Cycling in and around Tungareshwar Forest
Tungareshwar Forest provides some great cycling and trekking options. Enjoy mountain biking in the forest, a road cycling circuit around, trekking to the highest point of Kamandurg Fort, or a visit to the historic temple and a splash in the Chinchoti waterfall.
The Tungareshwar Forest is a large green area that is declared as a wild life sanctuary. The total area of about 85 square kilometers makes it almost as big as the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), which is 86 square kilometers (ref). It is located to the north of SGNP and is relatively less visited.
The most prominent locations within Tungareshwar are the Tungareshwar Shiva Temple and the nearby Chinchoti Falls that are very crowded on weekends and especially during monsoon. The Tungareshwar Road that leads to the temple continues beyond up the hill and then downhill to join Vajreshwari Road. This is perfect for mountain biking! This is also a perfect trekking route with lot of bird-watching opportunities.
The Kamandurg trek is another less frequently visited location that is to the southern end of the forest.
At the northen end of the forest is the Pelhar Lake, another beautiful location that is less frequently visited and is a perfect destination for a cycling ride or a quiet family picnic. And a swim in the lake is a must do!
Circuit Around Tungareshwar
The route above is a roughly 100 kilometer circuit around the forest - a perfect route for a day's ride! Here is my account of the ride around Tungareshwar:
I started from Andheri at 6:15 am, and taking advantage of the cool morning, made good time on WEH with just one drinks break
At Shirsad phaha, after completing about 45 km, took a breakfast break to have yummy misal paav
I am not too fond of riding on highways... just too boring. So decided to explore an alternate route to Bhiwandi around the Tungareshwar forest
Kids and one parent enjoying their Sunday morning watching people go by on Vajreshwari road
Took a detour at Parol naka towards Bhiwandi. The road is lined with brick kilns
The road skirts the Tungareshwar forest, and I took a few detours to explore the forest
The road surface is great with just one small patch with slightly rough surface... but as luck would have it, that was the place with the steepest climbs
After the rough patch, took some rest at this little hut by the road
A small lake in a village on the way. Behind, one can see the peak of Kamandurg
Refill of my water bottle at a roadside shop
After hitting Bhiwandi, I was not really inspired to take any photos and just made my way through the mess till I reached Thane. A short break to have some fruits, and then back home via JVLR