Best Trekking Destinations This Monsoon!

Along with rains come the excitement of being one with nature and bringing out your trekking gear to explore and revel in the monsoon mania! Trekking gives you the opportunity to appreciate nature, and take that much needed break from virtual reality, reintroducing the calmness and serenity of the enticing mountains, woods and encouraging self-discovery and enrichment. Travel enthusiast and blogger, Sweta Bhanushali, lists four exciting places to trek in Maharashtra in detail to help you choose from.

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RATANGAD

Trek Difficulty   : Moderate
Base Village       : Ratan Wadi
Things To See    : Eye of the needle, Rock cut Caves, Water cisterns, Amruteshwar Temple at Ratanwadi, Parava River, Bhandardhara Dam.

Overlooking the Bhandardara dam, Ratangad is a 2000-year-old fort situated at a height of 4255ft. Located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, the trek to the fort takes you through the beautiful jungles of the Western Ghats.  What separates Ratangad from other forts is the ‘Nedhe’ (or ‘eye of the needle’) which has formed from the natural cavity in the rock peak. ‘Nedhe’ offers the most splendid sunset view. Numerous ladders to climb and descend which come your way. Also, the rock-cut caves are where you can spend a night, if you wish to extend your stay in the mountains.

How To Reach There: The best way to reach Ratangad is by taking any Nashik bound train and getting down at Igatpuri station. From the station, you can take a private vehicle or public transport to Bhandardhara.

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KALSUBAI

Trek Difficulty   : Moderate
Base Village       : Bari
Things To See    : Kalsubai Temple, Views of the mighty Alang, Madan, Kulang peaks, Parava River, Arthur Lake

Known as the highest peak in Maharashtra at 5400ft, trekking to Kalsubai does make you feel on top of the world. If you love an adrenaline rush, then Kalsubai trek is where you will experience it. From a steep ascent to climbing ladders on vertical rock cut faces, Kalsubai is one thrilling trek to explore. Also popular for the legendary tale attached to its name, a local narrates that Kalsubai was a housemaid in the nearby Indorey village, who escaped from the clutches of the owner and thus signifying the liberation of women. In her glory, the villagers have dedicated a temple at the top in her name. Setting out for this trek on a cold windy morning, shall provide you with one of the most memorable treks to the highest peak in Maharashtra.

How To Reach There: Take a train to Kasara. From Kasara, take any public transport to Bari Village. The trek route is all marked from Bari Village.

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PETH

Trek Difficulty   : Moderate
Base Village       : Ambivli
Things To See    : Caves, Cisterns, view of Bhimashankar, Rajmachi and Siddhagad forts.

Peth is by far the most magical trek to explore. Why? Peth is the perfect place if you want to witness a spectacular natural phenomenon – hundreds of twinkling fireflies! Pre-monsoon is the best time to spot these bugs, flashing in the darkness. Peth is also sought-after for monsoon trekking. The original name of the fort is ‘Kothaligad’. The fort was used as a place to store ammunitions. It is called ‘Peth Fort’ due to its proximity to the village of Peth. The trek is simple and does not take more than 3 hours even for a beginner. The top of the fort is in the shape of a funnel which has stairs carved inside it. The stairs take you to the topmost plateau where you can relax and take in the view, before descending down.

How To Reach There: To reach Peth take a local train to Karjat. From Karjat you get local transport to reach the base village, Ambivli via the Kashele route. Your trek starts from Ambivli.

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ROHIDA

Trek Difficulty   : Easy-Moderate
Base Village       : Bajarwadi
Things To See    : Rohideshewar Temple, Water Cisterns, Bastions

Rohida is an easy one-day trek from Pune. ‘Rohida’ was the first fort conquered by Shivaji. The top of the fort is almost flat. The infrastructure, along with Persian scripts decorating the entrance of the fort, is evidence that the fort once belonged to the Mughals. There is a temple at the top believed to be built by Shivaji. The fort is nestled in the friendly rural village – Bajarwadi (‘Bajar’ means market). The view from the fort is breathtaking.

How To Reach There: The nearest Railway station is Pune and Shivaji Nagar. From here you can get public transport for Bhor which is 8 km from the base village of Bajarwadi. The best way is to hire a private vehicle to avoid the hassles of waiting for public transport.

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Things To Keep In Mind While You Go On Treks:

  • Choose the right type of shoes with a good grip. Running or sports shoes are a bad choice.
  • Always carry only necessary things in your bagpack. A heavy bagpack can weigh you down while exploring heights.
  • Quick dry clothes are the best in any weather, especially monsoons. Make sure you have a windcheater or a poncho to save you from the rains.
  • Keep yourself hydrated – Carry a packet of Electrol powder to keep your salt and sugar levels balanced. Carry dry foods like buscuits, dry fruits, etc.
  • Respect nature. Do not litter.
  • Keep basic safety equipment and a medical kit in case of emergencies.
  • Going on a trek is recreational, but not a picnic- so stay alert and observant.

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