During Monsoons, the Sahyadris in Maharashtra come alive as forests shake off the dust and present themselves in the most pleasant shades of green and brown, with the flora and fauna blooming all around. Add a few historic forts dotted along these hills and lo and behold, Maharashtra becomes the only place you need to visit to get your dose of adrenaline. Here are three of the best monsoon treks to plan when it rains soon in the city of the bravehearts.
Harischandragad is a fort hill in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. The trek to reach this fort comes with exciting historical appeal, owing to the temple’s origins having been traced to 6th century as part of the Kalachuri dynasty, along with the thrill of adventure owing to its location being in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. Strong fortifications around the fort make possible, multiple routes like Junnar Gate route, Sadhale Ghat, Nalichi Wat, and Indore Vaat to reach the temple,and each of them offer a unique twist to the trip. The Sadhale Ghat route will especially appeal to hikers as it is the most difficult route, while the Junnar Darwaja way offers the most bang for your buck and will require you to cross seven hills before you reach the temple of Lord Shiva. There is also an easier shortcut through the dense forests near the citadel of Balekilla. During Monsoons, hiking up via the Nalichi vaat or Taramati Ghal is not recommended, but you may go via Khireshwar route or Pachnai which are equally enjoyable and less risky. The main attraction of this hill fort remains the Konkan Kada (Konkan cliff), an almost 1,800 feet high concave fall. It is a vertical overhang, like a cobra’s hood, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding hills. But exercise extreme caution as it can get extremely windy.
Rajgad translates to “King of the Forts”, and is one of the prominent forts in Maharashtra, holding historical significance as it was the capital of the Maratha Empire under the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. As such, the Rajgad Fort is one of the most magnificent forts to plan a trek to in the Monsoons. Approximately 60 kilometres southwest of Pune city in Maharashtra, India, it is located near the village of Gunjavane and a hike through 4,250 ft of elevation will offer spectacular views of Sahyadri ranges it overlooks. The trek to Rajgad Fort is considered moderate to difficult and usually takes a full day to complete. It's recommended to start early in the morning to allow enough time to explore the fort and return before sunset. The total trekking distance is around 15-20 kilometers, depending on the chosen route. It involves climbing steep slopes, navigating rocky terrain, and sometimes even traversing through dense forests. The ideal time to undertake the Rajgad Fort Trek is during the winter and post-monsoon seasons, from October to March. The weather is pleasant, and the surroundings are lush green during this time. The two most popular routes to reach the fort are the Pali Village Route and the Gunjavane Route. The former is the most common and will require three to four hours as you traverse through steep slopes and dense forests, whereas the latter takes longer but offers better views and is also comparatively less crowded. Once you reach the fort, there is much that awaits you in Padmavati Temple, Suvela Machi, Palkhi Darwaza and the Ganga Sagar Lake close to the fort.
Alang Madan Kulang Trek
In the peaceful Ambewadi village lies one of the challenging section of the Kalsubai range which is called the Alang Madan Kulang hills. The trek holds the reputation of being the most difficult trek in all of the Sahyadris and as such, involves scaling three forts: Alang, Madan, and Kulang, which are located in close proximity to each other in the Nashik district of Maharashtra. The Alang Madan Kulang Trek is categorized as a difficult to strenuous trek. It requires prior trekking experience and good physical fitness. The trek involves steep ascents, rappelling, rock climbing, traversing exposed ridges, and negotiating challenging terrain. Here, marvel at the crystal formations in rocks while doing light backpacking Rappel down the jagged rocks enroute this thrilling trek as part of the thrilling activities you may indulge in here. The duration of the AMK Trek is typically 3 to 4 days, depending on the pace and the chosen route, The trek covers a total distance of approximately 20 to 25 kilometers. It is important to note that the AMK Trek is a challenging expedition that requires proper planning, preparation, and experience. It is always advisable to gather up-to-date information and consult with experienced trekkers or local trekking groups before undertaking this trek.
Read More: Rhytm Of The Rain: Monsoon Treks in Maharashtra
Also See: Treks To Embark On In Maharashtra in The Rainy Season