7 Top monsoon treks

Come monsoon and the trekking season in Maharashtra begins. Seasoned trekker and a new trekker, for the experts to first timers everybody puts on their dancing shoes – I am sorry trekking shoes and are off. To get lost to find themselves. Its nature’s best gift for living in the western Maharashtra. For those living in Mumbai it’s a simple weekend gateway into the wilderness and a quick return back to the grind. Here are 7 top treks recommended during monsoon. Which one will you do first!!!

ChalNikalPade Kalsubai

1. Trek to Kalsubai
Here is a summary about Mount Kalsubai:
Difficulty Level: Medium level
Endurance Level: High
Food Arrangement: Food arrangement can be done at Bari village before starting the trek.
Transport: Shared jeep / Trax available from Kasara for Bari village.
Height of peak: 5400 feet approx.
Base Village: Bari
District: Nashik
Region: Igatpuri, Bhandardara.
Route from Pune to Kalsubai: Pune – Sangamner – Rajur – Bhandardara – Bari
Route from Mumbai to Kalsubai: Mumbai – Kasara – Igatpuri – Ghoti – Bari
Distance from Mumbai: 160 km approx.
Distance from Pune: 175 km approx.
Total time required for climbing: 4 hours one way
Total distance for climbing: 7 km approx. one way.
Mobile network coverage: Weak
Mobile Network available at the Summit of Kalsubai: BSNL / Airtel

Trek to Kalsubai is an awesome experience for first timers, the pro-trekkers, the monsoon trekkers or be it the photographers. It’s a sheer delight climbing trek to Kalsubai. Most of the treks in Maharashtra to Kalsubai happens in the monsoon season. With a new breed of trekker that want to be on the top of the highest point in Maharashtra – the Everest of Maharashtra on a New Year eve. Some super active trekker have even started to trek to Kalsubai at midnight. The question now is which breed are you.

2. Trek Peb (Vikatgad) fort near Matheran.
Here is a summary and introduction about Peb trek.
Difficulty Level: Medium level
Endurance Level: High
Food Arrangement: Carry bottle water with 3 litres of water, and pack lunch for this trek.
Transport: On return hop into the shared sumo /trax/Innova till Neral railway station.
Height: 1564 feet approx.
Base Village: Anandwadi – Fanaswadi
District: Karjat – Lonavala
Region: Matheran
Route from Pune: Pune – Lonavala – Karjat – Neral
Route from Mumbai: Mumbai – Neral – Peb
Distance from Mumbai: 80 km approx.
Distance from Pune: 120 km approx.
Total time required for climbing: 3 hours approx.
Total distance for climbing: 7 km one way approx.

Trekking near Mumbai to Peb is one of the best experience of monsoon season. With the rain god’s blessing your way right from Neral railway station to summit is a photographer delight. The trek start right outside the railway station after breakfast from one of the local restaurants. After walking 25 minus on the village road we reach the base village where there is temple too. The trek from here is via the waterfall keeping the electricity tower as a landmark.

3. Trek to chota Mahuli:
Here is a summary about chota Mahuli:
Difficulty Level: Medium level
Endurance Level: High
Food Arrangement: Food arrangement can be done at base village before starting the trek.
Transport: Shared auto rickshaws are available from Asangoan railway station.
Height of peak: 2815 feet approx.
Closest railway station: Asangoan
Closest airport: Mumbai International airport
Base village: Mahuli village.
District: Thane
Region: Asangoan
Total time required for climbing: 3 hours one way
Total distance for climbing: 5 km approx. one way.
Distance from Pune to Mahuli base: 165 km approx. Driving time in 3 hours.
Distance from Mumbai to Mahuli base: 70 km approx. Driving time 1hr 45mins approx.
Water availability: A small perennial drinking water cistern on top (unavailable in summers).
Combined trek option: Yes
Suggested option: Mahuli – Ajoba Hill – Sitecha Palna pinnacles in Vorpadi
Best time to Trek: July to January
Food availability: Place an order with the local villager and return to enjoy the delicacy served.
Mobile network coverage: Little or None.
Mobile Network available at chota Mahuli: BSNL / Airtel

