12 Best Monsoon Treks in Maharashtra That You Should Do In 2022

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12 Best Monsoon Treks in Maharashtra That You Should Do In 2022

Category Season-wise Guides Region-wise Guides Treks in Maharashtra Treks in Sahyadri

By Venkat Ganesh Gudipaty

2022-09-14

Ask any trekker what are some of the most memorable moments of a trek and listening to a roar of a waterfall or dipping your feet in a cold stream will definitely feature in the list. And though on a Himalayan trek one might not dare (or is inadvisable) to stand under a waterfall or wet their feet in a glacial stream, but on a trek in the Western Ghats of India these are absolute ‘must-dos’.

We’ve already written about some of the best day treks in Sahyadris. But trekking in the Sahyadris during the rains is a different experience altogether. A magic unfolds in the forts and mountains along the Western Ghats. Monsoon is the best season to trek in Maharashtra.

The entire surroundings turn lush green. Streams criss-cross the trails. Seasonal waterfalls cascade down the mountain face in a full roar. Flowers of all shapes, colours and sizes bloom in the wild . While the lakes are filled with cool and clear water.

Trekking in Sahyadris during the rains is all about enjoying the magic of the rains to their fullest.

So here we are with a list of the best monsoon treks in Maharashtra. With the southwest monsoons approaching this part of the world soon, they make for some of the best weekend treks from Mumbai or Pune.

1. Bhimashankar Trek

The trail to Bhimashankar is an all-time favourite amongst trekkers and more so during the monsoons. It takes you right into the heart of Bhimashankar Wildlife sanctuary. While in the jungle, you’ll have a variety of birds, langurs and spotted dear for company. If you’re lucky, you might even get to spot a ‘shekru’ or the Malabar Giant Squirrel.

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Enroute Bhimashankar. Picture by Apoorva Karlekat

If you’re a first-timer trekking on your own or with bunch of friends who are not very experienced as well, we’d suggest you avoid the more challenging Shidi Ghat route and take the Ganesh Ghat route instead.

Difficulty: Easy or Moderate depending on the route
Trail Type: Well defined through fields, forests, rocks and ladders .
Basecamp: Khandas village. Private autos and jeeps are available at Karjat or Neral railway station to take you to Khandas

View Bhimashankar Trek

2. Harischandragad

A fort hill in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, Harishchandragad is one of the most challenging treks in Maharashtra. We would not recommend hiking up via the Nalichi vaat or Taramati Ghal during monsoon. But going to the top via Khireshwar route or Pachnai is possible and equally enjoyable as well.

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Kedareshwar cave which hosts a big Shivalingam

The main attraction of this hill fort remains the Konkan Kada (Konkan cliff), an almost 1,800 feet high concave fall. It is a vertical overhang, like a cobra’s hood, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding hills. But exercise extreme caution as it can get extremely windy.

Harishchandragad fort is quiet ancient, with its origin dating back to the sixth century. There are caves situated all over the fort, believed to be carved out in the eleventh century.

Difficulty: Easy or Moderate or Difficult depending on the route
Trail Type: Well defined through fields & forests.
Basecamp/Starting point: Khubi phata after Malshej ghat for Khireshwar route and Pachnai village for the Pachnai route.

View Harishchandragad Trek

3. Visapur & Lohagad Fort

One of the easier monsoon treks, Visapur is a trek favoured among beginner trekker for the waterfalls along the trail. The trail begins from Bhaje village which is easily accessible owning to its proximity to Mumbai-Pune express highway.

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Views from the wall of Visapur fort. Picture by Mugdha Bhusari

And the Bhaje caves are a small diversion away on the way back from the fort. So if you have time you shouldn’t miss the 2nd century rock cut caves.

Difficulty: Easy
Trail Type: Well defined trail with boulders and steps all the way to the fort.
Basecamp: Bhaje village on the Mumbai Pune Expressway

View Visapur & Lohagad Fort Trek

4. Takmak Fort

Surrounded by a dense forest, the fort is naturally separated from the main hill. Built in 12th century the fort changed hands between Marathas and Portuguese multiple times in its 800 years long history.

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It is very common to walk through the clouds on treks in Sahyadris during monsoons. Picture by Mansi Pathak

Located in Vasai tehsil, though commuting to base is easy, accessing the fort itself isn’t as easily accessible. Trekkers find it challenging to locate the eastern entrance and the way further to the top. It is notorious for trekkers getting lost, therefore we recommend hiring a local guide from Sakwar village.

Do return to Sakwaar by before 5 as finding public transport back becomes very difficult after that.

Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Type: Passes through fields until the foothills of fort after which it is well defined.
Basecamp: Sakwar village. Take a bus from Virar ST stand to Shirsad Naka and from there a tum-tum to Sakwar village

View Takmak Fort

5. Kalsubai

At 5,400 ft you’ll be literally walking in the clouds on the trek during Monsoons. And though it is the highest peak in Maharashtra, the trail is well defined and there are ladders put in place making it easy for trekkers to scale the summit.

