Makarandgad Trek in Mahabaleshwar Mumbai
Makarandgad fort stands in the pristine forest of Mahabaleshwar of Maharashtra. The fort is very less explored by people and the forest is home to many wildlife species including animals and birds. The Makarandgad Trek requires duration of one night and one day to explore it fully. The route is not so much difficult, well it may be regarded as moderate difficulty. After getting at the top of the hill you can have a wonderful view of Pratapgad, Mahabaleshwar, Sumargad, Rasalgad and Mahipatgad. The hill is believed to comprise of twin hill peaks, named Madhu and Makarandgad. The place is surrounded by Javli, the famous jungle of Mahabaleshwar.
The hill fort is located in Satara district of Mumbai at a height of 4000 feet above seas level. The hill top describes more of a plateau type rather than a hill. The top is beautified by the Mallickarjun Shiva temple. Also the backwaters of Shivsagar and Koyna are a wonderful view from the top. Trekking to the top is a wonderful experience that does not take much time and the whole journey from beginning to returning takes a maximum of six hours. It is recommended to carry proper materials to the trek. The route offers an adventurous journey and the view is worth your journey. Other than the picturesque view of the city, the heritage temple of Mahadev is something that you should visit and take blessings of Lord Shiva.
The trekking tour begins from Hatlot village situated at the base of the hill. And at the end of the village Gamdevi temple is located, this is the starting point of the trek as the climb starts from here. Thereafter you have to cross a stream and then walk along its straight direction. Then turn to the left after sometime and walk through the flat path to Gamdevi temple. From there the path upwards seems to be slippery and you need to be careful there. After walking for one hour uphill you tend to reach the fort. While you have come to an end of your trekking journey you may take a halt at the Mapro Garden for shopping.
What to carry
- Packed luggage in trek sack
- Clothes and sacks
- Water bottle (minimum one and half litre)
- Torch and camera
- Personal medicines
- Suitable trekking shoes
- Sleeping bag
Reaching Makarandgad Trek
The nearest railway station is Kalyan that stands on the Mumbai- Kesara route. It is well connected to East and North India as well. There are local trains available from Mumbai and Pune to the spot. If you are heading towards your destination by road then you need to go via Poladpur and Mohad to reach the base village or else you may go via Mahabaleshwar path. There are state buses available from Mahabaleshwar to Hatlot. Direct buses are available to Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai and Pune.
Where to stay
The caves on the top of the hill are not suitable to stay. However the Mallickarjun Mahadev Mandir at the top of the hill has the capacity to provide accommodation to ten to twelve people at a time. Fresh drinking water is available from the cistern that is closer to Gamdevi temple
Tips to remember
- You can visit the sparkling backwaters of the Koyna Dam near the Makarandgad Fort during the summer season when its beauty is cherishes the visitors.
- One important thing you must keep in mind is that the area is prone to abundance of leeches, so do not expose your skin too much. Wear suitable shoes and always be alert.
There are many online groups and agents who arrange for Makarandgad trek in an affordable range. A sample of trek plan is provided if you decide to go yourself along with a group. But it is better to go there with the help of a guide. Morning at 6 am reach the base village of Hatlot. No toilet facility is there. At 7 freshen up and have breakfast. At 8 make a brief plan and start your journey. By 11 you will reach the top and at noon have your lunch at the local villager’s home. By 3 pm, start your return journey.