Dhak Bahiri Cave trek – A trek not for the faint-hearted (INR 200)

Sleeping in a tent overnight for Dhak Bahiri Cave

The earth has music for those who listen and this time the melodious symphony of mother Earth took me to one of the cave trek in the Sahyadri hill range. A trek that is definitely not for the fainthearted person. A trek where one needs an assistance of a rope to make it through. A trek where one mistake and you’re dead. Any guesses? Yes, I am talking about the “Dhak Bahiri Cave Trek”.

Dhak Bahiri Cave trail

Dangerous Dhak Bahiri Cave Trek route

Located on the Dhak peak in the Jambhavali region, to reach the Dhak Bahiri cave, one needs to ascend a col, walk along a scarp and finally a vertical ascent of almost 70-degree gradient. A small mistake and you will find yourself somewhere deep in the valleys of Sahayadri’s. Despite being so risky, the trek is quite popular among the Mumbaikar’s and the Punker’s who are looking to experience something extraordinary.

Dhak Fort as see from Kondeshwar temple

Dhak Bahiri Cave in Background

Dhak Fort as seen on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Dhak Mountain as seen on Dhak Bahiri Cave Trek

Abhi, are you mad? Are you sure you are going do this? Look down isn’t it too deep? Well even after all these horrible questions running in my mind, I did it. Somehow binding all my courage and determination, I reached to the top and the views were splendid. It is the beauty that becomes the biggest reward every time. All I remember is reaching the top and the wind whispering, you are not in the mountain, the mountains are in you.

The dense jungles on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Deep jungles on Dhak Bahiri Cave Trek

Onacheaptrip at Dhak Bahiri

Me at Dhak Bahiri

How to reach Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

The trek can be accessed from various routes with Sandashi village and Jambhavali being the major ones. Sandashi is located around 12 kms from the Karjat. Karjat is well connected to Mumbai and Pune via railways and roadways. From Karjat, one can take the local bus for Sandashi.
Jambhavali is located around 20 kms from Kamshet. One can take a local train from Pune/Mumbai and get down at Kamshet from where local buses/ shared taxis are available for Jambhavali.

How to reach Dhak Bahiri Cave trek from Mumbai Pune

What I will suggest is to hire a bike from Pune (INR 300-400) and explore Dhak Bahiri on a road trip. For bike rentals, you can compare prices at various bikes rental websites like Royal Brotherswheelstreetsabrentkaro, and rentrip.

Lush green surroundings as seen on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Lushing green surroundings as seen on Dhak Bahiri Cave Trek

At Dhak Bahiri Trek

At Dhak Bahiri Trek

Various trekking routes for Dhak Bahiri Cave trek and their difficulty level

There are many trekking routes options available to reach the Dhak Bahiri Cave:
Jambhavali – Kondeshwar route: It is the shortest and the most preferred route amongst all the possible routes. With few gradual ascends and descends, it takes around 1 hour to reach the col between Kalakarai Pinnacle and the mountain in which Dhak cave is carved. From here, the route is difficult as one has to walk along a scarp and climb a vertical ascent of almost 70-degree gradient to reach the cave.

col on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Col between Kalakarai Pinnacle and Dhak Mountain

• Sandashi village route: The initial stretch of the route is quite confusing and you can take help of a local to guide you to the correct trail. Do look out for the ribbons which are tied on trees all along the trail. It generally takes around 3 hours to reach the base of Dhak cave from where the 70-degree gradient starts.

Ribbions guiding Dhak Bahiri Cave trek trail

Orange ribbons which guide you to correct trail

• Rajmachi route: It is the most uncommon route among the three. If you are seeking for something more adventurous, you can give this route a try.

Jungle route as seen on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Dhak Bahiri Cave trek trail

My journey to Dhak Bahiri Cave

Will it be dangerous? Should I go for it? Is it worth taking the risk? With all these questions churning in my mind, I finally decided to make a visit to one of the toughest trek of the Sahayadri’s i.e. the Dhak Bahiri cave Trek. The trek can be called toughest, not in the terms of the overall length of the trek but entirely due to the difficult section towards the end.

onacheaptrip on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

The 70-degree gradient on Dhak Bahiri Cave Trek

Nowadays, it’s pretty rare to witness stars in the sky if you are living in a crowded city like Pune. Pollution has taken away this beauty. With moon being at waxing crescent phase, I was pretty sure to be blessed with a sky full of stars if I can travel somewhere far from the crowded town!!

Stars as seen from Kondeshwar temple Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Stars as seen from Kondeshwar temple 

Owing to experience a sky full of stars and witnessing the sunrise view somewhere from the mountain region, I along with one of my friend decided to start from Pune around 9 pm. We had planned to stay overnight at Kondeshwar temple and do an early morning hike to Dhak Bahiri cave.

Kondeshwar Temple Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Kondeshwar temple – a stay option for Dhak Bahiri cave trek

As we approached the village of Jambhavali, we could see a drastic increase in the count of stars. After a drive of around 1.5 hours from Pune, we made it to the Kondeshwar temple. We were stunned to see so many stars in the sky and I couldn’t resist myself taking out the tripod and start clicking a few pictures of this beauty.

