It is the caves, hill forts, waterfalls, lakes, breathtaking views and lush green jungles that entice trekkers to mountains and hills of Sahyadris. Maharashtra has several trekking options. If you want the birds, flowers and forests for you company take the trekking route from Karjat to Matheran. If you are looking forward to trace history head to the majestic Peth Fort or the ancient Buddhist caves at Karla. Climb up the Duke’s nose near Khandala during the rains to get the fantastic view of the valley.
Amboli situated at an altitude of 690 lies in the southern range of the Sahyadri hills. Here you will come across several picturesque points among fertile plains and lush green hills. From the sea view point you can catch a rare glimpse of the golden Konkan coast. If you are fond of angling you can spend the day at Hiranya Keshi or even visit the Narayan Gad, Nagatta Falls and Mahadev Gad.
Belgaum airport is the nearest airport to Amboli. The most convenient railhead is Sawantwadi on Konkan railway. Amboli lies 549 kms away from Mumbai and 390 kms from Pune.
If you are fond of the sight of fresh rain waterfalls, then Malshej Ghat near Mumbai is the place to trek up. Malshej Ghat holds a special place for trekkers, hikers and adventure lovers. Nature is at its best here, no wonder, the migratory flamingoes select this as their monsoon abode. Very close to this place is the Shivneri Fort, the birth of Shivaji Maharaj. The 3rd century Buddhist caves is also located on this hill.
Mumbai is the nearest airport to Malshej Ghat and the nearest railhead is Kalyan.
The fort at Karnala shrouded in green cover shows signs of Portuguese art, Mughal design as well as Maratha footsteps. To find a rich mesh of nature and history head towards Karnala - the most popular destination for trekkers around Mumbai. The bird sanctuary established in the year 1979 here is home to approximately 30 bird species. The climb to the fort includes steep inclines which are interrupted with short stretches of flat land. You are sure to witness langurs, bonnet and macaques during the one and a half hour climb. This place is haven for bird lovers – Ioras, Drongos and crow pheasants are some of the birds you are most likely to spot here.
The best way to reach Karnala from Mumbai is by road. From Navi Mumbai, Panvel it is a 30 minute ride. You can even take the harbor line local train for Panvel from Chatrapati Shivaji terminus and detrain at Panvel, the last stop. Then board the State Transport buses at the railway station to take you to the Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
The trekking destinations of Maharashtra attract trekkers for its alluring pinnacles. The easy yet adventurous narrow climbs and steep steps is what make hiking with friends so delightful.