Get into your travel togs and get ready for some adventure! With the weather playing host, here are four must-do monsoon treks around the city. It is the stuff trekkers would love; rain-drenched vistas, swirling mist and spectacular views. So, take a hike people!
Distance: About 75 km
The trek to Rajmachi is said to be one of the most exciting and endurance-testing treks. There are two ways to get there. One is from Lonavala, which is roughly a 15 kms flat walk. The other is from Karjat, which is a gradual climb of around 4 kms. For beginners, it would be better to trek from Lonavala, as it is a comparatively easier path. The route in the monsoon season is truly exciting as you get to cross streams, waterfalls and lush green paddy fields on the way. If you are walking around the time of dusk or dawn, you can see a lot of fireflies twinkling around you. A two-day trek with ascent on the first day and descent on the second is preferred choice. It enables trekkers to see the Shrivardhan Fort and Manaranajan Fort without being in a rush. Rajmachi is ideal for camping as tow caves on the Fort provide ample accomodation.
Katraj To Sihangad
Distance: About 25 km
Katraj to Sinhagad is a popular trek which starts from the Old Katraj tunnel (Katraj ghats that lie in the south of Pune) and ends at Sinhagad Fort. The entire activity takes about 5-6 hours. But, while you’re at it, the cool breeze and gorgeous views will make it a memorable experience during this season.
The route travels through a range of Sayahdri mountains. It is definitely a trek which will test your physical fitness, stamina and endurance. Sinhagad (The Lion’s Fort) is famous for many important battles, most notably the battle of Sinhagad in 1670. It is strategically located at the center of a string of other forts such as Rajgad and Torna along with the Khadakwasla Dam which can be viewed from top of the fort.
Distance: Around 60 km
Tikona is a hill fort in the Maval region near Kamshet. The Fort is shaped like a pyramid and hence, popularly known as ‘Tikona’ or Triangle. If you are a beginner, the 3500-ft climb may be difficult and tiring. Some of the must-see parts of the Fort include the big doors, the temple of ‘Trimbakeshwar Mahadev’, a water tank and a few caves of the Satvahan era. Views of the Pawna Dam and other Forts like the Tung, Lohagad and Visapur are splendid.
The Karnala Fort was one of strategic importance and is currently a protected property lying within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The Karnala Fort engulfs a steep rock in the midst of green surroundings, caves and a water cistern. Trekking to this location has been a challenge to many adventurous trekkers and the destination continues to be a great attraction. The Fort’s doorway is adorned with intricate carvings of animals and a work of beautiful art.
It takes approximately one hour from the base to reach the first entrance of the Fort. The peak has a wonderful fortification structure, many remains of settlements, storage buildings and a temple of Lord Shiva and Karnai Mata. The pinnacle of the Fort is a citadel and to get there, one needs to apply rock-climbing technics. The Fort was constructed about 2000 years ago during the Satavahana period.
It’s a perfect getaway for one wishing for an adventurous day-out from the city. The trek, though rough and steep, is completely worth the effort.