Monsoon is here & so is our checklist of must do treks for all trek lovers ! If you have been in love with Sahyadris or you are the newbie for trekking, monsoon is exactly the season you need to gear up for this amazing experience. So what are you waiting for ? Pack your bags and sneak this weekend to take those off from your bucket-list.
1. Gorakhgad Trek :
Gorakhgad is a fort that can be done easily in a day from Mumbai. Though not famous for any historical events, Gorakhgad attracts trekkers due to its inviting pinnacles, which offer good opportunities for rock-climbing. This region of Gorakhgad and Machindragad has a dense forest cover. Gorakhgad is quite small in size. It had strategic importance during the reign of Shahaji Raje. However, no major battle is recorded to have taken place here. It was used in Shivaji’s era to patrol the nearby region and was used as a stopover station during the journey to Junnar via Naneghat. Though small in size, there is enough availability water and a lot of space for accommodation. The fort gets its name from Saint Gorakhnath, who performed his “Sadhana” in this place.
2. Bhimashankar & Nagfani Trek :
The Bhimashankara temple (one of 12 Jyotirlings) is a composite of old and the new structures and is built in the Nagara style of architecture. It is a modest yet graceful temple and it dates back to mid 18th century. The Shikhar of the temple was built by Nana Phadnavis. The great Maratha ruler Shivaji is also said to have made endowments to this temple to facilitate the carrying out, of worship services. As with other Shiva temples in this area, the sanctum is at a lower level.
Bhimashankar trek is known to be one of the best treks in Sahyadri ranges. For Trekkers there are 2 routes to reach top, one being Shidi ghat (Ladder route) & other being Ganesh ghat. The forest of Bhimashankar is paradise for nature lovers as it hosts several exotic species of wildlife and the most famous of all being the elusive rust-colored giant squirrel (Ratufa Indica Elphinstoni) — the state animal of Maharashtra.
3. Kothaligad Trek (also known as Peth) :
Peth is situated in Shahapur taluka, Karjat district. Height of this fort is 3100 ft above sea level. This fort has an interesting internally excavated stairs to reach the fort top. Control of this fort was of strategic importance since it would help in keeping control over upper Konkan region. This fort is very small in size but was used as an ammunition storage and defense station during Sambhaji Maharaj’s era. This fort is surrounded with other forts like Bhimashankar, Rajmachi, Dhak, Sidhhagad and Prabalgad.
4. Naneghat Caves Trek :
Naneghat is a mountain pass in the Western Ghats range near Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra, India. The pass was extensively used as a trade route between Kalyan and Junnar. This was the most important trade route, as it connected harbour of Sopara and Kalyan directly to Junnar and Paithan. The name nane means “coin” and ghat means “pass”. The name is given because this path was used as a tollbooth to collect toll from traders crossing the hills. While going through Malshej Ghat, we can easily get a glimpse of Naneghat after Murbad. The significantly shaped thumb-like peak and the pinnacle of Vanarlingi are the most distinctly seen spots.
5. Kalsubai Peak Trek :
Kalsubai Peak is the Highest Peak of the Sahyadri, and Maharshtra state standing tall at 5400 feet. Kalsubai Temple is located at the Topmost peak of Sahyadri Mountain Range Of Maharashtra. Devotees throng to pay their respect to Goddess Kalsubai. An easy & favorite route to climb is via Baari village. The other route is from Indore village. From top one can view Bhandardara Lake, forts like Alang, Madan, Kulung, Ratangad. Treks can be round the year to Kalsubai.
6. Harihar Fort Trek :
Harihar, also known as Harshgad is a beautiful trek located 60 kms away from Kasara. Harihar fort looks like rectangular in shape from base village and built on triangular prism of rock the edges of this stunning fort is absolutely vertical. Rock cut stair case leads you the fort. There is a small temple of Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva on the plateau. A small pond is there in front of this temple. There is small caves on top of the fort accommodating 10-15 people easily. One of the vertical drops of the fort facing the Nirgudpada village is called ‘Scottish kada’, perhaps because it was climbed for the first time in November 1986 by Doug Scott, the legendary Himalayan mountaineer. It took him two days to climb the cliff which is 170 meters in height.
7. Andharban Trek :
Andharban, itself means dense dark forest. Andharban is one of the most beautiful trek in Sahyadris. The best time to visit this place is during monsoon or post monsoon. In this trek, it takes around 4 hours to descend the forest covered with dense forest and shade both sides. En-route enjoy the waterfalls & cascades and awesome view of Kundalika valley. Here, we will be descending from Pune (Ghatmatha) to Konkan. This trek is also famous among nature lovers, shutterbugs for various species of Butterfly and flowers are there.
8. Ratangad Trek :
Ratangad is a hill fort near Ratanwadi. One can ascend via Trymbak darwaza from Samrad or from Ratanwadi. It overlooks Bhandardara one of the oldest artificial catchment areas. The fort is about 2000 years old. Ratangad has a natural rock peak with a cavity in it at the top which is called Nedhe or Eye of the Needle. Ratangad was captured by Chatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosle and was one of his favorites. The base village Ratanwadi has an Amruteshwar temple which is famous for its carvings. The fort is origin for the river Pravara/Amrutvahini. The Bhandardara dam is built on this river.
9. Garbett Trek :
Matheran is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Maharashtra. The hill station was discovered by Hugh Poyntz Malet in 1850 and is located at about 2625 feet above Sea level. The location of Matheran is cover with forest and amazing bio-diversity area. Garbett Point and Garbett plateau is one of the less known destination among tourist who visit Matheran Hill station. Garbett plateau overlooks the Dhom Lake on Bhivpuri side.
10. Rajmachi Trek :
Rajmachi is one of the famous trek destination in Sahyadri mountains and one of the favorite destination for every trekker and beginners. Fort stands at a height of 2750 feet overlooking the Bhorghat Pass (a major old trade route during Maratha empire). This fort built by Shivaji in 17th century. You can spend lots time over the fort by exploring twin forts “Manaranjan” & “Shrivardhan”. Visit Bhairavnath Temple, Mahadev Temple & Rajmachi lake. There are 2 routes to reach Rajmachi, first from Lonavala and other being Karjat route.
11. Sarasgad Trek :
It’s situated near Pali village, Raigad district. This fort lies near Sudhagad and Amba river. Fort was under Nizamshahi rule and later with Maratha rulers. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj gave 2000 Honas for restoration of fort. This fort was primarily used to keep watch on surrounding region. Trek starts behind Ballaleshwar Mandir. Easy uphill climb to fort base. One has to climb 96 rockcut stairs and enter fort through Dindi Darwaza. Once past through this darwaja we can see caves where soldiers lived called “Chowkidaranchya Devdya”. Water tank and fort ruins can been seen a few steps ahead. A few water cisterns are there. Places that can be seen around Tail Baila, Sudhagad, Korigad.
12. Sudhagad Trek :
Sudhagad is just approximately 10 kms from Pali village, where another fort Sarasgad is situated. Existence of this fort is since 2nd century BC. Thanale Caves and Khadsamble caves are also nearby. Fort was known as Bhorapgad after the presiding deity Bhorai Devi. Actual rulers were Bhor dynasty. Bhamani Sultanate captured it in 1436 and then Marathas in 1657 who named it to “Sudhagad”. Very large plateau on top with numerous lakes and ponds in rainy season. Places that can be visited on fort are Bhorai Devi Mandir, Pant Sachiv Wada, Chor Darwaja, Takmak Tok, Shiv Mandir. Places that can be seen around Tail Baila, Sarasgad, Korigad.