This is an ultimate guide to trekking near Pune and Mumbai. From this list of treks near Pune, you can learn all about trekking distance, height and difficulty as well as how to reach, what to carry and some important facts on their history.
Trekking in the Sahyadri
The mountain ranges of Western Ghats of India – called ‘Sahyadri’, span from the state of Gujarat all the way to Kerala, in India. The tropical mountains provide for the most amazing views and some easy as well as some strenuous treks.
When it comes to trekking, majority of the mountains near Pune and Mumbai, have historic forts on the top. This adds little stories of the Maratha king Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to your adventures. Almost all the forts will have an orange triangular shaped flag called Bhagva at the top. And if you ask the locals you will get the entire bundle of the old stories of the Marathas.
Planning for treks near Pune
Best time for Treks near Pune
As mentioned earlier, the entire terrain is tropical. That means intense hot summers and no winter snows. Needless to say, the best time to plan your treks near Pune is the Monsoon (June – Sept). During the rainy season, all the hills and mountains are wet and green. The views are amazing and waterfalls are flowing. But at some trekking spots near Pune, the rains make it a challenge for the climb.
There is nothing dangerous in the monsoon treks near Pune. Still, if you hate the wet and rains, then you should plan, trekking near Pune in Winter (Sept – Feb). At this time of the year, the temperatures are ideal for trekking ie around 15°C to 25°C
Rough itinerary and budget
You can stay in Pune city and cover the majority of top treks near Pune in 4 to 5 days. You can plan one day trek near Pune to these easy treks – Sinhagad, Rajmachi, Lohagad and Visapur Forts. For more challenging treks near Pune visit – Harishchandragad, Sandhan Valley, Rajgad Fort. You can plan your itinerary as per your preference. Some treks near Pune like Visapur and Lohagad can be done in a single day if you start early.
Ideal rough budget will be around $10 or ₹700 per day. If you plan on camping outdoors and have your equipment then even less. If you decide to go with one of the trekking clubs in Pune, then it will be $20-25 or ₹ 1500-2000 per trek. Most of these trekking groups in Pune will arrange a trekking guide and food along with a proper itinerary for you.
Important Things to Carry
- Waterproof Backpack: It is important to have a backpack which means your hands remain free while you climb. Needless to say, you must pack light! In the monsoons, it is essential to have a waterproof sack while trekking near Pune. Alternatively, you can cover your backpack with a waterproof cover. Find your the best trekking backpack here.
- Water bottles and Water Filters: You will need 2-3 litres of water for a single trek. Bring one or two energy drinks too. You can take this water bottle with a filter (removes bacteria and turbidity from water) if you want to drink water straight from the waterfalls or lakes.
- Plate, Spoon and Snacks: When it comes to trekking near Pune, some of the treks around Pune have no restaurants, hotels or dhabas. Carry your own plates and food. In any case, bring some dry snacks like dry fruits, biscuits or cookies, that you can keep munching on the go.
- Bedding material: If you wish to camp out for the night carry a Sleeping bag or a blanket. You can take this Lightweight Army Sleeping Bag with you.
- Trekking Shoes: Needless to say you will need proper trekking footwear to scale the Sahyadri. Find the best trekking shoes here
- Extra Clothes as per season: Carry some extra clothes or your bathing suit, in case you wish to take a dip in the waterfalls in monsoon. Also, carry a raincoat or a windcheater. And in winters carry sweaters and sun caps.
- Torch/ Flashlight and Batteries: For Night treks near Pune you must carry a good flashlight with extra batteries.
- Personal Medical Kit: You can take a pain relief spray for just in case and your regular medicines if any. Do take an insect repellent with you. You will also need a good sunscreen in winters. Check this awesome travel medicine pouch.
- Photography Equipment
Trekking places near Pune and Mumbai
So here is the list of treks near Pune. The list is not exhaustive, and there are many more fantastic locations available. Here, I have just listed out the top places for trekking near Pune and Mumbai.
