Peb (Vikatgad) Fort
Peb fort stands at 2100 feet above sea level and is an easy to moderate level trek through a lush, green forest with few rock patches. The fort also has several caves, a few temples and even a well-maintained meditation chamber. The view of the base village, as well as the adjacent hills from atop the fort are uniquely beautiful. The trek begins at Neral to where you can take a local Karjat-bound train from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
The Raigad Fort, of great significance in the history of the Maratha Empire, is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Maharashtra. At approximately 2700 feet above sea level, it offers an easy to medium level trek. The impressive architecture of this centuries-old fort is an added bonus to the abundance of nature offered via this trek. You can take an overnight bus from Mumbai to Mahad village and from there you can take a bus to the base of the fort.
Situated less than three hours outside Mumbai, Prabalgad fort offers a moderate level steep hike up a rocky hill. It stands at about 2300 feet above sea level, and like other forts in the area, has been under the control of generations of Mughal and Maratha rulers. Much like other popular trekking destinations in the Sahyadri mountains, Prabalgad is soothingly green, cool and alive with wildlife during the monsoons. You can take a local train to Panvel and from there the base village of Thakurwadi is a fifteen minute bus ride away.
Mahuli fort offers an easy to moderate level trek just about two hours outside Mumbai. You can take a local train to Asangaon station and from here a bus or a rickshaw can take you to Mahuli village. The local temple serves as the starting point of the trek. You can also find a map of the trek, as well as assistance, from a local guide at the temple. At 2815 feet, the fort is the highest point in the district of Thane, and offers a spectacular view of surrounding hills and the village below. The still-intact centuries-old fort, once controlled by the Mughals and then by the Marathas, will also delight history lovers.
Immersed in the dense wilderness of the Koyna wildlife sanctuary, the Vasota fort offers quite an adventure for experienced trekkers as well as wildlife enthusiasts. The surrounding Koyna river offers a breathtaking view from atop the fort which is 3842 feet above sea level. The adjacent Shiv Sagar lake and Nageshwar caves are other sights not to be missed. You can take overnight buses or trains from Mumbai to Satara, from which you can take a bus to the base village of Bamnoli.
Kalsubai peak is a dream destination for hikers in Maharashtra. Known as the “Everest of Maharashtra,” it is the highest peak of the Sahyadri mountains at 5400 feet above sea level, and offers an advanced level trek. It is a steep climb through rugged terrain, but in the end you will be rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of the Sahyadri mountains, as well as the nearby Bhandardhara backwaters.
Bari gaon, the village at the base of the peak is less than three hours away from Mumbai by road. You can also catch a bus to the village from Kasara, where you can also take a train.