Experiential Learning for Families in Maharashtra

Indiahikes Western Campus, Karjat

A Photo Story From The Trek

A lot of new things happened on our first trek from the Western Campus. This photo story takes you through all of them.
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Difficulty
Difficulty
? Easy-Moderate treks have even trails and a gentle gradient. No more than 5-6 days long. They do not go to very high altitudes and have easy exits from most campsites.
Easy-Moderate
Duration
Duration
3 Days
Altitude
Maximum Altitude
3,050 ft ft
Pickup point
Pickup point
Vijaybhoomi University, Karjat

We are happy to announce the opening of treks for Families and Schools from our Western Campus at the foothills of the Sahyadris in the Karjat region of Maharashtra. It is about 100 km from either Mumbai or Pune (about 3 hrs drive). 

For many years, we have had several family treks in the Himalayas, and seen an incredible impact on families. This time, we’re happy to have our programmes at our western campus. 

You’ll love our campus in Karjat. It is surrounded by hills on all sides — hills that climb right out of our camping grounds. There are some lovely trekking trails at a walking distance from our campus, some popular ones too. There’s also a lake, streams, waterfalls, forests, it’s got everything going for it! It is within the Vijaybhoomi University premises, whom we are very happy to work with. 

A view of the lake from a small hike around the western campus. Picture by Izzat Yaganagi

About our outdoor learning programs for families:

We’re doing a two and a half day programme for families. We will be trekking and camping for two nights, along with specialised experiential learning activities. Given that it is a sprawling campus spread over 210 acres, with forests and lakes all around, expect all the activities to be based in the midst of this wilderness.  

Short itinerary of the programme

Day 1: Reach our Western campus by 4 pm in your own vehicle (here is the exact location for your reference). Meet the Indiahikes team at the Western Campus and start your program. You spend the night camping. 

Day 2: A full day trek to Kothaligad / Bhimashankar based on the age group of the team. Spend the evening by the lakeside with a few learning activities.

Day 3: Trek to the lake along with a special learning activity. Leave the campus and head back home at around 11 am.

This is an exclusive experiential learning program designed for families coming to our Western Campus.

Karjat Trek Indiahikes
A family taking a walk around our Western Campus in Maharashtra. Picture by Izzat Yaganagi

Whom is it suitable for?

We have room for around 6 families in this group. We suggest that your child is at least 6 years old. Children between the ages of 12 and 17 can also join the program unaccompanied by their parents. 

It’s suitable for anyone in Pune, Mumbai, and surrounding cities, as our Western Campus is almost equidistant from these major cities (about 100 km). 

Even if you don’t live around Maharashtra, you can opt to do this program. Any outdoor lover will love the campus and the program we have. 

What happens after you sign up?

Once you register for the program (you can do this by clicking on the date in the calendar and proceeding with the online process), our Experience Coordinator will get in touch with you over email. They will guide you on how to prepare for the trek and give you an idea of what to expect.

We will also create a Whatsapp group so that the team that’s going on the trek gets familiar with each other before going. Use this group to coordinate with each other in case you’d like to carpool as well.

Weather to expect at Karjat

Even during the coldest months of December and January, the Karjat region is fairly hot, hitting temperatures of around 27-31 °C during the day

Even the nights are warm at around 19 – 24 °C

You would only need one jacket for early mornings or in case of rain. 

Karjat Trek Indiahikes
Trekking through the forests around the Western Campus. Picture by Izzat Yaganagi

What to bring with you

Given this is just a two-day outdoor program, with very comfortable weather, we advise you to travel light.

Here’s a list of things you must bring along with you on the trek. 

  • A 20L backpack – A small comfortable backpack will suffice for the whole programme.
  • 2 t-shirtsExpect to get sweaty, you will need a change of clothes after your trek
  • An extra pair of trekking pantsAvoid shorts at all costs, there are thorns along all the trails.
  • Shoes with good gripEven sports shoes will work, as long as they have a good grip
  • Trek poles – Day 1 involves a good, challenging trek. Trekking poles will be helpful.
  • One jacket 
  • Rainwear
  • Headlamp
  • Sun cap
  • Sunglasses 
  • An extra pair of socks
  • A light towel 
  • Two 1 litre bottles 
  • Your own cutlery (lunch box, mug, and spoon)
  • A small toilet kit
  • 2 light single sheets to lie on and cover yourself with.
Karjat Trek Indiahikes
An art workshop we conducted at the lakeside for our first group of trekkers

What not to bring 

  • Disposable cutlery
  • Packaged foods and snacks
  • Wet wipes

How To Reach the Indiahikes Western Campus

The Indiahikes Western Campus is easily accessible from Mumbai and Pune. Here is the location on Google Maps.