Kalsubai Peak Trek
I will obviously start my list with the Everest of Maharashtra or the highest peak in Maharashtra. Kalsubai is every trekker’s dream. And not just that, the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary surrounding it is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The trail starts from beautiful fields and plateaus and ends with steep slopes. There are railings and staircases made at various places. And there are food stalls at every little stop. When you reach the top, you will see the lush valleys topped with creamy clouds, all at your feet! The Bhandardara Dam backwaters shining below are also visible from the top.
Trek distance: 6.6 km oneway | Trek time: 3-5 hours | Level: Moderate | Height: 1646 m | Pune to Kalsubai: 180 km | Mumbai to Kalsubai: 156 km | Food: Available | Stay: Hotels in Igatpuri
Sinhagad Fort or Sinhagad killa is one of the best trekking places near Pune. It is the nearest Fort in Pune city. The trek starts at Sinhagad paytha or Sinhagad Base village – Atakarwadi village. Alternatively, there is a motor road all the way to the top. The Kaundinyeshwar temple at the top has carvings which are more than 2000 years old. The fort has two impressive arched doors called – Pune Darwaza and Kalyan Darwaza.
Delicious food options and the famous Sinhagad Dahi (organic yoghurt) is served at the fort. This makes the trip totally worth it for the foodies. Pictured below is that earthen pot of Dahi with a backdrop of Kalyan Darwaza
If you are coming from Pune, then just take a bus from Swargate or Appa Balwant Chowk in Pune to Sinhagad Fort Paytha. If you are coming from Mumbai take a train to Sinhagad or a bus via Pune. Alternatively, you can take your own vehicle to the top.
Trek distance: 2.7 km oneway | Trek time: 2-3 hours | Level: Easy | Height: 1312 m | Pune to Sinhagad: 35 km | Mumbai to Sinhagad: 180 km | Food: Local food stalls atop | Stay: Available atop the fort or in Pune city.
There are two ways to reach Rajmachi Fort. One is from Pune – Lonavala – Udhewadi village – Rajmachi Fort. Another one is Karjat – Kondhane village – Kondhane caves – Udhewadi village – Rajmachi Fort. The latter is more difficult with a 14km long trek over strenuous steep slopes.
If you are amateur, I suggest you take a shared cab from Lonavala to Udhewadi village. From here you will see the twin forts of Rajmachi – Shriwardhan Balekilla (Fort) and Manoranjan Balekilla (Fort). Shriwardhan Balekilla is the highest among both. You can easily trek to the top of both if you start early. In the monsoons, you will see a huge waterfall on the right of Shriwardhan Fort, called Kataldhar Waterfall.
Trek distance: 5 km from Udhewadi village, 14 km from Kondhane village | Trek time: 4-5 hours from Kondhane | Level: via Lonavala: Easy, via Karjat: Difficult | Height: 826 m | Pune to Rajmachi: 171 km | Mumbai to Rajmachi: 314 km | Food: Available at Udhewadi village | Stay: Traditional homestays at Udhewadi village or Kondhane village, hotels in Lonavala and hotels at Karjat.
This is the most popular fort near Pune. Lohagad literally means ‘Iron Fort.’ It is a small pleasant trek near Lonavala. The location provides best views into the valleys below and up to the hills of Lonavala and Khandala. Most of the fort is in ruins, but the outer wall, ancient windows and arches are still present. In the monsoon, the surrounding waterfalls make the area worth a visit. Moreover, the Vinchu Kada meaning Scorpion’s path is a popular viewing point here. You can take a train to the nearby train station – Malavli. From there walk or take a shared cab to Lohagadwadi village, which is the base village from where the trek starts.
Trek distance: 5 km oneway | Trek time: 1 hour | Level: Easy | Height: 1033 m | Pune to Lohagad: 64 km | Mumbai to Lohagad: 99 km | Food: Hotels at the base and local food stalls atop | Stay: Hotels in Lonavala and Hotels in Pune.
Just adjacent to Lohagad Fort is Visapur Fort. Both of them are considered as best forts near Pune for trekking. Visapur Fort trek starts from the Visapur village which is at the foot of the Fort. Most of the crowds go here in the monsoon to witness the staircase waterfalls. You can see the ancient ruins of the fort and witness the old secret passageways and caves. Moreover, you can feast your eyes on the views of surrounding landscapes, all the way from Kamshet to Lonavala.
