The third most populous state of India with more than a hundred million inhabitants, Maharashtra is the historically rich state alive with vibrant cultures, ancient monuments, exotic flora and fauna, all resting on the plains and plateaus along the coastline of the Arabian Sea. Famous for places like the Elephanta Caves and Gateway of India etc., Maharashtra is also the seat of the active city of Mumbai which is the main hub of the Bollywood Film Industry. Amongst other cherished activities, Maharashtra also offers beautiful landscapes amidst its hilly terrain, lush greenery and innumerable unexplored sites. With numerous hill stations and rocky terrains, the state’s pleasant weather makes it an ideal destination for trekking enthusiasts all over the globe. We list 5 places in Maharashtra which offer the best trekking experience.
1. Korigad Fort Trek
Located 20 kilometres from Lonavala, in Pune district, Korigad fort lies at an altitude of 923 metres above the sea level giving a splendid view of the surroundings. Comprising of two caves and several lakes, the site also holds ruins of older buildings and temples. Perfect for a beginner, this trek classifies in the easy category requiring only an hour to reach the top of the fort. The fort also holds six cannons, the largest of which rests near the Koraidevi temple.
2. Lohagad Fort Trek
Located 114 kilometers from Mumbai and just 11 kilometres from Lonavala, Lohagad Fort or the Iron Fort is one of the most popular historical places in Maharashtra. Perched at a height of 1050 metres, the fort acts as a barrier between Indrayani basin and the Pawna basin. Shrouded in dense mist during the monsoon months, Lohagad Fort is one of the most popular trekking spots in the state. Trekking level here is easy with the entire trekking time not exceeding half a day. The captivating fort is built in the shape of the tail of a scorpion and has four entrances which are still intact and filled with intricate sculptures. The site is known for its dense greenery and is best experienced during the monsoon season.
3. Kalsubai Peak Trek
The highest peak in Maharashtra, the Kalsubai peak, rises upto 1646 metres above the sea level and is a challenge for many trekkers who hope to reach its zenith at some point. Resting on top of the peak is a small temple dedicated to the local deity, Kalsubai. This “Everest of the Sahayadris” is located 140 kilometres of Mumbai city and 169 kilometres from Pune. There are several trails one can follow to the top of the peak which begins at the Bari village. This trek ranges in the difficulty level from moderate to hard and takes upto 4 hours.
4. Tikona Fort Trek
The hill fort of Tikona or Vitandgad is located 3633 feet above the sea level and lies 21 kilometres from the Lohagad Fort and 135 kilometres from Mumbai. Deriving its name from “trikon” or triangle, the fort is small and in triangular shaped. Much of the earliest historic facts about this fort are unknown. It comprises of several tanks, lakes and is located near the Pawna dam. The famous temple of Trimbakeshwar Mahadev also lies within this fort which also holds numerous Buddhist and satvahan caves. The glorious view along with the breathtaking surroundings, Tikona fort trek is a popular destination which can be enjoyed by anyone in less than two hours’ time.
5. Ratangad Fort Trek
One of the most beautifully located forts of Maharashtra, Ratangad (or jewel) fort lives up to its name. Believed to be the cherished fort of Maratha warrior Shivaji, it is over 400 years old and rests at an altitude of 4250 feet. The rich heritage of the fort makes it one of the most popular places in the state. Located 23 kilometres from Bhandardara and 197 kilometres from Mumbai, this site is an ideal place for trekking. Beginning at the Ratanwadi village, this trek will take you through rocky terrains, sparkling streams and dense forests. Taking about 4 hours’ duration for the entire trek, this exhilarating but precarious journey is not advised for beginners.
The land of hills, sea and forests, Maharashtra offers exciting places for adventurers to enjoy. This list provides the best trekking experiences in the state.