Bhimashankar Trek via Ganesh Ghat : A picture perfect trek

Waterfalls in the distance
                After trekking Gorakhghad a couple of weeks before i was ready for another trek. As my colleagues were interested on going a trek we decided to do one  and zeroed in on Bhimashankar. We were 6 people in total my 2 colleagues Krishna and Vikram , one of Vikram's friend  Shailendra and my 2 childhood friends Rohit and Aditya.
      We had decided to catch the 5.16 am Karjat Train from Kurla . I Rohit and Aditya Reached Kurla and were waiting for the train when Krishna phoned and told us he would be late and come by the next train which would reach 1/2 hour later .So as he was going to get in at Thane along with Vikram and his friend , Vikram decided to wait for him and come by the next train  in the mean while i  along with my 2 friends would reach Karjat earlier and find a transport to Khandas which is the base village. So as planned I , Rohit And Aditya Boarded the 5.16 am train from Kurla and after clicking some pics and talking we reached Karjat at around 7.15 am.There was a food stall outside were we decided to have some breakfast .After we had out breakfast we went on to the find out the place where we would get the Tum-Tum or ST Bus. In the mean while krishna ,Vikram and Shailendra had also arrived so we all started to walk towards the ST stand which also happens the same place we would get the Tum-Tum which was a good 15 mins walk from the station.After getting there we enquired and found out the bus was unreliable so we decided to go with a Tum-Tum so we started bargaining but the tum-tum guys were not ready to come down on the price of Rs 800. So we decided to ask a Rickshaw Guy and he agreed at Rs 600 but with the  catch we all fit in his richshaw . After Some 5 mins we all anyhow adjusted ourselfs in the rickshaw and the journey began at around 8.15 am .
A break  in-route khandas

At around 9.30 am we reached Khandas ,as we had to take the Ganesh Ghat route which is easier but long we had to go more 2 Km ahead of the village,at the village i enquired for the return journey and i was told it would cost Rs800 to Neral and Rs 1000 to Karjat for a tum-tum, I took the Tum-Tum guys mobile number and was told to just give a call before reaching down and he would come to pick us up.

View of Bhimashakar From the Starting Point

Ganesh Temple

         After reaching the Start of the Ganesh Ghat we clicked some photos and started our trek, after climbing for some 20 mins we reached a Ganesh Mandir after taking a small break there we carried on the trek, as we were trekking we came across some stalls which the locals had set up selling everything from Tea to Lunch , at one of the stalls we had some Tea and took another picture break.We soon reached the first flat stretch of land.

One of the forts in the background

The Surrounding were beautiful with multiple waterfalls and some awesome climate.As we were trekking we came crossed multiple streams of water and some waterfalls .I would describe the route as having three plateaus (a climb followed by a flat land).Clicking pictures and admiring the beautiful nature we reached bhimashankar at around 1.15 pm . As soon as we reached there we  went to the temple but there was huge line so decide not to  go for darshan. After buying some peddas as prasad we moved towards a small restaurant to have some food , after which we explored the place and again clicked some pictures.
Bhimashankar temple in the background

Beautiful weather at the top
Random pic taken at the top
      It was 3.40 pm when we decide to start the descent , after 2 hours we reached the Ganesh Mandir where we decide to phone  the tum-tum driver to reach as we would  be down in another 15 mins.As we reached down at around 6.10 pm there was a small stream of water were we all took a wash while waiting for the tum-tum driver .As soon as the tum-tum arrived we got into it and started our journey to Neral railway station.It was 7.15 when we reached Neral as the next train was a 8.00 pm CST fast we waited and reflected back on the trek , as the train  arrived we got into it were left with memories to be cherished and as usual looking out  for the next trekking destination. 

Gorakhgad Trek : Awesome first trek of the season

Beautiful View of the Surrounding Mountains

It was a last minute plan to Gorakhgad which I along with  Aditya and Leander Decided.It was 19th June 2016 and the rainy season was just going to arrive here in Mumbai, with the hope of getting blessed by the rain Gods we started on the morning of 19th June 2016 which was a Sunday. I and Aditya Caught the 5.28 Am Kasara Slow from Kurla while Leander had already Boarded The same Train from Dadar. Chitchatting   and reflecting on various treks we had in our past we reached Kalyan Junction at around 6.30 Am and moved towards the ST Bus Stand and started Enquiring for a Bus which would take us to Murbhad. We were then told that the Bus to Shirdi was going to leave at 6.45 Am which has a stop over at Murbhad, so we got into the bus  with other trekkers as well which were going to Siddhagad .
Bus To Murbhad