Rajgad is a fort near Pune, which was historically the main base of Maratha king – Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This fort is one of the best trekking places near Pune. There are two ways to reach the top one via Pali village and another via Gunjawane village. The later is a bit difficult. The highest point of Rajgad is Balekilla, which is a fort atop the mountain. There is a small lake on Padmavati Machi called – Chandra Kor Lake. In the monsoon, the area has the most surreal scenery. Moreover, camping is allowed on the top. And locals living there serve the most delicious traditional Maratha food. Another popular trek is from Rajgad Fort to Torna Fort. It is 12 km long and will take an entire day.
Trek distance: via Pali: 2.5 km oneway, via Gunjawane: 8 km oneway| Trek time: via Pali: 2-3 hours, via Gunjawane: 3-5 hours | Level: Moderate | Height: 1376 m | Pune to Rajgad: 65 km | Mumbai to Rajgad: 208 km | Food: Local food stalls atop | Stay: Hotels in Pune.
There are 4-5 ways to reach the top of Harishchandragad. The most scenic one is via Khireshwar village, the hardest one is via Belpada village and the easiest one via Pachnai route. The most enduring and technical trek is from Walhiware base village called as – Nalichi Vaat.
If you come to Pachnai in monsoon, you can see 5 waterfalls from the base. The scenic route via Khireshwar passes through seven hills. While trekking via Belpada village you have to climb straight rocks. Grips are provided here. Camping atop the mountain is banned now but you can stay at the base villages in local homestays.
The Konkan Kada with the valley full of creamy clouds, the cold water Lake called Saptatirtha Pushkarni and Kedareshwar Cave with massive ShivaLinga immersed in water are some popular places to visit at Harishchandragad. There are three peaks at Harishchandragad – Taramati Peak, Rohidas and Balekilla. The highest point is Taramanchi or the Taramati peak. Leopards are found beyond this point.
Trek distance: 3 km oneway via Pachnai, 19 km oneway via Belpada | Trek time: 2-3 hours via Khireshwar | Level: Moderate | Height: 1429 m | Pune to Harishchandragad: 166 km | Mumbai to Harishchandragad: 218 km | Food: Local food stalls atop | Stay: Local homestays at base village and hotels in Ahmednagar
Karnala Fort is located near the city of Panvel. There is a bird Sanctuary around the fort called- Karnala Bird Sanctuary. You can take a shared cab from Panvel railway station to Karnala Bird Sanctuary. This bird sanctuary attracts a large number of birdwatchers. There is a rock pillar upon the fort, which is the best for rock climbing. There are a few steep rocky patches but you will be able to manage them easily. There is also a campsite at the foot of the mountain called – Lets Campout Karnala Campsite.
The entire place is very well maintained. They will even count your plastic bottles and plastic food packets when you start your trek. And they will recount the same later when you come back.
Trek distance: 3 km oneway | Trek time: 1-2 hours | Level: Easy | Height: m | Pune to Karnala: 122 km | Mumbai to Karnala: 48 km | Food: Restaurants at the base | Stay: Campsite at the base or Hotels in Panvel.
Sandhan Valley is widely known as the Valley of Shadows. There are tall mountains and dark ravine on both sides. Sandhan Valley Trekking trail starts from Samrad village and goes into the river gorge stashed in between the high mountains. You can trek from Samrad village all the way to Dehne village. Buses are available at both Samrad and Dehne.
Another option is to trek up to the beautiful viewpoints called Bann pinnacle and Ajoba Hill. And then return from the same way. And at Tarzan Swing Point you will be challenged to do some rappelling. You can camp at the gorge, but there are no food stalls along the route. Or you can camp at Bhandardara Lake which is nearby. If you are an amateur then I would suggest going with one of the trekking groups from Pune or Mumbai.
Trek distance: depending on route | Trek time: 5 hours | Level: Moderate | Pune to Sandhan Valley: 195 km | Mumbai to Sandhan Valley: 186 km | Food: Available at Samrad village | Stay: Camping at the gorge or Bhandardara, Homestays at Samrad, hotels in Nashik or hotels in Igatpuri.
