Ganpati Gadad Caves are situated in a small village Songaon - Murbad, which is around 4 hrs drive from Mumbai. The base village is surrounded by many historical places such as Dhakoba Fort, Nanheghat, etc. Ganpati Gadad Trek is a fairly simple trek and quite enjoyable and a treat for eyes in monsoon passing through a small waterfall on the route. Unluckily when I did it recently it did not rain much on that day generally, this trek is pleasant but I faced scorching heat.
How to Reach From Mumbai?
Mumbai Local Train: The cheapest and most convenient way to reach Songaon base village of Ganpati Gadag trail for Mumbaikar is through Local Train (Central Railway). Take any Kalyan bound local train to reach Kalyan. Make a quick move to the ST Bus depot which is just a few meters away from the railway station. Take a direct bus to Murbad. It's around 40-50 minutes drive from Kalyan to Murbad. From Murbad bus depot ask for buses going toward Songaon. Let me warn you the frequency would be one in an hour. Alternatively, take a shared taxi to reach Songaon. Approx. an hour ride passing through the lush green field which will make you feel fresh and lively you will make it for the base village Songaon.
Private Car: If comfort is your priority and travelling in a group go for a by car. Songaon is well-connected to Mumbai by roadways it will take around 4 hours. Several ATMs, petrol pumps, hotels, restaurants and banks are located on the route.
Caves Of Lord Ganesha
If you are planning to do a one day trek, would recommend to start early so that we have an entire day to treat yourself. The first half is quite simple because you will be walking across a few fields and cross a couple of streams and then start climbing the trunk mountain. The caves of Ganpati Gadad are visible and you need to climb the trunk which is on the left-hand side of the caves. The climb is too scenic. In front of you is a large rocky mountain in which caves are located and right is the fort of ‘Durg’. If you look more right you can also see ‘Sinhagad’, ‘Gorakshagad’ and ‘Macchindragad’. On left you can see ‘Dhakoba’, ‘Jivdhan’ and ‘Naneghat’. Walking on this path you cross a couple of waterfalls. You cross the second fall and immediately a path goes uphill on left. From here the climb is steep and little slippery. It will take around an hour and 30 minutes for a regular trekker from the base village to reach caves. You have a waterfall near the face of the first cave. The view from the cave is amazing and eye-pleasing. Everything from above looking so beautiful and natural, unpolluted environment make it never to leave kind of situation.
The clear sky view the cave is amazing, but now the challenge is to get downhill which is the steeper slope. Climb down the trunk of the hill will be faster passing through the streams and fields you had crossed earlier in the morning. You will make it back to your base village.
But wait just don't rush to go back to you home. From the top, you will see a lake surrounded by lush greenery and looks amazing. I recommend you to take a stop and enjoy the evening and sunset. It was a great and refreshing trip.
Listen To Me:
- Carry some ready to eat food, atleast 2 litres of water and mat/bedsheet to rest.
- Talk to the native villagers gently and give respect to them. Cause you are their guests.
- Carry an Id proof.
- You won't find any fancy hotel or homestay place in the base village. So it advisable to take a local villager as a guide and pay him for your breakfast and lunch and also you can leave your bag at their place and carry only must required things.
- The nearby proper market is at Dhasai Village which is around 10kms from the base village.
Ganpati Gadad Trek Level: Easy to Moderate.
Base Village: Songaon
Altitude: 3000ft ASL
Time Required: 4 hours round way.