Why Maharashtra is the Best Hiking Destination in the Monsoons
Monsoon season brings forward the most scenic views no matter where you are in India. Trekking during this season not only creates a deeper connection with nature but also offers some of the most mesmerising views. With roaring waterfalls, crisscrossing trails, historic forts, colourful flowers, lush green mountains and valleys, Maharashtra is every adventure seekers paradise in the monsoon season. The Sahyadri range turns into the best hiking destination during monsoons with several trek routes for you to spend your days exploring. The following are some of the most talked-about hiking routes in Maharashtra:
The summit of Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra, cannot be seen on most parts of the trek. The summit is always hidden behind clouds, across waterfalls, rich green valleys and paddy fields. At 5,400 ft., this trail is well-defined with forests, meadows, rocky steps and ladders in place, making it easier for trekkers to reach the summit. This trek offers a mesmerising view from above the clouds.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Torna Fort is well-known for being the first fort won by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Not only is it full of history and folklore but is also renowned for its sheer beauty and the challenge it puts forward in trekking through stream crossings, ridge walks and waterfalls.
During the monsoon season, this hike offers a charming experience and showcases the beauty of Mahabaleshwar, Khadakwasla Dam and Singhal upon reaching uphill. It is also known as Prachandgad and is surrounded by mesmerising views of Bhatgar, Pratapgad, Raireshwar and Raigad from the top.
Difficulty level: Hard
Located at a 16 km trekking distance from Lonavala, this historical fort is approximately 2,710 ft. high. Rajmachi is a popular spot for trekking in the Lonavala hill station with several routes for trekkers to course through. Visible from the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, it faces Borghat, a historical trade route in the Sahyadri range.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Being an all-time favourite trail route amongst trekkers, this hiking route will take you through various kinds of birds and animals of the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. As Bhimashankar is the source of the River Bhima in Maharashtra, this trek takes you along the scenic views of the river throughout the 3,300 ft. climb. At the hilltop, trekkers can pray and seek blessings at the Bhimashankar and Jyotirlinga Temple.
If you are a first-timer or a beginner, it is advised that you take the Ganesh Ghat route instead of the challenging Shidi Ghat route. Bhimashankar trek is amongst the best monsoon hikes in Maharashtra.
Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Harishchandragad is a sixth-century hill fort in the district of Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. It is amongst the most demanding treks in Maharashtra with hikes across peaks, ponds and caves. This trek is a must for thrill-seekers and has multiple routes, including Nalichi Vaat, Khireshwar, Pachnai and Taramati Ghal.
It is advised that trekkers do not hike up through the Nalichivaat or Taramati Ghal route during the monsoon season. This fort has caves all over the area with the main attraction being the Kedareshwar Cave and Konkan Kada, an almost 1,800 ft. high concave fall, making it look like a Cobra's hood. To get a sweeping view of the surrounding hills, trekkers can also opt to camp overnight at Kedareshwar Cave.
Difficulty level: Depends upon the route taken
Situated in Ahmednagar district, Ratangad means 'Jewel of Forts'. About 4,255 ft. above sea level, Ratangad stands tall at the bank of the Bhandardaralake. Surrounded by the great mountains of Kalsubai, Kulang, Katarabai, Alang, Ghanchakkar and Ajoba, it ensures that trekkers also get to experience striking views of the lake.
This trek is amongst the most exciting trails of Sahyadris. The route consists of a 6 km boat ride and then a 4 km walk to reach the base in the village of Ratanwadi. There are various passages leading to the fort; while Pravara stream is the most famous, the Samrad route is relatively tougher.
Difficulty Level: Medium
Located 2 hours from Mumbai and 5 km from Lonavala, this trek begins at the Bhaje village near Malavli. Visapur trek is relatively easier than other monsoon treks in the area. It has a well-defined trail with boulders and unique staircase waterfalls, making it a favourite trek trail among beginners. Visapur Fort is much bigger than Lohagad and is set at a much higher altitude. You can also take a small detour and visit the historic Bhaja Caves on the way to the fort.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Meaning 'Iron Fort', Lohagad is located near the hill station of Lonavala Khandala, 52 km west of Pune. This fort stands 3,389 ft. above sea level and is amongst the easiest forts to scale, with no requirement of climbing experience. Lohagad is considered one of the best trekking routes near Pune and Mumbai.
Being connected to Visapur Fort, Lohagad divides basins of the Pavana and Indrayani rivers. Facing the Pavana reservoir in the south, it extends northward to the Vinchu Kata Scorpion's tail. The fort's four large gates are still intact and protected by the Archeological Survey of India.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Enjoy the monsoon season amid the most breathtakingly beautiful trekking destinations in Maharashtra. The trek trails in the state are not only a vibrant experience for all but are also an amazing opportunity for a refreshing getaway. You can also spend a night or two at Club Mahindra's Maharashtra resorts in Hatgad and Mahabaleshwar after your trekking trip. These resorts are well-equipped with state-of-the-art services and amenities to make your holiday magical!
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Limited (MHRIL), India’s leading player in the leisure hospitality industry, offers quality family holidays as also stated by Club Mahindra Resort Reviews and Club Mahindra Reviews, primarily through vacation ownership memberships. While Club Mahindra is the flagship brand offering Club Mahindra Membership, other brands offered by the company are – Club Mahindra Resorts Fundays and Svaastha Spa. As of Mar 31, 2019, MHRIL has 61+ resorts across India and abroad and its subsidiary, Holiday Club Resorts Oy, Finland, a leading vacation ownership company in Europe has 33 resorts across Finland, Sweden and Spain. Visit us at https://www.clubmahindra.com/