Andharban Trek – A walk through the dense jungle

Standing at Independence Point Andharban jungle trek

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.

Dense Forest at Andharban

Andharban Jungle

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.

Views on Andharban Trek

Lush green Plateaus as seen on Andharban Trek

Breathtaking view of Kundalika Valley

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.

How to reach Andharban trek from Pune and Mumbai

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.

The dense jungle of Andharban

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 Trek route

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.

Onacheaptrip at Andharban Trek

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.

Farms as seen on Andharban Jungle trek

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 conditions on Andharban Trek

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 and valley view as seen on Andharban 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.

Somewhere on Andharban Trek

Breathtaking views of Sahyadri Range

Yoga at Independence Point Andharban Forest trekAt 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

Onacheaptrip organized event to Andharban Jungle(#1)

The vast green plateaus

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.

Glaring at the beauty of Nature

The group at Andharban trek

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.

Organized trek #2 to Andharban forest

Cloudy at independence point Andharban Jungle TrekAt 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.

The jungle trek of Andharban

Trek route of Andharban jungle

Andharban jungle trek

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.

Me at Indepedence Point at start of Andharban Trek

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 Andharban

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.

Lush green plateaus as seen on Andharban Trek

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.

Independence Point at Andharban Pimpri village

Amazing views at Andharban Jungle trek

River crosssing at Andharban 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 to Andharban

Onacheaptrip organized event 2 to Andharban Trek

Enjoying at the Andharban Trek

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Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my blog post on What’s in my Backpack.

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