Rhythm Of The Rain: Monsoon Treks in Maharashtra

Rhythm Of The Rain: Monsoon Treks in Maharashtra
The Shayadris painted in all shades of green during the monsoons, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Coming around just in time to beat the scorching heat of summer, monsoons are a source of great joy to people in the country. And these treks will tell you exactly why.

Rangeet Ghosh
June 22 , 2020
16 Min Read

The monsoons are almost here and who wouldn’t want to attempt a rain-soaked trek in the Sahyadris, painted in all shades of green? Crisscrossing trails, roaring waterfalls, lush green mountains and valleys, flowers of every colour, and historic forts, the Sahyadris are at its best during the monsoons and have a lot to offer. Get drenched under a waterfall or dip your feet in a stream, monsoon treks in this region are all about enjoying the rain. Here are seven treks in the Sahyadris that you should attempt this monsoon.

The lush green hills near Lonavala during monsoon

Trekkers on the way to Rajgad Fort in Pune

 

Torna Fort

Zunjar Machi in Torna Fort

Torna Fort Cliff

 
 
 
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Also known as Prachandgad, owing to its massive size, Torna was the first fort to be captured by Shivaji (at the age of 16). Located in Pune district, this fort is not only about history and folklore but is also known for its sheer beauty and the challenge that goes into scaling it. Crossing streams, waterfalls, and ridges, the trek is exhilarating and difficult. But the hard work is rewarded with mesmerising views of the surrounding mountain ranges including Sinhagad, Raigad and Khadakwasla Dams among many others.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Harishchandragad

Harishchandragad Fort during sunrise

Harishchandragad view from caves

View from Taramati Peak enroute Hanrishchandragad

 
 
 
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Dating back to the sixth century, Harishchandragad is a hill fort in Ahmednagar district. Considered one of the most challenging treks in Maharashtra, hiking past ponds, peaks and caves, Harishchandragad is a must for thrill-seekers. There are multiple routes to the fort including those that touch upon Khireshwar, Pachnai, Nalichi Vaat, and Taramati Ghal. Other than the jaw-dropping view of the valley, the main attractions of Harishchandragad are the Kedareshwar cave and Konkan Kada, an almost 80-degree incline, 1,800 feet concave fall that makes it look like a cobra’s hood. You can also opt to camp overnight at Kedareshwar cave.

(Note: The route via Nalichi Vaat or Taramati Ghal is generally not recommended during the monsoons)

Difficulty Level: Depends on the route

Kalsubai

The mesmerising view from the top of Kalsubai

Base village of Kalsubai Trek

Waterfall near Bhandardara on the way to Kalsubai

Early morning view from Kalsubai

A trek where you can’t see the summit. How exhilarating would that be? Well, Kalsubai trek is just that. The highest peak in Maharashtra, the summit of Kalsubai cannot be seen for most parts of the trail, because it is hidden amid clouds. Hiking across lush green valleys, waterfalls, and paddy fields, this trek is worth every step. Though a moderately steep climb, there is a defined trail with ladders and railing put in place to make it easier. And the reward for climbing up the highest peak in Maharashtra? The enchanting views from above the clouds.

Difficulty Level: Medium

Ratangad

Aerial view of Ratangad

View of the valley from Ratangad

Breathtaking view from Ratangad

 
 
 
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Literally translating to ‘jewel of forts’, Ratangad is located in Ahmednagar district. Standing tall at the bank of the Bhandardara lake, Ratangad trek is one of the most exciting trails that the Sahyadris has to offer. You have to cross the Bhandardara lake, a boat ride of 6kms and then walk 4kms to reach the base in the village of Ratanwadi. For this fort too there are multiple passages that lead to the peak called ‘Nedhe’. While the moderately steep slope through the dense forests along the Pravara stream is more popular, the route from Samrad is relatively tougher. The fort offers picturesque views of the lake and the surrounding mountains like Kalsubai, Ajoba, Kulang, Alang, etc.

Difficulty Level: Medium

Lohagad

Panoramic view of Lohagad

View on the top of Lohagad Fort

Way up to Lohagad Fort

 
 
 
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One of the most popular treks near Lonavala, Lohagad needs no introduction. Literally translating to “the iron fort”, Lohagad is one of the easiest forts to scale, requiring no real climbing experience and is considered one of the best trekking routes near Mumbai and Pune. Standing next to the Visapur fort on the adjacent mountain, Lohagad looks over the Pavana reservoir. It has stood the test of time and most of its gates are still intact and is now protected by the Archeological Survey of India.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Visapur Fort

Way to Visapur Fort

Visapur Fort as seen from the adjacent Lohagad

 
 
 
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Considerably bigger than its twin Lohagad, Visapur Fort is set at a higher altitude. Beginning at the Bhaje village near Malavli, it is relatively easier. You climb up along a waterfall while getting soaked in the rain. No wonder it is a favourite among beginners. You can also take a small detour and visit the historic Bhaja Caves on the way to Visapur.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Duke’s Nose

View of the valley on the way to Duke's Nose

The beautiful valley with the Duke's Nose in the background

 
 
 
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Named after the Duke of Wellington’s pointed nose, the cliff is not only popular among trekkers, but also among rock climbers. The tall straight cliff is a delight for trekkers but a challenge for rock climbers and rappellers. Known as ‘Nagphani’, Duke’s Nose is located between Lonavala and Khandala and is one of the easiest treks around

Difficulty Level: Easy


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