With the usual in-between talking and staring outside just socking in the beautiful weather it was 7.30Am when our Bus Reached Murbhad. We then went and enquired about the Bus to Dehri . We were told that the Bus was at 9.15 Am and were also informed that since the Bus to Niravali was at 8.00 Am from where we would have to take a Tum-Tum to dehri,so since we had some time in hand we had some breakfast outside Murbhad ST Stand.As we were sipping our Tea the Group which we had meet in the Bus were enquiring for Tum-Tum to Dehri since the trek to siddhagad also starts from there, we over heared them talking to the driver that he would charge Rs 30 per seat, so we too went and asked the same jeep driver and he was like Rs 30 per seat and we were like Chalo!!!. So at around 7.50 am we started our Tum-Tum Journey to Dehri with a stopover to refuel our vehicle, we reached Dehri at around 8.30 Am. As I had not done breakfast at Murbhad as i usually like to eat authentic homemade food at Base villages when I go for a trek, i enquired for the same but for some reason couldn't find any.So we started our trek at around 9.00 Am
Gorakhgad From The Base "Dehri"

       The Trail Starts from behind a temple, it goes up and down and finally you reach the base of the mountain which you actually have to scale. With usual breaks for Some photos we reached there at around 10.00 Am. After Admiring the Nature surrounding us we started to move forward and reached a temple where there is a board from where you have to take a right after a few minutes of ascending you will come across the first Rock patch which are mostly Steps cut into the rock face.
First Rock Patch

When we reached we seen a group already climbing the stairs so we decided to wait until they pass by. As soon they were done we started climbing in about 5 minutes we completed a climb and reached a rock cut door painted in orange .There are steps which go towards the top and soon we were at the second rock cut stairs, these ones are fairly easy with just one step in the between which was tricky.

The Caves

 In the next 10 minutes we reached the Caves and rested before our final climb to the pinnacle,to our bad luck still no rain.At around 11.10 Am.we started to climb the final rock phase this one is little difficult for the first 10 feet but once after that there are stairs with rock cuts in which you can stick your hand in and get some support.
Last Rock Phase
 By 11.30 Am we reached  the top which had a Temple , after having some snacks we started our descent at around 12.00 pm we reached down by 12.45 and just in the right time for the bus to Murbhad which was at 1.00 pm we boarded the bus and by 1.45 pm we were at Murbhad were there was already a bus waiting to leave to kalyan ,we got in the bus and reached kalyan railway station at around 2.30pm. As there was a mega block  no trains were scheduled but our luck was so good that soon the first train to CST was announced which was at 2.41 pm .As the train started we  were left with some great memories and as always i say in the hunt for our next destination cheers!!! Yes and ii did rain that day ,Just minutes before i could step in my house
At the Top "Temple In the Background"

Bus Kalyan To Murbhad : Cost Rs 30 per person
Tum-Tum Murbhad To Dehri :Cost Rs 30 per person
Bus Dehri To Murbhad: Cost Rs 26 per person
Bus Murbhad to Dehri: Cost Rs 30 per person

