10 Best Monsoon Treks in Maharashtra To Discover Breathtaking Views

Best monsoon treks in Maharashtra

If you are a trekking enthusiast, then the rains create the perfect atmosphere for new adventures. The beauty of the rich flora and breathtaking views is amplified during the monsoon.

And the Western Ghats in Maharashtra are undoubtedly any adventure seeker’s paradise. Take a hike in the vibrant hill stations, and walk up to the historic forts and caves nestled among the lush greenery.

1. Lohagad Fort Trek

A view from Lohagad
A view from Lohagad. | Photo credit: Rahul Sathe (rahulssathe on Instagram)

An ideal trek for beginners, Lohagad Fort is one of the best trekking routes close to Mumbai and Pune. Situated near Lonavala, the fort is at an elevation of 1,033 meters or 3,389 feet above sea level. Lohagad, which translates to ‘Iron fort’ in Marathi, had played a significant role in the strategic trade route of the Maratha Kings.

Highlights: The mountain range divides the basins of Pavana and Indrayani Rivers and overlooks the Pavana lake, offering a beautiful view from the top.

Time: 12 hours
Difficulty level: Easy
Distance from Mumbai: 100 km
Distance from Pune: 90 km

2. Rajmachi Fort Trek

A view from Rajmachi Fort
A view from Rajmachi Fort | Photo Credits: Pratik W (pratikw16 on Instagram)

Nestled between the two hill stations — Lonavala and Karjat, the Rajmachi Fort is one of the most beautiful historical forts in Maharashtra. Once a popular trade route that connected the old regions of Mumbai and Pune, the fort is at a height of around 2750 ft above sea level.

Highlights: The fort offers the trekkers to climb two different forts — Shrivardhan (2510 ft) and Manaranjan (2710 ft) — from the same base of Udhewadi village, through several routes. Besides, it is surrounded by lush green mountains and valleys dotted with beautiful waterfalls making it a perfect trekking site, especially during the monsoons.

Time: Five hours from Karjat and around 11 to 12 hours from Lonavala.
Difficulty level: Medium
Distance from Mumbai: 125 km
Distance from Pune: 70 km

3. Ratangad Fort Trek

Ratangad fort
Ratangad fort | Photo Credits: Mohit Chawan (befikraaa_19 on Instagram)

Located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, the Ratangad fort is another jewel among the several hill forts nestled in the Western ghats. Lying at an altitude of 4233 ft above sea level, this fort is in the Ajoba mountain range surrounded by several other mountains such as Kulang, Alang, Kalsubai, Katarabai and so on.

This 400-year-old fort, once used by Maratha ruler Shivaji Maharaj, offers a stunning view of the nearby mountains and the Bhandardara dam. Among the several routes to trek the Ratangad fort, the route from Ratanwadi village is the most popular one.

Highlights: One has to cross deep forests and climb the peak amidst the thriving greenery, that offers views of beautiful waterfalls and if lucky, a surreal sunset.

Time: Five hours
Difficulty level: Medium
Distance from Mumbai: 197 km
Distance from Pune: 183 km

4. Raigad Fort Trek

Raigad fort, located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, once served as the capital of the Maratha ruler Shivaji Maharaj in 1674. The fort, at an elevation of 2,700 ft, is surrounded by deep valleys and is accessible only through a pathway with over 1,700 steps.

Though the main structures inside the fort are mostly in ruins, the fort still stands as a symbol of brave Maratha history.

Highlights: It is a 5 km long route where one can witness the beautiful views of the Sahyadri mountains along with the amazing historic architecture.

Time: Two hours
Difficulty level: Medium
Distance from Mumbai: 166 km
Distance from Pune: 130 km

5. Harishchandragad Trek

Harishchandragad
View from Harishchandragad | Photo Credits: Mohit Chawan (befikraaa_19 on Instagram)

Another ancient fort in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Harishchandragad is believed to have been built in the 6th century. Situated at an altitude of 4650 ft from sea level, this trek offers an amazing experience where one can witness several caves, temples and sunrise and sunset viewpoints.

Highlights: Sapta Tirta Pushkarini Temple, Kedareshwar Cave, Konkan Kada (cliff), and Taramati Peak are some of the few main attractions of the fort. Among the three popular ways to trek towards the fort, the easiest one is via Pachnai village whereas the trail through the Khireshwar village route offers the best scenic views.

Time: Nine hours
Difficulty level: Medium
Distance from Mumbai: 140 km
Distance from Pune: 125 km

6. Karnala Fort Trek

Karnala Fort
Karnala Fort | Photo Credits: Bidur Gupta (trekker_freak on Instagram)

Karnala Fort, also known as Funnel hill is situated in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. This fort situated inside the Karnala bird sanctuary is a noted trekking point located at a height of around 1,500 ft above sea level.

Believed to be built in the 14th century, the fort was once part of strategic importance as it overlooked the Bor Pass which connected Konkan to the Vidarbha region.

Highlights: Best for beginners, this trek offers a mesmerizing view of the valleys and forests from its peak. Besides, several varieties of birds can be spotted during the trail.

Time: Two to three hours
Difficulty level: Easy to medium
Distance from Mumbai: 60 km
Distance from Pune: 123 km

7. Torna Fort Trek

A view from Torna Fort
A view from Torna Fort. | Photo Credits: Mohit Chawan (befikraaa_19 on Instagram)

The highest hill fort in the Pune district of Maharashtra, the Torna Fort is also known as Prachandagad due to its massive size. Located at a height of around 4,603 ft from sea level, this fort holds a lot of historical importance as it was the first fort captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the year 1646. Later, it went under the control of several rulers.

Highlights: The lush green trail offers stunning views from the top and also the view of the Budhla Maachi and Zunjar Maachi cliffs around the fort is a must-see.

Time: Three hours
Difficulty level: Medium
Distance from Mumbai: 196 km
Distance from Pune: 70 km

8. Korigad Fort Trek

Korigad Fort in Pune district is believed to be built during the 1500s. Located at an elevation of around 3,049 ft above sea level, the fort offers a stunning view of the Aamby Valley city along with the Tung and Tikona forts.

Highlights: Passing through several dense forests and waterfalls, the trail is truly a delight for nature lovers. Besides, there are three temples and two lakes in the fort.

Time: One hour
Difficulty level: Easy
Distance from Mumbai: 105 km
Distance from Pune: 92 km

9. Garbett Point Trek

The Garbett plateau is located in the southwest direction of Matheran, one of the most popular hill stations near Mumbai city. Offering breathtaking views of the Western Ghats, Matheran is an eco-sensitive region as well as Asia’s only automobile-free hill station.

Highlights: The Garbett point offers a panoramic view of the hill station and the trail is filled with beautiful lakes, waterfalls and lush green forests.

Time: Five hours
Difficulty level: Medium
Distance from Mumbai: 80 km
Distance from Pune: 119 km

10. Sagargad Fort Trek

Located in the Alibaug region of Maharashtra, the Sagargad fort also known as Kheddurg is noted for offering an amazing panoramic view of the region and the Arabian sea from the top. The fort set at a height of around 1,357 ft from above sea level was won by Shivaji Maharaj from Adilshah in 1660 A.D.

The Siddheshwar temple and ashram are located at the midpoint of the trek and a cliff behind the temple has a beautiful waterfall.

Highlights: The spot is equally perfect for the ones who love the sea and the ones who love mountains. The fort offers a stunning view of the Arabian sea, as well as the entire Alibaug region.

Time: Three to four hours
Difficulty: Medium
Distance from Mumbai: 84 km
Distance from Pune: 134 km

(Edited by Yoshita Rao)

Author: Aaron Ryan