The Andharban trek is unusual because it descends into the evergreen forest instead of going up, like most treks in Maharashtra. The word ‘Andharban’ means ‘dark forest’, and you’ll see why when you go. The route goes deep into a forest, where the greenery is so thick that it stays dim and cool even on a bright, sunny day.
As you trek, you’ll discover beautiful views of the Kundalika Valley and Bhira Dam. In the monsoon, there are gorgeous natural ponds, waterfalls, and streams that gush under your feet as you trek.
The Andharban trek is in Tamhini Ghat, which is about 130 kms from Mumbai. Most trekking operators leave at night from Mumbai so that they can start the trek early in the morning. The start point is Pimpri Dam, which is actually closer to Pune, just a short drive of about 50 kms for Pune trekkers.
The Andharban trek starts from Pimpri Dam, which is the highest elevation of the trek. After that, it’s a downward descent for the next 5-7 hours. You’ll be walking along a rock path that has been chiselled by the flow of water over centuries. With many species of butterflies, birds and flowers, this trek is a delight for nature lovers and photographers.
Many trekkers believe that the Andharban trek is easy because it is all downhill. However, you will be trekking for at least 5 hours, and negotiating rocky, slippery paths. In the monsoon, the rainwater gushes down all around you, racing to the valley below, and the rocks can get quite mossy.
There are many other treks in the hills around Maharashtra. Find other treks in our list of Most Popular Trekking in Maharashtra.
The Andharban trek is most popular in the monsoon, when the forest is a lush tropical wilderness. There are waterfalls and pools everywhere, filled with clear, cold rainwater. Many trekkers like to take a refreshing dip in these pools after their trek. Here’s a list of other Top Monsoon Treks in Maharashtra.
The winter is also a good time for the trek. In the early hours of the morning, the mist hangs low in the forest, creating a mysterious atmosphere that is fun to trek through. It is also one of the few treks in Maharashtra that remains cool during the summer, thanks to the thick tree cover.
For your trek, you should wear appropriate shoes, especially since it is all downhill. If you are doing the Andharban trek in the monsoon, you must make sure you have a raincoat and carry a raincover for your bag. Do carry essentials like water, snacks, insect repellent, first aid kit, and camera, all wrapped in a waterproof bag. Also, carry a change of dry clothes and a long-sleeved jacket or sweatshirt to keep you warm on your return. Find a complete Guide to Packing for Sahyadri Treks here.
It is not recommended that you go on your own for this trek. An operator will know the correct route to take, so that you don’t get lost in the forest. In addition, the start point is at Pimpri Dam, but you’ll end 6 hours later at a different point. You will need a vehicle and driver to pick you up from here.
The Andharban trek can be done all year round. The monsoon months, from July-September, are the most popular time to go. During this time, the trail is lush and green, with flowing waterfalls, streams, and natural ponds. It is also a very beautiful trek in the winter, when the misty mornings make it a pleasant experience. In the summer, the covered route and thick forests keep temperatures low on the trail, making it one of the few longer treks that you can do.
The Andharban trek is not recommended for beginners. It is mostly downhill, but the slippery, rocky route can be hard on the knees. It is also fairly long, with 4-6 hours of walking. In the monsoon, the mossy rocks and gushing water underfoot can make the trek even harder. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you do some shorter treks in Maharashtra first.
Check out our blog on What to Pack for Trekking in the Sahyadris. Apart from these essentials, your operator will provide you with a full packing list. You’ll be trekking through a dense forest on this trek, so a good insect repellent is important. It is also important to ensure that you have the right shoes for the long downhill climb. If you’re going in the monsoon, make sure you carry a raincoat and a rain cover for your bag.