Ratangad trek Experience

On the Night of 18th March 2016, Friday. I started from my house which is in the western suburbs of Mumbai to reach the village of Ratanwadi from where I along with my four friends would trek Ratangad Fort.
Ratangad Fort - It’s a Fort which lies 65Km from Igatpuri, It was conquered By Shivaji Maharaj from the Mughals. One can see Many Trekking spot in the distance like kalsubai, Alang, Madan and Kulang .The main attraction of the fort apart from the fort itself is a natural hole in the rock which is referred to as the “Needhi”.
I along with one of my friend boarded the Mahanagari express at 12.28 am from Dadar T.T which would take us to Igatpuri on 19th March 2016. Cost of the ticket was Rs 75 from Dadar to Igatpuri. Remaining three of my friends boarded the train from Thane, after some chit chat we were asleep .The next time we would be woken up was to the noise of people selling wadapav’s at Kasara railway station which was like an alarm that Igatpuri was the next station ,At around 3.30 we got off the train at Igatpuri Railway station . We got refreshed and started to walk towards the ST bus stand which was like 10 mins from the railway station, just ask anyone at the railway station where is the ST bus stand. As the first bus which would drop us off at Shendi was at 5.00 am we took some pics and just went for an early morning walk. With a delay of 15 mins the bus started, cost of the ticket was Rs 38. At around 6.30 we reached Shendi and were greeted by Mr. Shanjay who has a small tea shop in Shendi where the bus dropped us off, I had spoken to him the earlier day over the phone to ask him which would be a feasible option i.e. Coming to Shendi from Kasara or from Igatpuri and he was the one who suggested to come from Igatpuri. From here we were supposed to take a jeep to Ratanwadi which would be the starting point of our trek. After some bargaining and with the help of Mr. Shanjay we made a Deal for Rs 1500 roundtrip, you can get jeeps to Ratanwadi from the very place the bus will leave you. After that we had some tea at Mr. Shanjay’s Tea stall and started towards Ratanwadi at around 6.45, the journey is very scenic and I was just imagining how beautiful this place would be in the rainy season. Our jeep driver Mr. Raju   made the journey even more interesting, we spoke on a range of topics and it was fun. At around 7.30 we reached Ratanwadi, we asked Mr. Raju Were we would get some breakfast, and he pointed out to a house. He told us that the last bus from Shendi to Kasara is at 5.00 pm and he would come and pick us up at 4.00 pm from Ratanwadi, he wished us luck and he left. We all were in a mood of having some missal Pav but we were informed that only kandha bhaji would be possible. We agreed for the bhaji, after eating our breakfast and some of us answering natures call we started our trek at around 8.10 am, the person whose house we had our breakfast showed us the area from where we would start the trek. 15 mins into the trek you will see a small dam that is built, we took a right and went on the other side of the DAM and followed the path made by people continuously walking on it (Paulvat). The route is marked at some places which is just enough to be on the right path. Other 30 mins into the trek we reached a small plateau from where again moved to the right, from here on after 30 mins you will see a board, you will have to go from the path going from side of it, as you continue the trek you will encounter 4 ladders after 20 mins which are put to make the trek easy, once you climb these ladders you will see a cave to the right and the fort Door towards your right, The view from the top is wonderful. We explored the fort and moved towards the Needhi which one can reach traversing along the path at the edge of the mountain and once you reach the other side of the mountain just look up you will see a whole in the rocks which is your next destination. It took us around 20 mins to reach the Needhi once we reached the fort. The view from top here is heaven for trekkers. We reached here at around 11 am and stayed here and just chilled out for another 2 hours and started our descent at around 1 pm as we descended we phoned the place we just had breakfast and told to make some lunch for us as well as phoned the jeep driver to come and pick us up at around 4 pm .

The descent was quick and we were down at around 2.30pm. As soon as we reached the place where we would have our food we drank lots of water and sat to eat, the food was amazing though we were limited on options. We rested for some time and then got in the jeep at 4 pm which reached at Shendi at 4.50 pm, we then realized that the bus to Kasara is at 5.30 pm .The jeep driver must have intentionally informed us that the bus is at 5.00pm so we would not miss it. We had lots of tea at the same place we had in the morning as we waited for the bus. The bus was on time, we sat down and after paying Rs 68 per person till Kasara we dozed off. We reached Kasara at 7.40 pm and were in time for the 8.15pm local to CST, as the train started we were left with beautiful memories of the place and in the search for our next trekking destination. I will be adding contact details of the jeep driver Mr. Sanjay and Hotel Rijuta.

Note: -
1)    The locals informed us that there was water available on the top, so we didn’t carry enough water to  our dismay the water that was available on the fort was not drinkable. We survived on Oranges  which were like our savior. Please carry adequate water before you start the trek.
2)      This trek would be more enjoyable and beautiful during the rainy season.
3)      There is camping available at Bhandardara Dam and also an MTDC resort.
4)      An alternative route would be to reach Kasara on the central railway line and then catch the first bus which will drop you off at Shendi at 7.00 am, In case you miss the bus to Shendi another option would be to go to Goti phata and there are jeeps available at Rs 60 per seat to Shendi or ST buses.
Mr. Raju (Jeep Driver) – 7875956988
Mr. Shanjay (Tea stall at Shendi) -9423749953

