On 19th June 2016 morning at 6:00 AM, I with APEX ADVENTURES started the journey for the Sunday trek to Bhivagad/Bheemgad & undecided Kondane Caves from Pune. After picking all trek participants for the day, almost 30 odd members all together after 25KM travel, we started our journey on Pune Mumbai express highway, for almost 60 KM then take right turn to karjat and after travelling another 25 KM we reached the base village called Gaurkamat.
Bhivgad Karjat is also known as Bheemgad. As we had some exploration of fort on internet before going there, that was very helpful to see it live & do all things in decided time. Like fort is accessible from two sides of it, so we decided to go up from one side where the beautiful steps are created in hill rock & descend from other side which passes from Dhak mountain & Bhivgad in marathi called as Khind, through waterfalls which is dried due short of rain these days. Fort is approximately 800 feet above see level.
From base village go upward in right side first we crossed the Tamarind tree from there go straight up in zig zag way by crossing forest of some long wild trees (I don’t know their names) in 10 min we reached the first plateau of fort, where we enjoyed the free wind. From there by taking right turn we started the next trek through big big rocks & reached the place from where the beauty of fort started by taking left side traverse route, from there 70 to 80% destroyed staircase started. At end of first level of staircase, other level started in upward direction adjacent to that on right side there are two caves quite difficult to access if you are enough confident on yourself to go up & get down then only go else don’t take risk. From these two caves one is very big almost 15×20×15 feet on its entrance some goddess stone was there & on the other side a place was created to place the lamp. From there more difficult steps goes to second cave which is very small compare to first one & just bed like structure in it, after taking snaps of these caves I got down & went up on the fort.
On this route there is so many wild flowers are there as shown in picture don’t touch it without gloves else pointed pieces of it will hurt you. Then there we saw water cistern with full of water & mud. On the right side there is another cistern of water 8 feet deep & 4 feet wide. Then we went little but up from right side there we had amazing views of nearby villages, lakes, factories, roads, valley a perfect watch tower. At the extreme edge on right side of fort there is flag lying continuously & from there another mountain pass (Khinda in marathi) can be seen clearly exact replica is available on the other side also don’t know natural or man-made, after clicking few snaps there we proceeded towards BaleKilla where another two water cisterns are available & little high to those water tanks remnants of RajaWada can be seen.
Near to those water cisterns we mate one group called Durgaveer working under the guidance of Mr. Sachin Joshi for fort clarification, plantation on fort, marking the fort routes & placing the Boards about names and information. One request from group is that spread the plantation news across all trekkers so that who ever is going to visit fort next time those people will give the water to plants on fort which is available 12 months & just remove the grass surrounding the plant so that in forest fire the plant will not vanish. Few of us helped them in there work. Its awesome feeling when you give back to nature something like this. Thank you Thank you Thank you so much god for giving us all this beautiful planet called Earth. Going forward from there on left side there is another water cistern there. From there we started descending fort by other route, going straight up on will leads to dhak bhairi from there & right turn will lead to base village. Waterfall adjacent to this route must be attractive when water is flowing through it. Finally at 1 PM we all reached our bus & had our delicious lunch.
It was 2 PM only, so after the agreement of all people on trek we decided to do another near by trek and that is Kondane Caves which is 17 KM on back route to Pune. These are the oldest Buddhist caves in the region & were excavated in first century B.C. As mentioned on internet group of 16 caves was there but due to damage some are mixed together, now too difficult to get perfect count. All kind of rock & wooden construction is notable.
After reaching the Kondana village on the bank of Ulhas River road from Kharavandi viallge Ambajogai temple is too ruinous. Near to Kondana village on left side at Eucalyptus trees are there & the pedestrian route starts from there. Its the simple walk way need to cross two little hills & two big water falls if huge rain is there. On the way too many Karvand Trees are there & there was one tree no leafs to it but full of flowers don’t know its name.
In almost 45 minutes we reached the staircase of caves, at the start the big holy prayer place of Staup was there which is under construction. Statues on left adjacent wall were 95% destroyed & on right its vanished with wall itself, in this prayer place one can see the newly created pillars. On left side few more caves were there some are vanished & some on the way to vanish. All are mixed together looking like only one cave with beds in it. Some water cisterns are also available there. Little bit up near to prayer place there is a SabhaMandap having 15 pillars in it now only one is available & small small rooms like structures. Adjacent to it another cave is there. The statues & awesome carvings on the mountain stone will make you worth visiting the place, just one request see this beauty with silence no matter with how many people you are visiting it.
There we had our group photo & started descending & reached our bus at 4:30 PM and suddenly rain started for the first time this year on monsoon trekking, we enjoyed 10 minutes in rain & started back journey to Pune with lots of unplanned exploration & after welcoming rain. We reached Pune at 7:00 PM.
- Photo Credit to Rahul Chandure .
- Before going on trek do some research about the routes & what to explore there.
- Go in full sleeve cloths, good shoes & enough water.
Please leave comments below for others if you have been to Bhivgad/Bheemgad Fort & Kondane Caves or you have any questions related to trek.
Thanks & Regards