To the north of peninsular India lie the vast Deccan expanse of Maharashtra, partly of rocky plateau character and fringed by the Western Ghats hills, and the dreamy shores of Konkan coast running on the other side. The Sahyadri Range, meaning ‘the gentle hills’ form the eastern rims of this state, with broad river valleys of Godavari and Krishna rivers to the back. Beside Sahyadris which rise to an average to 1000m, the state is home to the hills of Satpuras, to the northern border, and Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri Ranges to the east. Naturally, there happens to be a number of hill stations and fantastic trails for trekking places in Maharashtra bending through the magnificent land. Whether you are looking to get an adrenaline high, or discover nature at her most rugged and pristine, pleasurably shed a few kilos, or for pure contemplation in the great outdoors, Maharashtra won’t disappoint!
Here’s a list of treks in Maharashtra that are a must-try.
Known for its 28 great viewpoints scattered around the latitude of Matheran, this one is thoroughly explorative and one of the best trekking in Maharashtra. The average altitude of these viewpoints is approximately 2,506 ft., a rush in themselves to climb. The difficulty level is medium, posing a delicious challenge for fitness enthusiasts to test their core strength. Matheran trek is also a sweep through Garbett Plateau, a trip through Chanderi caves, and on the final stretch, a peak hike to the fort perched at 2,506 ft at Kalavantin Pinnacle. The difficulty level on this trek is medium and it still is a pleasurable one day trek!
The peak that rises above all in the state of Maharashtra at a whopping 5,400 ft, Kalsubai is a trek for Sahyadri trekkers who are looking to push the experience some further. This, of the famous trekking places in India, is part of the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary located in the wilderness of Igatpuri. A lot of people opt for the trek between June to September when the rains are frequent. On this peak trek, you would be in for a lot of pleasant views of rain washed cool green valleys, cloud amassed mountainside, waterfalls that cascade from up high and sweeping view from the top, of Ahivant, Saptashrungi Gad, Markindya, and others.
Korigad Fort Trek
Trekking groups in Maharashtra can’t keep their trekking feet off of Lonavala! You are going to find a most beautiful trek to a hilltop fortress here-- the Korigad Fort trek. There are multiple trails winding uphill, one through Peth Shahpur and another through Ambavane village that you can try as a circuit, going by one and returning by another. On reaching the top, you would be greeted with two beautiful shimmering lakes, a temple dedicated to the patron goddess Korai Devi and smaller temples to Shiva and Vishnu. The challenge level on this fort trekking in Maharashtra is definitely easy and you would need just a relaxing day to make it.
Another one of the splendidly pretty upcoming treks in Maharashtra’s Lonavala, This trek leads to two stunning forts located on the historical trade route in the valley--the Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts. At 2,710 ft up high from these forts, a sweeping valley view is available. In the season of rains, the verdantly glistening forest cover looks absolutely surreal. June to September is the right time to approach this wonderful trek.
Raigad Fort Trek
A spectacular fort nestling in the dreamy forest-scape of Raigad district, this trek is a close call from Pune as well as Mumbai. Perched high at 4,350 ft, the fort has approximately 1400-1450 steps leading to the entrance. The trail through the jungle, the leaping high stairwell, and the magnificent view of the fort set against the forests make up for all the visual fulfillment. Inside the fort, you are going to find the regal Queen’s Quarters, the Public Durbar, and a couple of mighty Watchtowers.
The summer months are not for the best treks in Maharashtra, since the temperatures soar to 35 degrees, not considered suitable for trekking from March to May. In June to September, there are light-heavy showers that make the path extra lovely with rain soaked greenery. Also, this is when you will probably find more solitude in the Sahyadri hills as not a lot of people visit. In October-November, with the monsoons retreating, the temperatures take a dipping and mist forms in the nooks of the valleys, dales, and peaks-- a surreal scene to behold! Winters, from December to February is a time pleasant for honeymooners, with the temperature thrillingly dropping to 11 degree Celsius.
By Air: Trekking in Maharashtra can be accessed on reaching both Mumbai International Airport and Pune International Airport.
By Rail: Major railway stations from where treks in Maharashtra can be accessed are Chatrapati Shivaji railway station, Mumbai, Pune Junction Railway Station, and Nashik station.
By Bus: State transport buses are frequently plying between Mumbai, Pune and the bases of many of these treks.