Connect with us


Trekking and hiking around Bhimashankar



Go trekking at Bhimashankar, Peth Fort andKondona Caves to experience nature, one stepat a time

Trekking and Hiking have always been popular ways to break away from a routine. In Maharashtra, between one urban jungle to another lie vast untouched locations and it is these beautiful places that invite enthusiasts from all over to explore and rejuvenate. The Marathas that once ruled over the area built awe inspiring forts.

Around these forts, in due course of time, man-made tracks were created which serve perfectly as modern day trekking paths in the state. Plenty of rainfall keep the trekking areas green and cool throughout the year. Although dangerous, trekking during the monsoon is the most picturesque.

This trekking hotspot is situated in the village of Bhavagiri. One of the twelve Jytotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India, Bhimashankar has always been a special place. Dense forests, lofty peaks and a plethora of animal life characterize this beautiful getaway.

How to get there
Take a train from Mumbai city to Karjat station. After the 90 km journey, you can hire a taxi, tumtum or use bus transportation (ST buses) to reach Khandas village which is roughly 40 km away.

Once there, tourists have the option to trek by the Ganesh Ghat route or Shidi Route to reach Bhimashankar.

The trek
Both Ganesh Ghat and Shidi are scenic and challenging routes. Around 3 – 4km from Khandas village, you can reach Ganesh Ghat route by turning right from the main bridge.

This trek is long but less challenging than the Shidi route. After an hour’s trek, you will reach Ganesh Temple and also the base of Padar Killa. If you wish to continue further, hire the services of a tour guide who will help you tackle the terrain of this route. En route you will find endless number of tea stalls and small eateries. After a few hours into the Padar Killa route you will arrive at the plateau of Bhimashankar.

The Shidi route is a more challenging route to reach the Ganesh Temple. To explore this track, turn left from the main bridge in Khandas village. The steep natural staircase makes this trek shorter but also more dangerous (especially during monsoons). After a series of such staircases, the Ganesh Ghat and Shidi route merge. Attempting the Padar Killa trek after the Shidi route is not advisable for amateur trekkers.

Like most trekking areas in Maharashtra, nature always provides a challenging path as well as an easier path to reach a destination.

Kondana caves 
Kondana is home to eight ancient Buddhist caves which were built in circa 200 BC. The sculptures, carvings and stupas are marvellous. Since these caves are situated at a height, trekking and rock climbing are fun ways to spend the day.

How to get there
From the Karjat railway station, one can hire a rickshaw or take a bus to Kondivalle village, a 100 rupee ride away. From here, one can walk to the opposite side of Kharvandi village to begin the trek towards these magnificent caves.

The trek
The trek is fast and simple. An earthquake in the early 1900s has damaged the cave temples considerably. Due to this, one will come across numerous relics and ruins along the way. The edges of the cliff on which the temple rests are hosts to rappelling and cliff climbing activities. The best way to spend the day is to trek for around an hour to one of the faces of the cliff and from there on climb up to the temple. Many locals conduct these cliff climbing and rappelling activities by charging a reasonable amount. The temple as mentioned before is marvellous. Remember to capture an image of the beautiful Chatiya that welcomes you inside. During the monsoon, water gushes down the cliff making this ancient abode incredibly scenic. Trekking inMaharashtra is enjoyable but also dangerous.

Every year a number of people suffer serious injuries sustained during such adventures. A simple map, water and basic medical supplies should always be carried as precaution. Trekking during the monsoons may be prohibited in some areas, do check before-hand.

Peth fort 
Peth or Kothaligad is another scenic option for the avid trekker. This trek provides a glimpse into the past. Throughout the journey one is exposed to Maratha architecture and relics adding more value to the already power packed terrain. Built during Sambhaji’s era, this fort like most other Maratha forts is timeless and challenging to reach.

How to get there
Similar to Bhimashankar, take a train from Mumbai to Karjat station. Karjat is the gateway to most treks around Mumbai and the trek to Peth Fort is no different. Once at Karjat station, hire a tumtum (a six-seater rickshaw) to Ambivli village which is roughly an hour’s drive away. Ambivli is the starting point for the trek and is approximately 120 km from Mumbai.

The trek
The trek may seem easy initially but it gets tougher eventually. Post Ambivli dense forests take over and trekking through the thick growth could be challenging. In an hour or so you will reach the foot hills of the Peth fort. From here on, an option of two routes come forth – a steep and faster climb or a leisurely longer one. Either way, reaching the top does not take much time. At the fort you will find the Bhairoba cave, home to the idol to of Lord Bhairoba. The cave is clean and safe. Trekking back to the main road is easy once you understand the route. Avoid trekking here during the monsoons as the rocks and tracks could get extremely slippery.

Continue Reading


Many trains will be terminated




Many trains will be terminated

Many trains will be terminated due to fog. Please read this news paper report:-

dhund hind

Continue Reading


India Railway will help you visit Taj Mahal




“All arrangements have been made and our systems are in place. The trial will begin December 25. It has taken us a long time to work on this project which will change the image of the ASI,” Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), N K Pathak said.

The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will be the service provider of the e-ticketing facility, in collaboration with the National Institute of Smart Governance, he said.

