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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Trek To Dhak Bahiri-Everything You Need To Know

Dhak bahiri caves, dhak fort

TREK TO DHAK BAHIRI-EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

HEIGHT OF TREK-2700 FEET
ACTIVITY LEVEL- MODERATE TO DIFFICULT
TIME REQUIRED FOR TREK- 3 HOURS

ABOUT DHAK BAHIRI CAVES


Dhak Bahiri is actually cave of Lord Bahiri situated in Sahyadri hill range, near the village of Sandshi in Karjat district of India. Afterwords, When Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj visited these caves for pilgrimage purposes, the Dhak Fort was constructed.  This is one of those trek which is not for fainthearted person. A trek where one needs an assistance of a rope to make it through. This trek involves dense forest, steep approach, rocky terrain and rock climbing so it is not advisable for first timers.

HOW TO REACH DHAK BAHIRI CAVES 


Nearest Airport

Pune and Mumbai International airport are nearest one. Navi Mumbai proposed international airport are close to this location which are accessible from all state of India in coming future. One can take self-drive car from airport or can travel by following way.

Nearest Railway station

Sandshi is the base village where trek starts. Karjat railway station on the central railway line is the closest rail-head to reach Sandshi village. Karjat station can be reached by Mumbai and Pune. From there buses and auto rickshaws are available for Sandshi village. The distance from Karjat station to Sandshi village is only 12 km. (There are buses available from morning 5:30 am to 8:45 pm from Karjat to Sandshi village and 5:30 am to 7:30 pm from Sandshi village to Karjat).

By road

Sandshi village is 75 km drive from Mumbai and easy road is available with GPS to reach Sandshi village.
People from Pune can reach Jambhivali village with drive distance of 95 km from Pune. This is another route to reach Dhak Bahiri.
Preferable way is to travel on own vehicle as enough parking space is available at base village.

MY SPECIAL EXPERIENCE OF DHAK BAHIRI TREK

Coming to my story after so many treks, I along with my two friends decided to challenge ourselves to the next difficult trek from Sahyadri Hills. It was indeed a terrible choice and for that, we started planning one week before the execution date. Being regular trekker from Sahyadri, we don’t prefer to go with any group or travel company. We wanted to start the trek as early as possible from base village, because starting the trek bit late would lead to lose the energy due to heat. We started driving from Mumbai a night before trek day. It was hardly 60 km distance for us and did not take more than 2 hours on bike to reach at base village Sandshi. For all night trek we prefer to camp in own tent. This was our first time to Dhak Bahiri since we had no idea about space for pitching our tent. It was so dark outside with no street lights. We found some space to put our tent and guess what? The space was bus stand at base village. Without wasting further time we decided to put the tent inside bus stop since it also saved us from cold wind. Next morning we got up early before anybody see us and got fresh up at one of the local villagers home. They also helped us to get hot water and breakfast.
The breakfast was tea with Pohe that charged us 40 INR per person.
Dhak bahiri trek
THIS IS WHERE WE PUT OUR TENT AND STAYED IN NIGHT

TREKKING ROUTE TO DHAK BAHIRI

There are three different routes to reach Bahiri caves. One is from Sandshi village on Karjat side, second is from Jambhivli village and third is from Rajmachi Fort. Various hikers and adventure enthusiasts regularly use all routes. It takes normally 3 hours to reach top from the base village. We started our trek from the base of Sandshi village at 6 am in morning. Few locals from village helped us for initial route. We started as suggested by him. It was so cold in morning, but as we started to walk our body started generating heat.
The initial route is simple and clear that passes through farm. After walk of around 40 minutes, route leaves you at forest trail from where steep ascend starts. There are two diversion, one is straight towards jungle and left steep ascend towards Dhak. Being first time with no guide, route was confusing us and guess what? One doggy was following us from the base village. As soon as we started following wrong route, the doggy barked. He was giving signal of wrong turn. I had heard of this doggy in one of Dhak Bahiri blog. We returned from wrong route and took left ascending trail. After ascending for 5 minute we saw a marking written towards Dhak Bahiri caves. Then I was like yes, this is the one. Doggy was right and we started following him. This is when I first time realized ‘to be sure the dog is loyal’
Dhak bahiri caves, story of dog
THIS PICTURE SPEAKS EVERYTHING ABOUT DOGGY AS HE IS CHECKING WEATHER WE ARE FOLLOWING HIM OR NO.