Raigad Fort is situated in Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra. There are approximately 1737 steps to reach the top. Alternatively, you can go to the top in 10 minutes via the ropeway. There are various points of interest like – Takmak Tok, Maha Darwaza, Samadhi of Jijabai, Samadhi of Shivaji Maharaj and his loyal dog named Waghya, Jagdishwar Mandir, Bhavani Mandir, Ganga Sagar Lake and Hirkani Buruj.
The wooden pillars of the fort are still present. Rest of the parts are ruins. There are ruins of a market which was accessible by horses. The four arched doors are very interesting – Maha Darwaza, Mena Darwaza, Palkhi Darwaza and Nagarkhana Darwaza. The fort was built by Maratha King Shivaji Maharaj. The British had named it Gibraltar of the East. There is also an old story of a woman named Hirkani who astonishingly climbed down the steep sides of the mountain to go back to her young child in the dead of the night.
Trek distance: 1737 steps oneway | Trek time: 1-3 hours | Level: Easy | Height: 1356 m | Pune to Raigad: 132 km | Mumbai to Raigad: 166 km | Food: Hotels at base | Stay: MTDC resort atop or hotels in Mahad.
Kalavantin Durg Trek
Kalavantin Durg is described as the worlds most dangerous fortress by trekkers from Maharashtra. It is known by various names like – Kalavantinicha Sulka, Kalavantin Pinnacle, Kelve Teen, Kalawantin, Kalavati, or Kalavanti. To start this adrenaline sparking adventure, you have to first trek to Prabalmachi or Prabalgadmachi. Most of the people end their treks here at Prabalgad Fort.
The Kalavantin Durg is a fortress with rock-cut steps carved into its sides. It was built in honour of the Queen Kalavantin. The trek journey up is not to be taken lightly. The rock steps are huge, even 2 feet high at some places. They are at 80-degree incline and get steeper and steeper as you reach the top. There is also a rocky patch which has to be crossed. There are absolutely no railings or safety bars anywhere.
From the top, you can see the beautiful views of Matheran as well as Mumbai city. The lush green valleys below will make your jaw drop. Prabalgad is also visible from the top. Moreover, you can see this Pinnacle and Prabalgad Fort from Matheran at Louisa Point.
People having fear of heights are advised not to attempt the trek. Owing to several deaths and casualties, the Government has made it compulsory to take a local guide to reach the top.
Trek distance: 16000 steps | Trek time: 3-5 hours | Level: Difficult | Height: 685 m | Pune to Kalavantin Durg: 135 km | Mumbai to Kalavantin Durg: 48 km | Food: Hotels and local food at the Prabalmach | Stay: Homestays at Prabalmachi, Prabalmachi Valley Campsite or hotels in Panvel.
Devkund Waterfall Trek
Devkund is a perfect example of how a place can go viral on Instagram. A few years ago not many people knew about it. Now thanks to Instagram, the waterfalls get hordes of tourists, especially during the monsoon. Devkund waterfall is located inside a jungle near Bhira village in Maharashtra, India. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in India. The waterfall flows at full capacity only in the monsoon (June to Sept). The trek to Devkund waterfall gets a bit dangerous in the monsoon. There are various streams on the way. The waterfalls themselves are a combination of 3 streams. And it is known to be the starting point of the Kundalika river.
The Devkund waterfall is totally worthy of all the hype though! The water plunges into the valley and the pond below it is extremely attractive. You can bath in the waters. Sometimes the water levels increase suddenly, especially in the monsoon. It is advisable to go along with a trekking guide to this amazing location.
In recent times, Devkund waterfall has been closed on some occasions due to reasons like – deaths of some trekkers, or increase in the level of water, excessive monsoon. Please check the present status before going.
Trek distance: 6.5 km oneway | Trek time: 1-2 hours | Level: Moderate | Waterfalls Height: 24 m | Pune to Devkund: 99 km | Mumbai to Devkund: 123 km | Food: Restaurants at the start of the trek | Stay: Camping near Devkund and hotels in Pune.
