Trekking and Adventure destinations near Lonavala
Do you want to take a break from the usual chaos of city life and escape into places etched in history? If you are an adventurous soul, then you should consider trekking and adventure destinations near Lonavala. These include places like Lohagad Fort Trek, Visapur Fort Trek, or Della Adventure Park.
Lonavala is a well-known hill station situated 625 m above sea level in the western part of India. It offers a breathtaking ambiance not often seen or experienced and is, therefore, the perfect weekend getaway from the hubbub of crowded cities like Mumbai and Pune. This place is also a celebrated sister hill station of Khandala, which is 15 km away in the Maharashtra territory. Lonavala sways in a profusion of rock-climbing patches, forts, hills, pristine streams and lakes, and cascading waterfalls.
When the monsoons set in, the sight of these areas can be truly astonishing as wet canopies make room for the winds to breeze through. The forts and valley openings become covered by wildflowers even as the clouded descend to the surface to form a blanket over the earth. Trekking tours in this hill station offers a myriad of adventurous trails to be tackled right in the lap of nature’s tranquil beauty still unstained or untouched by man.
If you are looking for the perfect blend of pleasant weather and scenic beauty, look no further than Lonavala. This has turned the area to a visitor’s paradise, especially when they visit during the monsoons. This hill station is a favorite among thrill seekers and adventure enthusiasts who want to explore historic sites via trekking, hiking, and mountaineering.
There are several places you can trek to as well as adventure destinations that will remain etched in your memory for years. If you are ready to take the plunge into nature, let’s take a look at some of the trekking and adventure destinations near Lonavala:
Lohagad Fort Trek:-
Lohagad Fort is situated not too far from Lonavala. It is a tourist magnet and one of the most popular hill forts located in Maharashtra. The fort is erected at an altitude of 3,400 feet above sea level. Thousands of adventure seekers and trekkers throng this spectacular spot every monsoon and winter season in order to take in the scenic beauty of the area.
Lohagad Fort (Iron Fort), accessible from Pune and Mumbai, was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji. It is now a protected monument. On Lohagad Fort Trek, trekkers can quickly behold the Visapur Fort, which is located to the east of Lohagad Fort. This fort lies on the Sahyadri Range but divides the Pavna and Indrayani basin. It has 4 big gates which remain in excellent condition to this day.
Lohagad Fort is famous among trekkers or adventure sport lovers who don’t mind trekking at night. Serious trekkers who love testing their endurance can undertake the Rajmachi Trek, which will reward them with magnificent views of waterfalls, nearby streams, and lush green paddy fields.
The best time to visit Lohagad Fort Trek is during the monsoons. You will enjoy the lovely environment which will also look fresh, thanks to the rain. All told, Lohagad is a blissful weekend getaway for lovers of nature. And it provides one of the best opportunities you can utilize for trekking in the Western Ghats.
Visapur Fort Trek:-
Visapur Fort is an attractive hill fort situated near Lonavala’s Visapur village on the Western Ghats. It is one-half of two famous forts: Lohagad and Visapur. But Visapur Fort is not only the larger of the two but is also constructed and sits at a higher altitude than its counterpart.
Shivaji Maharaj from the Mughals once captured the fort. However, the British later captured Visapur, and summarily destroyed Lohagad. The northern and southern gateways of the Lohagad Fort were blown to pieces because the fort had a major significance. But the fort wall remains intact to this day. Adventure seekers can enjoy trekking in the Western Ghats to this fort during the monsoons. You can also witness nature’s magnificence in its entirety.
Visapur Fort trek is located approximately 9 km from Malavali Station and can be approached via two distinct routes. One is from Malavi station, while the other is by road from the Bhaje Caves to Lohagad base village (Lohagadwadi).
Adventure seekers can begin their Visapur Fort Trek right from Mumbai and head over to the base village, Bhaje. Then trek along the lovely trail while beholding breathtaking views of the greenery and waterfall that come alive with nature during the monsoons.
When you reach the top, you can explore the various attractions in the fort, including ancient caves and a Hanuman temple. Then, come down to the village at the base and continue your journey back to Mumbai.
Visapur Fort Trek, no doubt, takes adventure seekers on a historic tour and an adventurous one. This is the perfect place for enthusiastic trekkers or beginners looking for an easy trek to explore.
