Type: Hill Fort
Height (Approx in ft.): 3500
Base Village: khandas
Nearest Railway Station: Karjat
How to reach:
To reach Bhimashankar, you have to reach Karjat from Mumbai. Those from Pune can reach Karjat either from Swargate or by train. The base village Khandas is around 34 km from Karjat. One can reach Khandas by either the S.T. Bus or the jeeps / rickshaws that ply in this route. The most frequented routes to Bhimashankar from Khandas are the Shidi Ghat and Ganesh Ghat.
- Ganesh Ghat :
There is a bridge around 2 km from Khandas. The track going to the right from this bridge is the Ganesh Ghat route. This is the easiest route to Bhimashankar. Along this route one reaches a Ganesh temple within an hour of trekking. The route ahead consumes more time and takes 3 more hours to reach the top.
- Shidi Ghat :
The route going to the left from the bridge goes to the village. The route to the left of the well in the village leads to the Shidi Ghat. This is one of the difficult routes to Bhimashankar. This route becomes very treacherous and slippery during the monsoon. There are three ladders in this route within the first two hours of climbing. We reach a settlement after half an hour of the third ladder. Pundlik Hande has his house in this settlement. Further ahead when we climb on, we come across a thatch. At this junction, the routes from the Ganesh Ghat and Shidi Ghat merge. Those yearning for a cup of tea can get their wish fulfilled here. A further 1 ½ hour trek takes us besides a pond. The road, which goes to the left from this pond, takes us to the temple.
Vehicular Route :
To reach Bhimashankar, there is a tar road up to the village on top. This road is through the Pune – Talegaon – Chakan route to reach Bhimashankar.
Time to reach from base village: Ganesh Ghat: Easy but long. 6-7 hours trek. Shidi Ghat: Medium 5 Hours trek
What to see:
- The Temple :
The temple of Bhimashankar is around 1200 – 1400 years old and is built on the Hemad Panthi style. There are very beautiful sculptures and paintings on the roof and pillars of the temple. In the outer corridor of the temple we can see a sculpture of the god seated on a throne accompanied by his pallbearers holding an umbrella over his head. At the front of the temple hangs a huge metal bell cast in 1729. There is also a 15-20 feet high “Deepmala” or lamppost in the outer corridor of the temple. There is also an inscription on stone on this lamppost. It is to be noted that the original name of the river Chandrabhaga at Pandharpur is Bhima. This Bhima River originates at Bhimashankar.
- Gupt Bhimashankar :
There is a water stream route going down from the left of the Ram temple. Taking that route, we enter a thick jungle. We reach a temple around 25 minutes through this route. A route going toward the waterfall, left of this temple, leads to the “water sculpted” “Shiva Linga” under this waterfall. This is called the Gupt Bhimashankar. There is a huge waterfall at this place during the monsoons.
- Nagphani Peak :
We reach a pond when we climb towards Bhimashankar from the Ghat. The route going towards the right, from this pond, takes us to the Hanuman temple. The route going up through this route leads to the Nagphani. We can have a view of the forts of Peth and Padhar and the plateaus of Peth and Matheran. We can remember the poem composed by the famous “Samarth” Ramdas, the lover of natural beauty, when we see such beauty around.
Accommodation Facility: Available near Near the temple
Food Facility: Available near Near the temple
Drinking Water Facility: Available near Near the temple
Best Season to Visit: All the year