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10 Best Treks Near Pune That You Can Do On your Own

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10 Best Treks Near Pune That You Can Do On your Own

Category Region-wise Guide; Treks Around Pune

By Manasa Neechadi

2022-10-07

Monsoon and post-monsoon are synonymous with trekking in the Western Ghats. This is when the Western Ghats spring into life. The forest section comes alive. The lush green grasslands beam with tiny wildflowers. The view of rolling green hills takes your breath away.  

Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas! They span from Gujarat to Kerala and are almost 1600 km long. A large chunk of them lies in Maharashtra. This means, no matter what part of Maharashtra you are from, you have a place to trek to. The presence of more than 160 forts adds to this. As a result, there is a strong trekking culture too.

Pune, being one of the popular districts in Maharashtra, is home to the famous hill stations such as Lonavala and Malshej Ghat. This makes it one of the hotspots for treks in Sahyadris. There are numerous treks that are just a couple of hours away. 

There are treks that take you through dense forests. There are vast plateaus to explore. There are forts that are architectural marvels. There are waterfall trails to quench your thirst for adventure. There is a reverse waterfall phenomenon to marvel at!

Here, I’ve curated 10 such best treks near Pune that you must do. So without further delay, let’s dive into the details of these treks.

1. Sinhagad Trek

Starting point of the trek: Donje Gaon
Distance from Pune: 20 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/NSZ2P6MKVaX4ViqS8

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Views of the rolling green hills and cloud bed seen from the Sinhgad Fort top.

Sinhagad is one of the most significant forts around Pune. The fort, strategically built to provide natural protection, is part of the triumvirate Sinhagad, Rajgad and Torna. It has also been the centre of a number of battles. Unlike many other forts, the fort structure of Sinhagad is still intact and well preserved. Because of this reason, the trek to Sinhagad is one of the most popular treks in this region. 

Sinhagad trek can be divided into two sections. The first part starts from tar road at Donje Gaon and climbs up to a parking lot for two wheelers. The second half of the trek is a steep climb to Sinhagad top. It’s steep but incredibly rewarding.

View Sinhagad Trek

2. Torna Fort Trek

Starting point of the trek: Velhe village
Distance from Pune: 48 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/ccdty7LacAeAz3aH9

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Zunjar Machi as seen from the Dhaalkathi on the Torna Fort trek. Observe the double fortified wall. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

Torna Fort is the highest hill-fort in the Pune District. Situated at an altitude of 4,603 ft from sea level, it stands out among other forts in the western ghats of Maharashtra. Because of the massive size of the fort, it is also called Prachandagad. This name is derived from Marathi which means Prachanda – massive and gad – a fort.

Torna Fort has a rich history as it was captured by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1646 when he was 16 years old. This is where the core of the Maratha empire was built. It has a great history as it has gone under many rulers.

Trek to the Torna fort unfolds many exciting things. You trek along the beautiful flower beds, on the top, there are temples, water cisterns, Balekilla, 2 magnificent Machis, Zunjar Machi, and Budhla Machi, and a ridge connecting to Rajgad fort.

View Torna Fort Trek

3. Rajgad Trek

Starting point of the trek: Gunjavane village
Distance from Pune: 62 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/ZRH5KcYgGpeuXgLc9

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The Sanjivani Machi of Rajgad Fort. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

Rajgad trek is the most beautiful trek in Maharashtra. As the name suggests it is the king of forts. Because of the rich history and the mesmerising architecture of the fort, it stands out among other forts in Western Ghats. 

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 why the fort was built so beautifully. Rajgad has witnessed many significant events, including the birth of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s son Rajaram I to the death of his queen Saibai. 

Trek to Rajgad offers the beauty of the Sahyadris as well as the fort. The fortification of the 3 Machis: Padmavati Machi, Suvela Machi, and Sanjivani Machi define the architectural creativity of that time. It also offers a splendid view of other surrounding forts like Torna, Lingana, Raigad, Sinhagad and many other forts.

For the mesmerising views and the rich history of the fort, this trek is a must-do.

View Rajgad Fort trek

4. Visapur Fort Trek

Starting point of the trek: Bhaje village
Distance from Pune: 64 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/Z1njsVNgwNe6CFip7

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Wall of the Visapur fort. Picture by Mugdha Bhusari

Visapur Fort dates back to the 1700's and was built by Balaji Vishwanath, the first Peshwa of the Maratha Empire. Visapur fort is a part of the Lohagad-Visapur fortification. Visapur is at a higher elevation than its twin Lohagad. 

The trek to Visapur fort has two routes. One from Bhaje village and the other from Patan village. As the Patan village trail is slightly challenging, trekking from Bhaje village is preferred by many. 

The trek from the Bhaje Village starts from a mud road and gradually winds up in an ascending forest section. The forest section becomes a waterfall trail in the monsoon season. It later ends in an expansive plateau. Figuring out the correct trail from the Ptan village is tricky. It also winds in a small forest section followed by dried up waterfalls to reach the plateau on the top. 

Do this trek for the waterfall trail in monsoon and the view from the plateau.

View Visapur Fort Trek

5. Lonavala Bhimashankar Trek

Starting point of the trek: Lonavala
Distance from Pune: 68 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/qBnFQJbScaURpjxAA

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Lush greenery of Dhak plateau as seen on the Lonavala Bhimashankar trek

Lonavala to Bhimashankar is arguably the best back-country trek in the Sahyadri range. The trek starts right from Lonavala, one of the most famous hill stations in South India. The trail then passes through deep wild rainforest, head-high bushes, lost-and-found trails, small rivulets, remote tribal villages, eerie temples, green meadows, hidden waterfalls and a plateau of flowers. You explore the best features of the Sahyadri range on this trek.

