It’s monsoon time and the Sahyadris are covering itself with all shades of green. If you make some effort and move out of the cozy corners of your home and extend your plans beyond Lonavala, get ready for some monsoon adventure. With rains the trekking destination becomes greener, cooler and appealing than any other time of the year. If you are a beginner, take a look at our monsoon trek guide.
The historical fort in Sahyadri mountains consists of twin fortresses – Shriwardhan Balekilla and Manaranjan Balekilla – surrounded by a wide plateau. The fort can be explored via two routes – Karjat and Lonavala. The Karjat route is tough and involves climb-up of 2,000 feet, while Lonavala route needs a walk of 15 km. During monsoon, the region is full of waterfalls, streams, meadows and lust green forests. Kondava caves is a must visit here.
Literally meaning the ‘Iron Fort’, Lohagad is actually a baby trek and is perfect for beginners who want to venture into outdoors. During monsoon the top of the fort is covered with mist and clouds. The fort overlooks the Pavana reservoir. The Visapur Fort is located on its Eastern side. Built in the 18th century, the fort is an ideal destination for trekkers and nature lovers.
The fort is located 20 kms away from Lonavala and has two routes to reach on the top – Peth Shahpur and Ambavne Village. The Peth Shahpur route starts from Bhairavnath Temple is the easiest way as you need to walk for nearly 15 minutes and then you can use the steps. The trek is suitable for anytime of the year. The planned township of Aamby valley is built over the fort’s foothills.
Also known as Vitandgad, the fort is located near Kamshet in Maval region and takes just 1.5 hours to reach on the top. Tikona has a twin fort by the name ‘Tung’. Must visit spots in the fort are Trimbakeshwar Mahadev Temple, water tanks and Satvahan caves. The hill is pyramidal in shape and hence the name ‘Tikona’ meaning ‘triangle’.
‘Ratan’ literally means jewels and the fort is also called as ‘Jewels of the fort’. It has a natural rock peak with a cavity at the top which is called ‘Nedhe’ or the ‘Eye of the Needle’. The hole is natural and is probably caused by wind erosion. Amruteshwar Temple at the base village Ratanwadi dates back to the eighth century. The view of the fort gives us sheer pleasure and a magnificent view of Kalsubai, Aajoba and Bhandardara dam.
The fort is located in Raigad district and is 10 km away from Panvel. Karnala Fort is a protected property under Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The trek is one of the basic and easiest hike with just some rocky patches. From the top of the fort one can clearly view Prabalgad, Manikgad, Haji Malang, Chanderi fort, Matheran, Sankshi fort, Dronagiri fort and Rajmachi.
Mahuli fort comes under Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary’s jurisdiction and is a paradise for rock climbers. Though it is a bit secluded it is one of the majestic trekking spots near Mumbai and Pune. The fort is the highest point in Thane district giving a bird’s eye-view of the landscape below. The forest surrounding the area is declared as a sanctuary. During monsoon, the region is a beautiful spectrum of lush green meadows and forests.
Naneghat here literally means ‘Nane’ means coins and ‘Ghat’ means pass. It was a trade route used by Satavahanas to reach Junnar. Basically it was a coin pass for travelers more like a toll booth. It is an easy trek for beginners and doesn’t involve much exposure. The main attraction here are caves, ancient carvings and a well for inserting coins.
Located in Palghar district, Tandulwadi Fort is said to be 800 years old and build as a watch tower to keep a watch on neighbouring forts and Arabian Sea. Though the fort is well connected by road, there are no restaurants in or near the village. So it is advisable to carry your own food. The fort does not have any walls, bastions or houses except a small water pond situated in the centre.
Also known as Bhorapgad, the fort is a popular trekking destination and is one of the better preserved forts in Maharashtra. Sudhagad is said to be a replica of Raigad and before Raigad, Sudhagad was on the verge of being the capital of Shivaji’s Empire. The trek is an easy trek for beginners and the lake laden pathways are simply breathtaking.