The drive to it is quite scenic with the Western Ghats popping up at the horizon as you zoom on the Pune-Express Way. 

Once off the Expressway, and on NH-48, you get close to the Maharashtrian countryside punctuated with houses and shops tightly clustered around the road.

Notice how you leave the civilization behind as the Vijaybhoomi campus draws near. 

The only way to reach the Vijaybhoomi campus is via road, preferably through a private vehicle. This, because public transport is sketchy in this region. It’s best not to bank upon them. 

Pro-tip: For budget travelers, take a local train/public bus to Karjat and take a local bus to Solanpada (Jambrung) from the Karjat bus depot. (Please confirm bus timings and frequency before taking this option). 

Below are routes you need to take from Mumbai, Karjat, and Pune. It would be best to download an offline GPS map. As a backup, jot down the landmarks listed below so that you stay on route even if your GPS network fails.

| From Mumbai

The Vijaybhoomi University campus is situated 90 km (2.5 hours) from Mumbai. There’s no public transport available to this location. So the best way is to drive down to the campus. 

From Mumbai, take the Mumbai Pune Expressway till Chauk. Take the Borle exit/Panvel Bypass road and take a left from Machhi (Fish) Center onto NH 48. Move towards Murbad Road (watch out for Sai properties on your right). Drive straight past the Bhairavnath Jogeshwari Wadapav and turn left at Everlast Builders

Pass the Ulhas river bridge on your right and continue straight on Murbad road. Take a right after Raigad Zila Parishad Primary School and after almost 4 kms turn right from Vanvihar Guest House

You will reach Vijaybhoomi Campus a kilometer after passing Pramod Enterprises on your left.  

| From Pune

This campus is 127 kms (around 3 hours) from Pune. Take the Pune-Mumbai Express Highway and take the exit to NH 48

After 5 km turn slightly left after Sai River Resort. You will see this on your left.

In the final leg, turn right onto Karjat-Khopoli marg and turn right from Mahalakshmi Hotel. Now you are on the Karjat-Khopoli marg. 

Continue straight (drive past Bhairavnath Jogeshwari Wada Pav) and turn left from Everlast Builders and Developers.

Since each group has several families, the trek is going to be filled with lots of conversations, fun, and activities. The children, across families, work together in teams. Parents get to spend time with other parents while the children are engaged with their responsibilities. Reflection sessions every evening further enhances the entire experience.

Needless to say, they also get to learn about the mountains, rocks, seasonal changes, and their correlation with the flora and fauna. They get to see the immensity of space while gazing at the Milky Way – triggering their enthusiasm to understand the concepts of time and space and much much more!

We hope you join us soon!

If you have any doubts about this program, drop in a comment below. We’ll help you out.

Short itinerary of the program

Day 1: Reach our Western campus by 4 pm in your own vehicle (here is the exact location for your reference). Meet the Indiahikes team at the Western Campus and start your program. You spend the night camping. 

Day 2: A full day trek to Kothaligad / Bhimashankar based on the age group of the team. The evening is at the lakeside with a few learning activities.

Day 3: Trek to the lake along with a special learning activity. Leave the campus and head back home at around 11 am. This is going to be an exclusive experiential learning program designed for families coming to our Western Campus.

Given this is just a three-day outdoor programme, with very comfortable weather, we advise you to travel light.

Here’s a list of things you must bring along with you on the trek. 

  • A 20L backpack – A small comfortable backpack will suffice for the whole programme.
  • 2-3 t-shirtsExpect to get sweaty, you will need a change of clothes after your trek
  • An extra pair of trekking pantsAvoid shorts at all costs, there are thorns along all the trails.
  • Shoes with good gripEven sports shoes will work, as long as they have a good grip
  • Trek poles – Day 1 involves a good, challenging trek. Trekking poles will be helpful.
  • One jacket 
  • Rainwear
  • Headlamp
  • Sun cap
  • Sunglasses 
  • An extra pair of socks
  • A light towel 
  • Two 1 litre bottles 
  • Your own cutlery (lunch box, mug, and spoon)
  • A small toilet kit
  • 2 light single sheets to lie on and cover yourself with.

What not to bring 

  • Disposable cutlery
  • Packaged foods and snacks
  • Wet wipes

The Indiahikes Special Covid Cancellation Policy 

We understand the pain of cancelling a trek. As trekkers, we always look forward to treks, and after months of training and planning, if we have to cancel our trek, there’s no greater disappointment than that. 

