Andh arban simply means ‘Dark Dense Forest,’ as the name implies. Andharban trek is located in Maharashtra’s Pimpri region, about 16 kilometres from the well-known city of Pune.
You’ll be travelling through the beautiful green grass and deeply shadowed forest cover because the Andharban trip is best done during the monsoon season. You will see amazing views of the Kundalika Valley while walking through this fog-covered jungle, hear mesmerising small and large streams of water and gushing waterfalls.
You’ll find yourself wandering on a ridge with an amazing view of the Kundalika Valley, Bhira dam, and other mountain ranges, which is known as a backpacker’s Andharban paradise. You will see various types of birds such as the Jacobin cuckoo, the Malabar whistling thrush, dwarf kingfishers, and minivets that are native to this area, in addition to spectacular vistas of the valley.
It is true to say that it is the Sahyadri’s heaven. The Andharban forest is a must-see site for all nature enthusiasts, and embarking on an exhilarating Monsoon Trek to the Andharban forest is a magnificent experience. During the monsoons, monsoon trekking entails going over lush green hills, soaking in beautiful waterfalls, and watching the tremendous fury of clouds right by you!
The Andharban hike is unique in that, unlike most other Sahyadri treks, it is a leisurely descent rather than a gruelling ascent till your breath runs out. The journey begins at an elevation of roughly 2100 feet, and you will be descending the valley to reach Bhira dam without encountering any severe rocky areas.
The trail to Bhimashankar is a perennial favourite among trekkers, especially during the monsoon season. It transports you to the heart of the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. You’ll be accompanied by a variety of birds, langurs, and spotted deer while in the jungle. You might even see a Malabar Giant Squirrel if you’re lucky.
If you’re a first-time trekker on your alone or with a group of friends who aren’t particularly experienced, we recommend doing the Ganesh Ghat route instead of the more difficult Shidi Ghat route.
Difficulty – Depending on the route, easy or moderate.
Trail Type – Fields, woodlands, cliffs, and ladders are all part of the well-defined trail.
Prabalgad Fort Trek
Prabalgad Fort, located between Panvel and Matheran, is an easily accessible fort that provides for an excellent monsoon walk. The fort dates back to the time of the Bahamani Sultanate, when it was first constructed.
Prabalgad fort as seen from Kalavanti Durg during monsoon treks from Mumbai and Pune
While you may be tempted to climb its more exhilarating neighbour, which is located along the road, we do not recommend doing so during the monsoon season. The slick trek up the mountain face on rock-cut steps is quite dangerous.
However, from Prabalgad, you may marvel at the panorama of these stairs slithering up the Kalavantin Durg. In addition, Chanderi and Peb forts are to the west, while Karnala is to the north.
Difficulty – Simple
Trail Type- Until Prabalmachi, the trail is broad and well-defined, after which it passes through dense woodland and ascends a steep gully.
Harishchandragad, a fort hill in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, is one of the state’s most difficult treks. During the monsoon, we do not advise climbing up the Nalichi vaat or Taramati Ghal. However, reaching the summit via the Khireshwar or Pachnai routes is possible and equally rewarding.
The Konkan Kada (Konkan cliff), a nearly 1,800-foot-high concave fall, is the hill fort’s major feature. However, use extra caution because it can get very windy.
The fort of Harishchandragad is quite old, dating back to the sixth century. There are caves all over the fort that are thought to have been cut out in the eleventh century.
Depending on the route, the difficulty is Easy, Moderate, or Difficult.
Trail Type – Well-defined trail that passes through farmland and woodlands.
Manikgad is a ruins fort located on a hill in Maharashtra’s Manikgad hamlet. The fort stands at a height of 1,878 feet and is impenetrable on three sides. Only from the south can you get to the higher section.
It was more of a checkpoint than a fort in the traditional sense. Even with its collapsing fortification, one might envision its glory in its heydays. When approaching the fort, one is greeted by a crumbling gate with a Ganesh carving on the top.
The fort commands a superb view of the valley below, with the Karnala pinnacle and Prabalgad fort conspicuously visible.
Difficulty: Depending on the route, easy or moderate.
Fields, woodlands, cliffs, and ladders are all part of the well-defined trail.