Enjoy Monsoon Trekking In The Hills Of Maharashtra

The best time to explore the hills of Maharashtra is during the monsoon when the rocks wear a mantle of green and silvery springs roll down among them. Many of the trek routes end in a visit to spectacular old forts.
Monsoon trekking In the hills of Maharashtra
Monsoon trekking In the hills of MaharashtraUnsplash

The hills of Maharashtra, which largely lie dry and lifeless through summer, wake up during the monsoon. A mantle of green covers the hills, wild flowers raise their heads, and silvery springs flow past. Many of the hill tops end in spectacular forts, known for their architectural beauty and history. The trek routes are of varying grades of difficulty and hence everyone will find a route suitable for his or her stamina. There are several established trekking groups in Mumbai and Pune who conduct regular treks for amateurs and experienced trekkers. You may also go on night treks or camping holidays on selective routes.

Monsoon rains turn the brown hills to green
Monsoon rains turn the brown hills to greenPexels

Torna Fort

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


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.

Difficulty Level: Moderately difficult to hard, depends on the route.

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


Highest peak of Maharashtra
Highest peak of MaharashtraUnsplash

Although there is no fort here, this is one of the most popular treks of Maharashtra. A trek where you cannot see the summit. 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 are the enchanting views from above the clouds.

Difficulty Level: Medium


Literally translating to the 'jewel of forts', Ratangad is located in Ahmednagar district. Standing tall by the bank of the Bhandardara lake. Ratangad trek is one of the most exciting trails that the Sahyadri hill 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. 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 Fort
Lohagad FortUnsplash

One of the most popular treks near Lonavala, Lohagad needs no introduction to veteran trekkers. 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

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 to reach. 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

Locally known as Nagphani or the 'hood of a snake', the English name is said to draw inspiration from the Duke of Wellington's pointed nose. The popular among beginners while the rock wall is a challenge for rock climbers. Duke's Nose is located between Lonavala and Khandala. It is one of the popular spots for activities, such as rapellign and llying fox. If you are not too adventurous, you may join a camping tour. The area offers a pleasant view of Lonavla and its surroundings which remain hidden in a maze of cloud and mist during the monsoon.

Difficulty Level: Easy

Pro Tip

During these treks, carry heavy rain protection gear, insect repellants, drinking water and some dry snacks. If you are travelling on your own, check on the difficulty grade and chances of getting help in an emergency.

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