Maharashtra Treks Weekend Getaways

Best Treks to do in Maharashtra

Best Treks in Maharashtra justwravel
Team JustWravel
Written by Just Wravel

The western ghats of Maharashtra is a paradise for many avid trekkers and adventure seekers. The rock-cut and sturdy mountains of the western ghats house a number of forts, rich wilderness, milky waterfalls in monsoon, and a rich history. There are different types of treks in Maharashtra from just a simple hike, to rock climbing on 90◦ pinnacles, walking through deep gorges or gathering all energy for steep rock-cut steps, and exploring the rich flora and fauna. From simple treks for amateurs to extreme technical climb for professionals, Maharashtra has it all.

Trekking through the western ghats of Maharashtra is a lifetime experience, which will definitely increase your love and respect for these mountains and will give you the best views of Sahyadris.

1. AMK (Alang Madan Kulang)
  • Base:- Ambevadi/ Udadhavane village
  • Distance :- 63 kms (from Nashik)
  • Difficulty :- Hard

AMK is considered one of the most difficult treks of Maharashtra. It is due to very narrow pathways, rock patches, steep climb, thrilling traverse, and dense forest cover.

These forts were built during the Satvahana era, but doesn’t have a rich history, as these were not easily accessible. The forts were given to the Peshwas, but later the Britishers took over and destroyed the steps to these forts. There are some caves, water cisterns on these forts; Alang fort also has ruins of a temple.

This range trek is on the bucket list of every Sahyadri lover. Throughout the trek route, one will see changing landscapes of the massive nearby peaks and forts like Kalsubai, Ratangad, Harishchandragad, Anjaneri, Harihar, etc.

There are a number of routes to climb these forts, the most popular route used is from Ambevadi village. It takes 5-6 hrs to reach Alang, from Alang to Madan the time required is 2-3 hrs and finally, from Madan to Kulang the time required is 3-4 hrs.

The best time to visit is from November to February.

2. Lingana Trek
  • Base :- Singapur village
  • Distance :- 140 kms (from Pune)
  • Difficulty :- Hard

Fort takes its name from its shape, which resembles a “Linga”.It is located in Mahad Taluka of Raigad district.

Lingana fort was built by Shivaji Maharaj and was used as a prison, due to the deep valley that surrounds the area. It was also used to protect the central Konkan region. It was impossible for any prisoner to run away from this fort.

Later the Britishers took over and destroyed the fort, but there are a few traces of granary and water cisterns.

The trek to Lingana is a paradise for rock climbers. The best view of the fort comes from the adjoining Railing pathar (plateau), which is a good place for camping.

Some groups also organize zipline activity from Railing pathar to the caves on the fort. To reach Lingana base you will have to cross a steep path called ‘Boratyachi nal’. Once you reach the base, the further climb is completely technical and cannot be done without prior rock climbing experience and safety.

Not everyone reaches the top, but once you reach you will have the best view of Raigad, Rajgad and Torna fort. The time required to reach the top is 4-5 hrs.

The best time to visit Lingana is from November to February.

3. Ratangad Trek
  • Base :- Ratanwadi/Samrad
  • Distance :- 83 kms(from Nashik)
  • Difficulty :- Moderate.

The name Ratangad means Jewel of forts. The fort is the origin of the Pravara River and is situated in the Ahmednagar district. The temple at the base of the village is dated back to the 8th century.

Ratangad has a natural rock cut peak with a cavity on top called “Nedhe” or the needle eye. The fort is also called as ‘Nhavi killa’ as one of its commandant was of barber caste. There are two routes to reach Ratangad. The route that begins from Ratanwadi is comparatively easier than that from Samrad.

The fort offers a panoramic view of the nearby forts like Alang, Madan, Kulang, Kalsubai, Bhandardhara dam, and Sandhan valley.

Ratangad can be visited throughout the year, but the best time to visit is from October to March. In the month of November, the flat land on top is covered with a sheet of flowers.

4. Sandhan Valley Trek
  • Base :- Samrad village
  • Distance :- 90 kms (from Nashik)
  • Difficulty :- Moderate

Sandhan Valley is also known by multiple names like –the valley of shadows or the grand canyon of Maharashtra. The valley is 200ft deep and 2 km long. There are a number of activities that can be done here like- walking through the deep gorge, rock climbing, rappelling, giant swing, and even camping.