Dhak bahiri caves, story of dog at dhak bahiri


The initial 40 minutes were easy with flat walking trail. Later, as we started gaining ascend, the rays got stronger and slowly we were getting exhausted. An hour or two after stopping for water breaks and making our way through the forest, we reached a zone from where the Dhak Bahiri caves were first visible. The caves look like a small hole carved on the giant Mountain wall.
Dhak bahiri caves
FIRST GLIMPSE OF CAVES DHAK BAHIRI CAVES IN THE WALL OF MOUNTAIN AFTER FINISHING JUNGLE ROUTE


Dhak bahiri caves


After reaching further close to the mountain, what looked like an easy climb up to the top was indeed the scariest and the bravest climb I have ever experienced! This final patch climb is technically divided into 2 parts. The first is climbing the rock cut steps on the Mountain and second is the ropes that are already attached and part of tree functioning like a staircase. One step at a time and one person at a time is the rule to be followed as one wrong step and you are down in the valley! There are news from this place where several live has been lost here while trekking. There are so many news on Dhak bahiri deaths. One should have proper shoes to ascend this trail. After long walk of 3 hours glimpse of Dhak Bahiri caves with small temple of god Bahiri. Next to this temple there is small water pond where you will find clean water along with some utensil. Some local villagers have kept those utensil if one wants to stay and cook some food at summit. Water is crystal clear and also used for drinking purpose. There is enough space at top which can accommodate at least 50 peoples. 
From the caves one can see astounding view of Rajmachi, Dukes nose, Manikgad, Karnala, Bhimashankar, Visapur  etc Forts. Reaching a summit after long struggle is like achieving your life goal. I was so happy. We had long break here to enjoy the breath taking view of surrounding Mountains. 
Dhak bahiri caves, dangerous trek in maharashtra
PART OF TREES THAT FUNCTION AS LADDER TOWARDS FINAL STAGE

Dhak bahiri caves
DOGGY IS WAITING FOR US TO RETURN FROM TOP

Dhak bahiri caves
ROCK CUT STEPS WHICH IS FIRST SCARY PART OF THIS TREK 
Now it was time to move back and for that we had to pass first patch of rope. Descending the ladder patch looked so scary and dangerous. Wrong step can put you in trouble. Somehow we managed to cross this rope and another one and a half hour we reached back to base of Sandshi village. For all trek descend is utterly easy rather than ascend trail. Till this time we had our trek leader ‘Doggy’ with us. We had our lunch at same place where we had breakfast and left back with sweet memories especially with dog. villagers are so kind to treat guests.
Dhak bahiri caves


Dhak bahiri caves

IDEAL TIME TO VISIT DHAK  BAHIRI CAVES

Post monsoon from October to February is ideal time to visit here as the temperature is on down side.
From June to September is worst time to come here since rock becomes slippery due to monsoon.
March to May is just impossible as heat is on higher side.

PLACES TO EXPLORE NEAR DHAK BAHIRI CAVES

  • Dhak Bahiri Caves
  • Karla Caves
  • Bhimgad Fort
  • Korigad Fort

STAY OPTION ON VISIT TO DHAK BAHIRI CAVES

Being local village there are no hotels or resorts available.
One can feel the life of people with local’s home stay.
Camping can be done with own camping equipment’s.
There are hotels and resorts available at Karjat on the distance of 12 km from Dhak Bahiri.

For food Local’s home-made food is delicious, where you are staying.

THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR THIS TREK

  •  Carry own water and energy bar in enough quantity as there is no option available on the way to caves.
  •  Try to avoid going in monsoon as rock becomes slippery to climb. Several live has been lost here.
  •  Try to start the trek early morning because sunlight heat ups the rocks in the afternoon.
  •  Don’t try to take selfie while climbing from last patch of this trek.
  •  Keep proper hiking shoes with small bag-pack.
  •  One can pitch own tent at base village.

It’s better to see something once, than to hear about it a thousand times”.




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