DIY Andharban Trek

DIY Andharban Trek
Published Date: 18th May 2024

Monsoon is the perfect season for adventure enthusiasts to explore the lush green landscapes of the Sahyadri mountains. Among the many trekking destinations in Maharashtra, the Andharban trek stands out for its breathtaking beauty and unique experience. Andharban, which means 'dark forest,' offers trekkers an opportunity to walk through dense forests, enjoy panoramic views, and experience the serene beauty of the Western Ghats. This DIY guide will help you plan your Andharban trek, covering everything from the itinerary to essential tips.

Why Andharban Trek?

The Andharban trek is a monsoon trek that takes you through the beautiful Andharban forest in the Pune district of Maharashtra. The trail starts from Pimpri village and ends at Bhira Dam, where you get to see stunning views of the Western Ghats. One of the major highlights of this trek is the Devkund waterfall, a hidden gem that adds to the trek's charm. The Andharban trek route is filled with natural beauty, including waterfalls, streams, and diverse flora and fauna, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

Itinerary for Andharban Trek

Day 1: Pune to Pimpri Village

Travel: Start early from Pune and drive to Pimpri village, approximately 70 km away.

Stay: You can stay overnight in a homestay or a basic guesthouse in Pimpri village.

Day 2: Pimpri Village to Bhira Dam

Start Early: Begin your trek early in the morning to make the most of the daylight.

Trek Duration: The trek is about 13 km long and takes around 5-6 hours to complete, depending on your pace.

Route: The trail starts with a gradual ascent, passing through the dense Andharban forest. You will get to walk along ridges and cross streams and enjoy stunning views of the Kundalika Valley.

Lunch: Carry packed lunch and enjoy it amidst nature.

Highlights: Along the way, do not miss the spectacular Devkund waterfall. Spend some time here soaking in the beauty and taking pictures.

End Point: The trek ends at Bhira Dam. Arrange for a vehicle to pick you up and take you back to Pune or continue your journey to other destinations.

Trek Details

Altitude: 2,160 ft

Time Taken: 4-5 hours, 13 km

Trek Gradient: Easy-moderate. Mostly descending trails with a few flat walks.

Water Sources: None. Carry at least 3 litres of water.

Tips for the Andharban Trek

Weather Conditions: Monsoon is the best time for the Andharban trek, as the forest is lush green, and the waterfalls are in full flow. However, be prepared for heavy rains and slippery trails.

Trekking Gear: Wear comfortable trekking shoes with a good grip. Carry a raincoat, a waterproof backpack, and an extra pair of clothes.

Food and Water: Pack enough food and water for the day. There are no food stalls or water sources along the trail.

Guided Trek: If you are not confident about navigating the route, consider hiring a local guide. The trail can be confusing, especially in dense forest areas.

Fitness Level: The Andharban trek difficulty is moderate. A basic level of fitness is required, as the trail involves walking for several hours.

Respect Nature: Do not litter. Carry all your trash back with you. Respect the natural environment and wildlife.

Safety: Inform someone about your trekking plans and expected return time. Carry a basic first-aid kit.

How to Reach the Base of Andharban Trek?

The Andharban trek begins at Pimpri village, near Tamhini Ghat. This is situated 50 kilometres south of Lonavala. It can be reached either by a private vehicle or by public transport. State Transport buses run from Lonavala to Bhamburde village (around 35 km away), from where one can walk down to Pimpri village, 14 km away, or hire a vehicle for a one-way trip. Pimpri village can also be reached by a private vehicle by driving down from Lonavala towards Tamhini Ghat via the Lonavala-Aamby Valley road, which takes 1.5 hours on average, or by taking a shared rickshaw, which we don't suggest.

It is preferable to go to Andharban in a private vehicle with a hired driver (which costs around 1500–2000 rupees per vehicle if you can haggle), as trekkers usually leave the vehicle and follow the trail into the valley while the driver takes the vehicle down to the dam to pick them up at the end of the walk. Rarely, trekkers may camp at the base near Bhira Dam and walk back up the same way the next morning. One could, in theory, drive down to Pimpri, park the vehicle at the start point, and come back up to the start, hailing a cab from Bhira or Patnus village. There are, however, no reliable public transport services when coming back from Bhira unless you manage to get a lift. The best option for travel would be to hire a cab for the day from Mumbai or Pune itself, which amounts to 2300–3000 rupees at the maximum for a four-seater.

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The Andharban trek is a must-do for anyone looking to experience the magic of monsoon treks in the Western Ghats. With its dense forests, stunning views, and the majestic Devkund waterfall, it promises an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags, lace up your trekking shoes, and get ready to explore the beauty of the Andharban forest. Happy trekking!