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Bhimashankar, a dense and protected forest area.
Bhimashankar is famous for being one of the twelve sacred “Jyotirlings”. The Shiva temple here sees a lot of devotes. For this reason, it is Bhimashankar is connected through a motorable road.
But where’s the fun in that? The real deal is in the dense forest, slippery rocks littered with several waterfalls. Walk to the tune of the Whistling Thrush and try to spot the “Shekru” or Giant squirrel.
There are a couple of trekking routes to reach the top of Bhimashankar. The trek starts from the base village of Khandas. A lot of trekking groups in Pune and Mumbai organise treks here in the monsoon.
These routes are part of the Sahyadri mountain range, part of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. Monsoon is the best time to trek anywhere in the Sahyadris.
The mountains are lush green, the route is littered with waterfalls and often times, we were walking through the clouds. It can rain throughout the day at times, so footwear that can grip wet rocks is essential.
This particular view is of a peak called Padargad that we had to circumnavigate before reaching the hill with Bhimashankar.
In the monsoon, specially on weekends, the locals set up stalls selling tea and fresh local delicacies.
Huddling up in these tents next to the wood fired stove, eating piping hot food fresh off this stove and sipping tea while watching the rains after having walked through it, is one of the perks of this trek.
Of course, reaching the top and the feeling of heaven, is the prized trophy.