New friends on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Making friends along various treks has become a habit 

The temple is surrounded with mountains from all sides and spending a night at the temple is an experience in itself. At a far distance, we could see our destination, yes the Dhak Mountain. With surroundings being so peaceful, we could hear the sound of wind whispering through the trees. I loved every bit of my time spent out there.

Monkeys at Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

With being so engaged to capture the beauty of the sky and the nearby surroundings that we didn’t even realize that it was already 2 am. Finally, we decided to put down our sleeping bag inside the temple premises and have a nap for 3-4 hours. We woke up around 6 am and in order to see the sunrise from a top of a mountain, we started our trek towards Dhak Bahiri Cave.

Kund - The start point of Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Trek starts from thisKund behind Kondeshwar temple

The initial trail just starts next to the Kondeshwar temple where there is a small Kund. From there look towards Dhak Mountain and you will see a small flat plateau at a distance. That is the correct direction for you to head to. If you are confused take a help of a local who will show you the correct trail. The trail is well marked and the ribbons put on the trees provides an added advantage.

Dhak Fort as seen from Kondeshwar temple

Dhak Bahiri Cave trek route

We were blessed with some breathtaking views of the morning hues just before the sunrise. The trail passes through deep jungles until you reach the col in between Kalakarai pinnacle and the mountain in which Dhak cave is carved. From here you descend down, walk along the scarp and finally climb a vertical ascent to make it to the cave. Enough grips, iron railings and ropes at the final patch have been already installed.

Morning hues as seen on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Morning hues as seen on Dhak Bahiri Cave Trek

I would advise everyone to be very careful in the last stretch as a small mistake here and you very well know the outcome. Those who are faint-hearted should skip the final stretch, though you shouldn’t be disappointed as you would already experience a lot on this trek. There is a temple of Lord Bahiri (Bhairavnath) inside the caves. From the top one can see Rajmachi Fort, Visapur Fort, Manikgad, Karnala etc.

Kalakarai Pinnacle as seen on way to Dhak Bahiri Cave

Kalakarai Pinnacle in background

Note: Sometimes, the Pujari does not allow girls to enter the cave. So avoid visiting during menstrual cycle if you are really interested to hike up to the cave.

Dhak Bahiri cave

Dhak Bahiri Cave temple

Best time to visit Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

The best time to visit the cave is from October to February as the weather is pleasant and the surroundings are still green. Cold winds flow for the most part of the day. I would suggest you to avoid doing this trek in the monsoon season. If you are still planning to do it in monsoon, I would recommend you to skip doing the final stretch. In summers, the rocks become quite hot and it would be hard to grip them.

Rope fixing on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek trail

Wooden bamboo to support the climb

Recently I have published a vlog on Dhak Bahiri. You can check out the below video. Don’t forget to like, share, comment and subscribe 🙂 For all the hard work ” Itna tho Banta hai” 🙂

Food and stay options on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

At Kondeshwar temple and Dhak Bahiri, there is no food option available, so I would recommend you to carry all eatables along with you. Also, do carry a good amount of drinking water. Make sure you don’t fill your bag much as it would be hard to traverse in the final section carrying it.

Trekkers on route to Dhak Bahiri Cave

One can stay at the Kondeshwar temple or at the Dhak Bahiri Cave itself. You can also put up your tent anywhere between Kondeshwar temple and Dhak Bahiri Cave trail.

Kondeshwar temple sleeping option Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Friend sleeping at Kondeshwar Temple

The tent that I carry during the treks is Quechua Arpenaz 2 Tent. It has enough space for 2 people.

In the lap of God Bahiri, I dream about the upcoming adventures and I shared my fears and desire with him. It was blissful. I told him about how adventure fills my heart with flowers, how I search for truth in new places and how this holy curiosity makes my life worth living.

kalakarai pinnacle as seen on Dhak Bahiri Cave trek

Kalakarai Pinnacle – Need equipment and experience in mountaineering to climb this

Onacheaptrip Dhak Bahiri expedition

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8 thoughts on “Dhak Bahiri Cave trek – A trek not for the faint-hearted (INR 200)

  1. Thanks For every minute details about this trek. We are planning it today and only concern is, it might be shut down for some time as recently there was an accident at this place.

  2. Hi! So if any girl wants to go for the trek then can she complete the whole one including the last stretch too ? And if girls aren’t allowed in the cave then where do they need to halt ? And is it like compulsory that girls aren’t allowed at all coz one of the trek grps mentioned this on their website or is it just during menstrual period?

    1. Hey, yes she can complete the entire stretch all the way to cave. The issue only is that you should avoid during the menstrual period otherwise its perfectly fine. Also, I would recommend staying at Kondeshwar temple which is at the start point of the trek which is a great option. Though you can stay at the cave too.

  3. What will be the most appropriate season for this dhak bahiri trek ?
    As I went to kamshet in august ,we were not allowed to go there.

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