20 Natural Scenic Attractions on Sahyadri Mountain Ranges

Monsoon awakes the long time sleeping mountains with beautiful flowers, waterfalls,water bodies, green valley and best natural scenery. Sahyadri Mountain Ranges or the Western Ghats are one of the natural wonders of India and the area is one of the world’s ten Hottest biodiversity hotspots with home to flowering plants,mammal,amphibian,reptiles,insects and bird species along with stunning Landscape and Natural Scenic Places.

1. Kaas Plateau
The Kaas Plateau also known as Maharashtra valley of flowers is a platue situated in the Western Ghat Sahyadri range. The area of plateau is located at a height of 1200 mt and declared as Biodiversity World Heritage Site and has more than 850 different species of flowers and other plants.

2. Matheran Hill
Matheran is a Hill Station in Karjat Tahsil located on the Western Ghats range at an elevation of around 800 m. The smallest hill station of India is located around 90 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune with 38 designated look-out points to offers the 360 degree view of the surrounding area and famous for Matheran Hill Railway, a narrow gauge heritage railway in Maharashtra.

3. Malshej Ghat
Malshej Ghat is one of the majestic mountain pass in the Western Ghats range in the Pune and known for its nature for hikers, trekkers and adventure lovers. The birding site is home to hundreds of different kinds of flora and fauna especially the avian fauna of quails, rails, crakes, flamingos and cuckoos.

4. Kalsubai Peak
Kalsubai Peak is the highest mountain Peak of the Sahyadri mountain range of Maharastra and one of the most famous trekking destination from Mumbai. The topmost peak of Sahyadri mountain is also home to reptiles like lizards and snakes and the Kalsubai temple.

5. Yeola Grasslands
Yeola Grasslands of Nashik district are hills of rock, plains and savanna grassland and home to variety of wildlife including chinkara Gazella. The grassland of Maharashtra is one of the savanna grassland ecoregion in India.

6. Sandhan Valley
Sandhan Valley is a water carved valley around 200 feet deep near beautiful Bhandardara region. The Sandhan Valley is surrounded bu Alang,Madan ad Kulang mountains near the Kalsubai peak and best place for adventure activities such as Rappelling, trekking and campfire.

7. Bhimashankar Forest
Bhimashankar area is a home to a relic of near virgin forest in the Northern part of the Western Ghats contains several sacred groves. Forest of Bhimashankar is protect habitat of the Indian Giant Squirrel and known as The Sacred Forest of Maharashtra.

8. Amboli Ghat
Amboli of Sindhudurg is nestled comfortably in the Sahayadri Hills of Western ghat and the main attraction for tourists is the incredibly high rainfall and variety of fairly unique flora and fauna.

9. Thoseghar Waterfall
The stunning and spectacular Thoseghar Waterfalls is located 20 km from Satara city at the edge of the Konkan region. Thoseghar is a small village and during the heavy rain falls season series of waterfalls come from hilly area and some of them 15 to 20 metres.

10. Pratapgad Fort
This hill fort is the brainchild of the Maratha King Shivaji. He had a knack for military architecture; Pratapgad is a fine example of that. It is true that it was impossible to capture this fort given its complicated design. Along with its sturdy construction, the fort also enjoys a commanding location on a spur in the Sahyadri Hills. Walking along the ramparts of the citadel, you can capture the views of the undulating hills of Sahyadri. To the west and the north of the fort are sheer precipices with a vertical fall of up to 250 m.

11. Raigad Fort
Of all the hill forts associated with Shivaji, Raigad is the mightiest. Spread over a hill, that rises 2700 m above sea level, Raigad dominates the surrounding valley and the hilly terrain. There are splendid views of  Sahyadri Hills from the top of the fort. The sturdy ramparts are made up of basalt blocks mined from the hill itself. Around the base, the length of the walls is about 40 km. Hence, it was almost impossible to lay siege around the fort. This massive fort is dotted with the gateways, watch-towers, water bodies, and remains of quarters. Shivaji was cremated here; the place is marked by a statue of Shivaji. A temple called Jagdishwar Mandir is near the tomb.

12. Daulatabad Fort (Devagiri)
From architectural point of view, Daulatabad is the most impressive hill fort in Maharashtra. Yadavas chose this lone hill to establish their capital in the 12th century; then it was called Devagiri. It is one of the most impregnable forts in the country. The fort has so many traps for the enemy troops trying to barge in. It was almost impossible to win over the citadel.
This fort is divided into three zones: Balakot, Kataka, and Ambarkot. Balakot is the hill itself which rises 200 m above the plains. Kataka is the fortification around the base of the hill. And Ambarkota is the outer fort which encircles vast area along with the inner fort. There are remains of palaces, pavilions, and mosques in the fort. Don’t miss to check out Chand Minar, Chini Mahal, Bahmani Palace, Mughal Pavilion, and Jami Mosque.

