Trekking is now rapidly growing in India. It has become one of the most popular adventure sport or activity which is carried out by many adventure enthusiasts. You just need to be mentally prepared and have good physical condition to undertake this sport. Here are a few trekking places near Mumbai in Maharashtra, where you can plan to visit for some adventure and fun. These trekking places range from low and medium difficulty levels in terms of technical aspect that is without any professional trekking equipment’s.
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This is one of the dream destinations for trekkers in Maharashtra. The view from of the plateau offers a breath-taking view of the nearby forts and Bhandara Dam. Kalsubai Peak is a situated from around 160 Kms from Mumbai in Sahyadri Hills in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
You can visit this place at any time of the month but the best time to visit this place is in monsoon, for the ecstatic experience. It is the topmost peak in the Sahyadri mountain region. There are many travel planners which arrange for camping packages or trek at Kalsubai at a very reasonable cost with a guide.
2. RAJMACHI FORT
Rajmachi fort is one of the most visited places for trekking around Mumbai and Pune as it is located at an equal distance from both the cities at about 85Kms, near Lonavala in Pune District of Maharashtra. Situated at the altitude of 2710ft., this is one of the best places to visit and also one of the top heritage sites in Lonavala.
This fort yields a perfect trekking experience for the beginners. It takes around 3-4 hours to reach the Rajmachi fort from the Kondhane Caves. You can find dormitories owned by the locals to accommodate the trekkers. Timings for this fort is from 9 am to 5 pm.
3. VIKATGAD / PEB FORT
Located at around 85Kms from Mumbai and 13Kms from Matheran. It is an ancient fort based near Neral in Maharashtra. Located at the height of 2100ft. above the sea level, it is on the top of the “things to do list” in Matheran hill station.
The name Vikatgad comes from God Ganesh, because of its elephant head shape. Shivaji Maharaj used the caves in this fort as a place to store the grains. This fort is famous for its caves and these caves are now used for meditation which is preserved by the followers of Swami Samartha.
The view from the top shows the entire Neral and Karjat Region and provides a breath-taking experience. The best time to visit is during the Monsoons. It takes around 2 Hrs to reach the fort from Neral Railway Station.
4. Lohagad Fort
The name Lohagad means Iron Fort, it is one of the historical fort situated in Lonavala region in Maharashtra. Positioned at the altitude of 1050 Mtrs, and it was captured by Shivaji Maharaj in 1648 and was used for keeping his treasury but later used as a residence by Nana Fadnavis, the Peshwa administrator during the Maratha Empire.
The fort is now a protected monument by the government. The Lohagad fort is a perfect place for trekkers and is amongst the most visited place during monsoons. Malavli is situated at the base of the Lohagad and it takes approximately 2hrs to cover this distance of 7kms.
The highlight of this fort is the Scorpion’s tail, from the top the of the fort you get a phenomenal view of Karla caves, Bhaja caves and Pawna Lake. You can visit this fort between 9 am to 6 pm. You can find locals offering places to stay and food for trekkers.
5. Pratapgad Fort
Located at around 220Kms from Mumbai, Pratapgad is a large fort located on the hill station in Satara district of Maharashtra. Built on the altitude of 1100Mtrs, the fort offers magnificent scenery from the top of the fort and one of the best heritage places to visit in Mahabaleshwar and Mumbai. The fort was constructed in the year 1656 for the by the order of Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj for preserving the Koyna and nira river banks and this fort has witnessed the significant battle of Pratapgad in the year 1659 between Chattrapati Shivaji and Afzal Khan.
This place holds significant importance because of its historic value and thus people often visit this place for trekking from far away. You can plan your trek any time of the year but trekking during the monsoons is a blissful experience. The fort remains open from 10 Am to 6 Pm. Mahabaleshwar is famous for the production of Strawberries and you can buy a box from the local vendors sitting at regular intervals on the roads or from the market if you are visiting during the winter season.
6. Raigad Fort
Raigad fort is situated at 2,700 meters above sea level in the Sahyadri mountain range, near Mahad, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is located around 160 km away from Mumbai.
The actual trek starts from the Pachad Village at the base of the fort. This is one of the difficult treks as the pathway consists of approximately 1740 steps through dense forest and big entrances (Darwajas) and this makes it a tough and tiring trek but gives you an experience worth cherishing and satisfying. The trek takes about 3 hours to mount till the top, but if you are visiting with your family you can opt to reach the top through the rope-way as this also a tourist place.
While trekking you can find some stalls to energise you with some lemonade and water bottles operated by the locals. From the top of the fort, you can watch some astonishing views of the western and central region around the fort. Chattrapati Shivaji was crowned here as the Maratha King in the year 1674 and was declared as his capital. You can spot a statue of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj facing towards the market place of that era, which is now in ruins and the path leading to Jagdishwar Darwaja and his Samadhi.
On your way back from Jagdish Darwaja towards the market, you can visit the Takmak Tok, a cliff, where the prisoners were executed by throwing to their death. It’s better to start the trek in the early morning when the weather is cool and pleasant so that you can return back during the afternoon hours.
7. Karnala Fort
Situated along the Mumbai Goa highway, Funnel hill also known as Karnala Fort is a hill fort inside the Karnala Bird Century which is approximately 10kms away from Panvel City in the Raigad District of Maharashtra. This is a popular place for hiking and tourism because of its strange pointed rocks and the bird century setup inside the forest.
The fort is located at a height of 1600 ft. The difficulty level of this trek is from easy to medium and it’s a perfect place for the parents who want their children to get introduced to trekking. There are two routes to reach the top and it takes approximately 2 hrs to reach the top. The pinnacle is covered by the clouds and mist.
You can visit the place any time of the month as it is situated inside a forest and also a bird century you can spot many birds like the ashy minivet, red-breasted flycatcher, blackbird, black-headed cuckoo-shrike, blue-throat, Green Bee-eater, songbirds like the paradise flycatcher, magpie robin and the Malabar whistling thrush during monsoons with that landscape surrounding us are stunningly beautiful.
So these are a few places to visit for trekking or tourist spots where you visit any time of the month with your friends or family. A few things to be kept in mind is that carry sufficient water and few snacks to keep yourself hydrated and energetic and proper sports shoes or trekking boots for sufficient leg comfort and your good to go. This activity can be taken up for preparing yourself for big treks like Chaddar trek in Ladakh, keeping yourself fit, boosting the limit of your endurance or for fun activity.