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 Tryambakgad/ ShriGad / Brahmagiri & Bhandardurg trek (4248 ft from sea level)

Saw a message on our group regarding the Brahmagiri trek. Brahmagiri has  the origin of River Godavari and has huge religious sentiment as Lord Shankar appeared here briefly to absolve Goutam Rishi. There is another fort on the other side of Brahmagiri known as DurgaBhandar or Bhandardurg fort. Durgabhandar / Bhandardurg is not an independent fort, but a part of Brahmagiri.

Brahmagiri is about 1900 ft above its base village.

History Of Brahmagiri

Lord Shankar was pleased with Lord Brahma when he meditated here and said ” I shall be known by your name”. Hence it is called as Brahmagiri.

Five peaks of this mountain are called Sadyo-Jata, Vamdev, Aghora, Ishana and Tat-Purusha and are considered as five mouths of the Lord Shiva and they are worshipped.

The water flows in three directions on the Brahmagiri mountain. The one flowing towards east becomes Godavari river, one flowing towards the south is Vaitarna river and the one flowing towards the west is called the west-flowing Ganga and meets Godavari near Chakra Tirth. River Ahilya meets Godavari in front of the Trimbakeshwar temple. Childless families worship at the Ahilya sangam and it is believed that they do get a child.

Many saints have supposed to done penance on this hill and as such this hill has a lot of religious value.

How to reach

One can easily reach from Nashik to Trimbakeshwar (29 Km) through the myriad transport facilities available.

Brahmagiri & Bhandardurg

the route from base location of Brahmagiri to the top

route to Brahmagiri & Bhandardurg

On the Fort

Things to look out for on Brahmagiri include:

  1. The two entrance doors & the rock cut stairs after the entrance
  2. The Shiv jata Temple, The Origin of river Godavari, The Brahmagiri temple
  3. The Rock cut cisterns
  4. The view from the top overlooking the Fort Anjaneri on the East side
  5. The view from the top overlooking the Fort Harihareshwar on the west side


Fairly pleasant walk to the top. However the monkeys can cause havoc on the stairs, if you are planning to do a solo trek. While getting down the stairs the knees are bound to take a lot of pressure

Bro tip:

  • Try to take the normal route ( not the stairs) wherever possible while getting down
  • Carry some spare food which you can use to divert the monkeys attention.
  • Also keep your cameras mobile etc packed properly within the confines of your bag. Loose items will be snatched. A lady’s purse was stolen by monkeys. It had her iPhone6.Monkeys still ping their selfies to her friends 😀

The grade of BhandarDurg is a not that easy and definitely not meant for those who are scared of heights.

We decided to meet up at kalyan from where Khade kaka would pick us up in his XUV. The pack had Khade Kaka, Nikam kaka, Chawla Uncle, Omkar, Guru, Sanjog Karande & Nihil.

We started of from Kalyan at around midnight. We took the Nashik highway and took a left from Ghoti to reach Trimbakeshwar at about 3 in the morning .

We had a short nap for 2 hrs and started the trek

Walking under the moonlight accompanied with the cold wind was a cool experience.

Brahmagiri night trek

In the year 1908, Seth Lalchand Jashodanand Bhambhani of Karachi and Seth Ganeshdas built 500 steps of stone at a cost of Rs. 40,000.

we saw beautiful carvings on the way like the following

By the time we reached the main stairs the visibility had increased. And we expected the sun to be out in a while.

Brahmagiri Bhandardurg trek
waiting for the sunrise

Here is where we had the first encounter with the monkeys near the stairs.

Brahmagiri Trek Monkeys
Monkeys around every corner


The monkeys are super oppressive . They would not think twice about attacking the people. We were 7 well built guys , but it was irrelevant to them. We had to keep out cameras in the bag and use sticks as a minimum credible deterrence 😛

First I felt mad at the behavior of the monkeys, but then it was we who were intruding their space. Kind of whats happening in the world.

Amidst all the commotion  the rock carved route looked beautiful.

Brahmagiri trek Rock cut route
Rock cut route

Some more carvings

Brahmagiri trek carvings

Soon enough we reached the main door.

Brahmagiri Main Entrance

A cave on the way.

Brahmagiri trek

Reached the second door

Brahmagiri trek Main Entrance

Through this door the stairs are cut in the rock and you can feel the coolness in the air as you walk through the ravine stairs.

Brahmagiri trek rock cut steps


At the end of the stairs, we reached the plateau where we could clearly see the vast nature lit beautifully in the aniticipation of the sunrise.

Brahmagiri Trek
Before the sun rises

Moving ahead saw a Shivling .

Brahmagiri Trek Shiv ling
Shiv ling
Brahmagiri Trek Hanuman mandir
Hanuman mandir





Going ahead towards the main fort , the light had become more prominent. A quick prayer at the Hanuman Mandir for enough power to complete todays trek and as a blessing received this instantaneous gift.

