Monsoon Treks In India
1 – Harihar Fort Trek
Harihar fort is a hill fort and is also known as Harshgad or Harishgad or Harihargad. This fort lies in the range called Upper Vaitarna range. It lies near Trimbak in the Nashik district of Maharashtra in India. It is situated at a height of 3676 ft above sea level. This fort lies on a traingular rock with all the three sides vertical and is approachable only from one side i.e. through a 200 ft high rock cut staircase. The most fascinating aspect about this trek is the rock cut steps at an 80 degree vertical angle that one has to negotiate to enter the fort.
Though it’s a vertical ladder, the steps are provided with groves for proper grip while ascending. Ascending and descending through this patch is a thrilling experience. Also on the left side is a breathtaking view of the valley. After walking to the end of the plateau, you can also see a beautifull mountain behind which lies the Trimbhkeshwar Mandir. From here you can see the Ganga Dwar of the Trimbhkeshwar temple. The plateau is also surrounded by some beautiful flowers in the monsoon season. This locale is a must visit for every trekker, especially at the end of the monsoon season. This trek is not for first timers and those who have fear of height.
How to reach :
Via Igatpuri – Trimbakeshwar – Khodala :
Ahead of Nirgudpada lies the village of Kasurli. One can alight here by boarding the bus of Igatpuri – Trimbakeshwar – Khodala.
Via Kasara or Nasik : One can reach Igatpuri via Kasara or Nasik. From Igatpuri board in a bus for Trimbakeshwar and alight at Nirgudpada, the base village of Harihar.
AbhiBus runs bus services from Mumbai and Pune to Trimbakeshwar too.
2 – Kalsubhai Peak Trek, Maharashtra
The Everest of Maharashtra, Kalsubai is a peak in the Sahyadri mountain range. Avid trekkers, Kalsubai temple devotees, and wildlife enthusiasts frequent the peak throughout the year. However, its appeal to trekkers in the monsoon beats all other times! There are well-designated trekking routes to reach the summit, the most popular route though is through the eastern mountain face taking off from the base village Bari. This village has its own charm, untouched by civilization. It takes 3 hours to reach the summit from Bari Village. Locals have arranged ladders at some places for trekkers’ convenience. Open high-altitude forests dominate the scenery. There is thick fog and gusty winds during the monsoons.
The peak of Kalsubai stands proudly perched atop 5400 feet above the sea-level, and it is the highest peak in Maharashtra. This is a must-visit destination to visit during monsoons, thanks to its awe-inspiring views and awesome green cover.
The average trek duration is 3 hours, with an approximate trekking distance of 1.7 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 5400 feet. Kalsubai has some treacherous curves and breathtaking views. Though not difficult, trekking these gorgeous hills will test your stamina. It takes about 2.45 hours to reach Kalsubai from Mumbai by road. It is highly advised to take the road, as opposed to the train, from the convenience point of view.
How to reach:
The best route from Mumbai to Kalsubai is: Mumbai – Kalyan – Asangao – Sakurli – Ghatgar – Bhandardara – Bari – Kalsubai.
Alternate route form Bari to Kalsubai is the following.
Mumbai – Kalyan – Asangao – Khardi – Igatpuri – Ghoti – Bari – Kalsubai. To take this hilly town faster, you should take the National Highway 3 to Ghoti along Sukhl Tirth Road/Nagpur-Aurangabad- Mumbai Highway in Khambale. Then, take Bhandardara to Ghoti Road to MH SH 44.
Igatpuri is connected to Mumbai through the NH 3 which goes up from Mumbai to Agra. After reaching Igatpuri, it is just an hour’s drive to the base village.
3 – Rajmachi Fort Trek, Maharashtra
Rajmachi Fort (Killa) consists of two twin fortresses Shriwardhan Ballekilla and Manaranjan Balekilla, with a wide Machi (plateau) surrounding the two Balekillas. This fort is located near Lonavala. It offers an amazing view of the Sahyadri mountains and the backwaters of Shirota Dam. Udhewadi is a small village of about 22 houses stuated on the Machi (plateau), at the southern foot of Manaranjan Balekilla of Rajmachi Fort.
Rajmachi trek in the monsoons is one of the most exciting and endurance testing treks. In this trek, you do not really ascend a lot but walk about 16 kilometers one way. If you happen to walk around dusk or dawn, you could spot a bunch of twinkling fireflies. If tired or halting for the night, you can sleep in a village house or temples around.. In the rainy season, from mid-June to mid-October, this region is all the more beautiful with clouds, silvery water falls, streams, lush green forests and meadows. The forts are at located at an altitude of 2710 feet.
How to reach:
There are two routes to Rajmachi, one from Karjat and the other from Lonavala. From Karjat, the climb is pretty steep and thus, Lonavala is the preferred way. In case you go from Karjat, you can see a beautiful old Buddhist cave en route.
One can book bus tickets online at abhibus.com as bus services are available from Pune , Bengaluru, Mumbai to Lonavala and from Mumbai and Pune to Karjat.
4 – Sinhagad Fort Trek, Pune
Sinhagad is a fort that stands as a testimony to the bravery of the Maratha warriors under the leadership of Tanaji Malusare, the general of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The previous name of the fort was Kondhana. The massive fort has been the site of wanton bloodshed and great massacres in many a battle. The fort lies 30 km southwest of Pune and the construction stands 800 m above the surrounding area. The Sinhagad Fort is a popular weekend destination for many residents of Pune, including trekking enthusiasts with access to the top of the fort from the base of the Sinhgad village.
It is one of the most famous monsoon trekking spots in Maharashtra as the panorama during rains becomes fascinating. It seems like you are trekking through the clouds and the vistas on the route become clean and simply fascinating. It is a moderate one day trek that leads to the beautiful Sinhagad Fort. Viewing the sunrise and sunset from this fort is a very memorable experience. The average trek duration is 40 minutes to 3 hours, with an approximate trekking distance of 2-3 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 4320 feet.
