4 Best Places to Trek on Sahyadri Mountains

Stretching for over 1600 km from Gujarat to Kanyakumari, the Sahyadri mountain range is a trekker’s haven with its rugged topography, majestic hill forts, ancient temples, expansive forests and picturesque lakes.
Sahyadris, or the Western Ghats, have been proclaimed as one of the ten ‘hottest biodiversity hotspots’ in the world. They offer numerous destinations and a wide range of outdoor adventure activities to nature enthusiasts and those seeking adventure. Since Sahyadri is not the archetypal mountain range, its highest peaks including Anaimudi in Tamil Nadu (at 2695 meters) and Kalsubai in Maharashtra (at 1200 meters) are formidable yet approachable even for the amateurs.
It is because of its geography and easy accessibility that Sahyadris boast of over 200 hill forts, more than 50 splendid ancient caves and several religious centres in Maharashtra alone. The combination of revisiting history amongst splendid backdrop of hills, valleys and forests attracts many fun loving enthusiasts to We take you through some of the famous trekking locations located in Maharashtra.

1. Ratangad :

Located in the Igatpuri region, the majestic Ratangad fort is a feast for the eyes because of its scenic surroundings of forests, caves and numerous water reservoirs including the spectacular man made umbrella falls. It offers breathtaking views of Kalsubai, the highest peak of Western Ghats. Even the Kalsubhai mountain offers an interesting and not very difficult trekking trail to the trekkers. Shirpunja Bhairavgarh is a small mountain on the way with interesting caves on the top and is worshipped by the tribal people.

2. Harishchandragad :
Harishchandragad, in the Junnar region, is one of the most popular treks in Maharashtra for its indescribable charm and beauty. The ruined fortifications and Brahmanic caves add mystique to the hike route.
Taramati peak, which is the highest amongst the three peaks of Rohidas, Taramati and Harishchandra, offers picturesque views of the Naneghat Range, various forts and other beautiful places including Ratangad, Kalsubai and Malshej Ghat.
The Harishchandragad Fort, from the medieval period, is one of the best forts to trek and is known for its strength, inscrutability and the prominent rock-cut face called ‘Konkan Kada’ at a height of 3,500 feet. This spectacular cliff, which is an overhang like a cobra’s hood, is a challenge for the trekkers and is one of the most interesting highlights of the trek.
Harishchandra Temple in the fort, which has a beautiful Nandi idol, is another high point of the fort. The Kedareshwar cave nearby has a huge Shivling surrounded by cold water. On their way, trekkers can sometime see wild animals and beautiful birds including flamingoes.
3. Bhimashankar :
Bhimashankar, located at a height of 3250 feet, is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The beautiful temple, built in the Nagara style of architecture, has a huge bell and is located in Bhorgiri village, 160 km from Pune. The trek to the hill temple through thick forests of the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhorgag hill fort is a photographer’s delight. The highest point, called Nag Phani, is nearby and offers picturesque views of valley.

4. Korigad :
Korigad is an isolated hill near Lonavala which offers beautiful hike route full of vegetation, flowers and a variety of stones. Dhangad Fort is a small fort nearby offering a steep climb to the trekkers. Sudhagad Fort along the way is one of the better conserved forts in Maharashtra. It is said to be a replica of Raigarh Fort, which was the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The fort has two beautiful lakes and also offers grand views of nearby forts including Sarasgad and Dhangad.

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