Brahmagiri Trek
Beautiful morning

Besides  temple is a well and if you position yourself properly you can enjoy the above beautiful view.

Moving further the little yellow, pink and purple flowers can put Kaspathar or its bigger brother the Valley of flowers to shame.

Brahmagiri hills
Lost amidst the flowers

Talegoan kachutli lake at the other side also shines in the morning glory. Also the Harihar fort shines in the morning glory.

Harihar from Brahmagiri

Pointing towards Harihar fort

The sun had now just crowned from over the hills and the view was amazing .

Brahmagiri hills sunrise

The cold wind and few more pics.

Brahmagiri hill sunrise

From here we headed to the shiv jata mandir. It is situated on the western border of the fort at the very edge.

Shiv Jata Mandir , Brahmagiri trimbakeshwar

It is a legend that Goutam Rishi were responsible for killing a cow. To absolve him of his sins Lord Shankar appeared and rammed his hair against the rocks in the temple.He also made the River Ganges appear there. There are some marks in the temple believed to be some evidence of the same and one can also see a small spring of water.

Inside the Shiv jata Mandir Brahmagiri
Inside the Shiv jata Mandir

Besides the temple one can get potable(drinkable) water.

After that we headed to the BhandarDurg Fort.

Bhandardurg Trek

History of Bhandardurg

From the year 1271 to almost 1311 the fort was under the regime of King of Devgiri. Around about 1553 , Nijamshahi took control of this fort. On Nijamshahi’s behalf the fort was controlled by Shahaji Raje from 1633 to 1636. After that the fort changed hands to The Mughals. By 1670 the fort was bought in Swarajya by Moropant Pingle. By 1691 the fort was again the control of Mughals.

In the year 1752, the warrior from Peshwa’s camp, Trimbak Suryaji Prabhu wrested the fort and established the Peshwa’s regime there. It was in the year 1818 that British forces led by Mc Dowell wrested the fort and gained upper hand in the region as the forces won a set of 16 other forts in the vicinity.

Sourced from Internet


Its easy. A bit of strength and walking will can take you through. The route may be a bit of issue for people scared of heights.

The way to Bhandardurg passes through a scenic route, With small yellow flowers accompanying us all the way till the steps of the Bhandardurg become visible.

BhandarDurg trek
Towards Bhandardurg

The rock cut cistern visible on the way.

Rock Cut cistern brahmagiri

Towards the right of this cistern the route goes back around the hill to meet the plain land of Brahmagiri. We take the straight road to Bhandardurg

Bhandardurg fort trek

The route passes from the edge of the hills and gives you some adrenaline pump as the route is not visible amongst thick vegetation. Finally reached the stairs

Bhandardurg fort trek

There is a hanuman idol carved in the rocks at the start of the stairs

Bhandardurg trek

The stairs are beautifully cut inside the huge rocks. I wonder how the route would appear if the water cascaded over these beautiful rock cut steps.

Bhandardurg trek rock cut stairs
Rock Cut Stairs


The stairs are as an example of the architecture marvel.Just to give the reference of the height

Bhandardurg trek rock cut stairsBhandardurg trek rock cut stairsBhandardurg trek rock cut stairs


At the end of the Stairs , the steps curve a bit to lead to a small opening to take us across. One can only crawl across this spot due to the space crunch.

Bhandardurg small passage
One has to crawl to get across

This used to be a full fledged door which is now appears as a small window due to the soil completely covering the area.Once on the other side we are suddenly exposed to the vast rocky  walls of the Bhandardurg fort.

Bhandardurg fort trek
Bhandardurg fort

At the bottom of this narrow rocky passage towards the right side is the third temple having the origin of river ganga (gangadwar).

Now we cross the small path that connects us to the next stair. The path is pretty narrow and leads to a small adrenaline jump. On the other side is a similar stair case to lead us to the top of the Bhandardurg. We crawl in through the small opening in the rock and reach the stairs.

Bhandardurg trek crawling through small passage

If one is to look at this from far away, the route would not be visible to the naked eye. As such we can see the smartness in building such a formidable fort.

Through the small entrance we reach the another section of the rock cut stairs. The stairs are again beautiful to say the least.

Bhandardurg trek rock cut stairs


A selfie in on all the darkness

Bhandardurg trek

The steps are really beautiful

Bhandardurg trek

At the top, the overall view after a short time in relative darkness overwhelmed me.

Bhandardurg trek

We scrapped our way though vegetation to see another pair of rock cut cisterns.

Bhandardurg trek rock cut cisterns

A look back and we could see the Gangadwar at the bottom of the rocky wall

Gangadwar Brahmagiri trimbakeshwar
Gangadwar at the bottom of the rocky walls

We walked further to reach the end of the fort where we had last group of rock cut stairs to lead us to a bastion.

