Having lived in aamchi Mumbai, my favourite thing about the city was how there was no limit to the number of weekend getaways one could experience. Drive off from the city and before you know it, you’ll find yourself escaping from the commercial jungle to carpets of lush green.
How to reach: It is a half an hour drive from Ghangad near Lonavala. You can either drive down yourself from Pune or Mumbai or you can take a bus or a train till Lonavala and thereafter take a local taxi.
Best time to visit: Early onset of monsoon or towards the end of the monsoon are when the trek is at its greenest. However, if you’re looking to avoid the monsoon season, you can visit in the month of September.
Difficulty level: Easy
Height: 3,028 ft
The pride of the state of Maharashtra, Shivaji Maharaj had got the forts of Tikona, Lohagad, Sinhagad, Visapur, Tung and Korigad of course. Built in 1657, the fort came to be conquered by the British in 1818. However, the resident troops had valiantly fought them off for 4 nights before they actually seized the formidable structure.
The fort is also home to an ancient idol of Lord Ganesha as well as a temple of Goddess Korai Devi which has been renovated in recent years. There is an idol of Lord Vishnu as well as two additional temples.
A true fort of the 16th century, it is replete with 6 canons of massive sizes in different parts of the fort and also a number of bastions on the Southern front. Trek here to walk amidst the ancient ruins and rampant structures and maybe think of the times that the fort would have seen.
The top of the trek leads to a flat plateau, a stretch overlooking the vistas of the aesthetically built Aamby Valley. The above picture shows a path along the periphery wall. It spread for about 2kms allowing you to walk along the edge of the fort! Okay okay, not edge but yes along its boundary as you gaze at the views it offers. I wonder if the aforementioned wars had ever been interrupted with someone saying “Yaar, look at the view!” Haha highly doubt it, but you know what I mean. ?
The trek starts from the village of Peth Shahpur leading you to a staircase made of stone leading you up and around the fort. Take your leisurely time to move about. Maybe carry a frisbee or some cards to sit above and play a game. Maybe pack up a small picnic because god knows we always need snacks!
And while you could visit the fort at a different time, I would urge you to visit around the rainy season. No, of course not when the rainfall is in full throng because that would be risky. But when the season is just setting in or just about to bid us farewell. Why? Well, what’s better than a cloud of mist surrounding you? Than the white tufts of cotton touching upon the blooming green from the weather? For if you must visit a place, why not see it at its best! For a simple yet joyous day in the outdoors this is your pick, Mumbai and Pune people!
Click here to read about Bhairavgad Trek in Maharashtra!