Bhimashankar-Lenyadri-Ozar-Malshej Ghat


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About Bhimashankar -

Bhimashankar (3250 Ft) is a good paradise for nature lovers, trekkers, jungle lovers and bird watchers. One can go to this place, full of natural beauty and lovely scenery, and be back to Pune in one day. However, it is recommended to visit the place for at least 1-2 days. The best seasons to go to Bhimashankar are monsoon and winter.  

There is a beautiful temple of Lord Shiva which is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Lord Shankara after getting angry, killed Rakshas Tripurasura. The heat generated from their war caused the origin of river Bhima. That is why it is called Bhimashankar.There are Buddha style carvings of Amba-Ambika, Bhootling and Bhimashankar in the hills of Manmod near Bhimashankar. A big size bell in Hemadpanthi structure built by Nana Phadanavis is also a feature of Bhimashankar.  

Various other places that could be visited in Bhimashankar are Hanuman Lake, Gupt Bhimashankar ( Origin of River Bhima), Bombay Point, Sakshi Vinayak. Situated at the extreme end of the Sahayadri Ranges, this place gives a wonderful view of the the forts, the rivers and the hill stations around. Caution : These points are not developed like that of a tourist destination. Ask local people about the route before visiting any of these places.

Ardent trekkers can try climbing the peak of Nagfani (Serpent's hood) located to the west of the temple. The not-so-arduous climb to the peak begins after a brief 1-km walk inside the forest. Once at the summit, you are left breathless not so much from the climb, but from the vista that opens in front of your eyes. You can see a brilliant sunset from the peak. The skycap is dominated by forts and neighboring hill stations, like Matheran that jut out proudly into the sky.

As Bhimashankar is a pilgrim centre from ancient time, it is also famous and a reserved evergreen forest covering 100 sq. kms wildlife sanctuary. Bhimashankar is conserve red forest area and wildlife sanctuary where a variety of birds, animals, flowers, plants can be seen. The sanctuary is small (only about 100 sq. kms), but it is home to a wide variety of animals like Leopard, Sambar, Barking deer, Porcupines, Grey Junglefowls, Wild pig, Hanuman langur, Rhesus macaque and Flying Squirrel etc. The sanctuary is famous as the home of a highly endangered subspecies of the Indian Giant Flying Squirrel - Shekaru. The animal is extremely shy and almost never comes down from the trees where it stays. It lives all its life on the trees, leaping upto 20 feet between branches and trees.  

Wildlife enthusiasts can opt for the trail behind the MTDC resort that leads you to a mountain stream with a tiny machaan(watch post) erected by the Forest Department and a small temple dedicated to Bhagadevi, the forest Goddess of Bhimashankar. Bhimashankar is protected Wildlife Sanctuary and thus needs permission from local forest department to enter into the core areas. 

Bhimashankar is worth visited for jungle lovers and trekkers as well as for pilgrims.

 

How to reach?

Bhimashankar is 128 kms. away from Pune and is located on the flanks of a broad hilltop in the main Sahyadri range at a height of about 2500ft above sea level. The common route to Bhimashankar is via Manchar. Take Pune - Nashik Highway at Kasarwadi - Bhosari - Khed  Rajgurunagar - manchar - ghodegaon - Bhimashankar. Pune-Rajgurunagar is 4 lane toll road where as it is 2 lane road till Manchar. Manchar - Bhimashankar distance is 68 kms and route may be narrow at a times but scenic.  There are several state transport buses to Bhimashankar from the Shivajinagar bus terminus of Pune. There is one more route from Khed - Rajgurunagar to Bhimashankar via Mandoshi waterfalls. However, road is little lonely and may not be in good shape. This route is very scenic in monsoon as compared to via Manchar route. 

From Mumbai, there is another route which is - Mumbai - Kalyan - Murbad - Junnar via Malshej Ghat. The distance is about 260 kms.

The third one route is trekkers favourite one. From Mumbai, one can catch a train to Karjat. From Karjat catch a bus to village Khandas, Khandas is at the base of Bhimashankar. From Khandas, one has to cross a stream nearby. Here onwards two ways are available for Bhimashankar, one via Shidighat (you need to climb stairs on rocky patch), while other via Ganesh Ghat. There is one more way, Gogal Ghat which later joins the Ganesh Ghat. These routes are difficult but adventurous to reach the top.
 

Return Route : Ozar - Narayangaon - Manchar - Khed Rajgurunagar - Pune (102 KMs) 

 

Best Season to Visit - 

Monsoon, Post Monsoon or Winter is the best time to visit Bhimashankar / Malshej. Bhimashankar can be visited during summers as well. Mornings and evenings would be pleasant and not so hot due to thick forests.

 

 

Where to Stay?

Blue Mormon Resort (9 KM before Bhimashankar)

Situated on 175 Acres of propery. Has its own lake, boating facility, Helipad and View Point. Other facilities / activities includes - Jungle Safari, Children Camp, Archery,   Sky Watching, Horse Riding, Boating at Gohe Dam, Naturopathy Centre, Resident Doctor for Medical facilities, Smruti Van - Tree Plantation.