The surrounding forest of Mahuli is now declared as a sanctuary. One can also drive till Mahuli village from Nasik Highway landmark is Manas mandir when you reach a junction do not take right for Manas mandir keep driving straight till Mahuli village. Dense vegetation is found around and on the fort. Wild animal spotting are common. In the past leopard spotting has resulted in restriction of trekking activity here. Sonki the small yellow wild flowers will welcome you during monsoon season. It’s a good 3 hour trek from the base village. However an extended trekking can be done to visit Bandargad and Mahuli. Which will require an overnight halt on the plateau.

4. Trek to Peth
Here is a summary about Peth / Kotaligad:
Difficulty level: Easy level
Endurance Level: Medium
Food Arrangement: Food arrangement can be done at base village before starting the trek and return to enjoy the delicacy served.
Transport: It is recommend to travel by private vehicle to the base village
Height of peak: 3100 feet approx.
Closest railway station: Neral railway station
Closest airport: Mumbai International airport
Base village: Ambivali village
District: Raigad
Region: Karjat
Total time required for climbing: 2 hours one way
Total distance for climbing: 3 km approx. one way.
Distance from Pune to Peth /Kotaligad base: 135 km approx. Driving time in 3 hours.
Distance from Mumbai to Peth/ Kotaligad base: 70 km approx. Driving time 1hr 45mins approx.
Route from Pune: Pune – Lonavala – Peth/Kotaligad
Route from Mumbai: Mumbai – Neral – Peth/Kotaligad
Water availability: Base village and at Ambivali village drinking water is available
Combined Trek option: Yes
Suggested option: Peb, Matheran and Kondane caves
Best time to trek: July to November
Mobile network coverage: Little or None.
Mobile Network available at Peth/ Kotaligad: BSNL / Airtel / Vodaphone.

The trek starts as soon as you get off your vehicle. Beginning with a gradual climb it’s an easy level trek. But doing the same trek in summers will be a different tale altogether. During monsoon season trekking to Peth has its own special beauty. The view from above is awesome. A short halt at the caves enroute is enchanting too. From the caves there are approx. 75 steps to climb to the summit. Please note the space is limited both at the summit and on the steps. Hence it is not recommend for large groups.

5. Trek to Bhimashankar
Here is a summary about trek To Bhimashankar
Difficulty level: Medium
Endurance Level: High
Food Arrangement: Food arrangement can at the summit village.
Transport: Travel from Karjat railway station by shared auto
Height of peak: 3450 ft approx.
Closest railway station: Karjat railway station
Closest airport: Mumbai International airport
Base village: Ambegaon village
District: Pune
Region: Karjat
Total time required for climbing: 4 hours one way
Total distance for climbing: 6 km approx. one way.
Distance from Pune to Bhimashankar base: 235 km approx. Driving time in 4 hours.
Distance from Mumbai to Peth/ Kotaligad base: 115 km approx. Driving time 2 hours approx.
Route from Pune: Pune – Pimpri Chinchwad – Bhimashankar
Route from Mumbai: Mumbai – Lonavala – Bhimashankar
Water availability: Base village and at the summit village.
Combined Trek option: Yes
Suggested option: Gorakgad, Padar fort, Dakoba or even trek till Lonavala (LoBhi).
Best time to trek: July to January
Mobile network coverage: Little or None.

