Maharashtra is known for the scenic trekking locations and forts, best for hikers of all experience levels. These days, the weather is quite charming with just the right combination of mild sunny days and gentle wind. Since this time is considered the most ideal for trekking escapades, team Livingit spoke to some avid trekkers and came up with this list. We have compiled the best of 5 places for winter treks in Maharashtra which you can select for your next hiking expedition!
5 places for Winter Treks in Maharashtra
This is one of the many forts in the Pune district of Maharashtra. It is about 1,400 m above sea level with an amazing historical culture! The fort has witnessed lots of historic events, including the birth of Shivaji’s son Rajaram, the death of Shivaji’s queen Saibai, the return of Shivaji from Agra, the burial of Afzal Khan’s head in the Mahadarwaja walls of Balle Killa, the strict words of Sonopant Dabir to Shivaji, and the Khandoji Khopade moment. After monsoon, this place becomes one of the most sought after, for hiking expeditions. Being a huge fort, exploring all the sights and spots on the fort in a single day becomes pretty difficult and so it’s better to stay overnight at the fort. There are water tanks and villagers from the foothills of Rajgad who sell useful stuff to the tourists that stay overnight. The fort is located 60 kms to the southwest of Pune and is easy to reach by road.
This popular and famous hill station is a municipal council in the Raigad district in the state of Maharashtra. Interestingly, it is the smallest hill station in India and Asia’s only automobile-free hill station. It is also a declared eco-sensitive region. In the colonial days, the British developed Matheran as a popular resort to beat the summer heat in this region. This is a must destination for the winter treks in Maharashtra. The reason you must visit Matheran is because it has around 38 designated look-out points, including the Panorama Point that provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding area along with the Neral town. From this point, the view of sunset and sunrise is gorgeous. The Louisa Point offers a crystal clear view of the Prabal Fort. The other points to visit are the One Tree Hill Point, Heart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point and Rambagh Point among others. There are a total of 28 points, 2 lakes, 2 parks, 4 major worship places and a racecourse to visit in this beautiful place. It takes about 2–3 days on your feet for a complete adventure. It is located about 90 kms from Mumbai, and 120 kms from Pune. It is well connected to both these cities by rail and road.
Lohagad is another popular hill fort of Maharashtra and known for the delight of a winter trek. It is situated close to the hill station Lonavala and is 52 kms northwest of Pune. Lovers of history and culture would appreciate when they know that Lohagad has had a long history with several dynasties occupying it at different periods of time. Shivaji Maharaj captured it but was forced to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 CE by the Treaty of Purandar. Shivaji Maharaj recaptured the fort in 1670 CE and used it for keeping his treasury. It is a wonderful place to hike as it overlooks the Pavana reservoir, located to the south of the mountain. During the monsoon, the top of the fort is covered with mist and clouds and becomes particularly wet with growing moss. The nearest airport is the Pune International Airport. The nearest train station is Malavli and the nearest major train station is Lonavala, on the Mumbai-Pune railway line. Lohagad is connected by the Mumbai-Pune Highway and can also be accessed from Paud via Kolvan and Dudhiware Khind by all vehicles.
Kalsubai Peak Trek
Kalsubai is a mountain of the Western Ghats range located in the state of Maharashtra. The summit is situated at an elevation of 5,400 feet and is the highest point in Maharashtra, the fact that earned it the much-glorified title of the ‘Everest of Maharashtra’. The mountain range lies within the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wild-life Sanctuary and is considered one of the best winter treks in Maharashtra. It is visited throughout the year by avid trekkers, Kalsubai temple devotees and wild-life enthusiasts alike. An amazing fact is that the mountain range was formed by the same historical events that gave birth to the Western Ghats. It consists of solidified flood basalt dating back to the Cenozoic era. To reach the summit, there are many well-designated trekking routes.
The mountain can be viewed in its entirety from Bari village located on its eastern side, about six kms from Bhandardara. It can be reached by road, via Igatpuri on the Mumbai-Nasik route. Trains leaving from Mumbai provide an alternate mode of transport till Kasara railway station with connecting state transport buses, plying on the Akole-Kasara route, and leading up to the base village. Private vehicles from Kasara provide yet another alternative for public transport.
This is a hill fort situated in Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is one of the best winter treks in Maharashtra. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj built this fort and made it his capital in 1674 when he was crowned the king. The fort, which rises 820 metres above sea level, is located in the Sahyadri mountain range. Hikers beware! There are approximately 1737 steps leading to the fort, though today Raigad Ropeway, an aerial tramway, exists to reach the top of the fort in just 10 minutes. The fort was looted and destroyed by the British after its capture in 1818. It is close to the Pachad village. Once you reach Pachad, you can either climb up the stairs (1500 of them!) for a nice trekking experience or just take the ropeway that gets you to the top in 4 minutes. However, getting to Pachad from Mumbai is the tricky part. You can reach Raigad fort from Mumbai by train or by road. Pachad village is 167 kms from Bombay and 129 kms from Pune.
So where are you planning your next winter treks in Maharashtra?