A scenic and pleasant city to live in, Pune is also close to a number of naturally richly bestowed places in the beautiful Western Ghats hills. Nature and trekking enthusiasts love to frequent Pune not just in the solemn months of summer and winter but also in gushing rain! In fact, rain trekking is one of the specialties of the best trekking places near Pune. Soothing green hills, forests lush and plentiful, springs flowing in full gusto and raving waterfalls-- there is no end to the wonders and awesomeness of landscape near Pune. Destinations on trekking near Pune can often be gaunt and lonesome forts. To test you wilderness instincts, discover secret romances of historic monuments, and to enjoy the sweetness of embracing the monsoon washed green Sahyadris, you must come to Pune.
Beginners and seasoned trekking enthusiasts alike come for easy treks near Pune to rejuvenate amidst the pristine nature scape of the Sahyadris, meaning, ‘the gentle hills’. Ancient fortresses from many passing years of history are strewn around these hills, which often make amazing destinations for a one to four days visit from the city. Here is why trekking spots near Pune make the cut for a great trip-
Located 120 km from Pune, Prabalgad Fort is located on the top of a hill between Matheran and Panvel. At an elevation of 2300 ft in the Western Ghats, it’s a medium level challenging hike. The distinguishing quotient about the trail here is the stark, contrasting hues of greenery with rocky browns. The geographic type of the landscape is that of a plateau. Trekking organizers in Pune arrange this trek along with hike to a sister fort- the Irshalgad Fort.
At an elevation of 1646 m-- the highest point in Maharashtra, Kalsubai Peak lies in the Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. Trekkers, pilgrims and wildlife enthusiasts visit Kalsubai to explore the rich geology and culture of the place. This trekking near Mumbai Pune usually flags off from the village of Bari. Following the trail of the Waki River, the way moves up a river on a steep ascent. Treacherous rocky outcrops and valleys stare from down below. You will find iron ladders along the vertical hill slopes for assistance of the trekkers. Reaching the summit, you can pay your homage at the Kalsubai temple.
A site of twin stronghold forts-- shrivardhan and Manaranjan, Rajmachi is an excellent trekking place near Pune in summer. The forts are covered in green overgrowths and gives ample shade for the tired trekker to stay for a whiff of rest. Overlooking waterfalls at a distant, sweeping over dense forest hinterlands, Rajmachi has quiet an air of grandeur. You can catch a glimpse of the fortress from the Mumbai Pune Expressway.
One more of the magnificent forts for trekking near Pune, the fort of Mahuli is located at an elevation of 2815 feet in Thane. Amateur rock climbers around Mumbai and Pune select the steep rock face of the fort to practice free climbing and bouldering. Built by the Mughals, this fort is a repository of history, having come under the Nizam Shahi dynasty later.
Located in Ratanwadi, Maharashtra, this fort is one of the most ancient man made catchment areas in the Indian subcontinent. The altitude of the monument is about 4255 feet and seated on top of Ajoba mountain range, the fortress overlooks the surrounding hills of Kulang, Alang, Kalsubai, Katarabai, and Ghanchakkar. Nearby, you can also spot the Bhandardara lake-- a vast green orb gleaming inside the forests. Ratangad literally means the jewel among forts.
A hike to the thunderously high and mighty waterfall, trek to Dudhsagar is a picture book affair. The walk in large parts takes place on railway tracks that pass by the waterfall. Monsoons find the waterfall at the severest. Take this trek to witness for real the amazing structure of a four tiered waterfall! Also, wildlife enthusiast alert--you get to explore inside the thick deciduous forest covers of Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary.
Vasota Jungle Trek
The Vasota Jungle Trek is a foray inside the forests of Maharashtra Satara district known for its growing population of tigers. Passing through Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, trekkers have to ferry by a boat from Tapola to Bamnoli to reach the stunning fort. Night trek and camping is Vasotra is famous among trekking near Pune, India.
Pune and the treks in the Western Ghats around Pune are gorgeous in both monsoons and the winters. July to February are the best months to hike around in the Western Ghats rockies, given you are geared with ample rainy day essentials.
Monsoon is however a time for religious festivities at the temples and trekkers might collide with hordes of pilgrims on certain itineraries.
The summer months could be hot and clammy though rains are frequent and temperatures come down and becomes pleasant in the evenings. There are plenty of trekking companies in Pune who organize summer treks for those who don’t mind the sweltering heat.
By Air: Pune has an airport which is connected to most major Indian cities. From Mumbai, a flight to Pune takes only 45 minutes.
By Train: Pune is well connected by railways to most major railways in the country. You can board a connecting train to Pune by reaching Mumbai first, the journey spanning 3 hours.
By Bus: Pune can be reached directly by bus from Mumbai, Goa, and Bangalore, as well as many other cities and towns of southern India by interstate public road transport.