Andharban with its literal meaning as ‘Dark Forest’ is a trek through the dense wood of the Sahyadri mountains. One of the unique facts about the trek is its descending trail. You start your journey from an elevation of 2,160 ft in the range of Sahyadri and descend towards the valleys and waterfalls. You come across the Devkund Waterfall, Tamhini Ghat and Plus Valley on your 13 km stretched trail.
This Jungle Trek offers a wide range of experiences with flora and fauna. Especially during monsoon season, you get to see the blooming flora and many habitat birds of the Sahyadri. Also, numerous water streams line your trekking trail. Andharban Trek located in the Pimpri village of Maharashtra in Tamhini ghats is a wonderland for a jungle trek.
Trek Distance: 13 Km
Trek Altitude: 2,160 ft
Difficulty Level: Easy
Best Season: June-September and October-January.
Distance from Mumbai: 140 km
How to Reach:
By Road: If you are coming from Mumbai then your best bet is to take a bus and reach Lonavala which is just 50 km away from Andharban base and then get a taxi. If you are coming from any other city then it is advisable to first reach Pune either by train or flight and then take a taxi to Pimpri village which is the base of the trek.
By Rail: If you are coming from North India then board Hazrat Nizamuddin Express which stops at Pune. Many trains from South to Mumbai also make a stop at Pune. Pune Intercity is best for you if you are travelling from Mumbai.
By Air: Taking a flight is also a convenient option for people coming from other states. The nearest Airport is Pune Airport at a distance of 18 km from Pimpri and you can easily get a taxi from the airport.
Highlights of the Trek:
- Pimpri Dam is the starting point of the trek
- Tamhini Ghat with numerous water stream rolling down
- View of the famous Devkund Waterfall
- Plus Valley in the misty environment
- Kundalika Valley with the background of Bhira Dam
- Dense forest trail with river crossing
- Camping along the lakeside
- Bhira Dam
Cost of the Trek:
The cost factor varies with the accommodation, travel mode, meals and other miscellaneous charges. If you opt to stay at one of the lodges near Andharban trek base then it can range between INR 500 to 1000 per night. From Mumbai if you take a bus, it will cost you 500 per person and for an onward journey the taxi charge is around 2000. The trek packages charge can range anywhere between INR 1500 to 2500 depending upon the services included. The extra cost of a meal depends on where you choose to eat. There is also an entry ticket of INR 50 at the check-point for the trek.
You can have a rare experience of camping along the lake or even around the Bhira Dam which is one of the main highlights. The campsite located in the pleasant atmosphere enhances the trekking experience. If you wish to stay in one of the lodges then you can try one near Patnus village. You will find many budget-friendly lodges near the trek provided by the Forest Department. Apart from this, if you want to have a luxurious stay then you can try Lonavala which is just 50 km away and provides you with a range of options.
When to Visit:
The best time to visit Andharban is around monsoon season i.e., before monsoon, in monsoon and post-monsoon. It is because of the rain making this green dense forest all the more beautiful. The trail is decorated with flowing waterfalls cascading down the rough terrain of mountains into a pool below. The wildlife is at its best with the beautiful views of the valley and mountain range of Sahyadri. The post monsoon season adds in the misty environment with chill weather that makes the dense forest magical.
Nearby Attractions to Visit after the Trek:
Just a few kilometers away from the base of the trek lies Tamhini waterfalls and the Ghat view point from where you can see the cascading waterfalls of the ghat
Rafting in Kundalika
To enjoy the thrilling watersport of rafting head to Kundalika river that gives you an adventurous ride. It is located about 15 km ahead of Tamhini view point.
If you are looking for a relaxing and luxurious stay then try resorts in Lavasa. They also offer adventure activities like zip lining and Kayaking or you can choose to have a relaxing day in the spa or pool.
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