Della Adventure Park:-
Della Adventure Park has a scenic backdrop of hills located in Maharashtra. The park has a wide range of more than 86 outdoor activities that weekenders can enjoy. This means that there is something for everyone, no matter how young or old.
For instance, there are 4 types of zorbing, which is an activity that involves rolling downhill in a contraption that looks like a bubble, dirt bikes, exciting zip lines, and several types of all-terrain vehicles to try out. You are welcome to punish yourself with any kind of challenge and obstacle course.
Fun lovers can also enjoy any of the numerous radio-controlled helicopters and cars along with virtual games. Della Adventure Park is situated on the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway. It is located 64 kilometers from Pune and 104 kilometers from Mumbai.
Magic Mountain Adventure Park:-
Magic Mountain is an amusement park with thrill rides categorized according to their difficulty levels. You will find high thrill rides, mid-thrill rides as well as family rides. Some of these rides include Delta Hoppla, Turbo Force, Top Spin, Space Trainer, Z force, and Giant. Top Spin remains the most favorite for most people.
The park also has several restaurants that serve different delicacies and cuisines to meet hungry thrill-seekers’ needs. Other paid services that you will come across in the park include shuttle services, medical bay, toy shops, street magicians, parking, and so on.
Magic Mountain Adventure Ride is located at Old Pune-Mumbai Highway and opens from 10:30 am to 6 pm every day.
Rajmachi Fort Trek:-
Rajmachi is an enchanting small town that sits within the Sahyadri Mountain range of Maharashtra. Rajmachi Fort, on the other hand, is a historical fort located close to the hill stations of Khandala and Lonavala. It stands at a mouth-gaping height of 2,710 feet. The monsoons usually welcome thousands of trekking enthusiasts to the Rajmachi Fort for a thrilling and fun-filled experience.
The town itself is a well-known destination for trekkers and is home to the magnificent Manaranjan Fort and Shrivardhan Fort. The latter is the taller of the two and is situated towards the east while Manaranjan Fort is in the western part of the town. These forts offer mind-boggling views of the dense forests, Sahyadri Mountains, green lands, and waterfalls.
The best thing about Rajmachi Fort Trek is that adventure seekers get to trek alongside beautiful fireflies that impressively light up the lush green forests in the area. Rajmachi is also home to the Tungarli Dam and Lake with a vast bio network within the Rajmachi wildlife sanctuary.
Rajmachi Fort was constructed by Satavahana but was later captured by Shivaji Maharaj. It was erected to protect the historic trade route known as Borghat, a protected monument. Trekkers will find numerous historical monuments, such as water storage tanks, secret gates, walls, temples, etc.
You will also come across Buddhist caves – i.e., Kondana Caves – Shiva and Kal Bhairava temple. Trekkers use a particular place near the Kal Bhairava temple as a campsite. A water tank that serves as a water reservoir for thirsty travelers is planted a few meters away.
Explore the best of Rajmachi when you embark on a two-day Rajmachi Trekking tour, which will take you from Tungarli Dam through to the fascinating Kondane Caves.
Kataldhar Waterfall Trek:-
Kataldhar is located in Ulhas Valley near the hill station, Lonavala. The Kataldhar Trek starts from Fanasrai Village, which is the only route to reach Kataldhar Waterfall. The water level at the waterfall, however, depends on rains. If rains stop for just a few weeks, it drains quickly and goes dry. This is why the area is only accessible during the monsoon season.
The Kataldhar waterfall Trek will lead you through a slippery route and some dense forest. You need to be careful here while descending and then ascending from the Kataldhar waterfall. You should never attempt reaching the Shrivardhan Fort without a guide because you can easily get lost due to the dense forest.
Tikona Fort Trek:-
Tikona Fort is notable for its stunning views and adventurous trails. Otherwise known as the Triangle Fort, adventure seekers can catch an impressive glimpse of the Pawna Dam and Tung as well as Lohagad and Visapur Gad right from the top of the fort.
When on Tikona Fort Trek, you can pass through Tribakeshwar Mahadev, water tanks as well as the symbolic Satavahana Caves to reach this particular fort. The fort includes the celebrated Trimbakeshwar Mahadev Temple inside it.
The best season to visit Tikona Fort is during winter. However, if you can’t wait until then, the next preferred season to visit the historic site is during the monsoon season.
Tung Fort Trek:-
Tung Fort is about 60 km away from Pune and is located near Pawna Dam. It was constructed during the Adil Shahi dynasty. However, the Marathas later captured the fortress.
