8 Famous Treks in Maharashtra for Hiking This Summer

Maharashtra is home to some of the most famous and breathtaking treks in India. Trekking has become an increasingly popular activity in the state over the past few decades. The Western Ghats that run through Maharashtra offer numerous trekking trails that provide stunning views and a chance to explore historic forts and caves. Salam Travellers has compiled a list of 8 famous treks in Maharashtra for hiking this summer.

History of Maharashtra Trekking

Trekking started gaining prominence in Maharashtra in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The activity allowed adventure seekers and nature lovers to explore the Sahyadri mountain range of the Western Ghats. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation began promoting trekking as an attraction, which led to the development of several trails. The activity gained further popularity through mountaineering clubs and trekking groups.

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Today, trekking is an important driver of tourism in Maharashtra. The state government and tourism department actively promote it as an adventure activity. The treks provide a significant boost to local economies through tourism spending. Trekking also helps create environmental awareness and leads to conservation efforts. With its diverse terrain and breathtaking trails, Maharashtra has cemented its place as one of the top trekking destinations in India.

1) Kalsubai Peak  

Kalsubai Peak, located in the Sahyadri mountain range near Bhandardara, is the highest peak in Maharashtra at an elevation of 1,646 meters. This mountain is a famous trekking destination that offers stunning views and a thrilling climb to the summit. 

Is the Kalsubai trek difficult?

The Kalsubai trek is considered moderately difficult, taking about 2-3 hours to reach the top from the base village. The trail starts with a steep ascent through a forested path that opens up to gorgeous valleys and waterfalls. As you climb higher, the terrain becomes rockier and requires scrambling over boulders and stones. 

The top of Kalsubai Peak provides a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding Sahyadri ranges. You can see the Bhandardara dam, Arthur Lake, and villages nestled in the valley below. The famous Amruteshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is also located at the summit. 

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Best time to trek at Kalsubai Peak

Trekking to Kalsubai is best done during the monsoon and post-monsoon seasons, when the surroundings are lush green and small streams and waterfalls enliven the landscape. The trek gives a glimpse into the local tribal culture as villagers sell vada pav, tea, and local artifacts along the route. With its towering height and stunning vistas, Kalsubai Peak is undoubtedly one of the top treks in Maharashtra.

2) Harishchandragad Fort

Photo Contributor: Dilchaspiyaan

Harishchandragad Fort is located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra and is one of the most famous treks in the state. With an elevation of 4,671 feet, the fort sits atop the Sahyadri mountains and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding ranges and valleys. 

The fort has a long history, believed to date back to the 6th century. It was under the control of various dynasties like the Mughals and the Marathas over the centuries. The fort gets its name from the ancient Harishchandreshwar temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, which is located inside the fort.

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Is the Harishchandragad Fort trek difficult?

The most popular trekking route to Harishchandragad Fort starts from Khireshwar village. It is a moderately difficult climb of about 3-4 hours. The trail passes through thick forests, rocky patches, and steep climbs before reaching the fort. Some of the highlights along the way include ancient cave temples like the Konkankada, Ganeshpur, and Kedareshwar. The famous Taramati Peak and Kokan Kada Cliff also fall en route. 

Where does the Harishchandragad Fort trek end?

Once at the top, trekkers can explore the various stone structures and temples located within the fort. The topmost point, called Belpada, has an open expanse that offers magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Given the rich history and natural beauty, Harishchandragad Fort is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding treks in Maharashtra.

Also Read: The Top 10 Must Visit Caves in India: A Guide to Ancient Times

3) Lohagad Fort

Credit: Parth Rasse

Lohagad Fort is one of the most popular treks in Maharashtra, located near Lonavala. This fort was built in the 18th century and served as an important military base due to its strategic location overlooking trade routes. 

Where does the Lohagad Fort trek start from?

The trek to Lohagad Fort starts from the base village of Bhaje. It is a moderately difficult trek that takes about 2-3 hours to complete one way. The trail passes through dense forest and crosses a small stream midway. There are well-defined steps that lead to the entrance of the fort.

The sights along the way include breathtaking views of the surrounding Sahyadri ranges. You can see the Pawna dam and lake from certain points during the climb. There are also a few small caves and an ancient Shiva temple along the route. 

