Mumbai is a city full of dreamers and yuppies who work hard to pursue their dreams amidst all the hustle bustle of the metropolis. And when one feels like getting away from this concrete jungle and hectic schedule, Mumbai will embrace you with a plenitude of rejuvenating verdurous nature and beaches.
To escape the monotonous 9-to-6 jobs and to respite from the city hustle-bustle we started exploring places in and around Mumbai. Hiking through the lush green forests, the gushing streams and chirping of the birds reinvigorated our spirits and refreshed our soul. And traveling became an indispensable part of our life.
Joins us as we take a stroll down our memory lanes and reminisce our wonderful trekking experience:
We boarded a train to Neral station and thereafter a sharing taxi to the top of the hill. The cars are not allowed into the forest beyond a certain point. So either one explores on foot, hire a horse or hop onto a toy train which runs every two hours to explore the natural beauty and various vantage points. Matheran has many hotels and homestays for people interested in a weekend getaway.
We drove all the way to Bhivpuri village alternatively one can board a train to Bhivpuri station and then an auto to Bhivpuri village. We parked our car and walked through a small village to a large picturesque open green space with a gushing waterfall at a distance. The waterfall is around 20 feet high and the landscape has many small streams and rivulets to explore. Several activities like trekking and rappelling also take place here.
We drove to Vasai and parked our car in Kaman Village alternatively board a train to Vasai station and then take a bus to Kaman Village. We walked through the lush green fields and then a paved path through the dense forest running parallel to a stream to reach the waterfalls. Chinchoti waterfalls have several small and large waterfalls. Valley crossing and Rappelling activities are arranged here. One can also visit the nearby attractions like Tungareshwar temple and Kamandurg Peak.
Kolad a quaint village on Mumbai – Goa Highway is brimming with nature and turns out to be our favorite hangout spot in monsoons. We usually drive to Kolad and explore the places around.
Our favorite stop in Kolad is the Bhira Dam. The Dam is situated in a scenic location surrounded by green hills dotted with waterfalls. It is usually less crowded and a great place to spend some peaceful time.
Trekking, rafting, kayaking, river crossing and many more water sports activities attract adventurists to Kolad.
Kondeshwar is a town with an abundance of water bodies, dam and an ancient temple. A visit to Kondeshwar was an amazing experience biking through the muddy roads amidst lush green landscape and the pretty villages. We stopped at Bhoj dam built around the Kondeshwar Lake on the way to the temple. The Lord Shiva’s temple was almost submerged in the waters gushing down from the hills above due to the incessant rains. One can also board a train to Badlapur and then hire an auto to the Kondeshwar temple.
Korigad fort is a fort in Pune district. We drove all the way to Peth Shahpur village and started hiking through the dense forest stopping by small streams and several caves on the way. The top of the fort is a flat terrain with two beautiful lakes and small temples amidst the tranquil ambiance. The ramparts of the fort are completely intact and a walk along its entire perimeter rewards one with wonderful vistas of the surrounding villages and Ambi Valley.
We boarded a train to Karjat station and then an auto to the Peth Village. The climb from Peth village to Kothaligad fort is accompanied with scenic vistas of the valleys and lush green forests. We climbed through series of caves and stopped at a temple at the base of the fort which had beautiful carvings on walls and pillars. The most interesting is a chimney-like tunnel to the top of the fort which is carved from inside forming a staircase reaching the top.
Lohagad-Visapur is twin forts in the Lonavala region around 80 km from Mumbai. We drove all the way to Bhaje Village at the base of the fort. One can also board a train to Malavli and walk to the Bhaje village. The Lohagad fort is well preserved. Though the route up was slippery due to rains it was worth it for the scenic vistas all along the way. One can also visit the Bhaji caves on the way to Lohagad.
Visapur is larger than its twin fort of Lohagad. Visapur fort has caves, water tanks and ruins of a Peshwa’s Palace. The ramparts reward with breathtaking panoramic vistas of the surrounding.
Pandavkadas has been the easiest trek till date. We parked our car in the village of Pandavkada and then an easy 15-minutes walk lead us to the falls. One can also board a train to Kharghar and then take an auto to the falls. The waterfall, about 100 meters high pours out thrusting down the cliff on the rocky surface underneath. Pandavkada is said to have derived its name from the Pandavas of Hindi Epic Mahabharat who had once visited the place and took bath below the falls when they were exiled in the forests. Read more about our visit to the Pandavkada Waterfalls.
Rajmachi is one of our most thrilling treks till date. We boarded a train to Karjat and then an auto to Kondivade village where the trekking to Rajmachi begins. We started as a group of 20, lost our way and completed only half the way by dusk. Half of us decided to stay back in a village in a locals hut and complete the trek next morning. The main attractions are the forts of Shrivardhan and Manaranjan which requires trekking through the steep paths in the mountain.
Mumbai is close to the Western Ghats a mountain range along the western coast of the Indian peninsula. And hence have some of the best getaways that make for awe-inspiring trekking destinations. These trekking spots turn magical during the monsoons when the mountains are wrapped lush green dotted with numerous gorgeous waterfalls.
Have you been to any of these trekking spots or any other we missed here? Do share with us your experience.
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