The Katraj to Sinhagad Trek: Everything you need to know.
Pune is blessed to have some of the best mountain scenery and enormous beauty of nature very close to the city. The Sahyadri Mountain Ranges surrounding the Pune city is filled with lush green forests, serene lakes, hills and numerous trekking trails making it a perfect playground for trekking lovers and adventure enthusiasts. From many picnic spots, camping areas, ancient forts to treks of all difficulty levels, the Sahyadris have something for everyone.
There are many day hikes and treks near Pune such as Katraj to Sinhagad Trek, Torna fort trek, Tikona fort trek, Rajgad fort trek, Lohagad fort trek, Visapur fort trek, Rohida fort trek, Irshalgad trek to name a few. Each of these treks is unique in its own way. However, the trek from Katraj to Sinhagad stands out due to the challenges it offers. Popularly known as K2S Trek, this is one of the must-do treks near Pune and I would recommend this trek to all trekking enthusiasts who want to experience a challenging trek in the Sahyadris.
Some quick facts about the Katraj to Sinhagad trek:
- Duration: 6-7 hours
- Maximum altitude: 4550 feet
- Difficulty level: Difficult
- Total distance: Approx. 16km
- Commences at: Katraj Old Tunnel
- Ends at: Sinhagad Fort Road head
- Recommended age group: 8 years and above (Extremely good fitness is required)
- Recommended for: Experienced trekkers, Fit beginners
- Best time to visit: Day Trek – June to August / Night Trek – December to February
Where does the K2S trek start from?
Katraj to Sinhagad Trek starts from a small hill near the Katraj Old Tunnel. The Katraj old tunnel is around 40 km from Pune city. The old tunnel is ahead of the Bharti Vidyapeeth College and it is a 1.5 hr drive from the city. The place is easily reachable and the road condition is good. There are no signboards at the start point and depending upon the season the trail leading to the first small hill might not be clearly visible.
Where does the K2S trek end?
Katraj to Sinhagad trek ends near the road head that goes towards the Sinhagad Fort. After you cross the last hill, the trail leads towards an area that is covered with trees and ends at the motorable road that goes towards the Sinhagad Fort. As the trek is very long and exhausting, Adventure Pulse organises local Jeeps which will drive you straight down to the base of the Sinhagad fort and from there the Bus will transfer you to Pune.
How to reach? How to manage the transportation?
Adventure Pulse organises a comfortable vehicle (minibus) for transportation and usually, there are 4-5 central pick-up locations that trek participants can choose from. Since the trek start point and endpoint are two different locations, it is practical to travel in the vehicle organised by Adventure Pulse. Alternatively, you can travel in your own vehicle provided it can drop you at the start point and pick you up from the endpoint once you complete the trek after 7-8 hours. There is an open area little ahead from the start point Karaj old tunnel which is used as the parking area. At the Sinhagad Fort, there are few paid parking areas.
Which is the best time to go for the Katraj to Sinhagad trek?
There are two options for the Katraj to Sinhagad trek. It can be done as a day trek (start early morning and finish by afternoon) during monsoon or as a night trek (where you start around 9:30 pm and finish it early morning) during winter.
With the options of Day as well as Night Trek, K2S trek can be done throughout the year except for the summer months (March to May) when it is very hot.
Day Trek: The best season to do a day hike from Katraj to Sinhagad is during/post-monsoon season which is from June to August. The weather around this time is pleasant with occasional chances of rain. The landscape is completely green during this time which makes it a delightful experience to see nature at its best. However, be prepared to face heavy showers, walk through muddy trails and slippery patches on the trail.
Night Trek: K2S trek is best enjoyed as a night trek as it adds thrill and excitement to this incredible adventure. The best time to go for the Katraj to Sinhagad night trek is the winter season from December end to February end. The weather is pleasant around this time and since there is no rain the trail is in better condition than the monsoon season. You can expect a clear night sky and the night view of the city from the top is truly spectacular. Most people prefer to trek on full moon night which is a mesmerising experience.
What’s the K2S trek itinerary like?
The standard itinerary for the K2S trek is as follow. Timing is scheduled based on whether it is a day trek or a night trek.
Pickup from central locations in Pune
Adventure Pulse team sends out a detailed email/WhatsApp message once you register for the trek and choose the pickup location that is nearest to you. We recommend you to reach at least 5 min earlier than the suggested pick-up time in order to avoid any delay. Depending upon the traffic conditions it may take around 40 mins to pick up everyone and start the drive towards the trek start point near the Katraj old Tunnel.
