Do you love the great outdoors and have been itching to get away from work and do some soul searching? We are too. So, just to keep your morale high, we thought it best to give you the best forts in Maharashtra, perfect for trekking that are sure to give you that break you've been looking for.
Worth The Climb: Fort Treks In Maharashtra That You Just Cannot Miss
Karnala Fort Trek
Karnala Fort, nestled in Karnala Bird Sanctuary is a beginner’s level trek just 10 km away from Panvel. Which means that you’ll only need a day to do this. If walking for you only means going around malls, but you’ve been envious of those who sport their sneakers and boast of clicking mountain top selfies, this is a good trek to start with. This fort is also a protected property and is within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
How To Reach: Take a train from CST to Panvel, and then take a rickshaw till the base, or directly drive down to the base.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year
Mahuli Fort Trek
Mahuli Fort is the highest point in Thane, and makes for an exciting trek. A popular trek among the rock climbers owing to its complex shared pinnacles, the difficulty level varies from moderate to easy. And the trek begins at the base of the fort, and the view from the fort is worth all the pain
How To Reach: Located in Mahuli village, it’s approximately five kilometres from Asangaon village. To get there, either you can take a car and hit the Mumbai-Nasik highway, or catch a train to Asangaon.
Best Time To Visit: July to December
Janjira Fort Trek
Mostly derived from Jazeera, an Arabic word that means an island, Janjira Fort is surrounded by water on all four side and is, therefore, also called the island fort. Once you manage to trek to the top of this fort, there’s a lot of history that the fort reflects. One of the best forts in Maharashtra, Janijra is famous for its invincibility, the one monument that even King Shivaji could not lay his hands on. History buffs, here's your jewel.
How To Reach: Drive down to Panvel, which is about 35 kilometres from Mumbai, and from there, take the Pen-Roha road to reach Murud. From Murud, boats are available to drop you to Janjira and that takes around 30 minutes.
Best Time To Visit: November to February
Lohagad Fort Trek
This is one of the most magnificent forts of Maharashtra with two natural ponds, two artificial ponds, a Shiv temple, a Dargah and a valley view of the famous Pawna Lake. You can also head to Bhaja caves for a warm up and enjoy by the waterfall.
How To Reach: Take a train to Lonavala, and then hire a local rickshaw to drop you to the base of the fort.
Best Time To Visit: Monsoons is the best time to conquer this fort.
30 kilometres away from Ratnagiri, Purnagad is a sea fort that is believed to be Shivaji Maharaj’s last phase of development, hence the name (Purna meaning complete + gad meaning fort). A one day trek, this is a comparatively short trek, about 15 minutes long, leading up to top where you’ll enter through the western gate, further reaching the eastern gate that opens towards the sea.
How To Reach: Drive down to Ratnagiri, and then take a bus from there to Purnagad, which is around 30 kilometers away. The drive's long (around 9 hours) but the greenery will give you company and the smooth roads make it better.
Best Time To Visit: During the monsoon and winter season.
If your heart is pounding for some high-octane adventure, then Prabalgad Fort in the Panvel district of Maharashtra should be in your list for sure. Earlier known as Muranjan Fort and later renamed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as Prabalgad, this fort is tucked away in the greens of the Sahyadris, at a height of 2,300 feet above sea level.
How To Reach: From Mumbai, you need to board a local from CST or Dadar, and reach Panvel. After reaching, you take a local rickshaw to the first base point.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year, but winters work best.
This trek offers an amazing view of the Sahyadri mountains and the back waters of Shirota Dam. It takes around 40 minutes to reach the top of the fort. The Rajmachi peak has two fortified structures, that is your Shrivardhan fort and Manaranjan fort. It’s an easy trek and suitable for beginners.
How To Reach: Take a train from CST or Dadar and reach Lonavala. From there's take a rickshaw to the base point.
Best Time To Visit: Throughout the year.
Tikona's is a hill fort and is said to be one of the famous treks near Mumbai. Sitting at a height of 3,500 metres, this fort is triangular from all the sides and the Pawna Dam offers a beautiful scenery. The trek to Tikona is easy but exciting. It starts with an incline for the first 200 meters. And then reaches a flat land. The views after the first 10 mins of trek itself are amazing.
How To Reach: Again, you've got to get off at the Lonavala station. And take a rickshaw to the base.
Best Time To Visit: Monsoons at Tikona are the best.