Can dark be synonymous with beautiful? You’d definitely say yes if you’ve been to Andharban forest. The trek through Andharban is one of the most refreshing treks in the Sahyadri region.
In Andharban you would be in the middle of a dark jungle, finding the route, towering over valleys, and crossing ghats! Also known as The Dark Forest Trek, Andharban trek fits the bill of a beginner’s dream trek bill with absolutely no ascent and largely only a descent through a trail with stunning views and breathtaking experiences. The panoramic view of the valley, greenery in the surroundings, walking through the foggy patches of the forest, en route numerous streams and waterfalls, and the unique experience of dark forest are the highlights of this trek. Evergreen forest covers you with shade in the first half of the trek (6-8 km). The trek further descends in Konkan to reach Bhira (4 km). The valley is also the origin place for Kundalika river which is famous for its white water rafting.
The trek starts from a place called Independent Point near Pimpri Dam. It’s recommended that you take a guide with you especially if it's your first time on the trail. Start early in the morning; just as you start the trail, you take a turn into the Kundalika valley as you pass the tip and stunning views await your arrival. The initial walk is along the edge of the valley. Once you cross into the dark wood, the forest grows thicker and thicker, just opening in few spots just to make you realize the time is daytime. Sunlight hardly pierces the tree cover. Coming out of Andharban would take around 4-5 hours and once you cross the dark forest, you come out on top of a wall adjoining Pimpri Dam that’ll lead you to an open area, replete with poppy fields. The trek ends near Bhira dam where the Kundalika river originates.
The major attraction of the forest is the sightings of butterflies. The forest is surrounded by colorful butterflies, especially the Blue Mormons which is also known as the State butterfly of Maharashtra.
The best time to visit Andharban is during monsoon and post-monsoon(July-December). This time of the year, the abundant foliage, cascading waterfalls, and amazing species of flora and fauna that you get to spot along the way make the trek all the more special. What’s interesting, however, is that people are allowed to go night-trekking in Andharban. Pre-monsoon is the mating season of fireflies and if you’re there for a night trek, you’re sure to witness these light-emitting flies.
Lohagad is an ideal trek for beginners, as it is rated as one of the easiest treks. The route for Lohagad fort trek is very easy and comfortable even when it rains. If any one want to trek for the first time, with a good trek satisfaction, then this is the best place to trek. The lush green mountains, cool breeze, panaromic view, sceneries, all these make the trek even more fantastic. Most beautiful place to explore and experience the sight of several waterfalls too.
This fort is one of the ancient forts of Maharashtra, situated close to the hills. The geography of the fort is unique. It rises to an elevation of 3,389 ft above sea level. The range of this fort divides and branches the plummets of Indrayani river and Panina lake. During monsoons, the Lohagad fort top is covered by fog, mist and clouds.
Day 0: Hyderabad to Pune
Train from Hyderabad to Pune.
Day 1: Pune to Lonavala.
Once we get down the train in Pune we will board our private hired vehicle and head to Lohagad base village.
Lohagad trek will take 2.5 hrs to ascend and 1.5 hrs to descend.
Post the trek we'll head back to the base village and stay in a homestay.
Notes for the day:
1. You will not get time to change your dress till we complete the trek the next day; so wear your desired clothes before boarding the train itself.
2. Don't forget to carry a thin blanket to be used for the night train journey.
Day 2 : Trek to Andharban Forest
Take a local vehicle from Lonavala
Notes for the day:
Day 3 : Visit Devkund Waterfalls
Notes: Your quick-dry pair will come in handy here before getting into the waterfall.
Day 3 : Back to Hyderabad
Clothing & Footwear
Food & Beverage
✅ Hyderabad to Hyderabad transportation(Sleeper class train)
✅ 1 Breakfast + 1 Dinner
✅ Local transportation
✅ Homestay/Tent stay (sharing basis)
✅ First Aid
✅ Certified Trek Leaders
➖ Meals during transit
➖ Mules or porter to carry personal luggage
➖ Personal expenses