Quick Preview: Aching to get away from the hustle bustle of Mumbai? Looking for activity based weekend getaways? Here’s our round-up of some of the most recommended ‘quick’ treks around the city. Good news: most of these can be easily fit into a weekend. So no excuses there! Plus, they’re a perfect start (or end, however you see it) to the week. P.S: these are just as easily accessible from Pune.
In March last year, we’d travelled to Mumbai with a week in hand and luckily, we still had the weather Gods on our side! Hence, we decided to make the most of it and look for hill stations and weekend getaways around Mumbai. However, those plans soon lost steam when the only recommendations we could get from friends in Mumbai were the ‘holy trinity’ of either Lonavala, Khandala or Aamby Valley. Not that these places are bad per se, but we were looking at exploring a new place. End result: we spent the week in Mumbai! Over the last year, we’ve often seen similar questions being raised on the GoPo platform. One of the common themes we found was people looking for trekking and hiking routes in and around Mumbai and preferably, ones that could be done over a weekend. In loving memory of our failed trip, we’ve put together this quick roundup of some of the most recommended trekking routes in and around Mumbai. These have been personally vetted and recommended by top travel experts on GoPo and local enthusiasts in the city.
How to get here: You can either drive down or take a train to Malavali Village. From here, it’s a 5 KM hike to the base camp and the villagers help out with directions. One can also drive down the 5 KM but the road uphill is steep and narrow with several hairpin bends and will require considerable driving expertise. So if you’re not too confident of being behind the wheel during that stretch, it would be best to park at Malavali Village and then hike the rest of the way. P.S: Google Maps does give pretty accurate directions to reach here. In case, you manage to start your trek early, you can also cover the neighbouring Visapur Fort within a day.
Lohgad Fort, Maharashtra. Image Source.
How to get here: The climb up is about an hour long and begins from the Rajmachi/Udhewadi Gaon close to Khandala Ghat. One can also opt to camp overnight at the fort within 2 caves set up for this purpose. Alternatively, one can camp at the Kal Bhairavnath temple (devoted to the local deity) and enjoy home cooked meals with the local villagers.
Quick trivia about this place: While, there are multiple approaches to this place, the Nalichi Vaat (translates to “passage through a gorge”) route is the toughest and hence, most thrilling. This involves going through a stream bed strewn with large boulder, through a gorge and ends with a near 80 degree climb to the top of the Konkan Kada cliff (a concave cliff that hangs over the valley and used to act as sentinel point for the city). This cliff is said to resemble the head of a Cobra (hence, the 80 degree climb!).
The 3rd highest peak in Maharashtra, the Taramati Peak, is close by. Another fascinating piece of mythological folklore is the Kedareshwar Cave which hosts a large Shiv lingam in a pool of water and surrounded by 4 pillars. Each pillar is said to represent one of the four yugas. While 3 pillars have disintegrated, the 4th pillar is still standing and represents the current Kali Yuga. It is believed that this era will be over the day the fourth pillar breaks.
How to get here: Situated in Ahmednagar district, the base camp is a 4.5-5 hour drive from Mumbai (201 KM)
Kedareshwar Cave, Maharashtra. Image Source.
4. Naneghat Trek: Naneghat derives its name from an amalgamation of 2 words: ‘Nane’ meaning coin and ‘Ghat’ meaning pass. As the name suggests this was part of a very important trade route between Kalyan and Junnar (in the Pune district of Maharashtra) and served as a toll booth of sorts to collect money from traders and merchants passing this route. The Naneghat pass is a part of the Western Ghats. While the initial stretches of the road are well paved, the road begins to get increasingly rocky as one crosses Junnar and moves further up the hill.
How to get here: From Mumbai, one can drive to the base camp of the hill. A good route to follow would be to follow the Eastern Expressway to Kalyan and then onward to Murbad, Saralgaon & Naneghat.
Naneghat Pass, Maharashtra. Image Source.
Looking for more options? One can also look at Bhimashankar Hills, Kashid Beach, Tikona, Kalsubai, One Tree Hill Trek at Matheran, the Matheran trek via Dodhani, Mahuli Fort & the Prabalgad trek among others.
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