Trek to BhimaShankar

An immense trek is an experience that you never forget.
Our Trek to Bhimashankar was one of them.

10 friends enjoying there trek,but while descending down in dark, they came to know that they were lost in a dense jungle....
NO this not a story of a bollywood film but a true incident.

And the story goes like this:-

We were 10 trekker of different age, with only 1 girl in the group.
Most of them were trekking for the 1st time.
Actually we 9 were friends, just one guy in his late 30's (Deepak) came with us by reading my post on internet.

Trek was planned by me and as a trek organizer I asked everyone to be on time & catch train leaving from CST to Karjat at 5:20am from their respective station. Meeting point was 2nd last boogie of the train.Everybody was excited & caught the train. But as usual I was following Indian Standard Time, I missed the train from Kurla.
So everyone got down @Kurla.I was punished for being late & got some public Dhulai.
I was just waiting so that as soon as next train comes we will get into it, so that everybody stops abusing me.As soon as the train arrived we all boarded & settled down & started playing "RED HANDS".It was winter, so due to skin dryness it was hurting terribly while playing "RED HANDS". Everybody in train was starring us that what an unusual game we were playing.

We reached Neral @7:30am.
We had our breakfast & Chafee (Chafee bcoz chai wala had mixed Chai & Coffee, and served us as special Tea. Frankly speaking it was very bad to taste never try it) at Neral(E) bus depot.
From Neral you can reach Khandas(Base Village for Trek) via Kashele. Khandas is approx 16 KM fom Neral.

Then we started bargaing with TUM-TUM wala.(TUM-TUM is a small four wheeler,a bigger version of an auto which is used as a public transport in remote villages).Finally settled down with Rs 20 per person till Khandas.While Travelling to Khandas you can have a real feeling of country side. Small villages, farms, animals, bullock cart...etc....

When we reached Khandas we took Name and Mobile Number of Driver and asked him to come when we call him while descending (This was the best job we had done, it helped us a lot).

There are two Trek route for Bhimashankar 1.Ganesh Ghat 2.Shidi Ghat.
Our Trek route was Via Ganesh Ghat.
Responsibility were distributed to respective persons like
Who is going to do markings on the way...?
Who will lead the Trek..?
Who will trail the Trek..? Etc.

I was suppose to lead the trek, as I had trekked twice earlier to BhimaShankar via Ganesh Ghat.

All were very excited and started climbing.
It took about 1/2 hr to reach 1st halt i.e Ganesh Temple. (Hence called Ganesh Ghat)
Just above the Ganesh Temple there is first plain (flat region).
There are few hut like structure on this plain.
In rainy season villagers sell food items (Tak,Butta,Tea...etc) in theses huts.

As we were climbing we could feel the scorching heat of the sun.
As soon as this plain ends there was a well.
The level of water in this well was very high, one can just plunge his hand & can get water out of the well.
Water in this well is portable.
We all got refreshed by washing our face & Drinking Water.

Just few meters after the well there is a huge fallen tree. I am seeing this tree from last few years.This is one of the best place for clicking snaps.
Climbing after this plain is steep and with very few trees. So there was no chance to get shadow. As we were climbing sun was getting worse.

One of my friend was sweating terribly. I was scared that he should not be hit by dehyradtion.He was fully wet. So I gave him some Dehyrate (Electroux basically an ORS).
We got some relief when we reached second plain. Everybody took rest, there was dense forest on this plain.We had something to eat (Please eat fruits/peanuts/snacks, avoid eating proper food if u knw u have to climb more).

Just after few min we found an old man sitting in a hut, asking us to have Chai(Tea).When we refused him, he insisted us to have bcoz he was sitting there from morning to sell tea and we were his first customer.So we ordered Tea, and started doing our photo session.
As Tea arrived we all were shocked it was BLACK TEA.Many of us had bottoms up.

And after few hour we finally reached top.On the top there is a lake.But water here is very dirty.It took approx 3-1/2 hr to reach top.

We refreshed ourselves by washing our face using a handpump near temple.And finally got darshan.Later we all were very hungry. So just found a hotel and attacked on food.It was really awesome to have food after a long journey.

We started descending down at around 3pm. We all were playing antakshri & enjoying scenic beauty while descending.In our trek we always maintain a skid count. This count is nothing but no. of times our team player get skid & falls on their ass. We all fall plenty of times. In this trek count was highest it reached up to 12(even in Kulang count was 6).