There are Suites, Bungalow, Cottages, Dormitory, Conference Hall, Restaurant available with good Veg / Non Veg food. This resort belongs to one of the ministers in from the ruling party hence you can expect decent stay and facilities.

For Bookings, Contact -

Blue Mormon Nature Club
Hide Park Farming (P) Ltd.
640, 3rd Floor, Vishwakamal Complex,
Kelkar Road, Opp. DSK Chintamani,
Near Appa Balawant Chowk,
Pune - 411030.
 020-64006616

MTDC Flamingo Resort, Malshej Hills

 

Other Places that can be visited

 

Leopard Rehabitilation Center at MANIKDOH 

Take Bhimashankar - Ghodegaon - Junnar route towards Manikdoh. It is around 50 KMs from Bhimashankar. This place is home to over 20 leaopards captured from various places (remember recent encounters with Leopards in pune & Nasik?). It is managed by Forest Department with help from NGO.

Shivneri Fort, Junnar 

Take Bhimashankar - Ghodegaon - Junnar Route. It is around 60 Km from Bhimashankar and 3-4 Km from Junnar.

Shivnery Fort is birth place Of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The fort is huge one and with good height. Because of it's uniqueness and difficult to reach , Shahaji - father of Shivaji - kept his wife - Jijabai during her pregnancy. The fort is tough to climb from the hills. But the normal road is comparatively simple through a bit time consuming. This road has 7 doors till one reaches the actual fort. The temple of 'Devi Shivai' is in between and which is very old. After the name of this goddess , Shivaji was named. The building and the surroundings are worth to see. The other places to visit in Shivneri are 'Kaman Take' , 'Kadelot Tok' , 'Koli Chouthara ' and 'Dongarmatha' (the top of the fort). One can see various places like Khodad, Arvi and Kukadi dam nearby, in the same trip.

 

Lenyadri (Ashtavinayaka Ganesh Temple) - 

It is 96 kms away from Pune and around 15 KM from Junnar. Lenyadri is also known as Shri Girijatmaka. Shri Girijatmaka situated on a hill on the banks of Kukdi river at Lenyadri. There are 283 stairs to climb to reach the temple. The idol is believed to be "Swayambhu" as was found or not sculpted by human hands. All the caves of Lenyadri are being taken care of by the Archeological Department of Govt. of India. The steps are not so easy to climb and hence recommended not to go in the evening.

 

Ozar (Ashtavinayaka Ganesh Temple) 

Shri Vighneshwar situated at Ozar near Junnar town. Ozar is around 102 kms from Pune and 10 kms. from Junnar.

The idol is believed to be "Swayambhu" as was found or not sculpted by human hands. The Shri Vighneshwar temple was built in 1833. The temple is famous for its Deepmala's and its Golden dome. It is situated near the lake. Boating facility is also available in the lake.


Malshej Ghat

125 KMs from Pune (Pune - Chakan - Khed Rajgurunagar - Narayangaon - Otur - Khubi - Malshej Ghat). Apart from Lonavala -Khandala, Matheran and Mahabaleshwar this is one of the hills which has a potential to become a good Hill station in Maharashtra. Recently, Maharashtra Govt has earmarked Rs. 25 crore for the development of eco-tourism in this region. Malshej Ghat is situated on the borders of Pune , Thane and Ahmednagar districts. A very popular place as it is close to 3 cities - Pune (125 km), Mumbai/Kalyan (90 KM) and Ahmadnagar (196 KM). Malshej Ghat is vital place in Sahyadri hills and really very attractive when it is under dark clouds and heavy fog. Heavy fog and amazing waterfalls are the spatiality of Malshej Ghat especially in monsoon.

Best time to visit is Monsoon and it is always gets crowded.


MTDC Flamingo Resort, Malshej Hills (at post Khubi, 02132-264767)

Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation ( M.T.D.C. ) has its Flamingo Resort in Malshej and booking can be done online through MTDC site. It has around 40 rooms in Deluxe, Super Deluxe, Cottage and Dormitory category. It is situated in hill station's platue between HarishchandraGad and the other hill ranges. A nice view of valleys is one of the major attraction here. One of the beauties here are many waterfalls in the hilly regions. Various waterfalls from small up to the huge ones are really worth to see.

 

Su-Shant Holiday Resort, At PO Karanjale, Malshej (02132-257108) 

Malshej Ghat is for also famous for dark woods and the animals inside. These animals includes tigers , leopards , rabbits and peacocks etc. But truly a famous place near Malshej Ghat is Khireshwar which is 2/3 kms from rest house. The place is famous for Flamingo birds. These birds comes here every year from Siberia between July and September. Its really an amazing view. Through Khireshwar village,  huge ranges of Sahyadri, amazing view of Harishchandragad and many other forts. 

Nearby attraction also includes Pimplegaon Joge Dam backwaters and Khireshwar Mahadev temple