A Complete Guide to the Katraj – Bopdev Hike
Sahyadri range (Introduction)
The Sahyadris consist of a vast range of mountains in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, offering picturesque views of the Western ghats and the cities around these ghats. Being a famous mountain range the Sahyadris are well known for many treks and trails including ones leading to a large number of forts among other treks around Pune, however, some of these trails are not yet discovered or are considered offbeat trails due to significantly less human footfall, and one such trail is the Katraj-Bopdev trek. This trail is definitely one of the best trekking places near Pune.
Location of the trek
The Katraj – Bopdev trail is situated in the Sahyadri range towards the south of Pune city. A scenic drive along the Katraj ghat brings you to the old Katraj tunnel, beside the Katraj – Bopdev trail start point.
Duration of the trek
The entire trail, fits well in the one-day trek near Pune bracket, with a duration of 2-3 hours one way, depending on individual to individual; however, completing a return journey would double the time required.
Fitness level required
Just like most treks around Pune, one need not have any prior hiking or trekking experience, however having a basic fitness level is always advised and necessary, also completing a return journey of the trail would require some good physical stamina, making the same trail one of the difficult treks in Pune.
4 different ways to do the Katraj – Bopdev trail
Katraj – Bopdev – As mentioned above in the blog the trail can be started over the Katraj old tunnel and completed next to the Bopdev temple.
Bopdev – Katraj – Doing the entire trail, Vice-Versa is also an option, however, one should keep it in mind, trying to locate the Katraj old tunnel can get quite confusing half way through the trek as soon as you hit the forest.
Katraj – Bopdev – Katraj or Bopdev – Katraj – Bopdev
The above two options work great for adventure enthusiasts who want a physically challenging experience with a difficult trek in Pune. The entire journey here would take 5 – 6 hours, also saving one from the logistical challenge of having to arrange two separate transport mediums, thus making it another plus point for a return journey trek.
How I explored the trail!
I have been hiking in and around the city of Pune for the past Decade. Having been to many famous forts & treks such as Sinhagad, Rajgad, Torna, Rohida, Andarban & K2S around the city, I was looking for some treks around Pune, that are of beat, close to the city, and yet a little challenging, thus making it a difficult trek in Pune. That’s when I came across the Katraj – Bopdev trail. Initially when I looked up the internet, was unable to find much detail on it. Given the above circumstances, I decided to explore the trail myself, of course, keeping in my mind some basic safety methods and knowing your directions well is always a necessity as well a big advantage, especially if it is a jungle trek near Pune. Some of the preparation I did is as follows –
- Noting the start point & getting a good estimate of the endpoint. For example at the Katraj-Bopdev trail, one needs to head East at an approx. of 90 degrees.
- I carried paint along with me so that I could mark the trail as I move ahead. Marking the trail especially helps in circumstances when you do not manage to complete the trail, as heading back can get a little tricky.
- Another very important point is to ensure you walk on the right trail, although this is achieved by having some experience in the mountains, it is highly possible to maintain a trail if you time and again keep checking the direction you’re heading at.
A walk through the Katraj-Bopdev trail
To make navigating simple, I shall break the trek into parts.
Start point to the First hill
The trail begins at the left once you exit the Katraj old tunnel, provided you are coming from the Pune city side. As you reach the start point of the trek simply walk upwards on the hill till you reach a small goddess temple, after which taking a right will bring you onto a plateau towards the first big hill. Walking on the plateau, you shall pass 2 network towers one after the other, after which you will suddenly enter a small cluster of trees.
Click on the link below for directions on the Katraj-Bopdev trek start point.
First hill to forest valley
After moving out of the tree cluster, a full right will help to change trails toward the first hill of the trek, this trail is not marked well, however, ascending on a steep slope towards the top of the hill means you’re going well. Views of the city from this point are spectacular, on one side lies Pune city, while on the other side one gets a drone view of the Mumbai – Bangalore highway. After a little descent, another plateau will approach its way giving you a 15-20 minutes’ walk taking the trail right into a dense forest.
Forest valley to the temple
Once in the forest, nature will greet you at its best making the entire trail into a dense green jungle, remember there will be a series of trails of which none are the correct ones, all one needs to do is walk in the same direction you entered the forest till you come out straight into the other half of the valley. Here the trail will naturally turn left and in a short while will take a complete right straight onto the next ascend. Once you start ascending, simply walk East on a series of hills till the Bopdev temple & ghat approach your vision, making remaining of the trail distinctly clear.
Click on the link below for the location of the trek endpoint.
Note: Time & again little piles of stones will notify you of being on the right track. I have also sprayed blue paint on major junctions.
Things to carry during the trek
- Small backpack – the bag should have 2 litres of water along with some energy bars.
- Rainwear – complete rain gear is a must during the rainy season.
- Trekking or hiking shoes. (preferably waterproof for the rain)
- Mosquito repellent – is a must to keep away from flying insects.
- Ensure to not wear any kind of shorts as walking through tall grass, forest valleys, and bushes will occur.
Overall the Katraj-Bopdev trail is one of the best trekking places in Pune and makes a good trek for beginners as well as fitness enthusiasts, being close to the city it is also a perfect weekend adventure, allowing one to do many more things in the day, as being back home before the afternoon is highly possible. I would also strongly recommend doing the trek with a group of experienced trekkers and not alone for various safety precautions as there aren’t any facilities or habitation on the trail and chances of seeing a hiker stand very little.