Monsoon is just around the corner, and trekking is back on the list of things to do outside. The Royal Escape presents 10 destination near Mumbai to explore this monsoon. Lets Go !
Rajgad is a fort located near Katraj. The height of Rajgad from sea level is 4250 feet and offers spectacular views of Sahyadri Mountains. One can see Sinhagad and Torna fort from Rajgad. The highest point of Rajgad is Balekilla. It’s a single day trek but to cover the entire fort you need to do a 2-3 days. The best season to visit Rajgad is during the monsoons and the winter season. Trekking feels fantastic during the monsoons.
Rajgad fort is an ideal fort for camping. There is plenty to be explored on the fort which cannot be done in a one day trek, hence halting overnight and then exploring the fort the next morning is always recommended. There are 2 temples [Padmavati and a smaller temple] which you can use for camping during night if you do not have tents.
Level: Easy – Moderate
Difficulty level is moderate. It takes approximately 2 1/2 hours to reach to the top via Pali and 3 1/2 hours via Gunjawane. The highest point of Rajgad is Balekilla which is a fort on Rajgad. Take plenty of water and some energy drinks with you as the trek is a bit tiring.
It is always recommended that you carry your own drinking water from home. Atleast 3 litres per person for one day treks.
Things to get
Water – 2 liters (no water enroute)
Ready to eat snacks
Pair of clothes
Torna fort is located in Pune district and is the best fort in pune. The height of Torna from sea level is 1405 metres and offers spectacular views of Sahyadri Mountains. Once you reach the top theres a lot more to discover. The main path to Torna starts from there, and local people can help with directions.
Most people carry their own Tents and other camping equipment while going for camping. You can also stay in the Mengai temple which is on the fort. Please carry lot of insulating material with you if you are planning to go during the winters as it gets really cold during night time.
The way to the top is moderate to difficult, with some precautions to be taken in the rainy season. It is a two or three hour climb to the “Bini Darwaja”, the main entrance to the fort.
If you want to enjoy the beauty of a Sahyadri Trek then do it in the monsoon .Advantage: Lush greenery, mist and less fatigue while climbing.
Difficulty level is Tough. It takes approximately 3 1/2 hours to reach to the top of Torna. And once you reach the top. there’s lot more to be explored. Carry plenty of water with you as there is no source of good water on the fort.
Water availability on Top : There is a tank near Mengai Devi Temple where water is available at the start of winter but in summer most of the source of water dry up so if going in summer carry lots of water.
Alternatively, there is a pleasant and interesting ridge walk of 5–6 hours from the fort at Rajgad. This starts from “Alu Darwaja” of Rajgad, near the left side of “Sanjeevani Machi”, and ends at Torna Fort “Budhla Machi”.
Ratangad trek is a magnificent trek which passes through one of the most beautiful regions in the Sahyadris. Ratangad is believed to be one of the favourite forts of even Shivaji maharaj!. The best season to visit Ratangad is just after monsons when the entire region would covered in green with numerous waterfalls enroute the trek route to Ratangad fort. The trek to Ratangad from Ratanwadi would approximately take 3-4 hours
There are numerous trekking trails near Ratangad, from where you can get beautiful view of the valley in the Sahyadri Mountain Range.
Ratangad is at the banks of Bhandardara Lake of Ahmednagar district.atangad is a hill fort near Ratan Wadi, This time we are going to ascend Vai Sandhan Valley and this is going to be exciting . Overlooking 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 Chhatrapati 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.
1142 meters (4250 feet approx.)
Medium difficulty level. The inclines are steep and tiring for the inexperienced but there will be multiple points of flat land to compensate for the fatigue.
Things to carry: Dinner for the night is compulsory
- Personal First Aid Kit
- Good quality trekking shoes-Must
- Cap, goggle, sunscreen etc.
- Water Bottle (2 Liter Must)
- Electral powder / Glucon D/ Tang (must)
- Dry Food (snacks)
- Camera (Optional)
- Rucksack to carry all this thing. (No handbags or jholas)
4. Rajmachi Fort
Rajmachi is one of the famous trek in Shayadri mountains and one of the favorite destination for every trekker and beginners . The height of this fort 2710 Feet . This fort built by Shivaji in 17th century. You can spend lots time over the fort by exploring “Manranjan”, “Shrivardhan” Rajamachi lake .There are 2 routes are there first from Karjat and from lonavala Karjat route is comparatively difficult than Lonavala. We are going to cover both the routes Ascend from Lonavala and descend from Karjat . Trek route for both side surrounded by dense forest so you can get opportunity to see different species of birds and animals .
Duration : 1 Night / 2 Days
Level : Easy
Difficulty level is Very Easy. It hardly takes 40 mins to reach to the top of the fort. But once you reach the top of the fort you will realise the beauty of this fort. The constuction of Rajmachi is just spectacular.