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Where does the Lohagad Fort trek end?

Once you reach the fort, you can explore the ruins and see structures like the massive iron gates, water cisterns, and granaries. The top of the fort provides panoramic views of the surrounding hills and villages below. Given its history and beautiful natural setting, Lohagad is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding treks in Maharashtra.

4) Rajmachi Fort 

Credit: ankita_gkd

Rajmachi Fort is a popular trekking destination in Maharashtra’s Sahyadri Range. The fort is surrounded by the lush green forests of the Western Ghats and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and hills. 

Rajmachi consists of two twin forts – Shrivardhan and Manaranjan. The former was built by Shivaji Maharaj, and the latter by the Satavahanas. The fort has a long history of capturing the interest of many rulers – from Shivaji Maharaj and Satavahanas to the British.

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Rajmachi Fort Trek Routes

Rajmachi Fort is accessible via two main trekking routes. The first route starts from Lonavala and is a steep climb of about 15 km. The trek takes about 5-6 hours. The second route starts from the village of Udhewadi and is a gentler 14 km uphill trek spread over 4-5 hours. Both routes offer mesmerizing views of the Sahyadris. 

The trail passes through dense forests with plenty of streams and waterfalls to rejuvenate tired trekkers. Karjat village, famous for its scenic beauty, can also be seen from parts of the trail. Other highlights along the trek include the Borghat reverse valley, the Tung and Tikona forts visible in the distance, and the Konkan Kada – a cliff with a majestic view of the Konkan region.

Rajmachi Fort Trek Difficulty

Though most parts of the trek are easy, the last stretch is quite steep and requires some scrambling. Thus, the trek is rated medium in difficulty level and suitable for beginner to intermediate-level trekkers.

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5) Visapur Fort

Credit: ankita_gkd

Visapur Fort is a majestic hill fort located in the Pune district of Maharashtra, India. It sits at an elevation of 1084 meters above sea level. Visapur is part of the Lohagad-Visapur fort complex, constructed in the 18th century by the Peshwas. 

Visapur Fort Trek Difficulty

The difficulty level of the Visapur trek is medium, so it can be attempted by beginners and families. But proper fitness and stamina are required, as it involves an ascent of 500 meters. Wearing sturdy shoes and carrying water is recommended. The best time to trek is during the monsoon, when the landscape is lush green.

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Where does the Visapur Fort Trek end?

The trek to Visapur Fort is a moderately challenging one, taking about 2-3 hours one way. The well-defined path starts from the base village of Bhaje and winds through lush forests and small streams. Along the way, trekkers can spot interesting rock-cut caves and water cisterns used for storing rainwater. The highlight of the trek is a breathtaking view of Lohagad Fort from atop Visapur.

After a steep climb, you will reach the entrance gate, protected by iron spikes. Within the fort walls lie ruins of old houses, granaries, and a large water tank. The fort precinct offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills, blanketed in green. You can also see the hook-shaped peak of Lohagad as well as the Pawna Dam reservoir. 

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6) Tunga Fort

Tunga Fort is a historic hill fort located near Nashik in Maharashtra. Built in the 17th century, it stands at an elevation of around 4,000 feet above sea level. Tunga Fort is a popular trekking destination thanks to its rugged natural beauty and panoramic views from the top. 

Where does the Tunga Fort Trek start from?

The trek to Tunga Fort starts from the village of Pachnai. The well-defined trail passes through dense forests and steep, rock-cut steps. Trekkers need to cross a stream and climb uphill for about 3 km before reaching the entrance gate of the fort. The last stretch is a nerve-wracking climb through steep rock-cut stairs. 

The sights along the way include verdant forests, gushing waterfalls, and scenic valley views. Trekkers can also see Tringalwadi Lake nestled at the base of the hills. The top of the fort offers breathtaking views of nearby forts like Harihar and Trimbakgad. 

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Is the Tunga Fort Trek difficult?

The overall difficulty level of the Tunga Fort trek is medium. It takes about 4-5 hours to complete the uphill trek and 2-3 hours for the descent. Good physical fitness is recommended, as it involves a steep climb. Proper shoes, snacks, and water are a must when attempting this trek.

