flaunts a beautiful temple on the way. This simpler route comes with its disadvantage of being longer than the other. The Shidi route, which is the obvious choice for professionals and is preferred by most tour guides, can get quite tricky to navigate. It involves elementary rock climbing which poses a challenge for first time climbers with no experience. This route is steep and is supported by ladders, which makes the Bhimashankar trek all the more challenging. If you’re a fit first-timer looking for a fun challenge, try the Shidi route.
Indigenous flora and fauna are very easily witnessed on the Bhimashankar trek, including sighting the infamous ‘Shekru’, or the ‘giant squirrel of Bhimashankar’. Binoculars and cameras can be used by bird watchers to spot colorful birds, hidden in the dense forests. Moreover, Bhimashankar is a wildlife sanctuary and a conserved forest area, where a variety of birds, animals, flowers, plants can be spotted.Best time to go on a Bhimashankar trek
The pleasant climate of Bhimashankar can be experienced all throughout the year. During summer it can get very hot, so winters are a good time to attempt this climb. However, it is during the monsoon that the Bhimashankar trek achieves its most magnificent form. Rivulets of water rush down the trails, clouds roll past, and the sudden showers drench you while you climb. Do carry raincoats and covers for your bags, and wear suitable shoes if you are attempting the Bhimashankar trek in the monsoon.