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Final ascent to Kalsubai top is mostly covered in clouds on a rainy day of trekking

Having said that the exciting thing about doing the trek during the monsoons is that you never see the summit along the trail, because it is always covered in clouds. The feeling of walking into the unknown and unseen is what adds to the adventure of this trek.

Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Type: Well defined through meadows, forests, with rock steps in some places and iron ladders in others
Basecamp: Bari village. Private vehicle will have to pick you and drop you back from Kasara Railway station to Bari.

View Kalsubai Trek

6. Rajgad

Rajgad trek is the most beautiful trek in Maharashtra. It is also one the best fort to trek to do in monsoon. As the name suggests it is the king of forts. Because of the rich history and the mesmerizing architecture of the fort, it stands out among other forts in Western Ghats. The Rajgad Fort rises to a height of 4,250 ft the fort offers spectacular views of Sahyadri ranges.

Rajgad was the capital of the Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for 26 years after which he shifted to Raigad. This is one of the reasons how the fort was built so beautifully.

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Double fortified wall of the Suvela Machi. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

The treacherous approaches, zig-zag narrow paths, the deceiving double-walled shield of its fortifications, massive Maha darwaja and Chor darwaja tells the tale of the Fortress of the forgotten empire. The beauty of the fort, and the surroundings, especially during monsoons, is mesmerizing.

Difficulty: Easy or Moderate depending on the route
Trail Type: Well definied trail
Basecamp: Gunjavane, Pali village based on the route.

View Rajgad Trek

7. Torna Fort

The first fort to be won by Shivaji at the tender age of 16 also goes by the name Prachandgad owing to its huge size. However, there is much more than its size, history and folklore on this trek. Stream crossings, waterfalls and ridge walks along the trail is what makes it a perfect trek to do during the rainy season.

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Views from the Ridge on the trail

And then come the views, when the cloud cover clears for a bit, you catch a glimpse of surroundings which includes Khadakwasla dam, Singhad, Raireshwar, Bhatgar, Mahabaleshwar, Raigad, Pratapgad and Makarangad from top of the Torna Fort.

Difficulty: Difficult
Trail Type: Hill Fort, initial climb if done in monsoon is slippery, gradual ascent and walking on ledge and lastly a small rock patch. No rope is required.
Basecamp: Velhe village. Take a bus from Pune going towards Satara and get down at Narsapur phata from where you can get a shared jeep to Velhe

View Torna Fort

8. Naneghat

A mountain pass near Junnar and Pune district, the pass was heavily used  as trade route between Junnar and Kalyan. In fact the word ‘Nane’ means coin and ‘Ghat’ means pass.

In fact, there inscriptions in the caves which suggest that it was used as far back as during the Satvahana rule.

One can climb further up the caves and visit the Jivdhan fort as well if you have the time and energy.

Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Type: Initial ascents through open fields followed by climing up rocks and boulder
Basecamp: Vaishakhare village. Regular buses going towards Malshej ghat from Kalyan stop at Vaishakhare

9. Devkund Waterfall

A secluded place located deep inside the forests surround Bhira dam, Devkund waterfall was unknown to people until a few years ago. It is beleived that the Kudalika river originates from the fall.

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The 80 ft drop at Devkund. Picture by Akshita Makhija

The water drops from a height of 80 ft into a small pond (kund) at the bottom. Locals here believe that once upon a time utensils used to emerge from the pond whenever there was any auspicious ceremony happening in the local village.

Difficulty: Easy or Moderate depending on the route.
Trail Type: Well defined through fields, forests, rocks and ladders.
Basecamp: Bhira Village. Take the bus to Pali from Panvel Railway staion and from Pali, hire an auto to Bhira village.

View Devkund Waterfalls

10. Prabalgad

Situated between Panvel and Matheran, Prabalgad is an easily accesible fort that makes for a great trek during monsoons. The fort has a long history starting from the times of Bahamani sultanate when it was first built.

And though you might be tempted to climb its more thrilling neighbour which falls on the way, we don’t recommend it during monsoons. The slippery ascent on rock-cut steps on the mountain face is very risky.

However, you can marvel at the view of these stairs snaking up the famous Kalavantin Durg regarded as one of the toughest treks in Maharashtra from Prabalgad. Morever, the forts of Chanderi and Peb are to the West while Karnala lies to the North.

Difficulty: Easy
Trail Type: Broad and well defined until Prabalmachi after which it goes through dense forest and climbs up a steep gully to enter the fort through the dilapidated ruins of door.
Basecamp: Thakurwadi. Buses are available from Panvel ST Stand

11. Harihar Fort

Harihar fort is located in the Nashik district of Maharashtra. It lies at an altitude of 3,676 ft from sea level. 