13. Shivneri Fort
Shivneri Fort is the birthplace of Shivaji – the founder of Maratha Dynasty. The fort is situated near the town of Junnar in Pune District. The triangular hill is the site of the fortification. Centuries before the kings reached this place, it was utilized by the Buddhist monks. There are many caves on the eastern flank of the hill. To reach these caves, you’ll need to undertake a tough trek. Otherwise you can opt for ‘Rajmarg’ which has flights of steps to lead you to the top. On your way you’ll cross seven defensive gates. Up there you get to see a two-storeyed pavilion which is said to be the birth place of Shivaji. There is also small mosque called ‘Kamani Mosque’.

14. Rajgad Fort
Rajgad is where Shivaji stayed longer than any other hillforts of Maharashtra. It straddles a triple-pronged hill and its highest part is 4600 ft above sea-level. The only way to reach the fort is by climbing up from a hamlet called Vajeghar. The climb takes about two hours and good fitness level is needed. Many adventure seekers opt to stay overnight in the fort. A temple up there can accommodate up to 50 people. The fort has ruins of granaries, residences, stores, and reception halls. Climbing up further can take you to the inner fort called ‘Bala Kila’. It has remains of the palaces and chambers.

15. Panhala Fort
Panhala, situated near Kolhapur, has a fort set on a spur overlooking an important pass. Its 7 km long walls impart a roughly triangular shape to the citadel. In many parts, steep escarpments topped with parapets act as protective walls of the citadel. It encases memories of many dynasties. But much of what you see today is attributed to the Adil Shahi King. Shivaji had stayed here for a short period though. Dotted about within the fortifications are granaries, pavilions, stepwells, and ruins of palaces. There are many underground tunnels in the citadel. If you are a connoisseur of military architecture, you will be able to notice many defensive elements here.

16. Visapur and Lohagad Fort
Visapur (or Visapoor) and Lohagad are twin forts situated in Maval Taluka of Pune District. These hill forts enjoy proximity with the famous Bhaja caves.

The only way to reach Visapur fort is by trekking. The trek is moderate but at a normal pace it can take more than 2 hours. It is best done in monsoon when many waterfalls have come back to life. Entire path is scenic. The fort has remains of ramparts, a stone-built house, a water tank, and a few shrines. The origin of the fort can be traced back to Bahmani Kings. But it was strengthened during Maratha rule. British had used this fort to mount their guns so as to bombard Lohagad Fort.

As compared to Visapur, Lohagad is a small fort. But it is pretty intimidating due to its shape and location. Its walls cling to a steep cliff. Be ready to ascend about 1.5 km to reach the top. The path has enough steps to exert you well. Once at the top, you’ll be greeted with the splendid views of the countryside. Lohagad is a historical fort, it came in the hands of Shivaji in 1648. After losing it to Mughals for a short period, Shivaji reclaimed it in 1670.

17. Sinhagad Fort
Sinhagad literally means ‘Lion Fort’. It sits atop a steep hill and is just 30 km from Pune. The fort is completely ruined. Except ramparts and gateways, nothing has survived. But it makes for an exciting day trip from Pune. You can either drive up to the fort or choose to trek. There are multiple trekking paths with varying steepness. If you do it gently, you would take about 1.5 hour to reach to the top. Walking along the ramparts at the top is the best way to earn some magnificent views. 
In 1647, Shivaji controlled Sinhagad for a while before losing it to Mughals. Thereafter, it alternated between Marathas and Mughals. Tanaji Malsure, a general of Shivaji, fought a unique battle here in 1670. He used the ropes to raise troops and animals up to the hill. He died in the battle but won the fort for Shivaji.

18. Purandhar Fort
Purandhar (or Purandar) Fort is set amidst a scenic landscape, which becomes even more scenic during monsoons. Spread across a ridge, this fort is 4472 feet above sea level. Shivaji’s son Sambhaji was born here. British, after capturing it, had used Purandhar as a sanatorium and detention centre. Along with the gateways, there are remains of several ancient shrines in the fort. There is a road which leads to the lower part of the fort. From there you need to ascend 350 m on foot. The hike is enjoyable.

19. Tikona Fort
Tikona Fort is meant for the trekkers. None of the structures built by the kings have survived except an entrance and a temple. There are a few caves which are said to be from Satvahana period. The fort is situated on a pyramidal hill at a height of 3500 feet above sea-level. The trek to Tikona begins from Tikona-Peth, which is the base village situated near Kamshet. The fort had come under Shivaji in the year of 1657. For a brief period after 1665, Tikona was lost to the Mughals. But Marathas recaptured it later.

20. Karnala Fort
Climbing this fort is a hard work but you will enjoy the atmosphere and breeze after reaching the top. Majestic ranges of the Sahyadri, area up to Dand Rasayani on Mumbai-Pune road, area upto Kharpada on Mumbai-Goa road and ranges of Prabhalgad, Matheran, Manikgad,and Vishalgad, which are far away, come in sight and you get an unforgettableexperience. You can see Kharpada creek, bird sanctuary in the mountains, Apata, Rasayani , Gulsunde. This fort has many bastions and there is enough space between two. Fortification has huge holes to fire cannons. In all, the experience to go to this fort is breathtaking.

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