It was sunny, it was cloudy, it was drizzling, and it was raining cats and dogs on one fine day when I found myself in the jungles of Andharban. I was carving my way through the dense, dark, and suffocating undergrowth, battling through the very air, which hung heavy, moist and still. The horror of the situation was only heightened by the sound of the rustling leaves scratching and scraping one another.
Located around some 60 kms from Pune, Andharban fits the bill of every trekker who wishes to wander deep into the jungles. Did you ever imagine how will you feel when you have to make your own way through a dense jungle? The only sound you hear is the sound of the swirling leaves, the birds, the insects and the gushing waterfalls.
Lush green Plateaus as seen on Andharban Trek
Breathtaking view of Kundalika Valley
How to reach Andharban Trek start point
Andharban is one of the rare treks in Sahyadris where the start and endpoint can change. One can start the trek from Pimpri dam and end up at Bhira dam or vice versa. Pimpri dam is situated around 130 kms from Mumbai and 70 kms from Pune. You can catch a bus which is plying on the Tamhini Ghat road route and get down at the start of GMCKS Ashram Road. From here, the start point is just 4 kms away. I would suggest you to put the location as Andharban Homestay on Gmaps and navigate appropriately.
Once you end the trek at Bhira Dam, you can get shared auto for around INR 60 which will drop you to Vile Maha bank ATM which is on the highway. From here, you can wait for the bus going towards Pune or take a lift from a taxi (INR 120). If you come by your own transport and have parked the same at the start point (Pimpri village), you can again get down at the start of GMCKS Ashram road (around 30 kms from Vile Maha Bank ATM) and walk for another 4 kms to reach your vehicle.
Enjoying at the Andharban Trek
Andharban Trek route details
Once you are at GMCKS Arhatic Yoga Ashram, just ask for the Pimpri Village or put in Andharban Homestay on Gmaps since the trail begins from Pimpri village. Just keep a watch on the electric pole which is located at a distance as one needs to move in the pole direction.
Andharban Trek route
Andharban trekking route
After a few minutes of trekking, you will cross the valley as the Andharban jungle is located on the opposite side of the start point. Arrows are marked all along the way so make sure you follow them. If you don’t see an arrow for a long time, make sure you come back to the previous arrow. Also, ribbons are tied on the trees to further assist you.
Permits required for Andharban jungle trek
As per the latest rule, a permit is required to enter the Andharban jungle. The same can be obtained easily by registering at Tamhini Wildlife sanctuary website. Charges per person are INR 150 and registration is limited to 500 people/day. So make sure you book well in advance.
Andharban Trek route
Difficulty level of Andharban trek
I would rate Andharban trek as a medium level trek in terms of difficulty. The trail is well marked with white arrows guiding you all along the way. There are no scary patches throughout the trek. If you start from Pimpri dam, the trail is a combination of flat and descend. But if you start the trek from Bhira dam, one would need to ascend a lot and that could be tiring. The total trek length is around 14 kms and takes around 5 to 7 hours to complete.
Foggy at Andharban Forest
My Journey to Andharban Trek
From this year, I started organizing treks around Pune. And to make arrangements for the same, I sometimes have to revisit the places. So was the case with the Andharban Trek. Earlier when I did this trek, there were no proper trails marked, food options weren’t available, and a permit wasn’t required. But a lot has changed in recent years with the growing popularity of the trek.
Waterfall as seen on Andharban Trek
I along with my friend started from Pune around 6:00 AM. The route from Pune to the start point of the trek passes through the beautiful Mulshi Dam and the scenic Tamhini Ghat road. It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the Pimpri village which is the starting point of the trek. One can find few options of breakfast at the base village.
Breathtaking views of Sahyadri Range
At Independence point
The whole 14 km trek (one-way) goes through thick wildernesses of Andharban. The initial trail is flat passing through the lush green farms. After walking for 20 minutes or so, you reach a point where the permits are checked. Another 10 minutes into trekking, you reach a spot from where the entire Kundalika Valley is visible. The stunning view of the Kundalika Valley is sure to capture a spot in your heart forever.
Onacheaptrip organized event to Andharban Jungle(#1)
The lush green Andharban forest
From here, the route further ahead passes through the dense jungles of Andharban. The thick blanket of greenery in the forest makes it difficult for the sun rays to penetrate through them. The ground was completely covered with the broken leaves, the light of the sun filtered by the tree foliage on each side of the trail.
