Lonavala To Bhimashankar Trek (LOBHI)

My trip to Mumbai during this Ganesha festival was well timed to include an interesting range trek of two days tracking the old trade route from Lonavala to Bhimashankar. I am told that there are many such trade routes all around Maharastra, through the beautiful Sahyadris. I was perhaps the first one to register for this trek. I did that soon after my Mumbai flight tickets were booked. I was asked about my trekking experience as this one requires great stamina. We were to walk for around 65-70 kms in two days. 

I flew to Mumbai on the 11th and took some rest at my sister's house that day. I caught up on some sleep and at around 1AM my brother-in-law dropped me at Lonavala railway station. The meeting time was 2:30 AM at the railway station. The traffic on the Puna-Mumbai expressway was heavy and caused some delay but we reached well within time.

At the railway station, I met my 20 other trek companions. Most of them were regular trekkers with this group called Trekmates and hence knew each other already. However, there were a couple of them who were new. 

At around 3:00 AM, after a short introduction, we began our Lobhi trek. We had to reach a village by 5 AM. I fail to remember its name. I think it was called Valvan Village. So the first stretch of walk was completely in the dark. During that walk, I got to know some of my companions - Tushar from Pune is an entrepreneur; Shailesh from Mangalore but brought up in Mumbai is a math teacher; Binoy and Advaith are engineers; Ganesh is an Engineer again from Pune but works in Mumbai. There were four girls in the group. Except for the one who gave up in the first stretch, the other three were super fit and in many ways better trekkers than some of the men. 

At the first village, we rested for about an hour at a temple premises. An old lady got us some much needed tea. However, the tea was made on an open stove that gave a strong flavour of smoke to it. But, at such a time, even that tasted like heaven. 

By now, the night had given way to dawn and beautiful views of the Sahyadris were visible. 

After tea, we continued our walk. The trek pattern was almost similar through out. Ascend a hill, reach the plateau, cross it and then descend only to board another. It was fun to pass by some water falls. The huge plateaus were filled with beautiful flowers like Balsam and this special purple flower called Karvi that blooms once in 8 years. Lobhi trek route is filled with these plants that were in full bloom. 

Looking at the buds of Karvi flower, Binoy mentioned - Kitne gandhey hein ye phool. (How dirty are these flowers) That became a joke for us all through the trek. We called it the Gandhey Phool (Dirty flower) that blooms once in 8 years. He would always use the word Gandhey with a strong stress on «an » for everything. « Gandhey phool », « Gandha trek » «  Gandha panni ». 

We reached Kusur plateau. There is a house where stays a villager. He and his family welcomed us with some water and we had our packed lunch there. We also filled some water and then began the descent to Kusur village. Here we had to walk about 10 kms on tar road which would not be exciting so the trek leader had arranged for a tempo to take us to next spot - Talape Village. Apparently, there was a delay of about an hour and a half for the tempo to arrive. So we rested by a small house. Requested the lady to prepare some lemon tea for us that tasted brilliant. 

As we began our next climb it began to rain. Thanks to my poncho, I saved myself and my bag from getting drenched. If you are doing the Lobhi trek during Monsoon, you will have to carry gears to protect yourself and the bag from getting drenched. We walked for several kilometres to reach a village called Padaryachi Wadi. This is a small village comprising of not more than 10-15 houses. We were allowed to sleep in their community hall. We freshend up at the nearby stream and then had dinner at a villager's house. Chapati, sabji, rice and daal was more than what was expected at that time. Soon after dinner, we crashed. Our tired legs needed some rest.

Next morning, we got up, freshened up, had breakfast at the villager’s house and left at around 7AM. More accents, more plateaus and more descents followed. The scene did not change much so more or less they all looked the same unlike in the western ghats of Karnataka. Of course the mountains of Karnataka are at much higher altitude than these so you get to see varying vegetation all through your trek.

After about four hours of walk, around 1 PM, our Lobhi trek ended at Bhimashankar. It was disappointing to find the place extremely crowded. The peaceful walk had ended in a rather chaotic place; with people screaming, pushing one another to get in the queue and fighting over priority.

None of that mattered to us - the one’s who had cleared this endurance test. We had some food at a local restaurant. Tushar and I bid farewell to others who wanted to continue the trek until Karjat (A 4-hour long descend via Sheedi Ghat). I thought that, I would not enjoy this walk if it had similar views so, decided to take a bus back to Mumbai from Bhimashankar. That, I think was the best decision.  It was a good trek but there seemed always a hurry amongst the team to reach a destination. We had to reach a place by lunch time, or reach a place by dark etc. That was like a timetable.

I accompanied Tushar till Manchar on his Pune-Bhimashankar bus. From there, I had to take a bus to Alephata. Here, I boarded a bus to Kalyan. From Kalyan, I took another one to Panvel. It was fun. I realised how much I like being on the road- observing people, specially villagers and knowing their culture. I felt relaxed while returning as there was no hurry to reach anywhere in a designated time. Lobhi trek was one amazing experience as it tested my stamina. Let me not lie, my foot ached, I did crib about the long walks but in the end it all constituted in building the « never give-up » attitude in me. That is what treks of this kind do to you, it makes you stronger, both, physically and mentally.


  1. Bonjour,

    Merci de nous avoir invité à partager les magnifiques moments de votre marche dans cette nature généreuse.
    Les fleurs mauves du karvi sont magiquement belles. Vous avez eu beaucoup de chance de les apercevoir.

    Très joli billet.

    Gros bisous ♡

    1. Merci beaucoup Martine Alison....

      Oui c'était vraiment une expérience merveilleuse. J'ai de la chance de les voir si non, je dois attendre encore huit ans. :-)


  2. Coucou,
    Je te remercie de partager toutes ces belles photos, les paysages et les petites fleurs sont si magnifiques ♥



    1. Merci Manon pour la visite. Oui, c'était une vue formidable.

  3. Un petit coucou pour te souhaiter une belle semaine




  4. amazing. just like ratangad to harishchandragadh trek except that it never stopped raining in our R2H trek.
    Any plan for this year??


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