Location and technical info
Location and technical info
Altitude: 520m approx.
Bahrot caves is located on a hill near the village of Karajgaon in Talasari taluka in Palghar district of Maharashtra. It is a very remote and obscure location where the frequency of transport vehicle is low. It is located at a distance of about 29 km from Dahanu station and the nearest railway station is Umargaon Road which is in Gujarat. The base village is Karajgaon, although there might be several other paths to get there. Karajgaon is located on the north of the Bahrot hills. I went through Karajgaon as I relied completely on Google maps and directions by locals.
Here is the exact location of Bahrot caves: Location on Google Maps
Rough route from Karajgaon to Bahrot Caves:
The hiking distance will be less than 3 kms. It might take you anywhere between 1-2 hours. You will find it difficult to get the trail initially. You will need the help of the locals for that. Once you find the trail you just have to continue where it takes you making sure you are heading south east. The route will pass through jungle. The scenic beauty will motivate you. Bahrot caves are on the summit, so keep moving till you get to the summit.
Bahrot Caves is the only Parsi/Zoroastrian Cave temple in India. They were unused Buddhist caves excavated by Buddhist monks. Zoroastrians hid for 13 years in these mountains after an invasion of their settlement at Sanjan by Alaf Khan, a general of Muhammad bin Tughluq in 1393 CE. The ‘Iranshah Flame’ was also moved to Bahrot during this period (1393 – 1405 AD). [Source: Wikipedia]
It was filming day and I hadn’t trekked since Salher fort in October. The cool weather of December meant that trekking was even possible in the afternoon. There was a lot in menu for filming but I knew I had to choose Bahrot caves for its remote and obscure location. My curiosity and desire fixed the day for Bahrot caves and off I went. I wasn’t well prepared as I had less time to research the place. I just had faith and followed the google maps. I reached a very remote, obscure and primitive location where most of the houses were built from mud and cow dung pasting. I wasn’t sure whether I was on the right place of the base of the hill. I asked a guy for direction and he told me to follow a trail through the field. I followed the trail and after a while I was sure that the trail was right as it was taking me high and heading south east. I felt lucky to have found the way so quick. After slightly steep section at the beginning is done the rest of the trek is easy hike.
Once the steep section is over you will pass through forest through the shade. You will come across large trees and beautiful wild flowers.
After I got out of the forest there was a plain land in front of me which had two trails one going to the summit of the hill and other to the west. Obviously I had to head south to get to the caves so I headed straight where again mildly steep climb started. I then saw few young guys roaming and I confirmed them about the direction to the caves. Little chat with them about their life and I had a company. They too were heading towards Bahrot caves. They were locals who lived in Karajgaon and it was a long time since they have visited Bahrot caves. I was near the summit and Bahrot caves was close. Just before reaching Bahrot caves the guys took me to a place in the north of the hill where they showed me interesting volcanic rock formation.
After taking few pictures of the amazing rock formation it was time to get to the main place. The railing was visible and I knew I reached Bahrot caves. I was relieved that I didn’t have to walk any more. I gazed and touched every walls of the ancient caves and cisterns with freedom as there was nobody to say you are not allowed. The first cave was large and it didn’t look like it was used for accommodation. It seemed like it was used as a temple. This caves was interesting because to the side it had a small cistern which was uniquely made. The water would easily get inside the cave from the rain hence there definitely might have been roof made out of branches and leaves in those time. Currently there was none to be seen. Check out all the pictures of bahrot caves below:
In the above picture, as you can see, it looks like incomplete cave or the cistern work.
The area was very less in which Bahrot caves constituted. The place can be a great location for camping as because of its remoteness starts gazing might be possible and it is certainly pollution free location. I would recommend you all naturebuddies to visit here in monsoon. This place is less known in the trekking community so please take care of the place by keeping it remain pristine. See you all soon in another adventure.