Rajmachi fort is an ideal fort for camping. There are 2 caves on the fort provide accomodation for 40 persons.
The locals can cook delicious chicken for you alongwith Bhakri or you can prepare something like Maggi.
What to see on the fort:
- CAVES ON THE FORT
- OLD TEMPLES and MONUMENTS
5. Shivneri Fort
Located at a spot with natural defenses such as steep rocks, it was considered tough for enemies to attack the fort. The fort lies in the midst of fertile lands with lush greenery. The architecture and artistry of the fort attract many visitors.
Shivneri is a prominent fort in Maharashtra due to its historic importance. Shivneri more than a trekking destination is popular as a weekend picnic destination and a ‘pilgrimage’. (Many consider ‘Shiv janmasthal’ as a temple and a place of worship). There is a tarmac road till the first of the seven gates of Shivneri fort and a liesurely half an hour walk takes one to the Shiv janmastal through manicured gardens and landmarks of Shivneri fort.
Grade :– Medium
Height :– 3342 feet
Base village : Junnar
Appx. time to reach the top : 2 hrs from the base village
Water availability : Water cisterns are available on the fort.
Food : Available at Junaar. Not on the fort.
Shelter : One can make a stay on the fort in Shiv Kunj or Ambarkhana. Shiv Kunj is a suitable option among the two because of water cisterns is available near it.
Shivneri is in the Junnar taluka about 20 kilometers from Narayangaon. You can trek up from Junnar to Shivneri however there is a tar road right uptil the gates of the Shivneri fort. There is a govt rest house also atop the fort.
6. Tikona Fort
Tikona fort, also known as Vitandgad, is one of the easier forts to climb and would be a good introductory, yet interesting trek. The fort is close to Pavana Dam. The fort is on top of a ~3500 foot hill and offers unhindered views of the entire region including the forts of Tung, Lohagad and Visapur. This fort encloses numerous Buddhist caves and Satavahana caves with a temple of ‘Trimbakeshwar Mahadev’ inside.
There are 2 paths to trek up. One starts right behind the houses in Tikona Peth. This is the slightly tougher, but shorter, one and can be avoided if you have newbies in the crowd. To reach the other path, you have to go ahead of the village on the dusty road for around 0.5 km and you will reach a clearly marked parking spot. From this place, a path goes in the direction opposite to the one where you see the fort. It is because this path is a gradual switchback which goes up and turns 180 and then stedily climbs towards the fort.
Some parts are almost vertical as the fort is triangular in shape.
Not ideal for camping, but incase you plan for camping, there is a cave which you can use as sheter during night time. Carry plenty of water and firewood.
What to see on the fort:
- Big Entrance Door
- Trimbakeshwar temple
- Lake surrounding the fort
- View of Lohgad and Tung
Tip: You can choose between the two paths to enter this fort from two villages, Tikona Peth and Javan, which are small hamlets located close to the fort.
The most popular trek route to Kalsubai is via the ladder route from Bari although there are other routes like grom Indorey the trek route is far more steeper and tougher. Enroute Kalsubai Trek route from Bari there are three ladders that needs to be negotiated. The trek up at an average pace with intermitten stops will take about 3-4 hours however the the trek can be completed in less than three hours.
During Monsoon place is covered with fog and wind is very strong at Mount Kalsubai. Kalsubai Trekking experience there are three laders which have been installed by locals to make the trekking route till Mount Kalsubai easy. When you reach the carved steps and later ladder fom Bari Village you would have covered 1/3rd of the trek. After all the ladders are over 2/3rd of the Trek is over. After a decent walk on plateau you will reach the final ladder till Kalsubai summit.
Trekking Kalsubai Peak can be very tiring carry food and water for energy. A small well is there before reaching Kalsubai peak a villager has set camp there and offers Pakoda and Tea. Peak Kalsubai is a small plateau and offers a commanding view of nearby forts and Bhandardara Dam. During monsoon wind is very strong at Peak Kalsubai. You can also do a night trek in winter and enjoy the beautiful Sunrise at Kalsubai. It gets very cold atop Kalsubai before sunrise with strong wind.
Best Time to Visit Kalsubai Peak: June to December
Kalsubai Trek Climb: Medium – Difficult 3 hours
Kalsubai Height: 1646mtrs (5400 feet)
1. This is the trek to Highest Peak of Maharashtra and hence, first time trekkers are not advisable to join this trek.
2. As this trek from a nomadic village, there is only one basic washroom available at the base. There is no facility available at the top of the peak.
3. The WELL water is available at the top.
4. It is completely a 4 hours trek and not a picnic. The instructions given by the leads and co-leads must be followed by all travellers.
