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Mama Bhanja hills aka Yeoor Hills in Thane near Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SNGP)

Friday, May 6, 2016



Mama Bhanja Hills aka Yeoor Hills and Yeoor Lake are located in Thane very near to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SNGP). It can be easily accessed both by road and by rail. The closest railway station being Thane.
Car park at Lokmanya Nagar

It was the start of the new year and we had not done any trips so far, so we decided to do a easy trip, we kick started with Yeoor Lake followed by Mama Bhanja Hills.

As decided we (Manohar and I met at Ghatkopar Railway Station at 9 AM. We drove off to Thane via the Eastern Express Highway. In 30 minutes we were at Thane, we headed over to the Yeoor Lake. In about 20 minutes time we were at the lake. We decided to walk around the boundary of the lake. It is fenced. We had the company of the people who were doing their rounds of the morning walk. The walk was like a warm up for the climb uphill. Hehehe. The walk was very refreshing. The smell of the soil, the sound of the leaves, the chirping of the birds was music to my ears. We then headed off to have some brunch before we could like  the hillock.  
Trail to Mama Bhanja hills
After having our brunch, we asked the locals to lead us to the trail that leads to the hills. We asked a couple of locals, who informed us that the trail uphill starts from Lokmanya Nagar. They also informed us about a small mud ground where we could park the car. 

We finally reached Lokmanya Nagar, parked the car walked on the mud path, after walking for a couple of minutes we located some steps leading to the top. There is a board put up there, it read Sir Mama Bhanja Shaikh Hillock (Dargah Road). A series of steps leads to the top. 


Signboard with steps leading to the Mama Bhanja Hills

As we had been uphill after a break of around 3 months, the climb was a bit stressful on our legs, but that didn't dampen us from reaching the top. It took us 1 1/2 hour to reach the top. This is because we took multiple breaks. On the way up is located Mastan Village. There is a Dargah here. A family stays near the Dargah premises. They offer water. They also run a small store. 

The climb uphill offers a wonderful view of Thane, Borivali and Navi Mumbai in a distance. As the weather was a bit hazy, we couldn't see the distant places clearly. 


Entrance to Mama Bhanja Hills

When we reach the top of the hill, there is another board put up. On the left is located the Dargah of Bhanja and on the right is the Mama. We were running short on water and so we decided to visit Mama Dargah first, as we were informed that water is available there.

The Mama Dargah is is located on the highest point of the hill range. We paid our respects and then sat in the shade of the trees. The locals have their houses there. They served us black tea and filled or bottles with water. I  was not in favor of having black tea at 12 noon. But surprisingly the tea was refreshing. 


View from Mama Bhanja Hills

We met up with one of the trustees of the Dargah, he informed us that there is a Loban which is conducted here and it attracts huge crowds of people. He also told us that there are no people here from dusk to dawn. If people remain then they are locked in the houses as this place is frequently visited by leopard. Hence the security concern.

He also informed us that Nat Geo had done a project on the the leopard and shot some images of them with their night vision cameras on the stairs uphill. 


View from Mama Bhanja Hills

We then walked to the other end where the Bhanja Dargah is located. Paid our respects and then decided to descend downhill. It took is 45 minutes to reach the car park.


Top most point of the Mama Bhanja Hills

As we trekked after a long time, the climb was painful on the legs but the view it offered from the top was worth the climb.

2 comments:

Shaivi said...

Wow, I have been to Sanjay Gandhi National park but never heard about these hills!

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks Shaivi, for reading by blog.
Now that you know, you too can pay it a visit :)

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