The weather is great to get fit. If that's not your agenda, step out and explore the mountains around Pune in this cool weather. Especially after such long-drawn rainfall, walk through freshly grown green carpets and perhaps, even camp at a historic fort. So strap on your sturdy boots, carry food, water and a camera along. Here are five treks you could tackle this winter.
Go On These 5 Breathtakingly Beautiful Winter Treks Near Pune
One of the best and the most challenging of the winter treks, scale the Harishchandragad hill fort to see the scenic, breathtaking views from the Kokan Kada or Cobra's Hood. Located 170 kms away, the fort is huge and has a spectacular view even as you escalate it. The trail going through rocky patches, steep inclinations and some scary drops, it will for sure push you to test your stamina. You can see the beautiful Saptatirtha Lake and the intricately structured Kedareshwar temple. The fort has small snack restaurants on the top. They also rent out tents if you are keen on setting a camp at night or just rest w bit on your way upp. We dare you to go for the rappelling experience if your adventurous enough. The best time visit Harishchandragad is post monsoons. We would suggest avoiding the trek during summers.
Lohagad or literally the iron fort is an easy winter trek for beginners and nature enthusiasts. Situated in the north-west of Pune, near Lonavala, it is perfect for a one-day trek with your squad. Considered to be one of the best built forts of the Maratha Empire, is it situated at a height of 3389 feet above sea level. The iron fort divides the Pavana - Indrayani basin, thus guarding the trade routes from Deccan Plateau to Konkan during Shivaji's reign. The main attraction is the Vinchu Kata or a Scorpion tail as it perfectly resembles it. Most of the structure is in a good condition and the trail is roughly two kms in length with views that are enthralling. Night stay or camping overnight on the fort is not allowed.
Situated 3000 feet above the sea level, this tough winter trek which is full of fun and great views, it can be conquered through two ways, the former being tougher than the later. The aim is to reach the Bhimashankar temple. The route through the ladder involves rock climbing and has steeper sections, while the ghat route travels through the scenic views with a considerably easy route even for the beginners. You can also take their fireflies event walk through the dense forests at night which will leave you gaping at the beauty encompassing you.
Located outside Lonavala, it is an extremely popular destination for camping and trekking. It is a protected monument and the main attractions are a historical water reservoir, Buddhist caves, Shiv Mandir, fortifications, ramparts, Ballekillas Shrivardhan and Manoranjan with other structures. An 18km trail route one way, it is filled with rocky routes, panoramic views of the Konkan plains and the backwaters of Shirota Dam with many more. Friendly locals are always ready to help you out and you can camp in the caves and enjoy the winter, freezing but enchanting nights. You can pre-book your trip through several groups and trekking enthusiasts to make it more adventurous.
Sitting 2,000 ft. above the sea level, literally meaning the dark forest, Andharban is a 13km long trek near Pune which majorly involves descending. Trekking through the dark jungles, finding your way down, viewing valleys, waterfalls and ghats of the western ranges- these experiences will surely make this trek one of the most astounding treks and there is so much to explore. The ridges are ornamented with the views of the mountain ranges of the Tamhini ghat, the Bhira dam and the Kundalika valley. The same valley is the origin of the famous Kundalika river known for rafting and other water sports. The trek descends down into the Bhira from the Konkan side. The trek uphill isn't as tough as people say but if you are beginner we would suggest trekking some a little smaller before you set out to conquer Andharban.