Monsoon trek to Bhimashankar is mystic in its own way. Enchanted land of the flying squirrels (Shekru). There are two prominent trek route here. One is Ganesh ghat and the other is Shrdi ghat. Usually we start trekking from Ganesh ghat and descend via Shrdi ghat. After taking darshan at the temple you can further extend your trek to Nagfani. Recently there has been a lot of commercialization that has happened near the temple. Due to which tourist visit in large numbers. State transport buses are available from Thane till the base village on top. Trek to Bhimashankar is a must visit during the monsoon season.
6. Trek to Rajmachi
Here is a summary about trek to Rajmachi
Difficulty level: Medium level
Endurance level: High
Category: Overnight trekking and home stay.
Food Arrangement: Food arrangement can at the Rajmachi village.
Transport: Travel from Lonavala station to Tungarli dam by shared auto (Day 1).
Transport: Travel from Karjat railway station by shared auto (Day 2)
Height of Rajmachi: 2000 feet above sea level.
Base village: Karjat and Lonavala
Closest railway station: Karjat and Lonavala.
Closest airport: Mumbai International airport
District: Lonavala.
Region: Karjat – Lonavala
Route from Pune: Pune – Lonavala – Rajmachi
Route from Mumbai: Mumbai – Panvel – Lonavala – Rajmachi
Distance from Mumbai: 100 km approx., drive time 3 hours approx.
Distance from Pune: 85 km approx., drive time 2 hours approx.
Time required for trekking on day one: 4 hours
Time required for trekking on day two: 3 hours
Total distance for trekking on day one: 15 km
Total distance for trekking on day two: 5 km
Water availability: Yes at Rajmachi base village only
Duration: 2 days 1 Nights
Combined Trek option: Yes
Suggested option: Trek to Manoranjan and Srivardhan, Kondane caves
Best time to trek: June to February
Mobile network coverage: Little or None.

Trek to Rajmachi and its happy thoughts are unlimited. With a 15 km trek on day one on dirt road, with rains beating down on us with amazing home cooked dinner that is finger licking delicious. Rajmachi is the base village with of two forts Shrivardhan and Manoranjan fort. Of both the fort Shrivardhan has more to offer and explore. Whereas Shrivandhan fort exploration can be done in 45 minutes. The recommend trek route is to start from Lonavala and descend into Karjat. This trek is best during the monsoon rains and for an avid trekker. Rajmachi trek is perfect weekend getaway.

7. Lohagad trek

Here is a summary about trek to Lohagad fort:
Difficulty Level: Easy level
Endurance Level: Medium
Food Arrangement: Food arrangement can be done at base village or at Lohagadwadi.
Transport: Shared jeep / Trax ride from Lonavala or Malavli railway station.
Height of peak: 3400 ft approx.
Base village: Lohagadwadi
District: Lonavala
Region: Pune
Closest Railway station: Malavli / Lonavala
Closest airport: Mumbai International airport
Route from Pune: Pune – Lonavala – Malavi – Lohagad
Route from Mumbai: Mumbai – Lonavala – Malavi – Lohagad
Distance from Pune to Lohagad base: 65 km approx. Driving time in 90 mins approx.
Distance from Mumbai to Lohagad base: 105 km approx. Driving time 2 hours 30 mins approx.
Suggested Optional trekking route: Lohagadwadi – Bhaje caves – Lohagad
Total time required for climbing: 2 hours one way
Total distance for climbing: 5 km approx. one way.
Water availability: Yes at Lohagadwadi and at the base of the Lohagad fort
Suggested option: Nearby forts are Visapur fort, Tung, Tikona fort, Bhaje caves and Karle caves
Combined Trek option: Yes
Duration: 1 Day
Best time to trek: June to February
Mobile network coverage: Good coverage for BSNL/ Vodaphone/Airtel

Trek to Lohagad is one the favorite trekker for all ages. People has actually lost count how many time they have been to this beautiful fort. The most scenic view is the first fort entry door view from above. All four doors of this fort are Ganesh Darwaja, Narayan Darwaja, Hanuman Darwaja and Maha Darwaja.
Author – Muhammed Yahya Virani (All rights reserved)
At ChalNikalPade we have tried to offer you the best suggestion based on experience. The above information is only for reference. Please check with experts and personal family doctor before embarking on any trekking or adventure activities. ChalNikalPade/Organizers/Content/Copywriters/Event promoters/Leaders cannot be held responsible if any of the above data is misinterpreted.

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