Hotel Rijuta (Breakfast and lunch) – 9325062353, 7798912748, 9370358385

Tikona Fort Trek Experience

It all started on an cold Saturday morning of 5th January 2013 , It was my 4th trek and the first of the new year with  a group called  the JunnarBoyz which we created about 2 years ago   ,this time it was Simon who was a new addition in the group .We where 10 of us (me(Randolph),Preshit,Ambrose,Paulson,Tanny, Clinton , Kevin, Kartik , Nitesh ,Simon). Most of us meet at Dadar to board the 5.51 am  Indrayani Express which leaves CST at 5.40 am .All of us boarded the General compartment of the  Train Except Clintion who missed the train and Nitesh who had to catch the train at kalyan however boarded another train .Both of them then decided to meet us directly at Lonavala station . We continued our journey ,the train was crowded which had become full from CST itself as Indrayani and Intercity are considered as Trains which are usually boarded by people who commute daily between Mumbai and Pune .
        Standing  the Whole Journey we reached Lonavala at about 8.30 am took tickets for Kamshet in the meanwhile Nitesh and Clinton arrived . At about 9.30 am we got an local train to Kamshet ,we reached Kamshet in about 15 mins . we decided to hire an vehicle to TikonaPeth Village ,it takes about 30 mins to reached the village from kamsheet station ,we took the drivers number and told him to come back when we give him a call. we started the trek at about 11.15am ,the first 20 mins were slightly exhausting as some of us where out of action for along time gradually we eased-out we first came across an small cave later on followed by an Hanuman Statue

Then after sometime we reached an other temple and then the last part of the trek which are the steep stairs

with taking a lot of stops for photo sessions and deciding to have our lunch at the half way with  scinic nature surrounding us  we managed to reach the summit at about 1.30 pm (normally it would take 1 hr 30 min)
After playing cards and some games we started our decent at about 2.45pm and reached the base at about 3.30pm ,we got in the jeep which we had told to pick us up after an while and reached Kamshet station at 5.20 Pm ,we took an local train to lonavala and caught the 6.48 pm Intercity express and with no room to enter the general compartment we all entered the reserved compartments the TC passed by us an number of times but did not check our tickets as he knew the general compartment was over crowded. Some  got down at Thane while some of  us at Dadar station at about 9.00pm .Altogether it was a easy and an beautiful trek which we all required before our college started.

Ticket price from Dadar to Lonaval Rs 47
Ticket price from Lonavala to Kamsheet Rs 6
Ticket price from Lonavala to Andheri Rs 53
Private jeep to Tikona Peth village both ways Rs 700 


This time we were doing a relatively easy trek as compared to many other done before only 1410ft approx. We where 11 of us with the usual 7 of us adish , kevin, kartik ,preshit ,tanny,clinton and me and ere further joined by 4 new members Paulson ,ambrose ,Shannon and nitesh .As planned we all meet at kurla station boarded a train to panvel at around 6.45am and reached pavel at around 7.45 am and waited for the remaining ones .Once all arrived we asked the rickshaw fellows about the price to reach us to karnal base they said Rs 200/per rick .Hearing at the price we asked the locals about the busses who suggested we walk ahead and catch any bus that went to ratanagiri or pen .As we were waiting for the bus we must some students from and other Engineering college from Mumbai and then requested the driver to take us all there ,we all sat in the bus the price of the ticket was Rs28 and we reached the base village in about 20 mins.

               Once at the base we had to pay Rs20 each to take entry in the Wildlife Sanctuary and they pay an additional Rs210 as a deposit which we would get back if we brought all the plastics, silver foils, bottles back  wile coming failing to brining even one item would result in the money going and even an additional fine .As we started our trek few of us where ahead , few of us where seeing the map and realised there was a hard and steep way and a long and easy way so we decided to go by the steep way for that to there were to ways to reach soon keven and kartik shouted" dude we will all take the route from the jungle instead of walking the road come back". Listening to him all started the trek we walked for 20 min and all fell we were on the wrong route soon we seen a sign named transit end but all 11 of us ignored it  and moved ahead. Now we reached a spot whose only way to move forwarded was through the waterfall which was  dry as it had not yet rained we all begin climbing the waterfall and after 45 mins we reached a spot where we got a trail named moor taka trail which was going towards the left .After looking at the map we thought it would be better going ahead straight .So after a break of 10 mins we had again ignored the path and moved ahead in the direction of the waterfall .Again after 30 mins we where literally losted in the jungle all of us removed our mobiles to get gps co-ordinates(so funny) and soon decided instead of going back we make our own way towards the top.