How to reach:
The distance between Pune and Sinhagad is 37.4 km and it can be covered in 1 to 1.5 hours. There are 2 routes to reach Sinhagad from Pune. The shorter one includes traveling via NH4. The other route involves driving via Katraj Ghat Road.
AbhiBus offers bus services from Mumbai, Kolhapur, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Goa and Indore to Pune. So book your bus tickets online at abhibus.com.
5 – Dudhsagar Falls, Goa
One of India’s tallest waterfalls, the Dudhsagar waterfall lies in the Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary in Sanguem district of Goa, close to the border of Karnataka. It is also known as Vajra Sakala Falls, by locals. Dudhsagar Waterfall is one of Goa’s most attractive and ideal picnic spots mainly offering enchanting natural beauty and amazing scenery when in full flow after the monsoons. The waterfall plunges down from a height of 310 meters and initially appears like streams of milk flowing down the mountain which later culminate into gushing cascades after they come in full view of the awestruck visitors. The trek to Dudhsagar Falls is along a railway route, amidst rich flora and fauna.
The trek to this waterfall is accessible only through the Indian Rail Network, there are no other routes to this splendid white-as-milk-waterfall! The complete stretch of the falls is visible while hiking towards the waterfalls. Trek starts at Dudhsagar station, which is about 570 kilometers from Bangalore. You can also start your trek at Kulem in Goa. Down south, this is ought to be one of the best monsoon treks in India, not very challenging, but definitely a must on a trekker’s checklist! It’s about an 11-kilometer-long trek that takes 6-7 hours to complete.
How to reach:
The Water Fall can be reached by road, from Kulem which is off National Highway (NH-4A). All Interstate Buses halt at Mollem where the Park office is located. You can take a local bus to Kulem from the highway or from Ponda, which is the nearest city.
Route: Panaji-Old Goa-Ponda-Tiska-Mollem. (57 kms) Margao-Ponda-Tiska-Mollem (42 kms)
Get ready for the Walk of 16 kms To & fro from Kulem railway station.. Trekking to Dudhsagar ideally starts from the scenic location of Castle Rock. Goa is easily accessible from all metros and major cities by flight, train and by road as well.
Abhibus offers you bus services to Goa from Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai etc.!
6 – Dzongri Trek, Sikkim
One of the most popular treks in Sikkim, Dzongri trek spans from Yuksom to Dzongri and also includes a walk on the Goecha La, while covering places like Phedang and Bakkhim. At an altitude of 4,200 m Dzongri is among the best trekking destinations not only in Sikkim but also in India. The sights of the milky white peaks all around Dzongri are bound to keep you gazing with awe.
A breathtaking view of Mt. Kanchenjunga (the 3rd highest mountain in the world), and Mt. Pandim alongwith some of the most famous peaks, from the Dzongri View Points is the highlight. Rains make the forests even greener. This trail is truly a paradise for trekking enthusiasts.
Snowfall is common especially during the winter months. The trekker should be well prepared to face the cold. The temperature may go below freezing point any time around the year.
The trek to Dzongri is among the tougher ones in Sikkim. Even the experienced porters and guides get tired after reaching here. Trekkers should go for regular fitness exercise before undertaking this trek. However, the beauty of the mountains, will make all the effort worthwhile once you reach there.
How to reach:
The trek to Dzongri starts from Yuksom in West Sikkim. Yuksom is about 6 hours drive from the nearest railstation at New Jalpaiguri and nearest airport at Bagdogra. Bus service is not available to Yuksom. One can travel by car or jeep to Yuksom.
7 – Hampta Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh
Trekking on the mountains of Himachal Pradesh is an experience in itself. The Hampta Pass trek is one of the best treks in the Himalayas, and also one of the most popular. Reaching as high as 14,000 feet, but suitable for fit first-timers, this five-day Hampta Pass trek takes you on a picturesque adventure which will leave you in awe. One reason why the Hampta Pass Trek is a famous trekking zone is snow. The pass is blanketed with snow which draws tourists and trekkers avidly. The variation in the trails, easy access and an exceptional, adventurous and hair-raising crossing of the pass makes the trek an exciting one.
Perfect for both novice and expert trekkers, Hampta Pass Trek showcases its natural beauty during the months of monsoon. Forming a link between Kullu Valley and Lahaul Valley, this stunning trail begins from Manali, offering wonderful sights like glacier, alpine forests, expansive grasslands, the mighty Himalayas, colorful gorges and so on. Every day of this trek brings forth a different terrain to experience and is worth experiencing for its rapid, dramatic scenery changes and, of course, the novel pass-crossing The average trek duration is 5 days, with an approximate trekking distance of 26 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 14,100 feet.
How to reach:
With Manali as the starting point of the trek, your route passes through Jobra, Chikha and Balu ka Ghera before reaching the main destination of Hampta Pass itself.
Closest airport to Manali is Kullu Airport which is well connected via flights from Delhi. The distance between Kullu and Manali is around 1 hour.
Manali is also well connected with comfortable Volvo buses run by government and private operators. You can catch luxury and normal buses to Manali which are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate in delhi. The journey takes around 12-14 hours.
AbhiBus offers bus services from Chandigarh and Delhi to Manali.
PICTURE CREDITS: Harihargad Fort – Travelplay, Kalsubhai Peak – Holidify, Rajmachi Fort – Wikipedia, Sinhagad Fort – Tripadvisor, Dudhsagar Waterfalls – Mouthshut.Com, Dzongri Trek – Hotel Parasol, Hampta Pass – Bikat Adventures