The view from the base village itself is beautiful, but once you enter the valley it is a treat to eyes. Sandhan valley is a perfect place for beginners as well as extreme adventure enthusiasts. The total hiking time is approximately 5 hrs.

The best season is from November to May.

5. Harishchandragad Trek
  • Base :- Pachnai/ Khireshwar
  • Distance :- 126 kms (from Pune)
  • Difficulty :- Moderate to Hard.

Harishchandragad, located in Ahmednagar district is believed to be in existence since the Microlithic man. It is also mentioned in various Puranas. The parts of the fort has said to be built in various centuries starting from the 6th century.

From amongst the many caves on the fort, the popular one is the Kedareshwar cave that has a Shiva Linga surrounded with cold water. There are various interesting stories associated with this cave – one of them says that the four pillars around the Shivlinga resembles the 4 ‘Yuga’ and the 4th pillar that is intact till date will break at the end of ‘Kalyug’. Saptatirtha Pushkarnai, Taramati and Konkan Kada are must-visit points of interest as the views that they offer cannot be seen anywhere else.

Hiking, Camping, Rock climbing, Rappelling, and even fox flying off the Konkan Kada are some of the activities that can be done here.

There are various routes to go on top. The easiest one is from the Pachnai village which will take approx 1.5 hrs. Another is from Khireshwar which will take 3-4 hrs. And the toughest one is Nalichi vaat (a narrow rocky path), which is almost a technical climb and preferred path by rock climbers. But this path would take 6-8 hrs.

The best time to visit is from September to March.

6. Bhairavgad
  • Base :- Moroshi village
  • Distance :- 115 kms (from Mumbai)
  • Difficulty :- Moderate to Hard

There are a few mountains that are named as Bhairavgad, but the popular one for trekking is Moroshicha Bhairavgad in Malshej ghat. This fort is 2500 years old. The top of the fort has the shrine of Lord Bhairavnath.

It has a dyke formation and it was used as an outpost to keep an eye over Kalyan-Junnar and Naneghat-Jivdhan route. This fort is a lifetime experience for trekkers as the steep and exposed rock-cut steps will challenge your limits and is risky without technical support.

But once you are at the summit, it will offer impressive views of Malshej ghat, Ajoba fort, Rohida, Naneghat, Jivdhan, and Harishchandragad.

The best time to visit is from October to March.

7. Salher-Salota-Mulher-Moha-Hargad
  • Base :- Salher/Mulher
  • Distance :- 106 kms (from Nashik)
  • Difficulty :- Hard

This is one of the famous circuit treks of Maharashtra located in Nashik district.

Salher is the highest fort in Maharashtra and the second highest peak after Kalsubai. Salher fort has ruins of Parshuram temple and Renukadevi temple (mother of Parshuram) as it is believed that Lord Parshuram had meditated here.

Out of all the battles fought between the Marathas and the Mughal, the battle of Salher is said to be the most fierce one, but a nightmare for Mughals and the Marathas losing their one of the most strongest soldier- Suryarao Kakde, but emerged victorious in the end.

The trek starts from Salher village to the top of Salher, which takes 1.5-2 hrs to reach the top. From there you can visit Salota which is a bit difficult but can be managed without a technical assistant, get down to Salher village and go to Mulher village by a vehicle (public transport is available). From Mulher you first head on to Hargad and then to Mulher. After Mulher, you head on to Moha.

This circuit trek can be done in 3-4 days, but one will require a good experience and high endurance for it. Every fort will offer you a different view of the mighty Sahyadris.

The best time to visit is from November to February.

8. Kalavantin – Prabalgad Trek
  • Base :- Thakurwadi
  • Distance :- 47 kms (from Mumbai)
  • Difficulty :- Moderate

Kalavantin Durg and Prabalgad are two trekking places located on a wide machi (plateau) called as Prabalmachi. In Marathi durg means ‘fort’ but Kalavantin is not a fort but actually a pinnacle, said to be made in the memory of queen Kalavantin in the 15th century.

