Thursday, 9 February 2012

Bhamchandra Gad / Dongar (Hill) - February 8, 2012

My new set of colleagues from my new department (I changed by department in Oct-11) planned to visit an unexplored site called Bhamchandra Gad / Dongar (that’s Hill in Marathi). One of our experience trekkers, Mr. Ashutosh Jayawant, suggested this place; and we were all game to it.
When we were told about this place, we were all ignorant and so was Google. When I tried to google this place, what I came to know was some news related to villagers’ agitations against the industrialization and couple of name references on sites of MTDC, Wikipedia and Facebook. Even Google Maps doesn’t show this place. There was not a single blog; except some guy had posted a 90 secs video on some site. My this blog might be the first one.

On Wednesday of January 8, 2012 evening after office hours, we started off for Bhamchandra Gad. We left our factory at Chikhli at 5.15 pm. We reached at the bottom of the hill by 6.15 pm. The final part of road is pathetic. It’s a muddy road with stones around, extremely uneven. At one point my Car was hit at the underbody. Luckily nothing seems to have happened. If time is available, its better to park the car prior to this muddy road starts and get walking.

There are two ways to reach the top. Take the car till the end of the road – ensuring its torture testing as mentioned above – and start climbing (enjoy the trek). Else park the car prior and take a relatively lower slope, but a longer route.

Our destination - Bhamchandra Hill
The Group
After couple of photography pit-stops, we reached the top by 6.45 pm. There is the Lord Shiva Temple cut in the caves. Ahead of that there are about 20-25 stairs which go to Lord Vithal Temple, again rock cut. It has Saint Tukaram carved on one side; as if chanting.

Final steps towards the top

Legend has it that, Saint Tukaram used to come here for his prayers. It must have been the peaceful ambience that provided him the required sanctity and piety for his verses. One can witness the same even today – the peace and beauty in the environment.

If you need to experience this mood, I think you should plan a visit in the coming 2 years or so. Because, we saw many industries are coming up on the way from Dehu to this place. This is definitely going to do a complete make-over and the things would not be the same again.

Unfortunately, there are no odometer readings this time. The reason is we started-off from my company at Chikhli. However, there is a different route from Pune (shown in the map below). It is about 45-50 kms from Pune (a very good half a day trip).

Just note that there is a very photogenic location by the bridge on River Indrayani near Dehu. Just take some time to satisfy you photography buds. I couldn’t this time, as we were running late and could have missed the sunset photographs. However, I have decided that I am going to come just at this place to take come snaps.

Pune – take NH-4 (Mumbai-Pune Old Highway)
Leave Kasarwadi (Nashik Phata), Pimpri, Chinchwad, Nigdi.
Dehu Road – Just prior to Dehu Road, there is a Right towards Dehu. Take that.
Go ahead of Dehu, cross the bridge on River Indrayani.
Join Talegaon-Chakan Road and take Right.
Ask for Hyundai Chowk (named after Hyundai Construction Equipments Company) and take Left (Village Savardari) – You can see the Hyundai Plant and Tetra Pak Plant on Left.
Vasuli Naka, Bhamburle village – Take left.

The hillock seen in front is our destination. An extremely muddy and pathetic road will go towards left. Take that. If you can, park the vehicle there and go by walking. Or else need to take the vehicle very cautiously and carefully so that nothing hits its underbody.
Coordinates given above might not show the exact location; however, a fair idea can be sought.

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