In the midst of a concrete jungle, lie a bunch of starry-eyed adventurers passionate about trekking in Mumbai. The city may be the epitome of the urbane, but it has a selection of excellent spots in and around it, making it a paradise for trekkers. After all, who would better know the value of natural beauty and adventure sports than those who seem far removed from it? Here’s a composite list of some great trekking spots for Mumbaikars, some within city limits and others a couple of hours away.
Photo by Varun Patil/CC BY-SA 3.0
A well-known and popular tourist destination, its also a great trekking spot in Mumbai. The rock-cut structures can be accessed by climbing uphill once you reach Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
Location: Borivali East
Why you should go there: Its located within Mumbai in the suburb of Borivali, which is easily accessible by Western Railway. This makes it an ideal option for the workaholic Mumbaikars who cant afford to take too much time off, but still need their dose of adventure.
Prabalgad Fort and Kalavantin Fort Trek, Kalavantin Durg
Kalavantin Durg is one of those special places in India that will make you feel like youve been transported into paradise. The two forts, Prabalgad and Kalavantin, are fascinating structures with a history every Maharashtrian would be interested in.
Location: Thakurwadi, around 19 km from Panvel and 47 km from Mumbai
Why you should go there: Perfect for a monsoon trek, the breath-taking view from Kalavantin Durg makes it a great option for experienced trekkers.
Photo by Ravi Vaidyanathan/CC BY 3.0
The Karnala Fort (or rather forts, as there are two of them) is not just located in a strategic spot, its gifted with plenty of natural beauty and makes for a scenic view.
Location: Raigad, around 10 km from Panvel and 48 km from Mumbai
Why you should go there: A visit to the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is an experience worth having if you want to see a huge variety of exotic birds in their natural habitat.
One of the best trekking places near Mumbai, Tungareshwar in Vasai has earned itself some serious reputation. It’s the perfect spot for those who want a day of trekking in the city. The Shiva Temple nearby attracts plenty of pilgrims and tourists as well.
Location: Vasai, around 52 km from Mumbai
Why you should go there: The Tungareshwar waterfalls make for a great photo point, and a spot for all nature-lovers to immerse themselves in.
Photo by Sanmukh.putran / CC BY-SA 3.0
The Mahuli Fort is a fine exemplar of magnificent Mughal architecture. The sanctuary surrounding it is a beautiful forest, abundant with greenery and wildlife.
Location: Asangaon, around 58 km from Mumbai
Why you should go there: A number of fantastic view-points and attractions make this a much-visited trekking destination near Mumbai. Its also great for rock-climbing and other adventure sports.
Peb Fort Trek
Fort Peb is a well-known destination visited frequently by trekking groups, as it is famous for night treks. With historical and religious significance, coupled with a great scenic location, this fort near Matheran a must visit.
Location: Anand Wadi, around 4 km from Neral, and 75 km away from Mumbai
Why you should go there: If youre looking for a bit of a challenge, the thick and lush forests in this area will truly test your endurance, but also reward you with a wonderful experience.
The quaint village and plenitude of green (especially in the monsoon) are a visual treat for all. Whether youre a fan of a leisurely walk or a more arduous trek, you can engage in either while youre here.
Location: Karjat, around 80 km from Mumbai
Why you should go there: Water babies will find their heaven here, as Bhivpuri has the best waterfalls at a feasible travel distance from Mumbai.
Trek by the Shidi route or Ganesh Ghat route to reach Bhimshankar. While the latter is longer, its less challenging than the former. Lose yourself amid the captivating natural beauty. Also, the numerous tea stalls and dhabas throughout both the routes never fail to make you happy with their delicious titbits.
Location: Khandas village, about 40 km from Karjat and 130 km from Mumbai
Why should you go there: It offers something for everyone. Whether you prefer steep and dangerous natural staircases or regular terrain, Bhimshankar has it all.
A medieval fort that offers the trek of a lifetime with its beautiful streams replete with man-sized rocks, a cobra-shaped cliff, and options to camp under the starry sky? Can you ask for more?
Location: Ahmednagar district, about 225 km from Mumbai
Why should you go there: Cross a valley and climb the rocks in just one trek! Enough said.
Experience nature in its unadulterated form: gurgling waterfalls, rocky cliffs and more, on your trek to Rajmachi. The best time to experience this captivating land is during the monsoons, with the entire place becoming scenic beyond measure. Also explore history with the Buddhist caves along the route.
Location: Lonavala, about 94 km from Mumbai
Why should you go there: To enjoy the panoramic view of the Sahyadris and the thrill of the backwaters of Shirota dam. Plus, its closeby.
This mountain pass in the Western Ghats is one of the best places for a monsoon trek, as you make way through dense teakwood forests. There are also ancient caves that have intricate carvings and sculptures. The path was once an arterial trade route between Kalyan and Junnar.
Location: Junnar, around 163 km from Mumbai
Why you should go there: History-lovers and ardent trekkers will love the breathtaking view of Malshej Ghat.
Nakhind, which means a mountain with a hole, is a 705-meter high peak in the Karjat range. The walk to the Nedhe (needle hole in Marathi) takes you through villages, rivulets and mini waterfalls. The waterfalls, which form every monsoon, make it the perfect hangout for picnickers.
Location: Karjat, easily accessible by train from CST
Why you should go there: Once at the top, the view from the Nedhe of Matheran, Neral and the Haji Malang range is breathtaking. Sitting in the Nedhe has its own charm.
Also known as Vitandgad, it is a hill fort in Maval that’s a treat for trekkers. Little is known about this fort, but it is said that in 1657, Shivaji bought the Konkan region and the fort fell under his reign. The fort, perched on top of a 3,500-foot hill, offers an uninterrupted view of Lohagad and Visapur.
Location: Maval, 84 km from Mumbai
Why you should go there: Trekkers will love exploring the caves and the fort, taking a dip in the lake surrounding the fort. The view of Lohgad and Tung is the icing on the cake.
Kalsubai, located in the Sahyadri range, is one of the highest points in Maharashtra at 5,400 feet, and is often called the Everest of Maharashtra. The mountain range also lies within the Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary. Locals say the best time to visit is during September, a little after the monsoons when wild flowers are in full bloom.
Location: Ahmednagar, 152 km from Mumbai
Why you should go there: The wildlife sanctuary, Kalsubai temple and the trek will appeal to wildlife enthusiasts and devotees alike.