The Tunga Fort trek is considered an ideal monsoon trek thanks to plentiful greenery and waterfalls. The slopes can get slippery during the rainy season, so caution is advised. Overall, the trek offers a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and adventure for beginners as well as experienced trekkers.

7) Tikona Fort

Credit: sugitas

Tikona Fort, also known as Vitandgad, is a prominent hill fort located near Kamshet in Maharashtra. Perched at an elevation of 3500 feet, it offers mesmerizing views of the surrounding hills and hamlets. 

The fort dates back to the 6th century, though it was later occupied by the Mughals and Marathas. The triangular shape of the fort gives it the name Tikona, which translates to “triangle” in Marathi.

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Tikona Fort Trek Difficulty

The trek to Tikona Fort is a relatively easy one, suitable for beginners. The trail starts from the village of Tikona Peth, near Kamshet. The 3 km trek takes around 1.5 hours to complete one way as it involves a steep climb. The initial route is paved and passes through thick bushes and small streams. Further ahead, you need to hike up steep rock-cut stairs to reach the entrance – a small gap in the stone wall. 

Tikona Fort Trek Sights

The sights along the trek are breathtaking – verdant hills dotted with tiny villages, the Pawna dam and lake, and finally the ramparts of the fort itself. You can spot some satin spar crystals along the route. From the top, the views of the surrounding Sahyadri ranges are stunning. 

Though the climb is steep, the trail is an easy one without any complicated sections. The stairs provide a grip during the ascent. Proper shoes and fitness are required to complete the trek.

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8) Kalavantin Durg

Credit: Amit Patra

Kalavantin Durg is one of the most famous treks in Maharashtra due to its steep climb and breathtaking views. This ancient fort is located in the Raigad district and sits atop a 2,250-foot plateau overlooking the Prabalgad Fort and the Matheran hill station. 

The history of Kalavantin Durg dates back to the 15th century, when it was built by the Maratha ruler Shivaji to keep watch on enemy movements. Over time, the fort fell into ruin but remains a popular trekking destination today.

Kalavantin Durg Trek starting point

The Kalavantin Durg trek starts from the base village of Thakurwadi. The initial route is a steep ascent via a set of stone steps carved into the mountainside. As you climb higher, you’ll pass through dense forests and several ancient water cisterns along the way. The panoramic views become more breathtaking with elevation. 

After a 2-3 hour hike, you’ll reach the summit, which offers stunning 360-degree views over the Sahyadri mountain range. You can see Prabalgad Fort towering nearby and also admire panoramas of Matheran, Chanderi, and Peb forts in the distance.

Kalavantin Durg Trek Difficulty

The Kalavantin Durg trek is considered moderately difficult, mainly due to the steep stairs and high elevation. Proper shoes, fitness level, and climbing experience are recommended. The trails are also quite exposed, so caution is required. However, reaching the pinnacle is worth all the effort for the majestic views it offers over the Western Ghats.

Lace Up Your Hiking Boots!

Maharashtra is home to some of the most famous and breathtaking treks in India. From the towering heights of Kalsubai Peak to the challenging climb up Harishchandragad Fort, trekkers are spoiled for choice. 

Trekking tourism plays an important role in Maharashtra’s economy by attracting adventure seekers from India and abroad. The state government and local communities have worked hard to promote sustainable trekking by maintaining trails, providing guides, and educating trekkers.

The treks listed in this article provide a glimpse into Maharashtra’s majestic Sahyadri mountain range and rich history. Trekking up to these ancient forts and peaks allows one to walk through history and take in stunning panoramic views.

For those seeking challenging climbs, peaceful nature walks, or just stunning views, Maharashtra has a trek that will check every box. So lace up your hiking boots and be prepared for a thrilling trekking experience. The magnificent mountains of Maharashtra await!

Hassan Tariq Malik

Hassan Tariq Malik is a highly skilled Freelance SEO Consultant, specializing in Technical SEO, Digital PR, Rebranding, and Content Marketing. With a deep understanding of search engine optimization, Hassan develops effective strategies to support business development and increase conversion rates, ultimately leading to greater profitability for his clients.

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