The Bollywood city has been the hub of all businesses, trade, and commerce since the British era. Being Maharashtra’s state capital and India’s financial capital, the city almost never sleeps. The city is buzzing and on its toes 24/7 no matter how critical the situations are. It can get tiresome despite the city life’s convenience and fast-paced days. Luckily, the Western Ghats are here for your rescue.
The state of Maharashtra is known for its hill fortress in the Western Ghats. The areas surrounding Mumbai like Karjat, Nashik, Lonavala, Pune, etc. are popular for being weekend getaways and short treks in the Western ghats. The treks are mostly done during the monsoons since the monsoons in Maharashtra are magical and drench the Western Ghats in lush green carpet.
Sinhgad possesses historical importance whose story echoes with bravery of Shivaji’s able general, Tanaji Malusar. Legend has it that in the dead of the night, Tanaji with a band of hardy Malavas scaled 3000ft high sheer precipice using ropes and more unusually trained giant lizards(Ghorpad). These giant lizards had ropes tied to their bodies, which trailed down for the warriors to climb up. The warriors won the fort but lost Tanaji. It is 25 kms from Pune, located in the intimidating Bhuleshwar ranges.
It is a 180 kms drive from Mumbai. The trek can be done by two alternatives. There is a separate path for two wheelers and four wheelers to get to the summit. The latter one is where one can trek from the fort entry point. The trail covers a forest, Kalyan Darwaza, Pune Darwaza, Hanuman Mandir and Tanaji Malusare statue. The best time to visit would be to watch the sunrise early mornings. The trek is fairly moderate.
- Taste the best Maharashtrian lunch of Pithla Bhakri on the way up to Sinhagad.
Nestled in the Raigad district, near Naniwali village which is 3 kms from Chouk. Irshalgad is the hidden emerald in Karjat often called Prabalgad’s sister fort. The trail is easy and a few sections are a little tricky. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete the 518 m trek. The distinctive towerlike peak is what the locals call Nedhe rock formation. It is believed to be due to wind erosion. To climb the rocky patch, one needs to use a ladder or rope to rappel down. This is the most thrilling part of the trek which requires endurance and a fit body. The overall trek includes a plateau, bushes , Morbe dam and village. The best season would be monsoon. You can also spot other neighboring peaks like Prabalgad, Matheran, Chanderi, Malanggad, Karnala and Manikgad.
Kalsubai is the tallest peak in Western Ghats of Maharashtra with an elevation of 1646 m.
The peak is located in the Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. Initially the peak received only trekkers traffic but now since the trail is well maintained and built, there are alot of non trekkers who visit during the weekends. The trek has multiple base points, and a popular trek route begins from Bari or Panjare village. It takes around 4-5 hours to reach the Kalsubai summit. The key feature of the trek is that it is also a night trek. You can camp on the summit with your tents and watch stars. If not, there are camping sites at the foothills and base villages which are equally exciting. The trek trail consists of vertical slopes, rocky terrain, a Hanuman Temple, waterfalls and green fields at the base village. The monsoon season changes the entire landscape into a green heaven.
Alang Madan Kulang Trek (AMK)
This is by far the most challenging trek in Sahyadris. You are required to hire a mandatory local guide or expert to go on this trek. The rocky patches are extreme and some need ropes and rock climbing equipment to climb. Your adrenaline will be pumped throughout this physically demanding trek. The trek takes 2 days to complete and the trail is difficult. You will be climbing Alang Madan and Kulang trio peaks during the trek. The base village is Ambewadi where you will also receive food and guide with technical instruments. Catch a train to Igatpuri/Kasara-Ghoti and catch a local bus from Ghoti to Ambewadi. The distance is 32 kms. One needs a prior knowledge of trekking and rock climbing in order to go on this trek.
Situated at about 4670 ft in Ahmednagar, Harishchandragad is a famous tourist spot in Bhandardara region. The fort houses ancient temples, caves, and a lake. The key feature of this hill fort is Kokankada which is a cobra hood like structure which is often occupied by waterfalls and clouds during the monsoon. This is the second highest peak after Kalsubai and is a Mecca for trekkers of Maharashtra.