This is why we have one of the most trekker-friendly cancellation policies.

This policy is effective for registrations starting January 5, 2021.

| Face no cancellation charges any time before the trek date

– Cancellation upto 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a complete cash refund (minus 4% transaction fee). The money is refunded to the same bank account, credit or debit card from where payment was made. 

– Cancellation during the last 6 days before the start date of the trek, and not counting the day of the trek — Full refund with 100% of the trek fee in the form of an Indiahikes Trek Voucher. Valid for 1 year from date of issue. Can be used on any Indiahikes trek. 

– Cancellation on the start day of the trek, or no show on the start day of the trek — Unfortunately, no refund. 

Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable. 

| In the rare event that we cancel a trek, this is the policy we follow:

We almost never cancel our treks. But in case we cancel a trek because of natural calamities (snowstorms, thunderstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes) or unexpected political unrest, curfews, local riots, or government orders, Indiahikes will issue a voucher for the full amount of your trek fee (minus the trek insurance). You can redeem the Trek Voucher on any of our treks over the next one year.

Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable. 

| The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” Policy (trekkers love this!)

There are some thoughts and ideologies that we hold close to our hearts.

1. As trekkers, there are times when we have to let go of a trek midway. Sometimes we fall ill, or get hit by AMS or at times simply fatigue pulls us down. At other times bad weather plays spoilsport, or the trail is blocked. It can happen that your Trek Leader sends you down due to a safety or health issue.

At Indiahikes we feel terrible when such an event happens.

Should such a situation occur that you have to drop out from this trek, we want you to know that we feel as bad as you do. You can always come back another time and finish your adventure. For this you do not have to pay Indiahikes any money.

2. On the other hand, there are times when you fall in love with a trek. So much so that you want to do it again, perhaps see it in another season. If you ever desire to do a trek again, please do so. You don’t have to pay Indiahikes any money for repeating this trek. Just inform your Experience Coordinator who will guide you through a special internal process. 

Our only request: Just register for your trek in advance – you know how it is with our groups – they get booked in advance.

Note: The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” policy does not apply to our international treks.

If you cancel any rental gear from our store:

  • Cancellation of rental gear 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a full refund minus 4% transaction charges.
  • Cancellation of rental gear less than 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a voucher for the whole amount. This voucher is applicable on all our future treks.

If you cancel the offloading of your backpack:  

The offloading fee will be refunded to your account with a 4% transaction charge. 

If you choose to cancel your backpack offloading AFTER reaching the base camp, you will get a voucher of the offloading fee. 

| How to cancel your trek: 

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, follow these steps. 

  1. Login to your Indiahikes Trek Dashboard using this link
  2. Find your upcoming trek on your home page. 
  3. Click on “Cancel Trek” 
  4. Mention why you’re cancelling your trek on the form that appears.
  5. Choose either a voucher or a refund (where applicable). 
  6. Click on “Cancel Booking” 

How long does the refund process take?

After you have cancelled your trek, if you have opted for a refund, the refund amount will land in the same account that you have made the payment from. It will take 4-5 working days.

If you have chosen a trek voucher, it will land in your inbox within an hour. You will also be able to see it on your Trek Dashboard.

What is a Trek Voucher?

Trek Vouchers are credit amounts added to your Indiahikes account. You can redeem these on any of your future treks with Indiahikes. Every Trek Voucher has a validity of one year.

Important note: Indiahikes Trek Vouchers are non-refundable, not transferable to others or extendable. 

How to use an Indiahikes Trek Voucher?

If you have received an Indiahikes Trek Voucher, you will automatically see it when you are making a payment for your next trek. 

Once you click on the voucher and apply it, the system will deduct the voucher amount from your payable amount. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Experience Coordinator. 

The trek fee includes:

  1. Accommodation: Stay on Day 1 and Day 2. You will be camping in tents.
  2. Meals: All meals from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on Day 3 are included. We provide nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
  3. Trekking equipment: High quality tents and sleeping bags
  4. Safety equipment: A full-fledged medical kit will be with the Trek Leader at all times during the trek.

The trek fee does not include:

  1. Transport to and from the Western Campus
  2. Anything apart from inclusions

 

 

 

Available dates

We will open up dates shortly. Click here to see other similar treks that might have dates.

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5 thoughts on “Experiential Learning for Families in Maharashtra

  1. Any plans to open new slots? I called your office appears there are none neither much information is available regarding the same.

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