Prabalgad was built by Bahamani Sultan to keep an eye on the Kalyan region and North Konkan. From then onwards the fort has been changing its ownership between Marathas and Mughals.

The trek starts from Thakurwadi village and it takes 1.5 hrs to reach Prabalmachi. From there the route from left goes to Kalavantin and the right one goes to Prabalgad. The trek to Kalavantin is said to be one of the deadliest due to its steep rock-cut steps. The top offers beautiful views of Matheran, Peb fort, Chanderi, and Irshalgad. There are also some caves on the way to the top of Kalavantin.

The best time to visit is from October to April.

9. Harihar Fort Trek
  • Base :- Harshewadi/ Nirgudpada village
  • Distance :- 40 kms (from Nashik)
  • Difficulty :- Moderate

Harihar Fort is also known as Harshgad and is located in the Nashik district. The fort has mentioned from the rule of the Yadava dynasty and was built to keep a watch on the trade route of Gonda Ghat. The fort was owned by Khan Zamam in 1636, but later the British captured it.

The top has a wide plateau and there is Shiva and Hanuman temple of top. The major feature of the fort is the steep steps carved out of the rock, which gives you a thrilling experience. There are two routes to reach the top. The route from Harshewadi is relatively easier. It takes about 1-2 hrs to reach the top.

The best time to visit the fort is from September to March.

10. Vasota Trek
  • Base :- Met Indavali
  • Distance :- 56 kms (from Satara)
  • Difficulty :- Moderate

Vasota is also called Vyaghragad and is located in the Satara district. This fort was built by Raja Bhojraj of the Shilhara dynasty.

When Shivaji Maharaj captured the fort, he named it as Vyaghragad (Vyaghra means tiger), due to its strong natural defense. Vasota fort is famous for Maharashtrian style architecture and comprises of the old fort, new fort, and Nageshwar cave. The old fort is closed for trekkers due to the presence of wildlife.

Vasota fort trek is the best jungle trek in Maharashtra. The fort is surrounded by water on three sides. To reach the fort you will have to first reach Bamnoli village and take a boat through Koyna backwaters to Met Indavali, which is 1.5 hrs of ride. One has to take permission from the forest department, as the trek is through the Koyna wildlife sanctuary. One has to return back before 5:30 pm.

The trek remains closed from June to October. The time required to reach the top from Met Indavali is 3 hrs and a further 2 hrs to reach Nageshwar caves.

11. Panhala to Vishalagd Trek
  • Base :- Panhala
  • Distance :- 20 kms (from Kolhapur)
  • Difficulty :- Moderate

The forts of Panhalgad and Vishalgad lies in the Kolhapur district. This 75 km long patch is legendary as Shivaji Maharaj had escaped from this route to Vishalgad from Siddhi’s siege. But lost his two brave soldiers Shiva Kashid (a lookalike of Maharaj), who was killed by Siddhi assuming he was Shivaji.

Another soldier was Baji Prabhu Despande who blocked the way of Siddhi’s soldiers at Pawankind so that his king could reach safely to the top but died in that ferocious battle. One can travel up till Panhalgad by a vehicle as it is one of the few living forts left in Maharashtra.

The trek starts from Pusati Buruj on Panhalgad via Pawankhind (55 km) and ends at Pandharepani on Vishalgad. There are a few villages en route for taking breaks. The time needed to complete this trail is 12-14 hrs.

The best time to visit is from November to February.

12. Mahuli Fort Trek
  • Base:- Asangaon
  • Distance:- 74 km (from Mumbai)
  • Difficulty:- Moderate.

Mahuli fort is located in the Thane district and is the highest point in the district. The trek is very popular amongst the rock climbers and weekend adventure seekers due to it’s proximity to the city.

This fort has changed it’s ownership between the Marathas and the Mughals, until finally the Britishers came in. The surrounding forest of the fort is a part of the Tansa Wildlife sanctuary. The fort of Mahuli can be distinctly made out because it’s pinnacles and connecting forts. The left one is the Mahuli- Chenderi, the three pinnacles in the center are Navra (groom), Navari (bride), and Bhatji (priest), next is Bhandargad and the extreme right one is Mahuli.

The trek to cover all of these will take 2 days. The best time to visit is from November to March.

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Contributed By : Prajakta

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