Our downhill speed was less to the speed of Sunset. Since it was winter it was getting darker soon. We trudged down & had covered almost major part of trek. As we reached Well(the first plain after ganesh mandir) there was no day light. It was totally dark. And as always lucky that day was New Moon Day(i.e. Amavas) in short no moon light.We refreshed our self at well & pull out our torch. We formed a Single Line with 3 torches. We soon came to know that we were lost…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We also came to know that we don’t have drinking water.
Actually we were not lost but the original path we were following was covered by a huge tree. And just beside to the tree there was a water path leading us down. We by mistake followed the water path & later came to know that this was not the path we came from.
So we followed back to the point we were sure of. Thanks to that hut like structure we all settled down there & created a Camp Fire.

Rescue mission started…….
We distributed ourselves in three teams.
Team A will search the “MARKINGS” marked by us while trekking upwards,
Team B will go back to well which was around 20 min & get sum drinking water. In case we won’t find path we might have to stay, so we need some water.
Team C will sit near camp fire and few of them will collect woods & shrub to keep it alive. Team C will be reference point for both the other Teams.
Me,Deepak & Abhishek were in Team A and started searching in all directions 1 by 1. Since it was dark we were unable to find “MARKINGS”. And soon we came to know that we too were lost from our Reference Point. After a long search we finally reached the Camp Fire.
Then we decided to do marking were we are going but not with chalk & marker, instead we wrapped a Stone in Newspaper as our markings to reference point. This system of marking helped us a lot in dark. After searching endless ways we returned to Camp Fire. Team B had fetched enough water for all of us.

As it was getting darker and darker, temperature was declining, it was getting colder. The only girl with us got fever. I thought she was scared. When I consoled her that “don’t worry everything will be alright”. She replied “I don’t have any tension because there are 9 bodyguards along, so there is no need to worry. I trust u ALL”. This built up my confidence. But to be on a safer side I removed “Pepper Spray” from my bag & gave it to her.

Suddenly it dawned upon us that one friend of us had a farmhouse in Kashele which is approx 5-6 km from the base. Also there were some people taking care of that farmhouse. So finally he decided to contact them for help.
Luckily the care taker of the farm house was relative of (TUMTUM wala) driver, who used to stay at kahndas (base village). They told us that they will come to rescue us. After ½ hr we got a call from them that they were unable to find us. So we came up with an Idea. I asked them to point there torches at thumb like hill structure in front of us. And we did the same thing.

Soon those people within 1/2 an hour found us. We all were so relived. We knew we were not too away from the base but just lost the right path. Finally our rescue mates leaded us to base and there stood a van to take us to neral station. it was already 11pm and the last train was at 11.50pm. We all had hopes to reach station on time and we managed to do that by reaching at 11.40pm. We waited for some time for last train to arrive. But in vain it didn’t turn up. Finally we asked someone at the station about train and he informed us that today the last train passed before its time.

Now we realized that we still have long time to reach home. We called our parents and informed them about our tragic incident. Two- three of them terrible scolded. But there was no way out so we started enjoying our unexpected night out. we started clicking snaps and playing dumbsheras. some of them had gone to sleep on benches at station while some were enjoying every bit of that journey. Finally with first morning light came our first train back home. By this time everyone’s energy was crushed but still we chatted. one by one everyone alighted at their respective stations as we had boarded.

And we wished a final goodbye of this wonderful journey to each other. This was the most memorable trek we had, for its unexpected twists and turns. And am sure every one of us is going to cherish this all our life as it was first trek of many and it turned to be adventurous in true sense.


Salil Mahadik said...

It's a great achievement that you guys did the trek in a single day. Also, you getting lost on the way emphasizes the fact that we need to have a local guide along with us if we are to do this trek in a single day! Thank you for sharing all this information!

.DR. said...

Hi/ khundas 16 km from neral ? what about khashele fro neral ? in diferent blog khandas is about 40 km from karzat, via khashele .

Inspire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inspire said...

hey Roy,
Thanks for correcting me, i kashele is a small viallge between karjat /neral & khandas. Kashele is approx 12 km from neral. While khandas is approx 30 km from neral.

Sanjay Pardeshi said...

Thanks for the good information and pictures describing the route.

Unknown said...

This is amazing.. That also called real friendship or the way friendship get build.

Anonymous said...

by any chance do you have the contacts for the stay in khandus village. or the ppl who can take us from karjat to Kandus?

Arun Malik said...

Sorry dont have any contacts of people in Khandas. You can talk to Tum-Tum guys who will definitely help you.

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