The hill on which the fort is built looks like a rectangular shape from the base village. But it is built on the triangular prism of rock from the Yadava dynasty. The edges of the Harihar fort are almost vertical. 

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Iconic stairs to Harihar Fort Summit. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

The attraction of Harihar fort is the iconic steps to the top of the fort. It is almost 80 degrees vertically inclined.  There are Lord Hanuman, Shiva and Nandi idols and a small pond at the fort. 

Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Type: Well defined trail starts from village and fields. Later, gradually ascends through forest and clearings. The final ascent is through 80 degree steep iconic stairs.
Basecamp: Kotamwadi village

View Harihar Fort trek

12. Manikgad

Located on a hill in Manikgad village of Maharashtra, Manikgad today is a ruinous fort. The fort is about 1,878 feet high and is impregnable from three sides. The upper part can be reached only from the south.

It was not a fort in its true sense, but more of a checkpost. However, even with crumbling fortification one can imagine its grandeur during its heydays. A decrepit gate with carving of Ganesh on the top of it greets one while entering the fort.

The fort presents a very commanding view of the valley surrounding it, with Karnala pinnacle and Prabalgad fort visible prominently.

Difficulty: Easy or Moderate depending on the route.
Trail Type: Well defined through fields, forests, rocks and ladders.
Basecamp: Khandas village.Private autos and jeeps are available at Karjat or Neral railway station to take you to Khandas.

So those were 12 of the Best monsoon treks in Maharashtra. If you have any other treks you’d like to suggest, or if you have questions, drop in a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is the toughest trek in Maharashtra?

Maharashtra is a hot spot for trekking in Western Ghats. The toughest trek is a very difficult one to answer as there are many treks that are a quite challenging. Of course, there are treks like Aland Madan Kulang which require technical guidance.

But, among the treks we have listed above, Harihar Fort trek could become quite tough especially for beginners. The iconic climb could be scary and become slippery during monsoons.

2. Which is the most beautiful trek in Maharashtra?

If there is a list of most beautiful treks in Maharashtra, Rajgad should definitely be on the top of it. It is also one of the best monsoon treks to do. Rich history and the marvelous architecture of the fort makes it stand out from the rest of the western ghats treks in the region.

3. Which place is best for trekking in Maharashtra?

Maharashtra has a vast variety of trekking places. The best place to trek depends on your experience and also what you are looking for in a particular trek. It could either be summit views, the history, the trail type or the adventure the trek offers. Check out Maharashtra section of Trek Library to choose the trek that interests you - https://indiahikes.com/state?name=Maharashtra

4. Which season is best for trekking in Maharashtra?

Monsoon. It is always the best season to trek in Western Ghats. You'll see the forest, the meadows, the waterfalls, whole region coming alive as the rainy season swings in.

5. Which is the easiest trek in Maharashtra?

Trekking opportunities in Maharashtra are huge. This means there are many options for all level of trekkers. Some of the easy treks are Karnala Fort, Sudhagad trek, Andharban and Devkund Waterfall. Check out Maharashtra section of Trek Library for more options - https://indiahikes.com/state?name=Maharashtra

6. Is trekking good in rainy season?

Rainy season is the perfect time to head out to western ghats treks. There are a few challenges that comes along with it, but the rewards are much higher. It's when the whole region come alive with lush greenery. The views you get are a treat to the eyes.

If you are concerned about how to deal with leeches on a trek, check out this video which answers your question :

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Click on the image to view the Video

If you are looking for more treks to do in Uttarakhand, check out this link. If you are looking for treks to do near your city, check out our Trek Library

If you want to trek with Indiahikes in the Himalayas, check out our upcoming treks section.

In order to help you do these treks on your own, we include gpx files in the documentation. Use this link to know more about how to use gpx files.

Finally, if you can help us document these treks further, or new treks that trekkers can do on their own, do apply to be a Remote Trek Documenter. It will greatly help us take DIY trekking forward in our country!

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Venkat Ganesh Gudipaty

Training Managar

About the author

Venkat Ganesh is a Training Manager at Indiahikes. Being a Senior Trainer, Venkat has been the mentor of Assistant Trek Leaders who join Indiahikes. To give a peek at his experience, after graduation Venkat worked for big telecom giants in India. Post that he set off to travel. During his travels, Venkat taught English in Vietnam, embarked on a solo bike trip to the Himalayas, and trekked to Sar Pass, Sandakphu, Sham Valley, Chadar trek, and the Western Ghats. Venkat joined Indiahikes in 2019. He soon became an integral part of the Experience Team. Besides trekking and travelling, Venkat enjoys cooking, reading, and riding bicycles. He loves animals. He has adopted two dogs -- Lola and Pepper. You can write to him at venkat@indiahikes.com to get in touch