8. Raigad Fort
For anyone who likes to trek, a trek to Raigad fort is a must do. We finally managed to visit Raigad last Saturday. Situated at a distance of around 150 KMs from Pune and coupled with bad roads; it takes at-least 4 hours to reach this place. Raigad is constructed on an irregular wedge-shaped mass of rock at an altitude of 2,700 feet above sea level. There are approximately 1737 steps leading to the fort, though an ropeway exists now to reach the top of the fort.
The Raigad trek is essentially a climb up the stairs however there are a few forts around Raigad and the trek routes to these forts like Torna and Mangad from Raigad offer some exciting options. The Raigad Torna trek – a real test of endurance – is a popular trek route taken by ardent trekkers. The trek to Lingana fort from Raigad is comparitively a shorter trek from Raigad.
The base village for Raigad fort is Pachad village about 40 kms off the NH 17. The trek is more to do with climbing the steps in Raigad and for the record there are about 1500 steps to reach the top of the fort! The base of the fort is also the lower station of the Raigad ropeway. There is a small museum with historic artefacts and also a restaurant at the lower station. If you are on a one day trip and not keen on trekking up, you could take the ropeway. Tickets – Rs170.
- There are multiple food options available atop the fort. MDTC resort is also there in-case you plan to stay.
- If coming via Tamhini road; you can halt at a place called Orchard Resort which is an excellent place for breakfast and to freshen up.
- Do take a guide if you are not aware of Raigad history; they are pretty knowledgeable.
- Keep the place clean.
- Those without any prior experience of trekking can opt for the ropeway that will take you directly to the top of the fort.
Lohagad trek is one of the easiest treks ideal for beginners and the trek route to Lohagad is more of an easy hike that involves no climbing with stairs at the end of the trail leading to the fort.
This is a multi access fort. You can drive till the base village or walk. One can also do a night trek to Lohagad, as in the name of development roads are now built from Lonavala railway station till the base village. One day trek to Lohagad fort is now become a common hunting ground. Every monsoon thousands flock to Lohagad for a one day picnic. As Trek to Lohagad fort near Lonavala is easily accessible from Pune and Mumbai. Under heavy monsoon rain the plateau on the fort becomes misty and its cold. Lush green carpet and small wild flowers along the route welcome you. It’s a simple and easy trek for all age groups. Beware of monkeys too.
Lohagad fort – means “Iron fort” in Marathi and is situated in Lonavala region It divides the basins of the Indrayani and Pavna and is situated on a side range of the Sahyadris. The Visapur fort is located on its eastern side. The four large gates of Lohagad are still in good condition. Historians tell in the later Peshwa period, Nana Phadnavis (1742-1800 AD) built several structures in the fort such as a big tank and a step-well (bawali). On the west side, there is a long and narrow wall-like fortified spur called Vinchukata (scorpion’s tail) due to its shape. If one has to explore the fort along with the trek till Vinchukata and view the Mumbai Pune Expressway then 2 hours is a good time.
The roads and trails leading to the fort are quite slippery during monsoon and precautions are necessary to be taken while venturing the routes.
Places of Interest:
At we start to enter the fort we come across four successive entrances:
- The Ganesh Darwaja
- The Narayan Darwaja
- The Hanuman Darwaja
10. Sinhagad Fort
Sinhagad Fort is located 4300 feet above sea level, on the Sahyadri Hills. It is a strategic fort, carefully selected for its proximity to the settlement of Pune, allowing control over important trade routes and offering protection behind its safe walls in times of need. Originally called Kondana, it was renamed the Lion Fort in honour of Shivaji’s trusted aide Tanaji Malusare who lost his life in a daring raid on the fort.
The summer months (March-June) are too hot to visit Sinhagad, but all other seasons offer great opportunities for a day outdoors. In September-October just after the rains, the hills are carpeted in green, and very scenic. From November through February, the craggy black rock contrasts beautifully with yellow hay and the weather is simply perfect. The monsoon season begins in June, and it is then that the Sahyadris become truly magical, with beautiful waterfalls and lush foliage. Trekkers from Mumbai and Pune head for the Sahyadris to see the hills come alive in the rains.
Panshet is a pleasant tranquil lake created in the 1950’s by the building of a dam. It supplies drinking water to Pune, and is a popular getaway for residents of Pune.
The Sinhagad fort though now in ruins has many a tale of courage to tell. Sinhagad Fort is just 25 kms south of Pune perched on a steep hill which used to be called the Kondana hill.
Total Tour Time: 4 hours
Please check the weather and dress accordingly. Sensible shoes are recommended. Do ensure you have adequate sun protection. This is a great tour for those interested in photography.
Travel is what we live for and The Royal Escape would love to refresh you with nice surprises ! We will keep innovating new outing concepts for all our friends and family members. So cheer up and get ready for the blast !!!
So what are you waiting for. Let us plan your weekend Monsoon plan Now !!