Bhimashankar Jungle Trek
Bhimashankar is a spiritual destination as well as a protected Wildlife Sanctuary near Pune. There is a temple of Shankara or Lord Shiva here is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines. The Shiva lingam is very rare as the structure is inverted. Many devotees come here just to pay their respects. Moreover, in the forest is a point where River Bhima originates. Hence, the name Bhima-Shankar. The Bhimashankar temple, Hanuman Lake and Gupt Bhimashankar are some places to visit in Bhimashankar.
There are two routes for Bhimashankar Trek – one via Shidi Ghat and another via Ganesh Ghat. There is a temple of Lord Ganesha on the later. The route via Ganesh Ghat is easier than Shidi Ghat. The base village for both the routes is Khandas. The route via Shidi Ghat has several ladders and a rocky patch too. The area gets slippery in the monsoon. There are some caves on the way where you can rest. In monsoon, you will see some waterfalls and gurgling streams. The route via Ganesh Ghat is equally scenic. Alternatively, you can take your vehicle via the motor road to the Bhimashankar Temple and Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Trek time: 4 hours via Shidi Ghat and via Ganesh Ghat | Level: Moderate | Height: 1036 m | Pune to Bhimashankar: 110 km | Mumbai to Bhimashankar: 200 km | Food: Hotels near the temple | Stay: Blue Mormon Resort, MTDC Resort, Campsites on Jamrung Hill or hotels in Pune.
Vasota Jungle Trek
Vasota also called Vyaghragad is a fort inside the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, It is a protected Tiger reserve in the Sahyadri. There are two routes to reach the top. One route is – Satara – Kaas Pathar – Bamnoli Forest – Boat journey to Met Indavali village – Vasota. Another better and easier route is – Mahabaleshwar – Tapola – Boat journey to Vasota Base – Vasota. As the entire area is a protected forest reserve you have to get a permit from the forest department.
The trekking route winds through the dense forest. Take care and stay on the route, as there is wildlife in the forest around. You will come across some mountain streams. The route is completely shaded by trees, though there are some rocky steep portions near the top. There is a Hanuman Temple on the way. Also, go to the Babu Kada near this temple. The view into the steep valleys from here will make your jaw drop. Once you reach the top of the fort the view is even better.
The fort itself is in ruins. The remains of Mahadev Mandir and a plinth from a discussion place remains. But you can see the hills of Mahabaleshwar and the Kaas plateau from the top. Shivsagar Lake and Tapola dam can be seen below. The trek is closed in monsoon. There are no food stalls atop.
Trek time: 3-5 hours | Level: Moderate | Height: 1031 m | Pune to Vasota: 265 km | Mumbai to Vasota: 261 km | Food: Carry your food | Stay: Hotels in Mahabaleshwar and Camping near Backwaters of Tapola.
Andharban Forest Trek
Andharban literally means ‘a dark forest’. This is a forested area near the Amby Valley in Maharashtra. The speciality of this trek is that it is completely descending trek. The trek ends near the backwaters of Bhira Dam. There are no food stalls on the route. The trail goes through a dense forest in the Kundalika Valley. In the monsoon, numerous waterfalls and gurgling streams can be found here. Although it is a sloping terrain, the trek takes some time as the route gets slippery in monsoon. You will have to wade through some streams along the way. There is an entry fee.
Trek distance: 13 km oneway | Trek time: 4-5 hours | Level: Easy | Height: 658 m | Pune to Andharban: 50 km | Mumbai to Andharban: 130 km | Food: Carry your food | Stay: Andharban Homestay or hotels in Pune
Ajinkyatara literally means “Undefeatable Star“. The fort was built by the Marathas, then captured by the Mughals, then recaptured by the Marathas and lastly taken by the British. Anjinkyatara is situated on the hills near Satara. It is an easy trek and best one for amateurs. From the top, you can see the entire city of Satara. Reach early at the Sunrise point here for the best views. Inside the fort is a Shiva temple, Mangalai Devi temple and Hanuman temple. There is a beautiful Lake near the entrance. Tara Rani Palace is also a beautiful area.
