Best Night Treks near Pune and Mumbai you must visit in 2020
When it comes to biological diversity there are very few places in India that are as rich as the Western Ghats (also known as the Sahyadri Ranges). Being one of the states which cover a large area of the Western Ghats, Maharashtra is truly blessed with enormous beauty of nature. What makes it unique is the presence of numerous ancient forts among the Ghats which are now considered as some of the most popular trekking destinations for adventure enthusiasts. From day hikes to multi-day adventure trips, these forts and trails offer a unique and adventurous experience. There are many treks near Pune and Mumbai which are easily accessible. Monsoon is the best time to explore these day treks around Pune. However, there are some really good night treks near Pune which can be done around the year.
Though a recent trend, night treks near Pune are becoming more and more popular among trekking enthusiasts. In this blog, we have covered top night treks near Pune which are perfect adventure getaway for the trekkers.
Ajinkyatara Fort Trek
- Distance from Pune: 115 km
- Altitude: 3300 feet
- Difficulty level: Easy
- Trekking duration: 1.5 hrs
- Commences at: Satara
Ajinkyatara fort trek is probably one of the easiest night treks near Pune. Located at the altitude of around 3300 feet, this fort has a prominent place in history. One of the most famous tourist attractions in the Satara city, Ajinkyatara fort is easily accessible by road from both Pune and Mumbai. The climb up to the fort is easy and one can complete the trek within two hours. There is a Hanuman Temple inside the premise of the fort where trekkers can rest. From the top one can see panoramic views of the Satara city. Winter is the best time to do this night trek.
Katraj To Sinhgad Night Trek
- Distance from Pune: 20 km
- Altitude: 2208 feet
- Difficulty level: Difficult
- Trekking duration: 8-10 hrs
- Commences at: Hill near Katraj Old Tunnel
- Ends at: Sinhagad roadhead
Katraj to Sinhagad is one of the most adventurous night treks near Pune. Also known as K2S night trek, this popular trek near Pune starts from the Katraj old tunnel which is just 40-minute drive from Pune and ends at the roadhead of the Sinhagad fort. This trek covers a total distance of approx. 13 km which makes it a challenging trek. This trek is recommended for experienced trekkers and fit beginners as there are more than 14 hills that need to be climbed to reach the endpoint near Sinhagad.
The trek offers magnificent views of the cityscape and sunrise from the top. Since it’s long trek it requires good endurance and stamina. It is recommended to trek with a trusted operator and experienced guides as the trail passes through thick vegetation and steep ridges. Make sure you carry at least 2 litres of water and some trail snacks with you as there isn’t any source of water or food on the trail.
Raireshwar Fort Trek
- Distance from Pune: 82 km
- Altitude: 4500 feet
- Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
- Trekking duration: 04 hrs
- Commences at: Bhor
Situated around 82 km from Pune, Raireshwar fort is one of the most significant forts in Maharashtra. The Raireshwar temple located inside the fort is the place where Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took the oath of Maratha Swarajya at the age of 16 years. The route to Rairashwar Fort mostly has rock-cut steps which makes it an easy and comfortable option for a night trek near Pune. The fort is located on a plateau. During the monsoon, the entire area is covered with lush greenery and beautiful flower plants. Winter is the best time to do a night trek to Raireshwar Fort. This night trek can be combined with the Kenjalgad fort trek to make it a two-day trek. There are few homestays available in the base village for the night stay.
Kenjalgad Fort Trek
- Distance from Pune: 82 km
- Altitude: 4268 feet
- Difficulty level: Easy
- Trekking duration: 1 hr
- Commences at: Ghera Kenjal village
Also known as ‘Ghera Khelanja Fort’, Kenjalgad fort can be reached by road from Wai and Bhor villages. It is one of the easiest and ideal night trek near Pune for beginners. The trek starts from a village called Ghera Kenjal. The trail crosses through a forest and leads to rock-cut steps towards the end which leads up to the fort. The fort is visible even from a distance because of its unique shape. During the winter, it offers magnificent sunrise views from the top. This trek is recommended for beginners who want to experience the thrill of a night trek. This trek can be combined with Raireshwar fort trek to make it a two days trip. Night stay can be arranged at the base village.
Torna Fort Trek
- Distance from Pune: 50 km
- Altitude: 4600 feet
- Difficulty level: Moderate
- Trekking duration: 3 hrs
- Commences at: Velhe
With the altitude of 4600 feet, Torna fort is considered as the highest fort in Pune. Because of easy access by road, Torna Fort trek is one of the most popular treks around Pune. It is one of the easiest night treks near Pune and an ideal option for first-time trekkers. Popular camping location among trekkers, Torna fort is also known as Prachandgad. ‘Prachand’ means huge and ‘Gad’ means fort.
Torna fort was the first fort captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at the age of 16. The trek starts from the base village ‘velhe’. From the base village, it takes around 03 hrs to reach the fort. The trail gets steeper closer to the fort and there are some steep rocky patches in between. The trek offers spectacular views of the Sahyadri ranges. The Zunjar Machi fortification is the stunning architecture. Torna fort trek is a popular night trek in Pune and an ideal place for camping.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Night Treks near Pune and Mumbai:
Winter season (December, January, February) is the perfect time to do a night trek near Pune. Some of the treks can even be done during Summer and Post Monsoon season however it is recommended to avoid trekking during this time as the temperatures and humidity level are very high in the Sahyadris.
If you are a beginner and want to go for an easy night trek then some good trekking options are Raireshwar Fort Trek and Torna Fort Trek. Both are easy to moderate grade trek and can be taken up by amateurs, first-time trekkers. Torna Fort also has a road which takes halfway up to the fort and from there it’s only a 2 hrs trek.
Compared to a day trek, the night trek offers a more adventurous experience. Although there is some amount of risk associated with it, most of the night trekking routes are defined and frequently visited by trekkers which makes it safe. However, it is necessary that you follow certain guidelines, be well prepared in terms of clothing, equipment which is required for a night trek. Considering the safety aspects, it is very important that you trek with an experienced trek operator like Adventure Pulse. It is recommended that you trek with a group.
Always carry sufficient water (minimum 2 litres) during a night trek. Check with your trek operator if they have arranged for the dinner/packed meal for the night. Always carry some trail snacks like dry fruits, chikki, energy bar, thepla etc so that energy levels are up to during the trek. Keep yourself hydrated. You can also carry energy drinks.
Things to keep in mind before going for a night trek
Make sure you have a decent fitness level. Each trek offers different difficulty levels so a good physical fitness is must.
Travel with a group
Some of the treks are very remote and finding a right trail could be confusing at times due to the changing landscapes. Some treks have steeper sections which are risky to climb if you are alone. To avoid any kind of accidents or emergency situations it is recommended to travel with friends or a group.
Choosing a trek operator
Always trek with an experienced trek operator. Make sure that you trek with certified guides who have sufficient previous experience of trekking in the Sahyadris. Read about the team and customers feedback before choosing a trek operator.
Wear/Carry appropriate clothing depending upon the weather condition. A good warm jacket is a must because it gets very cold during the winter night. You should ideally have good quality trekking shoes/sports shoes which can handle uneven terrain. It is also recommended to always carry a rain jacket as the weather is unpredictable in the hills. Check the weather forecast and prepare yourself accordingly.