After one month trial of the e-ticketing facility at the Taj Mahal, the ASI would extend the similar facility to other monuments, managed by it.

ASI officials said the e-tickets will have security features including bar code, and bar code scanners would be installed at the entry gates.

The ASI is training its staffs for effective and efficient use of the facility, which is likely to put an end to the long queues at the ticket counters.

Tourists had to stand for long hours in queues to buy entry tickets.

Tourism circles in Agra have welcomed ASI’s initiative saying the facility would help check resale of entry tickets and fake tickets by unscrupulous elements.

It is said that the ensuing online facility would also help the ASI in managing the number of visitors.

(This article was published on December 13, 2014)
Continue Reading


Take a break: top 7 places for bird watching in India




Summer is setting in, sure. But, what about taking a break from Delhi and head to Maharashtra, for there are places there that are still playing host to winged visitors. Plus, the Flamingo Festival, starting on March 29, will be an added bonus. “The peak birding season started around October and is coming to a close by May,” says Rahul Jauhari, who runs the website Atul Sathe of the BNHS adds, “Mangroves in Vikhroli, wetlands in Nhava-Sheva region are good spots.” Here are some other places that the duo highly recommend.

Ulwe and Uran
What: Both places are renowned when it comes to bird watching. However, the numbers are rapidly dropping, thanks to rampant construction in the region.

Often spotted: The list of birds seen here is endless — from Marsh Harriers, Blue-tailed Bee-eaters and Green Bee-eaters to Black-shouldered Kites and Red Wattled Lapwings. Uran is the older haunt for bird watchers, but, according to the experts, is now a shadow of its original self. However, Red-vented Bulbuls, Ashy Prinias, Asian Pied Starlings, Moorhens, Scaly Breasted Munias, Red Avadavats and Spot Billed Ducks, among others, can still be seen in these parts.

Nagla Forest
What: One of the lesser-known spots inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), in Borivali East, Mumbai.

Often spotted: Situated to the north of Bassein Creek, this is thought to be one of the most highly rewarding walks at the SGNP. Nature lovers are in for a treat as well. Birds like the Grey Junglefowl, Indian Grey Hornbill and Rufous Woodpecker can be spotted while on the trail.

Tungareshwar sanctuary
What: Home to three types of forest — dry deciduous, moist deciduous and semi evergreen — it forms a corridor between  SGNP and Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary.

Often spotted: Species like the Rufous Treepie, Shikra, Black-hooded Oriole, Brown-headed Barbet, Red-whiskered and Red-vented Bulbul can be seen in the area.

Thane Creek and Padale Gaon
: These spots are frequented by birders in the area.
Often spotted: While Thane Creek is known to attract Flamingos and Waders this time of the year, Black Kites seem to favour Padale Gaon. Apart from the Raptors, Munias, Woolly-necked Storks, Drongos, Egrets, Marsh Harriers and Sandpipers are also seen the region.

Kanheri Upper Trail
What: The route involves a gradual climb through the wooded forest of the SGNP.
Often spotted: One of the few places to offer the perfect mix of nature and adventure, catch a glimpse of the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Shikra, Grey Jungle Fowl, and Indian Peafowl. Or head to the plateau near Kanheri Caves, which is excellent for viewing raptors, like the Crested Serpent Eagle. You could also visit the ancient Kanheri Caves.

What: The mudflats here turn into a bird watcher’s paradise as they play host to millions to pink visitors.

Often spotted: One of the best places in the city to spot Flamingos, this is a good time to head there. It is also a good place to see migratory birds such as the Broad-billed Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, and Eurasian Curlew. On a good day, one will also catch a glimpse of the Common Redshank, Little Herons, Little Egret, Brown-headed Gull, Grey Plover, Sand Plovers and Avocet, among others. The annual Flamingo Festival is also scheduled to take place on March 29. Nature Park
What: Once a treeless garbage dump, this park located in the heart of the Mumbai (Dharavi) now acts as its green lung.

Often spotted: It is home to several migratory and resident species like the Black Kite, Shikra, Eurasian Wryneck, Little Green Bee-eater, Barn Swallow, Bluethroat, Purple Sunbird, Great Egret, Greater Coucal and Laughing Dove.

Bhandup Pumping Station
What: A well-kept secret, the lake near the pumping station attracts water birds. Signs put up also say that one can spot mongoose and snakes here. spotted: The area is known to host water and land birds, and often, Flamingos can be seen here as well. That apart, the Clamorous Reed Warbler, Common Kingfisher, Red Avadavat,  Pond Heron, Woolly-necked Stork, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Black Kite, Asian Pied Starling, Painted Stork, Little Cormorant, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Laughing Dove, Red-wattled Lapwing, Green Bee-eaters and Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, among others, are common visitors.

Also Head to Airoli Creek and vashi bridge: These spots are frequented by birders looking for Flamingos and Waders.
talawe: This area on Palm Beach Road is yet another hotspot. The water body behind the NRI Complex, Seawood Estates, is a great place to observe birds.

Dombivli: Well-known birding sites here include Nilje Lake, the Bhopar area, Dombivli Creek and Khoni.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 Zox News Theme. Theme by MVP Themes, powered by WordPress.