 As we were climbing it became evident that if we would not get a path above it would be a difficult decent still we continued our climb which went through cliffs and rocky patches .After an hour we had reached the fort but there is always an but instead of reaching the forts
entrance we reached behind  the fort and the only way was to climb a 6 feet wall .With the rick of something happening we all decided it would be better to descend and  catch the correct route .The descent at the top was little scary but our past experience made it easy as it took us an other 1and half hour to reach again at the bottom we realised we missed that left turn that we had got early and we had ignored  so we all decided  to go north and after 10 mins we got that turn .we all moved along the trail and after 20 mins got the steep route  to the fort we all got ready to begin the trak agin at about
12.45 pm we begin our trek it was quite simple and we were at the fort in 1hr and 30 mins .After spening an hour we begin our descent and where down by 4.30 pm .We rested clicked some photos of the birds in the cages took our deposite and waited for a bus. As we where waiting for the bus we got a tuktuk which took all 11 of us to the station .Some of us boarded the andheri and some the CST train and left towards home .It was a good trek which was easy but because of our stupidity we had to trek twice and not to forget our group called Junnar Boyz is extending day by day so happing Treking ...


               It was 20 th Feb and a holiday due to Mahashivrati  so we decide to go for a trek which was cancelled before for some reason .It was a very a pleasant morning we all where excited, Kevin was excited to such an extent that he woke up 2.30 am instead of 4.30 am and called Adish and Akash  . We were supposed to meet at Vidhyavihar station  at about 5.30 am . Preshit was the first one to reach the sation followed by me ,Akash ,Adish ,Kevin ,clinton and then Kartik who for some reason could not compile what we said and didn't by his ticket for Asangoan . It was 5.45 am and the train to Asangoan was just going to arrive and Tany had still not reached Vidhyavihar so we decided to board the train and wait for Tany at Asangoan  and ya about that Kartik's ticket we told Rahul who was boarding the train from Thane to get one for Kartik.The journey to Asangoan was a long -chilly one and we praised Yashbeer a many times who would travel to Vidhyavihar to college everyday .At last at about 7.30 am we reached Asangoan as we had to wait for Tany we decided to have some breakfast ,having some vadapv,bread pakoda ,mesal pav  ,tea and not to forget Adish's half hour of jokes it was 8.00 am when finally Tany arrived at Asangoan .
        We went to catch rickshaws to the base which would cost us Rs 180 a rick so we decided to just go half the way from where the actual trek started .After 20 minutes we where there and soon we got a truck in which every one climbed after 15 mins we reached the base village of  Mahuli Fort after some time we asked people how to get to the top and at 9.30 am began our journey after half hour we decided to take a break  we took some pics and videos and began our journey . 1 hour 30 min into the trek we decided to take an second brake before we started to climb a little difficulty part . After half hour of walking we  were at such a point that we thought we have lost our way after a little bit of calling to my friend Pradeep and the man who we meet below we found that we are on the correct path and again began our climb soon on the way up we meet an independent trekker who told it would take us 20 minutes to reach top soon we reached the final part of the climb that is the ladder and walked further and then again descended a little distance to get to Mahuli fort at 12.30 pm we reached the Fort which has merely a cave and a door .Then after taking some videos ,eating and refilling our water bottles from the tank above we decided to descend at about 1.45 pm .The descend at certain points were difficult .I , Akash and Preshit were in the front we waited for the others at a point but due to some reason they were taking  time so we decided to move on and wait for them at the Mahuli tea stall at the base village .We reached the village at 3.45 pm and after having some tea and cold- drinks the rest of them arrived at about 4.30 pm then we all organised for van who would take us Asangoan station ,at 5.45 pm the van arrived  we sang some songs and arrived at the  station by 6.05 pm, boarded the 6.17 CST train and were on our way towards home in the train we played some games .I due to motion sickness vomited a little ,Rahul was the first one to get off the train at Thane and then i ,Kevin and Kartik got down at Ghatkopar and headed home ,over all it was a good trek with one more member added Akash to the group we called JUNNAR BOYZ. 



District : Ratnagiri
Height above sea level : 236 feet
Difficulty rating : Simple - Coastal fort
Base village : Rajapur
Approx. time to reach the top : It's a coastal fort hence there is no trekking involved.
Best Season to visit : October to January
Duration: 1 day
Google Map coordinate: 16.67°N 73.52°E 

How To Reach

Rajpur is well connected to Mumbai and Goa by Konkan Railway as well as by Road. Local sightseeing can be by auto or car. Visitors should be ready to enjoy local cuisine as there are no starred hotels.

Place to Stay / Eat

There are hotels and lodges to stay. One can enjoy local cuisine.