Bhandardurg trek bastion

The spot has commanding position and gives a large area coverage of the Trimbak region and the lake region and the villages at the bottom. Very strategic location. Guru looking out for enemies.

Bhandardurg trek bastion


We met another person who was doing a solo trek. A quick group pic for his family to believe that he had done the trek with us 😀 .After a small brunch we started our return journey.

Bhandardurg trek

The stairs still continued to appeal me. They are just a marvel away from the limelight. That’s the reason it is still clean. One last slide to see them again

Bhandardurg trek


We took the same route back to reach the Shiv Jata mandir and started towards the main temple where the river Godavari originates.

Brahmagiri hill trimbakeshwar

Some beautiful flowers on the way

Brahmagiri hills Trimbakeshwar

We reached the Brahmagiri temple of Lord Shiva.

Brahmagiri temple trimbaskeshwar

Brahmagiri temple trymbaskeshwar In front this temple is the idol of GodaMai Goddess below which the river originates from the Gomukh into the kund and then the water disappears in the ground.

Brahmagiri temple trymbaskeshwar

A little further is the temple where the river originates from under the routes of the tree. Here there are many idols including those of Gautam Rishi with his wifey.

Mulganga Brahmagiri Trimbakeshwar

Few idols around Mulganga

Towards the south there is a Hathi Darwaja( Doors used for getting Elephants on the fort) . However the door has been in shambles due to loose rocks and erosion. We decided to visit  it some times later in the future.

And now we had another small brunch. Nothing can beat the coolth of lemonade. Few more chappatis and we were all set for the return journey

Brahmagiri Trimbakeshwar

With the sun out the things looked different than in the morning.We reached the main stairs the exit of the fort.

The monkeys had gained strength and aggression. A big ass monkey was hell bent on giving us a heart attack. We tried attacking it with a stick but he showed no signs of backing off and kept on walking forward towards us. The monkey did scare us. Finally some bright mind threw a piece of chapatti at the side of the road to distract the monkey and let us pass away. Classic example of protection money.

At the bottom of the hill we reached what looked like a deserted palace with the Brahmagiri in the back drop.


The palace is very beautiful with intricate carvings & idols. However it has been defaced by idiots who dont appreciate our culture & history.There is water tank behind the palace


After that we put our religious caps on and decided to do the famous shrines  below the rocky walls of bhandardurg.


Gangadwar, Gorakshanath cave & 108 Swayambhu Jyotirlinga:


From Trimbakeshwar, through regular steps, Ganga dwar can be reached through around 700 stairs. Since were at a higher altitude we took the shortcut as I have mentioned in the the map. The shopkeepers said it would be covered in 30 minutes. But all the efforts since morning had tired us.



There is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Ganga. The river appears here as coming out from the mouth of Nandi. The water for this Ganga first starts from the two temples we visited earlier , the water then vanishes into the mountain to reappear over here and then to vanish again to reappear at the Ram teerth mentioned below.

Gangadwar Brahmagiri Trimbaskeshwar

Kolambika Devi temple is seen nearby. Kolambika an avatar of Parvati, who killed Rakshas Kolasura.

Kolambika devi Brahmagiri

108 swayambhu shivalingas

Next we headed toward 108 shivalingas self formed in a cave . Here Guatam Rishi and his wife Ahilya worshipped 108 shivalingas.

108 swayambhu Shiv ling Brahamagiri

GuruGorakshanath Cave:

At the extreme end is another cave. We were very tired but were determined to complete this last point.

Guru Gorakshanath Cave Brahmagiri

This is the cave where Guru Gorkahnath meditated . He also gave Brahma gyaan ( Knowledge of spiritual essence) to Saint Nivruttinath , elder brother of Saint Gyaneshwar. Here a shivlinga and his original sandals are still present in small cave . Cameras are not allowed hence no pics.

The panaromic view from this place is too good


On the way back through the stairs we reached a place called Shree Ram teerth. It is believed that Shree Ram hit the arrow here and the river Godavari appeared here. Shree Ram is said to have made Shraadh of his father and ancestors here. The River again disappears in the ground after this spot

Shree Ram Teerth Brahmagiri


After  this spot we had no power and nothing else left to visit. We came down with the excessive pressure on our knees. The Stairs cause too much of pressure on joints.

Reached our XUV. Had a big lunch in a nearby hotel  and left for Mumbai. One last view of the fort

Brahmagiri & Bhandardurg trek

Till next time. Adios.

I try to find off beat adventures . Follow my updates on FB , INSTA ,  G+ TwEETER & YouTube .

8 thoughts on “Beautiful Brahmagiri Bhandardurg Trek”

  1. Very nicely written .. loved the pics , historical details and minute observations
    Informative and descriptive and it tempts you.
    A very good blog .. waiting for your next trip .. keep travelling and posting

    1. Thanks Sagar. Hope my posts inspire you to travel.
      You can subscribe to my social media channels to receive updates on new pposts. Grateful for your comment.

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