You explore the best features of the Sahyadri range on the Lonavala Bhimashankar trek. Green gorges, distant villages, countless tunnels and occasional waterfalls - the trek shows the Indian countryside at its best.The Bhima river originates from Bhimashankar hill and passes through the deepest part of the forest. It attracts abundant wildlife, as there is no other water source around.

The Lonavala Bhimashankar trek is known as the Valley of Flowers of Maharashtra. Do this trek in the monsoon to witness the magic of flower-laden trails.

View Lonavala Bhimashankar Trek

6. Andharban Trek

Starting point of the trek: Pimpri village
Distance from Pune: 72 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/tAnCCXQqs1TvrciWA

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Stunning view you get to see on the Andharban trek.

Andharban is one of the most refreshing treks in the sahyadri region.  Andharban is a compound word of Andhar which means dark and ban meaning forest. At par with its name, the trail passes through dense overgrowth. 

Andharban is a descending trail, scattered throughout with numerous small streams and waterfalls. The trek begins at an elevation of approximately 2,160 feet in the Sahyadri mountains and descends down into the valley, to reach the backwaters of the Bhira Dam. Andharban trek offers beautiful views of the Devkund waterfall, Plus Valley and the Tamhini Ghat along the way.

Andharban trek starts from a location called Independence Point about 200 metres away from Pimpri village. Being a jungle trek, it’s a must-do for those who are birders and wildlife enthusiasts.

View Andharban Trek

7. Sindola Fort Trek

Starting point of the trek: Karanjale village
Distance from Pune: 112 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/QtXE5eGC4vEhdJ9P9

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The pinnacle structure of the Sindola fort seen from the second ridge. Picture by Kailesh Padevkar

Sindola fort trek is one of the lesser-known treks in the very popular region of Maharashtra. It is situated in the Malshej ghat in Junnar region at an altitude of 3,680 ft from the sea level.

Sindola fort dates back to similar times of Nimgiri and Hadsar. This fort was used as a watchtower as it offers a complete view of Malshej Ghat, Pargaon village and other famous forts.

The fort is very small compared to other famous forts in the Junnar region. However, the ruins of bastions, a few water reservoirs and a Ganesha idol at the entrance on the top of the fort will set you wondering of the beauty. The rock-cut steps while climbing to the pinnacle will leave you astonished.

Do this trek for the serenity and the adventure it offers.

View Sindola Fort Trek

8. Kalavantin Durg Trek

Starting point of the trek: Prabalmachi
Distance from Pune: 123 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/CKkRWFSFfoKQBnFg9

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View from the summit of Kalavantin Durg trek. Picture by Mugdha Bhusari

Kalavantin Durg Trek is one of the most popular treks in Maharashtra. Situated at an altitude of around 2,205 feet in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, the trek is a perfect one for beginners or adventure seekers. 

The Pinnacle of Kalavantin is a thrilling experience that one goes for. Amongst the trekking circle, there is a misconception that it is considered as a very dangerous or treacherous trek. The angle of the photos or videos takes this angle for this whole trek. With enough precautions and knowing the trek well, the trek is one adventure that you should go on. 

Though Kalavantin Durg is much closer to Mumbai than Pune, it can easily be done from Pune as well. Trekking through the uneven trail, thick vegetation, and thrill of reaching the top is an experience you must not miss out on.

View Kalavantin Durg Trek

9. Kothaligad Trek

Starting point of the trek: Ambivali
Distance from Pune: 125 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/1uytwjPZ3MNmMSE38

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The waterfalls of Peth plateau are often sent back upwards, a phenomenon popularly known as Reverse waterfalls. Picture by Saurabh Sawant.

Kothaligad, a small marvel of architecture, nestled in the famous Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary near Karjat. It rises to a maximum altitude of 2,033 ft. Kothaligad stands detached from the main trail of Bhimashankar thus providing a rare 360 degree view from the peak. From the Peth pateau, you can even witness the reverse waterfalls phenomenon. 

Kothaligad Fort was primarily used as a watchtower & ammunition depot by the ruling armies. The strategic location of the hill provides a commanding view of Padargad, Malanggad, Siddhagad, Chanderi fort, Bhimashankar & Matheran plateau in clear weather.

Located less than 100 km from both Mumbai and Pune and well connected by road and railways, Kothaligad is an ideal all-season trek for anyone looking for a quick getaway from the bustling city life.

View Kothaligad Trek

10. Sudhagad Trek

Starting point of the trek: Pali village
Distance from Pune: 136 km
Best route to get there: https://goo.gl/maps/x61TAyUu7zGR7xuK7

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View of the surrounding valley as seen from the Sudhagad top. Picture by Apoorva Karlekar

Sudhagad trek is a short weekend getaway for trekkers from both Mumbai and Pune. The fort is almost equidistant from both the cities. The trek offers spectacular views of the Sarasgad, Tail Baila and Ghangad from the top. There are also two huge lakes on the top where you can take a dip and camp beside for the night. There is also Bhorai Devi temple and “Pant Sachivancha Vada”.

Sudhagad trek also known as Bhorapgad after the goddess Bhoraidevi. The origin of the fort traces back to the 2nd century BC. It was named Sudhagad after the Marathas conquered it from the Bhamani dynasty in 1657. 

Go for this trek if you are seeking for a 2 days adventure near Pune or Mumbai.

View Sudhagad Fort Trek

This brings us to the end of this list of 10 best treks near Pune that you can do on your own.

Click here to know about offbeat treks in Maharashtra to avoid crowds on weekends

But if you are looking for treks in your region, you can check our Trek Library as well - https://indiahikes.com/do-it-yourself-treks

If you have done any of these treks or have any recommendations that you think I should add to this list, write to me at manasa@indiahikes.com.

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!