In the monsoons, the entire region is filled with numerous waterfalls. Imagine actually walking over the waterfalls! Well, one can actually do that here on Andharban Trek. Sometimes you pass over the dense jungle, sometimes though the waterfalls and sometimes though the vast green plateaus. Yes, this is the Andharban jungle irresistible beauty which can make you pen down your Shayari about the dreamy journey into it.
At Independence Point
At around 2 PM, we made it to the Hirdi village which lies around 7-8 kms from the start point. One can enjoy the local food in this small village. The further trail from the village is mostly descend. It takes around 2-3 hours from the Hirdi village to make it to the Bhira Dam which is the end point of the trek.
Trek route of Andharban jungle
Flowers as seen on Andharban Trek
We made it Bhira dam at around 5 PM and took a shared auto (INR 60) which dropped us to the highway from where one can get transport for Pune. After waiting for half an hour or so, we got a shared taxi which dropped us to the start of GMCKS Ashram road. From there we walked for another 4 kms to reach the Pimpri village where our bike was parked. With all the wonderful memories, we left for Pune.
Cloudy at Andharban
Food and stay options at Andharban trek
For breakfast, you can visit any of the dhabas at Pimpri village. Poha and Maggi are generally available as breakfast options. For lunch, local food is served at Hirdi village which comes enroute while trekking. For evening snacks or dinner, you can checkout dhabas at Patnus village.
Hirdi village in Andharban Forest
For stay, you can choose to set up a tent at Bhira dam. Also, various villagers at Patnus Village do provide homestay and lodge options. Living with a local family and trying out their local food can be a moment to remember about.
Best time to visit Andharban Trek
The best time to visit Andharban trek is definitely during the monsoon months of mid-June to mid-September. The entire jungle is lush green and is home to numerous waterfalls. The winters are chilly and the forest is dense, so trekking in the winter season isn’t a bad idea either.
Amazing views at Andharban Jungle trek
River crossing at Andharban trek
If you have a day more with you and aren’t tired enough, you can plan to do the Devkund waterfall trek which starts from the Bhira dam which is the end point of Andharban Trek.
Onacheaptrip organized event 2 to Andharban Trek
Do follow me on Instagram as I am regularly posting travel posts and stories over there. Also, you can message me on Instagram if you want to join me on my next trip.
Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my blog post on What’s in my Backpack.
Looking for more weekend gateway options near Pune and Mumbai? Check out these blog posts:
- A cycle trip to Lavasa city from Pune (INR 100)
- Andharban jungle and Devkund Waterfall Trek – Time to get lost in the dense forest
- Satara – A road trip to the Maharashtra’s Valley of Flowers from Pune (INR 800)
- Tikona Fort Trek and Pawna Lake – One day trip near Pune (INR 250)
- A two-day trip to Torna Fort and Madhe Ghat Waterfall(INR 400)
- Matheran – Asia’s only automobile free hill station
- Daman – A Glimpse of Portugal Heritage
- A road trip to Harihareshwar, Shrivardhan and Diveagar Beach from Pune (INR 1200)
- Kalsubai Peak – Trek to the highest peak of Maharashtra (INR 600)
- Korigad Fort Trek – Exciting one day trek near Pune Mumbai (INR 300)
- Bendewadi, Laalwadi and Jagtap waterfalls – Go get lost in the land of waterfalls!! (INR 300)
- Experience the sunrise from Lohagad Fort near Pune/Mumbai (INR 150)
- Visapur Fort Trek – Thrilling one day trek near Pune Mumbai (INR 200)
- Rajmachi Fort Trek, adventurous one day trip near Mumbai and Pune (INR 350)
- 12-hours monsoon road trip exploring Tamhini Ghat (INR 300)
- An exciting road trip to Purandar Fort from Pune (INR 300)
- Tung Fort Trek – A journey through the clouds (INR 250)
- Nashik City – An exciting two day trip from Pune/Mumbai/Surat (INR 1500)
- Rajgad Fort Trek – An exciting one-day trek near Pune/Mumbai (INR 200)
- Katraj to Sinhagad night trek – An exciting trek near Pune (INR 250)
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