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Pack your backpack and go trekking! | Travel

With monsoons still around and the pandemic situation getting better, it’s time to put on your shoes and check out these scenic trails in Maharashtra

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year, several restrictions were imposed on domestic as well as international travel. Like all travel aficionados, trekkers were also forced to stay homebound. But since the situation is slightly better off currently, many adventure lovers are exploring small treks in and around Mumbai to enjoy the scenic locales. Here’s our pick:

Irshalgad trek

Irshalgad (Photo: Facebook)

Irshalgad derived its name from ‘Irshal’, which translates to ‘the top’ and ‘gad’, which means ‘the fort’. Located in Karjat, the trek to the Irshalgad Fort is easy to moderately difficult. It takes about two hours to ascend and the descent takes about an-hour-and-a-half. The breathtaking view of the high paddy fields, numerous caves, rock cut water cisterns and the Morbe dam make the long, strenuous walk completely worth it. Harshil Ashra, a regular trekker, agrees with this and says, “The views are to die for. If you wish to be surrounded by nature, there’s nothing like this place.”

Kanheri Caves trail

Kanheri Caves (Photo: Facebook)
Kanheri Caves (Photo: Facebook)

The Kanheri Caves are located at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai. The caves served as Buddhist monastic dwellings for many centuries, and some of the newer ones feature intricate carvings, pillars, and even rock-cut cisterns, making them a must-visit for history buffs and art lovers. Shruti Shah, a regular trekker to this site, says, “It’s heaven in the city. An uphill climb takes you to the highest point of Mumbai, giving you a spectacular view of the city’s high-rise buildings along with the forest. Sitting in the beautiful caves built centuries ago still gives you a divine experience, away from the mad rush of every-day city life.” The trek is an easy one, so if you’re a beginner, you must add this to your list.

Tungareshwar trail

Tungareshwar trail (Photo: Facebook)
Tungareshwar trail (Photo: Facebook)

A part of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, a trek to Tungareshwar is certainly the best way to beat the city blues, even if it’s just for a while. Arjun Shukla, a trekking instructor, has only wonderful things to say about the trail. “This is a simple trek right up to a Lord Shiva temple. This 3.5km trek on naturally paved stone and mud roads with superb flora and fauna will keep you busy, marveling at the creations of nature. During the trek, you cross two rivulets and during the rains, it’s thrilling to do. Experienced trekkers can also trek up to the Balyogi Shri Sadanand Maharaj Ashram, which is 8km from the temple,” he says.

Devkund Waterfall trek

Found in the middle of a dense forest, the Devkund Waterfall trek is nature’s hidden gem. The trail is famous for its alluring landscape filled with sprawling valleys, dense forests, and some of the prettiest waterfalls, riverbeds, and lakes. Ishaan Joshi, a college student who recently visited the falls with his friends, says, “The waterfall looks serene during the monsoon. Such a tall and forceful waterfall is really difficult to come across near the city, so it’s definitely a worthwhile experience. The trek is a moderately hard one, considering it’s a three-hour trek over slippery ground and slimy rocks. But it does attract people who love a good challenge.”

Ahupe Ghat trek

Ahupe Ghat (Photo: Facebook)
Ahupe Ghat (Photo: Facebook)

The Ahupe Ghat trek is a unique, mesmerising trek, which offers spectacular views of the lush Western Ghats and its valleys. Mikail Kazi, who recently went on this trek, says, “The trek is moderately difficult. It’s brilliant and the view from the top is stunning. While crossing the waterfall, where the force can be strong during the monsoon, taking a villager’s help is recommended. You can see the entire region from up top, including the lake from where the waterfall begins.”

Be mindful of this before you start

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes

Carry a change of clothes; it is essential

Carry enough water and something to munch on

Carry a windcheater for protection from the rain

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