One of the hobbies for Mumbaikars is to go trekking through the Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats, which remains unexplored to a large extent. Like most cities, Mumbai too has a number of hiking groups, which organise treks around the region. However, most forts and hill tops can also be explored by oneself.
Trekking is an activity which offers a perfect break from the stressful and hectic city life, but visiting the forts around would open its wide doors to rich history of the Maratha empire who built up an n number of forts and strengthened their empire.
Some of these short hikes would take you to a different level of spirituality, which would help you refresh your mind and purify your souls. Well, if you are ready to put on your hiking shoes and all set to conquer the mountains and forts around the city, have a look at this list and start hiking.
1. Tikona Fort
An hour's journey from Pune would take you to the Tikona fort, which is located on a pyramid-shaped hill top that would grab your attention from a distance. The fort overlooks the Payna lake, which also makes it a peaceful spot that offers a beautiful trekking experience.
One would come across guides who would give you a detailed information about the large variety of flora and fauna in the region. Looking at the historical aspect of the fort, the structure had a very strategic important role to play during the Maratha-Mughal war.
The fort is located at a distance of 111 km from Mumbai.
2. Lohagad Fort
Lohagad fort is also known as the Iron fort and rises up to an elevation of 3348 ft in the Western Ghats. The fort was a vantage point, which held a crucial spot. The fort was used as a treasury by Shivaji. Trekking up the fort would give a brilliant view of the western ghats and the view of a section of the fort that resembles a Scorpion's tail.
The fort is located at a distance of 94 km from Mumbai.
PC: Ramji R
Trekking in the Kulang range is quite a challenging one, in comparison to other treks near Mumbai. While one would travel from Mumbai to Nashik, everyone would be left mesmerised by the haunting views that this place offers along with the three hill forts.
Trekking up this region requires excellent climbing skills and a challenging one at that.
PC: Sandeep Bhattacharya
Rajmachi Fort is a very popular hiking spot with major trekking groups in the city of Mumbai. The first trek begins from Lonavala, which is relatively longer and is a two-day hike. The second trek, which is shorter, begins from Udhewadi and takes around 4 hours to complete the hike.
When here, one can visit the legendary Kondane caves. The trail is well marked and one can hike up the place without the help of a guide.
The place is around 94 km from Mumbai.
5. Sandhan Valley
The Sandhan Valley is an incredible hiking location that is hidden inside the Western Ghats near Ratangad. The valley has gorges that are 200 ft deep in the Bhandardara region, which has a landscape that any individual who loves nature would enjoy.
One can rappel down and reach the base and walk through the water-filled gorges that are about 4 to 5 ft deep, which indeed is a very thrilling experience.
The valley is about 182 km from Mumbai.
Hop on a bus from Mumbai, which would take you to Satara and further to a hamlet called Barnoli from where the hike begins. The trek begins with a ferry ride that takes you to the Vasota jungle. The Vasota Fort, which was a former Maratha base, would give you a sneak peek to the vast history of Maharashtra.
Satara is located at a distance of 256 km from Mumbai.
PC: Ashwin Arun Yadav
The forts in and around Pune make it to the list of treks near Mumbai, as there is a high potential to a huge variety of activities in the area, which are not clearly seen. The Harishchandragad Fort is located in the Ahmednagar district and dates back to the 6th century. Once you reach the top, you would be dumbfound by the magical view the place offers.
The Kedareshwar cave is major draw here. Harishchandragad is located at a distance of 138 km from Mumbai.
At an altitude of 5400 ft, Kalsubai is the highest peak to trek in the Sahyadri ranges near Mumbai. The peak is located between Ahmednagar and Nashik district in the Bhandardara Region. The peak gets its name from the Kalsubai Temple, which attracts a large number of visitors. The peak has a very pleasant climate throughout the year that again brings in a lot of footfall to this peaceful spot. The trek is relatively easier and one can take the help of ladders that are installed here for the ease of access.