If you plan to drive there by yourself you need to plan the trip and the rest periods. Because if you are doing this in one day then the return journey will be tough if all the people in the car are trekking.
Driving time We started from dadar by car at 11 pm and reached Bari Village at 4 am . 4.45 started from bari reached MTDC Bhandardara 5.15 9 pm started from igatpuri reached mumbai 2 am .
Trekking Time It usually takes three hours to four hours depending on your groups speed and fitness /injury levels to reach the temple at the to from Bari village.
7 am from bari village.
11 .30 pm top at the temple.
1.30 descended down.
4.30 Reaced base village bari .
Breakfast at Bari Village
Chai 4 Rs
kanda (onion) Bhajiya 10 Rs
Kanda Poha 10 rs
Coffee 4 rs (not recommended )
From Igatpuri Ahead of manas resort take a right when you see the ghoti sign. Then drive through ghoti village and take a right (this is difficult at night).This road(Rajur to ghoti road) is not smooth with a lot of pot holes. You will then come to a small toll naka (collecting money for the future road) after paying at the toll naka you will have to take the road to Bhandardara(17km from ghoti) and drive for another hour to reach bari 10 km) The rajur ghoti road is tarred with a lot of pot holes throughout the journey
Soon after leaving Bari, the path is behind the village parallel to the stream, takes a left behind the only tree on the stream and cross the stream via rocks placed on the stream. Climb up the path and within 10-15 min minutes of crossing the stream, you come to the first temple.
The path from the bari village to the temple and to the ladder is muddy with clay like mud over rocks .Do do trek these paths if you are a new/unconditioned trekker with shoes without a good sole which has a good grip. ( or similar are recommended).
The route from behind this temple (pass through the gates facing the kaslubai peak).After some more trekking you will come to a single hut with a small shop next to the path. The local villager at the hut serves tea(at times) and lime juice (5 Rupees) .
There are three iron ladders along this route with manmade steps (with rocks and cement) between them) with yellow/red railing. There is a well near the last iron ladder as one approaches the top but the water is not potable. There is a hut and a shallow well (10ft deep approx) just before the last ladder to the temple.
The water at bari village is well water and the water in the hut on the way is got via a pump. There is a well before the last ladder to the temple. Take this into consideration before planning your water strategy. Two litres of water also are just about enough and if everyone in your group does not have this much it may fall short.
The last ladder is the most inclined about 75 deg approx),the rest of the ladders are about (60 deg approx).All are safe to climb (though a few bars in the middle (2-3 rows of bars where the top bar is important) in the rusted or loose)
After climbing 3 ladders there is a plateau(yellow and red railings) and after this rock a nice place to sit overlooking the Bari village and jagedari village .This is a good place to have lunch
than going to the top near the temple as there are a lot of insects and mosquitoes around the temple making eating really difficult and unpleasant. Also the last 1 hour from the flat rock to the last ladder and the temple is not really worth it unless you have come there for kalsubais darshan (then it is definitely worth going to the top).Another benefit of resting at this flat rock after the 4th ladder is that it cut 2 hours of the trek (beneficial for new/unconditioned trekkers.
There is a hut and a well before the last ladder which leads to the temple
Photo from the hut to the temple
The Well and hut before the last ladder to the temple Devotees come and stick coins on the temple (impressions are visible on the back of the temple. The poojaris(do not have the usual garb of the city poojari and usually plain clothes) who stay in the hut below the ladder make frequent visits to the temple to see if there were any donations. These donations are used for the devi.
On every Tuesday many people visit the temple to pay their respects and make offerings and on this day a priest from Indore climbs up to perform the necessary ceremonies.
There are some locals who make a visit to the temple for darshan every Sunday
Bari village has become extremely commercialized and guides (village kids/locals charge exorbitantly 100-150 rupees to walk with you to the top) (this is not needed if you have the directions but new/non trekking groups should get a guide not from bari but from jagedarwadi (the village next to bari) Also do not park your car at bari (the local youth have cooked some scheme to charge you for parking with a pauti (a receipt written by them and with their big group can surround your car in the evening to intimidate you) .This seems to be happening at all forts as the villagers look to trekkers as cash cows. Even small girls will ask for money for food or food (This is due to the bad habits of past trekkers who have spoilt the locals).There are some dogs who will follow you to the top also in the hope of getting food .
After the trek you can drive down to Bhandardara and book a room at the MTDC (standard room 800/- +32/- tax+ 200/- refundable deposit.)and take a shower . the rooms are pretty run down and basic. The food there is also basic (bhajiyans/batata bhajiyas + chai/tea)