When it rains, it pours in Amchi Mumbai and when it pours, it rains jokes and forwards on Whatsapp! And one of my favourite ones this monsoon is, when it rains the Mumbaikar will call his boss to say he can’t make it to the office but will instead head to Khandala! There is a semblance of truth here as the Mumbaikar’s love for trekking only out beats his love for vada pav and cutting chai from Khandala on a rainy day. Mumbai is blessed with beautiful, lush green, overflowing with waterfalls landscapes all around it. No planning or booking required, jab dil kiya nikal jao. Here are top 5 monsoon treks from Mumbai.
1. Rajmachi Fort
If you want to pack in all the goodness of nature monsoon offers in Maharashtra, then get ready for a trek to Rajmachi Fort. It has everything, gushing waterfalls, lush greenery, breathtaking trails, beautiful villages, chai and pakora stops and of course mindblowing views. Rajmachi Fort is located on the Mumbai Pune route. You can get there by bus or take a Pune train and alight at Karjat. From Karjat you have to get to Kondhane village, an auto can take you there. Your trek will begin from Kondhane village. It’ll take you 3-4 hours to get to the fort. You will be rewarded amply for taking this slightly longer route, through the wonderful scenery and rich experience enroute.
2. Torna Fort
Torna has the enviable distinction of being the first fort won by Shivaji Maharaj and that too at 16! It is one of the highest forts in Pune district. It is said that when Shivaji Maharaj undertook the restoration of the fort he stumbled upon a treasure chest and that took care of the expenses. To get to Torna one has to reach Pune and from there on to Velha village by bus. Though monsoon is the best season to undertake this trek as the views it’ll reward you with is priceless, one has to be cautious as the red soil is loosened due to the force of the rain and there are greater chances of slipping. But once you are atop the fort there are many places of significance that you’ll spot from up there. The Khadakwasla Dam, Mahabaleshwar, and Pratapgad to name a few.
3. Rajgad Fort
Rajgad literally translated means royal fort. It is located on a hill called Murumb Devacha Dongar and therefore came to be known as Murumbdev, Rajgad was the name given by Shivaji Maharaj. He made it the initial capital of his Hindavi Swarjya. So you can see it is a fort of immense historical importance. Many significant events of Shivaji Maharaj’s life has occurred here. The fort base measure upto 24 square miles.
To get to Rajgad one has to reach Gunjavane village from Pune.
4. Karnala Fort
Karnala Fort holds beautiful memories of school picnics. A beautiful and lush place, it has flowering trees and its biggest claim to fame, the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. The bird sanctuary is more significant than the fort. The most important point about the Karnala Fort is its strategic location during Shivaji Maharaj’s reign, it was the entrance to Raigad region and overlooked the Bhor Pass. To get to Karnala, one has to get to Panvel, going by train is the best option. Alight at Panvel station and begin your trek. The duration of the trek is approximately 2 hours. It’s a fairly easy trek.
Sudhagad is one of the best-known trekking destinations from Mumbai. Located at a mere 110 km away from Mumbai it is a must-do trek, for its lovely weather and its verdant mist covered mountains. Points to be visited here are the Aamby Valley Exit Gate, Ambarkhana, Echo Point, Pantsachiv Wada, Sudhagad Fort and Kumbheri Bridge amongst others.