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A challenging and dangerous trek to Dhak Bhairi Caves
Dhak Bhairi Caves also known as the “Hill Fort” is situated in the village of Malavali in Pune District of Maharashtra. Both the Dhak Fort and bahiri caves are located on the same mountain near Karjat city. The place is famous for trekking and has an elevation of 2700 feet that is 823 meters. It is dedicated to the lord of “Adivasis”. Although the place is mistaken quite often to be a fort, yet it is a cave. I had recently visited the place with a group of 10 people, and this was probably one among the most difficult treks in my life. Walking for almost about 40minutes through the lush green forest one can find the direction board which shows “Bhimashankar” written on it. One can go and visit the Dhak Bhairi Caves but let me tell you it is a 12hour journey on foot better to be avoided. We kept walking until we reached the place where the path ends on either side and the only path that takes you is a steep rocky lane. Be careful and steady at this stretch, which is of only 10-15 feet the reason is if you tremble and slip then you will go straight down for another 200-400ft. After reaching the base of this rocky patch, we took the thin path which ran along the side of the vertical slope of the hill.Although it seems fine at the beginning yet becomes very calculative by the end. The rocks are uneven and slippery therefore it needs absolute concentration to go up step by step. At times there may be no safety rope and one wrong step may take you 100 feet down into the deep dense forest below. This is certainly not for faint-hearted people.
Dhak Bhairi Caves was first discovered by an eminent historian named, Mr Gopal Nilkanth Dandekar. According to him the brave Chatrapati Shivaji once visited this place. Being able to find peace in its pious and holy atmosphere, Shivaji Maharaj offered a gold plate to the Lord. The caves have water tanks from which you can drink. There are utensils inside the caves. One can use them and must keep them back clean in its previous place. There’s a rumour which says one who tries to steal anything from the cave dies or bad luck follows him until death. The temple is forbidden for ladies to enter.
In the course of the journey, we saw the following dams Uskan dam, Shiravata dam and Shomawadi Dam
Things to carry
- Luggage packed in big trekking sack, all luggages must be packed in plastic bag separately
- A sleeping bag, mat, shawl (for overnight stay)
- Torch with extra set of batteries
- A sweater or warm wear
- Trekking shoes are must (chappals, sandals etc are prohibited)
- Water bottle (minimum 1.5ltr compulsory), electoral/ Glucon-D or any other energizer and personal medication
- Spare set of clothes, towels, napkins etc
- Camera, binoculars (optional)