Instant plans always lead to beautiful experiences, and that’s what happened with us on our trek to Ganpati Gadad. Situated near Murbad, this hidden cave cascaded beautifully amid a huge mountain made us feel like we were walking up to heaven. So, if you are planning for a one-day trek near Mumbai, then Ganpati Gadad caves is a sure-shot location that can fit your list.
Although the Ganpati Gadad route is easy to track, it can sometimes confuse you with the unmarked trails. That’s why we have come up with this guide that’ll make your trek easy and memorable. So, let’s explore Ganpati Gadad, the hidden caves near Murbad.
Understating the Existence of Ganpati Gadad Caves:
Located in the dense forests of Murbad, the Ganpati Gadad, i.e., caves of Lord Ganesh (also called ‘Ganpati Leni’ in Marathi), is a set of 6-7 meticulously carved historical caves. They have incredible architecture that’s visible in the form of rectangular patches from the base village Songaon near Dhasai, Murbad. Standing at the height of 3000 ft, these caves offer an easy-moderate hike that covers rushing waterfalls, scenic views, and the historical caves on top.
What’s Special About Ganpati Gadad Caves?
Apart from its incredible existence, the Ganpati Gadad caves offer a fascinating view of Naneghat from the top. Besides, you can witness the massive Gorakhgad, Dhakoba Fort, and Machindragad on its right side. Also, there are several waterfalls on the trail, which make the trek even more enjoyable.
Trek to Ganpati Gadad Caves:
Starting the trek:
Begin early in the morning to experience the cool breezes and freshness of foggy rides amidst the dense forest of Murbad. Make sure to check the route on your Google map to stay on track. After traversing several small villages and relishing the serene views, you will arrive at your destination for the day filled with dense forest and peace all around.
At the base village, i.e., Songaon, park your vehicles, lock everything properly and begin the trek. Continue walking on the road until you find a mark pointing towards Ganpati Gadad. From here, you need to enter the forest and keep following the trails.
Keep following the trail:
At most places, you will see a piece of cloth hanging around the branches, or an arrow marked towards the route of Ganpati Gadad caves. Make sure you follow these marks to stay on track. While you continue the trek, you will come across several boards mentioning the presence of rare species that locals have seen in the forest. But it’s quite impossible to spot them due to their scarcity.
After crossing the trail for almost 15-20 minutes, you’ll come across a beautiful waterfall from which you need to take a left turn. Here, the trails weren’t marked, so we followed the footprints of previous trekkers. Hope it helps you as well!
The best part about the Ganpati Gadad trek was that we got to see several varieties of spiders and their huge webs hanging on the branches. So, while walking, don’t just get lost recording videos and photos. Make sure to spot these beauties and explore their creativity.
Hit the last patch:
The last part has an elevated portion which can be a little bit tiring for beginners. Keep climbing and following the trail until you reach the caves. The entire trail seems easy except for the last part, where you have to cross a steep waterfall. So talking about the difficulty level of the Ganpati Gadad trek, we found it easy-moderate. That’s because the last part is slippery with a single pipe to hold onto, and you have to descend through the waterfall and ascend it to reach the caves. Otherwise, it’s easy.
Frankly speaking, some shitty people just don’t care about cleanliness, so you may find human clutter around. So be careful with your steps.
After trekking for almost 1.5 – 2 hours, you will witness the massively spread Ganpati Gadad caves that make any trekker stop and admire its beauty for a while. You’ll see them carved adjacent to each other with one cave dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Trekkers and local villagers often visit these Ganpati Gadad caves to worship lord Ganesha and spend peaceful time in the caves.
Explore Serenity of Ganpati Gadad Caves:
Once you reach the caves, relax for a while and breathe some fresh air with beautiful views. Get indulged in the lush-green mountain ranges, and don’t forget to spot Naneghat from the caves. You can also sleep under the caves as they are clean to lay down. We spent most of our time in caves as there was no chaos around. So that’s the best part of visiting Ganpati Gadad caves. After relaxing, get fresh and visit the Ganpati mandir based inside the caves. You will also come across several other Hindu god’s idols meticulously carved on the pillars.
Start descending during sunset:
After spending valuable time exploring the caves and clicking good pictures, start descending. Usually, descend before the sunset so that you can experience the golden hour while you’re on your way back home. Make sure to reach the base village before it gets dark to avoid any chances of losing your trail.
Things to carry on Ganpati Gadad Trek:
Food: There aren’t any stalls near Ganpati Gadad as it is a secluded location. So, fill your tummies well in advance while you are on the main road. Else, carry enough food to keep yourself full on the trek.
Water: You never know how things might turn out while you are trekking in a secluded location. As there aren’t any stalls near the caves, we suggest carrying at least 2 litres of water per person.
Map: Google map is always helpful while trekking in isolated locations.
Torch: If you plan to leave late from the caves, then don’t forget to carry a torch as there won’t be any lights on your way.
Our trek to Ganpati Gadad caves was indeed memorable. We felt fulfilled after this trek with new views, fresh breezes, long rides, and a fresh sunset. If you are still searching for a short one-day trek near Mumbai, we assure you that the Ganpati Gadad caves will be the best option.