Trek time: 1 hour | Level: Easy | Height: 1356 m | Pune to Ajinkyatara: 117 km | Mumbai to Ajinkyatara: 259 km | Food: No food or water atop. Hotels at base village and Satara | Stay: Hotels in Satara or hotels in Pune
Dukes nose Trek
Dukes Nose is a mountain in Lonavala – Khandala near Pune. It is known by other names like – Nagphani or Cobra’s Hood, due to its pointed shape. There are two routes to reach the top. One route starts at Khandala railway station and another from Kurvande village. It is an easy trek and gets a bit rocky and steep near the top. You can see the beautiful hills of Lonavala and Khandala, Bombay-Pune Highway and some rail-lines from the top. The area is excellent in the monsoon, with lush greenery and waterfalls all around. There is a small temple of Lord Shiva on the top.
Trek distance: from Khandala: 6 km oneway, via Kurvande village: 2 km | Trek time: from Khandala: 3-4 hours, via Kurvande village: 1-3 hours | Level: Easy | Height: 975 m | Pune to Dukes Nose: 73 km | Mumbai to Dukes Nose: 86 km | Food: Restaurants in Lonavala and Khandala | Stay: Hotels in Lonavala or hotels in Pune
Gorakhgad Fort Trek
Gorakhgad Fort is a popular trek among youngsters of Mumbai, as the base village is very close to Mumbai. The trekking trail starts from behind a temple in Dehri village. Gorakhgad is not alone though. There is Machhindragad Fort alongside. Both these forts are connected by a natural ridge. Experienced trekkers can trek along this ridge from Gorakhgad to Machhindragad.
In ancient time the fort was used by Saints and hermits for mediation. Then it was used as a stop by the Marathas when coming from Junnar via Naneghat. The place is areally calm and serene even today. On the way are rock-cut water cisterns. Drinking water is available in these always There is a stone with carved inscriptions in Marathi. Moreover, there is a cave, a Mahadev temple and a Balekilla meaning Fort on the top. You can camp in the caves for the night. All along the trail, the huge mountain of Machhindragad Fort will be really close. From the top Siddhagad, Ahupe Ghat and Naneghat are visible.
Trek time: 4-5 hours | Level: Moderate | Height: 649 m | Pune to Gorakhgad Fort: 151 km | Mumbai to Gorakhgad Fort: 93 km | Food: Local food in Dehri village | Stay: Camping on the fort or hotels in Thane or hotels in Pune
Hatkeshwar – Lenyadri Natural Bridge Trek
This is one of the unknown treks near Pune. Both Hatkeshwar and Lenyadri are spiritual destinations in Maharashtra, India. The trek to Hatkeshwar takes 2-3 hours. From Hatkeshwar you can see Harishchandragad Fort, Pimpalgaon Dam, Manikdoh Dam, Shiveneri Fort and some really beautiful unspoilt scenery. There is a mountain stream alongside the temple.
The trek from Hatkeshwar to Lenyadri takes 3-4 hours. On the way is this Natural Bridge which connects the two mountains. The bridge is visible from the base village Kolewadi. It is also called Needle Hole or Nedha or Navra- Navri. Only 5-7 people can stand on it at a time. To descend on the bridge proper equipment and ropes are necessary. If you want proper photographs at this Natural bridge you must bring a drone.
Trek distance: 15 km | Trek time: 8-9 hours | Level: Moderate | Height: 1280 m | Pune to Hatkeshwar: 111 km | Mumbai to Hatkeshwar: 146 km | Food: Local food stalls at Kolewadi | Stay: Homestays at Kolewadi or Lenyadri and hotels in Pune.
Bonus: Dudhsagar Waterfall Trek
Dudhsagar Waterfall is a set of waterfalls in the state of Goa. It is near to the state of Maharashtra in India. The waterfalls are active only in the monsoon. The trekking trail starts from the train station of Kulem. From there you have to go through Braganza Ghat and a few tunnels before you reach the Dudhsagar Falls.
Trek distance: 11 km oneway | Trek time: 5-7 hours | Level: Medium | Waterfalls Height: 320 m | Pune to Dudhsagar Falls: 436 km | Mumbai to Dudhsagar Falls: 579 km | Food and Stay: Jungle Book Resort and Restaurant