Andarban, which literally means ‘dark forest’, is a dense forest in the Pimpuri region of Maharashtra. Located about an hour and a half from Lonavala, it is a popular trekking region in southern India. The Andarban Trek is ideally done during the monsoon season and most of the trek is through dense shady forests. The most interesting thing about this trail is that it is a continuous descending trail. Like most trails, it’s going down instead of up.
Encounter the fog and dreamy forest scenery of the Tamhini Ghats while enjoying the greenery of the dense Sahyadri forest. There are many ponds here, as well as huge waterfalls that provide the perfect backdrop for photography. The foliage is very dense here, treading on forest floors covered with soft grass and dense foliage. You can also enjoy spectacular views of the neighboring Kundalika Valley and encounter a variety of flora and fauna that are endemic to this place. The best part is that Andharban is also a popular spot for night trekking. So if you want to increase your adventure quotient, try night trekking as well, albeit with a professional guide.
Andarban Trek Information
The Andarban Forest is located at an altitude of 2160 feet in the Tamhini Ghats range and takes about 5 hours to trek for a total of 13 kilometers. The trail is relatively easy to walk, so even first-time climbers can feel at ease. As mentioned earlier, the Andarban jungle trek is ideally done during the monsoon season so that you can fully experience the beauty of the lush green valleys.
The ideal time of day is before or after the monsoon, that is from June to September. On the other hand, it can get a little muggy during this time. If you want to avoid that, the winter months of October to February are a dreamy time as the air is shrouded in the cool morning fog. landscape.
how to reach?
The trek starts from the village of Pimpri in Maharashtra and is best accessed from Lonavala, about 50 km from the village.
You can take a taxi or bus to Lonavala and from there take another taxi or bus to Pingpuri. Self-driving cars can also be rented if coming directly from Mumbai or Pune.
You can take a train from Mumbai or Pune to Lonavala. One of the best options is Pune Intercity or Deccan Express and Uddiyan Express. If you are coming from the north you must try Hazrat Nizamuddin Express.
If you are coming from another part of India, fly to Mumbai or Pune and from there take a taxi to Pimpri. The trek begins at the village of Pimpuri near the Pimpuri Dam, known as Independent Point. From here, you can hire a local guide to show you the trail. Be sure to start early in the morning. The first part of the hike takes you through dense trees and many waterways, as well as the backwaters of Bira Dam.
The andharban trek takes you through the top of the wall leading to the Pimpuri Dam into an open area where you come across a poppy field. From here, you will enjoy stunning views of the Kundalika Valley in front of you and begin to gradually penetrate the dark forest via winding roads. Take a break and rest your legs at Bhirdi village to refresh yourself a bit before beginning your descent onto the Konkan route.
Most of the hike involves skipping waterfalls and going through dark undergrowth. There is a reason for the name of the forest. Very little sunlight penetrates the dense canopy above, and the forest is literally pitch black even during the day. If anything, the few black spots visible through the trees here and there only add to the mystery of the place and accentuate the darkness beyond.
Other things to do
But it’s also one of the most fun, as you’ll come across birds chirping in the trees. Tree lovers will enjoy discovering the myriad of leaves that grow here. After passing the village of Bhirdi, walk along the backwaters of the Bhirra Dam on more or less flat ground. Here you have to cross the river to reach the village of Patnus, where there are several lodges and restaurants.
You can choose to stay overnight or return directly to Pune, Mumbai or Lonavala. If you take a taxi for the whole day, ask the driver to pick you up at the terminal at Bira Dam. His one night stay in Patnus is very affordable, costing 500-1000 INR per night. Bus fare from
Mumbai to Lonavala is about INR 500.
A private car from Pune to Phinpuri costs around INR 3000 round trip. Taxi fare from Lonavala to Pimpri is around 2000 rupees one way.
A meal is probably around INR 500 depending on the location.
INR 50 has to be paid near the entrance of Trek Point.
Andharban Trek Packages start at around INR 1500 per person. There are many options for accommodation in Patnus village, but you can also choose to stay at a campsite or on the lakeside of Bila Dam. You can also go back to Lonavala. Prices start at approximately INR 1200 per night.
Food: Have a good breakfast before starting the trek. You can stop in Mursi to enjoy authentic Maharashtrian cuisine, with many dhaba on the way
Pimpri also has many local restaurants.
Attractions: There are many attractions that you will encounter during your Andharban trek.
Be sure to visit Tamhini Falls, Plas Valley Trek, Devkund Falls and Hemant Falls. The views from Tamhini Ghat and Tamhini Hilltop lookout are also spectacular.
You can also go rafting on the Kundalika River. This is a separate activity in itself that attracts adventure seekers.
Lavasa is just two hours from Pimpri and has several luxury resorts. You can also try other activities here, such as ziplining, lakeside kayaking, or even jet skiing. Don’t miss Temgar Dam.
Sudhagad Lake, Takmak Point, Ekole Valley View, Shivling Point, Anghai Fort, Mongiri Fort, Thanale Caves, Sarasgad Fort, Tung Fort, Kune Falls, Bhorghat, Bhushi and some other places. Dam to see. After your trek, we recommend staying for a day or two or a weekend to explore the area. Although the area is very beautiful, it is also a bit off the beaten path, offering a great opportunity to relax in nature away from the crowds. It is recommended to wear long sleeves and an umbrella.
Bring a paper towel and a small towel as well.
Pack some snacks, such as sandwiches, or carry an energy bar, in case you get hungry before you reach Patnus.
Bring your flashlight and Swiss Army knife to cut through the thick undergrowth.
Wear a sprain to avoid accidental injury.
You will be walking through streams and waterfalls with a light backpack, so wear good, durable trekking shoes, especially waterproof ones.
Bring me a power bank and lots of water.
Bring mosquito repellent when camping overnight.
Hire a private taxi if using public transportation.
Do not litter the area, play loud music, or cause riots that disrupt the daily life of locals. Do not carry single-use plastic with you.
Make sure you are in good health before the trek and do not attempt the trek if you have high blood pressure or heart problems.
Step carefully over steep rocks and boulders.
If you keep these points in mind and enjoy trekking during the monsoon season, it will be a memorable and enjoyable trip.
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