Reach start of the Katraj to Sinhagad trek and start after the briefing
It takes around 1.5 hr to reach to Katraj old tunnel where the trek starts. Once we reach the start point, the Adventure Pulse team will quickly brief you about the trek and things to follow while trekking to make the entire experience safe and comfortable for the participants. One can leave any extra items and a change of pair inside the vehicle. It is recommended to carry only the things that are essential and will be required on the trek. Try to keep your daypack as light as possible to avoid exhaustion and shoulder/back pain. Adventure Pulse will provide you with a small meal box with energy drinks so that the energy levels are high throughout the trek.
Your trek leader will introduce you to the Adventure Pulse team (Assistant Trek leader and guides) and we will have a quick intro session of the group members before we start the long trek towards the Sinhagad Fort.
Trek through the night/day, Reach Sinhagad Fort early morning/in the afternoon. Enjoy the views and rest for some time.
The trek from Katraj old tunnel to Sinhagad for road head takes on an average of 7 hours. Depending upon the speed and fitness level of the group members the trek can be finished early or late. The condition of the trail is also the factor to consider for the total time to complete the trek.
Start the journey back to the city of Pune.
Once you reach near the road head of the Sinhagad fort, Adventure Pulse will organise a Jeep to transfer you to the base of the fort where the parking area is. One can freshen up/have some tea/coffee at the base of the fort if they wish before we head back to Pune. The vehicle will drop you at the central locations in the city as per your request.
Are there any places to eat/refill water or rest on the Katraj to Sinhagad Trail?
The K2S Trail doesn’t have any shops, stalls, eatery or place to rest at the start or anywhere between the start point and the endpoint. You will be crossing multiple hills and we will be taking small breaks in between to rest. Since there aren’t any water bodies or any facility to refill the water, it is recommended that one should carry a minimum of 2 litres of water. Adventure Pulse will provide a meal box that is sufficient to give energy for the trek. However, it is recommended to carry some trail snacks, chocolates or energy bars to keep the energy levels high. One can also carry some energy drink or glucose to avoid dehydration due to exhaustion on this long and challenging trek.
How fit do I have to be for the Katraj to Sinhagad trek?
K2S Trek is considered a difficult grade trek and it does require an extremely good level of fitness. The trek involves long hours of walking (6-8 hours) and some occasional steep ascents and descents. There are more than 13 hills that you will be crossing and there are some treacherous climbs in between which will surely test your stamina and endurance. Hence, it is very important to be in a good shape.
With respect to fitness, you will need to work on your ability to walk for long periods of time with some weight on your back. This is to prepare your body for walking on the trails with your day pack. If you have an active lifestyle and are regular with jogging, cycling, swimming or any exercises that help in developing good endurance, you can do this trek without any difficulties. Good stamina and endurance are a must for this trek. If you need any advice on how to go about training for this trek, please feel free to contact us.
What all to carry for the Katraj to Sinhagad Trek?
Since it is a 1 day/night trek and a completely non-technical trek, you don’t require any technical or climbing equipment.
- Good quality Sport/Trekking Shoes with good grip is a must for this trek as the trails are uneven and there could be mud, grassy slopes on the trail.
- Wear comfortable clothes preferable sportswear like track pant and a t-shirt (avoid wearing jeans).
- For the night trek, a Head or Hand torch is necessary.
- Carry 1 or 2 Water Bottle (at least 2L water is required).
- Depending on the month and weather condition, carry a warm jacket/wind and waterproof jacket.
- Carry all the above items in a comfortable small backpack.
- Last but not least – Your Spirit of Adventure! (compulsory)
With many challenges such as long hours of walking, multiple hills, steep ascent and descent, this trek will surely test your limit and endurance but also reward you with some gorgeous views and an enthralling experience that you will cherish forever. This is one of those treks that will not only increase your confidence as a trekker but also help you to gradually move to some difficult treks and prepare yourself for even a high-altitude trek in the Himalayas! With a little determination and preparation, this adventurous journey will allow you to discover the sheer beauty of the Sahyadris and in the process, make you fall more and more in love with mountains!
Feel free to write down any questions you may have about the Katraj to Sinhagad Trek in the comments. Or get in touch with us on [email protected] .
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