Tung Fort is small, and its structure and shape suggest that it functioned as a watchtower. The stronghold gives an excellent and complete view of the entire Maval region within the Pawna and Mulshi valley. This is why Tung Fort trek is considered one of the best strongholds near Pune for trekking expeditions.
Tung Fort has a sharp, conical peak, which makes it highly prominent from a distance. Trekkers can take off from Tung Wadi, the village located at the base of the fort. They can climb to the entrance of the stronghold, which takes about 45 minutes.
The climb from Tung Wadi to the summit may be somewhat challenging; that is why it is named ‘Tung’ or ‘Kathingad’ (Kathin in Marathi means ‘difficult’). This is why it is highly recommended to cover the Tung Fort Trek with experienced and knowledgeable trekkers, especially if you visit during the monsoons.
Korigad Fort Trek:-
Korigad Fort Trek near Lonavala is an excellent spot for a one-day getaway. This exquisite hill fort was constructed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the prominent ruler. The fortress, which is located about 20 km away from the popular hill station, Lonavala, is home to a couple of clean and refreshing ponds. These scenic ponds offer colorful views that you can revel in and fog and cool breeze during the monsoon season.
Koraigad Fort gives trekkers a thrilling sight of floating clouds during this season. This makes it one of the idyllic adventure destinations to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
The fort sits at an elevation of 3,000 feet above and was named after Koraidevi, a goddess. Koraidevi Temple was recently renovated and had a Deepmala, which is 3 feet high. As you go on your way to visit Korigad Fort, you will come across two other temples dedicated to Lords Shiva and Vishnu.
Adventurers will also come across two lakes at the top of the citadel, along with many ruins of older structures within the fort.
Korigad Fort Trek is an excellent expedition for beginners or first-time trekkers because it is only a 6 km trek. This short and easy trek leaves more than enough time to engage in fun activities along the route. Adventurers will find a flight of up to 500 steps near the fort, which lead to and from Peth Shahpur village.
One thing you – and other trekkers – should not miss out on as you embark on the Korigad Fort trek is the magnificent view of the Ambey Valley. There is also a pit-stop on the way that offers adventurers an extraordinary view of the Aamby Valley as well as its two human-made lakes. Since it is a short trek, you can enjoy a quick and refreshing dip in the artificial pond.
As trekkers go through the lush, green forest, they will find several beautiful birds with thrilling songs and colorful butterflies. The entire valley echoes melodiously with the songs of the birds. The trail also features stone-cut steps that lead up to the Korigad Fort, which has a flat but large top with completely intact ramparts.
You will discover that the garrison has massive gates and sturdy walls along with several ancient cannons. The religious and historical significance of the temples and forts is worth knowing, and you can take pictures with your friends, family members, or fellow adventurers. You can even play some games in the fort and generally have a fun time.
Koraigad Fort is an excellent spot for camping, thanks to the abundance of open spaces within and around the stronghold. You may not want to spend the night at the top of the fort, however. But then, you can always come back down after spending a few hours exploring the Korigad Fort.
Dudhiware Waterfall Rappelling:-
If you are an adrenaline junkie, the Dudhiware Waterfall Rappelling point is the place to be. It is about 10 kilometers away from Lonavala city center and exactly 1 kilometer away from the main road i.e. if you come to Pawna Lake.
You can also avail yourself of other adventure activities like valley-crossing and zip-line. You are expected to make a booking in advance by making a partial payment. This is a compulsory practice if you must participate in these activities.
Bhaje Caves and Waterfall Trek:-
Bhaje Caves or Bhaja Caves are famous Buddhist caves of the Hinayana faith in Maharashtra. This group of 22 rock-cut caves dates back to the 2nd century BC and is located at Bhaja on an ancient trade route.
These protected structures should be in your bucket list of the top places to visit in Lonavala. The caves are popular tourist attractions for those visiting Pune and Mumbai.
Cave 8 and Cave 12 are the most important of all the 22 Bhaja Caves because they are constructed using elegant architecture in mind. Notable features of these caves are the group of 14 stupas – i.e., dome-shaped shrines erected by Buddhists. These stupas enfold a peculiar excavation with 5 stupas inside and 9 outside.
Adventure seekers can enjoy the waterfall near the group of caves where they can readily refresh themselves with a dip. Bhaje Caves and waterfall treks are always fun for thrill-seekers and nature lovers, any day.