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Whether you are new to Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore or have spent years here, one quickly takes notice of the hills around here! Yes, there are quite a few who stay ignorant about them mainly because they have not (or have had limited opportunities to) travelled to the outskirts of these cities or consider the Western Ghats small compared to the mighty Himalayas. No complaints. There are enough reasons for one to trek in the region around Mumbai, Pune, Panaji, Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Coorg and Cochin.

The Western Ghats (Though the whole of Western Ghats are referred to as 'Sahyadri' in ancient Sanskrit texts, the word "Sahyadri" is more popularly used to refer to the range in Maharashtra) are rich in its natural resources and have been declared as one of the 8 Biodiversity Hotspots of the world in 1988. The region is home to innumerable endemic species of flora and fauna as well as boasts of a wide variety of cultures, history, flavours, natural phenomenon and is ably supported by the locals and infrastructure. The range extends from South of Tapti River on the border of Maharashtra and Gujarat up to the southernmost tip of India, just 20Kms short of Kanyakumari –a length of 1600Kms. Volcanic in nature, with an estimated age of 100Million years, the range is considered to be one of the oldest in the world and is made up of mostly Basaltic Rock. The highest point is Anamudi at 2895Mtrs (the highest point in India outside of the Himalayas) and there are numerable peaks above 2000Mtrs. On one side the Western Ghats stand facing the Arabian Sea like a vertical wall of rock, at places within 40Kms of the coast. On the other side the range has some mighty peaks that fall back into the Deccan plateau. The average altitude of the escarpment being 1000Mtrs. This geology has enabled a few important characteristics in terms of the weather, the topography and has influenced the lives of the people living in the region.

Due to the weather and its geology, the region receives heavy rains from the southwest monsoons, has thick forests hidden in their folds, plethora of flora and fauna and rich natural resources. Due to the folds and mountain structure, the people in the region also developed guerilla fighting skills, built forts, communities, principalities that kept their detractors at bay for centuries harbouring a rich heritage. Populations thrived on the mountain tops as well as in their shadows, thus becoming cultures with religious fervor, labourious producers, travelling traders, ferocious fighters at the same time perseverant protectors.

Thus, the Western Ghats offer innumerable reasons to launch a trek and it is no wonder that local enthusiasts have been doing the same for centuries. One may want to trek to a place of pilgrimage, watch flora and fauna, explore hidden cultures, understand history, enjoy the natural gifts like peaks, waterfalls, sceneries, mountains, climb to satisfy the adrenaline junkie within you or just undertake a joyful walk to forget your worries!

Unarguably the best places to trek in the Western Ghats are around the cities of Mumbai, Pune and Nasik. It was in Maharashtra with his capital being close to Pune and a kingdom extending from Central India up to South, the great Maratha Warrior and King Shivaji, conquered, repaired and built a network of forts to support his guerilla army and his subjects. Populace would reside atop self-sufficient fortresses which were well provided with basic amenities like water supply, warehouses, armouries, hidden trails, gateways, bazaars, citadels as well as temples. These structures have now become the highpoints of trek around Maharashtra as they are ready facilities for modern trekkers for accommodation. Locals ably support the trekkers with guidance, food and shelter, thus evolving into mini-businesses. Some treks are simple that will suit even small children, whereas some are extremely difficult or even technical needing enhanced rock-climbing skills! Interiors of Maharashtra, in places like Amravati, Aurangabad, Nagpur, treks are simple walks around forts atop small hill or wildlife trails.

The Western Ghats are punctured in their escarpments at two places, called Goa Gap and Palghat (Palakkad) Gap. Despite the gap Goa does have a few treks, the most popular amongst them being the ones near Dudhsagar Falls and Castle Rocks.

In the recent past Bangalore and its surroundings have gained ground for trekking, thanks to exposure to outdoors amongst its well travelled IT population. The difference between the treks in Kerala, Tamilnadu,  Karnataka region and Maharashtra is that, most trekking destinations around the south region are devoid of accommodation facilities, access and infrastructure as they are in the midst of forests, though many mountains there stand taller than the ones in Maharashtra. Once the language barrier with the locals is overcome, these regions open to up to exciting trekking ideas. There are many trails yet to be discovered in South India. The hub of trekking in South India is Bangalore and towns like Mysore, Mangalore, Hassan and Manipal having their own bunch of young enthusiasts. Many treks here are controlled /conducted by forest departments due to the presence of wildlife sanctuaries as well as coffee and spice estates owners.

Most trekking in Kerala requires permissions from the Forest departments and authorities due to a heavy concentration of protected wildlife. Trekking in Tamilnadu is also gaining prominence with not just the local but the enthusiasts from Karnataka as well (Nilgiri Hills being accessible from Mysore end). Nilgiris also known as Blue Mountains with its combinations of Shola forest and innumerous tea estates is now slowly opening up with exciting routes for trekking. Whether it is the pleasure of meandering in the hills, whether it is the cause of protecting ecology, or whether it is interacting with the dwindling Toda (natives of Nilgiris) population, all reasons works to promote trekking here.

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 23-Dec-2017 Nane Ghat View
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 02-Jun-2012 Naneghat View
 06-Apr-2012 Mahipatgad & Suvarnadurg View
 10-Mar-2012 Harihar View
 04-Mar-2012 Ganpatigarad View
 28-Jan-2012 Lohagad View
 14-Jan-2012 Rajgad View
 18-Dec-2011 Mahuli View
 25-Nov-2011 Harishchandragad Via Nali-Chi-Vat View
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 08-Oct-2011 Ratangad View
 10-Sep-2011 Trek to Purandar View
 13-Aug-2011 Ahupe Ghat - Bhimashankar View
 23-Jul-2011 Harishchandragad View
 17-Jul-2011 Asherigad View
 09-Jul-2011 Ganpatigarad View
 03-Jul-2011 Avachitgad View
 25-Jun-2011 Sudhagad View
 22-Apr-2011 Murud - Anjarle - Kelshi - Harihareshwar View
 12-Mar-2011 Peb Fort View
 12-Feb-2011 Karoli Ghat View
 09-Jan-2011 Kalavantin Durg View
 18-Dec-2010 Alangad View
 05-Dec-2010 Gorakhgad View
 05-Nov-2010 Salher - Salota View
 23-Oct-2010 Ratangad View
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 24-Apr-2010 Lohagad & Visapur View