Wednesday 17 September 2008

Trek to Bhimashankar

The foothills of BhimashankarThe start of the Shidi trekBhimashankar situated in the village of Bhavagiri, is a famous pilgrimage site at the end of the Sahyadri range. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India. The beautiful stone temple around 3296 feet high and the feeling of being lost in wilderness has made Bhimashankar a major trekking destination.

The area is surrounded by lofty peaks, dense forests and is also the source of River Bhima. There is also Bhimashankar Sanctuary where variety of birds, flowers and animals can be seen.

From Karjat station you need to travel to Khandas village, which is around 40 kms away, either by ST bus or tumtums, plying between Khandas and Kashele.
There are two routes to Bhimashankar from the base village of Khandas, which are most popular among trekkers -

  • Ganesh Ghat –There is a bridge around 2 km from Khandas, and the track going to the right from the bridge is the Ganesh Ghat route. This is the easiest and the longest route to Bhimashankar. Within an hour of trekking along this route you will reach a Ganesh temple.

    Enroute you will pass the base of Padar Killa, you can combine the two treks but ensure you have a villager to guide you and you are well-equipped since the route to Padar Killa is confusing and at some places you will require a rope to climb. Moving ahead there are few tea stalls to catch you breathe.
    The fauna of Bhimashankar
    The route ahead will take around 3 hours until you reach the plateau of Bhimashankar, there is a small pond dug out in the ground called 'Hanuman Tal'. This trek is five and hours to six hours long.
  • Shidi Route
  • Shidi (ladder) Route – This one is a short route, but very steep and difficult especially in the monsoons. The route gets its name from the ladders placed on the steepest parts.

    The route going to the left of the bridge (mentioned in Ganesh Ghat) goes to the village. On moving ahead you will reach a well, take a left from there to Shidi ghat. Within the first two hours of climbing you will pass the three ladders. You will reach a junction where both the routes - Ganesh ghat and Shidi – merge.

    That’s where you can take a break for a cup of tea. In another hour and half from here you will reach the temple.

The temple is commercialized due to road route leading to Bhimashankar, through the Pune–Talegaon– Chakan route. The temple dates back to the 18th century, with some intricate carvings adorning the pillars and door frames. Just opposite the main temple, there is a small shrine dedicated to Shani (Saturn), and outside that hangs a huge Portuguese bell, a war relic symbolizing the victory of Marathas over the Portuguese in the Battle of Bassein in 1739.

Bimashankar trek routeAfter seeing the temple you can go to the Hanuman Lake, Nagphani Tok (point) or Serpent's hood, Gupt Bhimashankar, origin of River Bhima, Bombay Point and Sakshi Vinayak. Nagphani Point is the highest point in Bhimashankar, and called that because its shape is like a cobra’s hood. So you will get to see the surrounding hills and forts of the Matheran range and Padar killa down below.

Bhimashankar wild life sanctuary

The dominant species of flora are Mango, Jamun, Hirda, Behda, various medicinal herbs, Bamboo and fern. The Giant Indian Squirrel is one of the major attractions of the sanctuary. The other species found in the dense forests are Sambar, Barking Deer, Hyena and the Wild Boar. If you love bird-watching, then you will be able to find Malabar Grey Hornbill, Quaker Babbler, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Green Pigeon, and so on.

Places to Stay in Bhimashankar

In case you want to spend a night, few motels like Mansarovar and forest rest house are available or you can camp on open flat spaces near the temple.

Best Time to Visit: August to February

Thanks to Selvin for the Pretty Pictures


  1. good location whts the plot rate inform kindly

  2. thanls for the information, and can u plzz sugeest something for night stay

  3. night stay at local dharamshala is ok for guys..
    but opt for motels if you have girls with you..

  4. Guys i have recently visited it during May 11...present status of accommodation is really are few n far...govt guest house has shut down..but flora n fauna coupled with scenic beauty makes it worth trying...give d ganesh ghat route a shot..if u r accompanied with females too...

  5. is this month a good time to go??it won't be too slippery and will there be snakes around?
    please reply soon?

  6. @ prerna

    this season is snake season, treks can be slippery at this time of the year, but this also is the best time to be doing a trek, dont be so worried if you will be, stay at home and watch tv instead

  7. hi, thanks for the information. can anyone tell me how ganesh ghat route goes? I am planning to go in this month Nov2011, is it good time to go for trek?

  8. are there people who would like to go to bhimashankar. if someone looking for a group to go, kindly include me in the group. my email id is

  9. we r planing to go for bhimashankar trek at end of aug.2012 fill free to join us.We are having 10 group met.
    my email id is

  10. i just love the nature blessed places and bhimashankar is one of those and the best part of that place is that that there is a temple of my favourite god MAHADEV

  11. Can anyone plz tell that How much is the walking distance ??? coz my mom is also going wid me and she cannot walk much..

  12. Can anyone plz tell that how much is the walking distance after leaving the last destination of bus coz my mom will be wid me and she cannot walk much....

  13. i am planning to take a college trek of 200 people to bhimashankar so would like to know if there is proper facility for food when we at the top.And also suggest which route will be better of the two?

  14. ITS REALLY A NICE TRIP TO GO FOR, WILL ADVISE ALL GOERS NOT TO THROW RUBBISH/GARBAGE ETC. AND polute the place, try to keep in best of the nature, so that our generations can enjoy and preserve the same for years and years, would also like to know if any night accomodatation available near by Karjat station.

  15. Hi , We (Group of Jacobs Engineering) are planning trek of Bhimashankar in the month of Feb'14.Can some one suggest the convenient trek route as there will few females participating in this trek.Also pl.suggest hotel / motel for stay.On the trek route can we get food facilities. I can be contact on