Nestled within the heart of India, Maharashtra stands as a geographical marvel, offering a diverse topography that becomes the canvas for unparalleled trekking experiences. Its undulating landscapes, from the majestic Western Ghats to Sahyadris and beyond, create a tapestry that beckons both adventure seekers and history enthusiasts alike. Embark on a journey through Maharashtra's rugged terrains, where every trek is not just a physical challenge but also a historical odyssey, unravelling the tales etched in the stones of ancient fortresses.
1. Kalsubai trek
Reigning as the highest peak in the state, the Kalsubai Trek promises an exhilarating ascent. Located in the Western Ghats, Kalsubai is accessible from Bari Village. The trail offers diverse terrain, from lush greenery to rocky patches, leading to the summit that unveils panoramic views of the Sahyadris.
Considering that it is located at an elevation of 5745 ft, surmounting the Kalsubai peak takes around 5 to 8 hours as the trek covers a distance of 6.6 kms climbing upwards. The best season to go for an adventure up the Kalsubai is between October and March, when the temperatures are mild and the sun is not too scorching.
2. Harishchandragad trek
Step into history with the Harishchandragad Trek, accessible from various base villages like Pachnai and Khireshwar. The trek reveals ancient caves and the iconic Konkan Kada cliff, providing a journey into Maharashtra's rich heritage and natural beauty.
One of the most difficult treks in Maharashtra, climbing Fort Harishchandragad takes a good 8 to 10 hours. The distance you will cover will be around 6 to 8 kms, depending on the point you start your trek from. Have a go at conquering this fort only in winter, as it is nearly impossible and very dangerous to tackle this challenge when the climate is too hot or the rain is relentless,
3. Devkund waterfall trek
Offering a refreshing escapade, the Devkund Waterfall Trek begins from Bhira Village. The trail takes you through dense forests, river crossings, and rocky patches, culminating in the breathtaking sight of the pristine pool beneath the waterfall.
This trek is comparatively easier to some others on this list. It's more about enjoying your lush surroundings and the ultimate destination, the Devkund waterfall. The road there is only 5-6 kms and should not take more than 4 hours to complete. Of course, the waterfall will be active only during and shortly after the rainy season, so be sure to time your adventure accordingly.
4. Kalavantin durg trek
Challenge your adventurous spirit with the Kalavantin Durg Trek, accessible from the base village of Thakurwadi. The trail features steep climbs, treacherous river bridges, and a fortress perched atop a pinnacle. Worry not, the panoramic views from the top make every effort worthwhile.
Considered a rather challenging trek, climbing the Kalavantin is not an easy feat. You will have to continuously hike for 7 kms and you will not reach the top in less than 4-5 hours.brave your way up this path in the monsoon or winter seasons for a glorious trekking experience.
5. Karnala bird sanctuary trek
Nature and bird enthusiasts find solace in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary Trek. Starting from Karnala base, where the aviary is situated, the trek takes you through thick forests and rocky cliffs offering glimpses of vibrant flora and fauna. The forests are filled with birds and critters of many benign kinds, adding a natural charm to your trek.
Trekking up to the Karnala Fort located on the top of this hill is not a very daunting task. Bring along friends and family for a memorable journey and that should take you around 2-3 hours to complete. Given its easier degree of difficulty, you can visit the Karnala Bird Sanctuary any time you want within the year.
6. Bhimashankar trek
A spiritual and natural odyssey, the Bhimashankar Trek starts from the village of Khandas. You get to traverse through dense forests, discover ancient temples at the top, and take in the enchanting beauty of the Western Ghats.
Beware, the trek to the top of the Bhimashankar is chock full of slippery slopes, steep stairs ,and thieving langur monkeys. For a safer experience, consider hiring a local guide to traverse the latter distance of the 8 kms that it takes to surmount the Bhimashankar.
7. Harihar fort trek
Remote and spectacular, the Harihar Fort Trek begins from the base village of Nirgudpada. The climb to this hill fort involves thrilling rock-cut steps and reveals panoramic vistas, making it a hidden gem for those seeking tranquillity and adventure.
Known for the gorgeous view of the surrounding forest-filled vales, the Harihar Trek is just as much of a visual treat as it is a test of your trekking prowess. The trek will take your 4-6 hours to complete and grant you a sense of profound victory once you have successfully completed it.
Before embarking on these treks, it's essential to check local regulations, weather conditions, and ensure you are physically prepared. Always carry sufficient water, snacks, and necessary trekking gear. It's recommended to hire a local guide for a safer and more enriching experience. Enjoy the diverse landscapes and cultural heritage that each trek in Maharashtra unfolds.