Lonavala - Hiking in the Sahyadris
The Western Ghats, also known in Maharashtra as the Sahyadris, run parallel to India’s west coast and stretch across the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Formed from volcanic rock, the hills are a maze of ridges and valleys. In Maharashtra, the many popular hill stations serve as excellent starting points for a number of scenic walking trails. The hills are well marked with the hiking routes that lead through lush forests and valleys. These hills also have a wealth of craggy rock – faces perfect for climbing and Lonavala is a favorite base of rock climbing enthusiasts. Matheran has a much trodden path known as Shivaji’s ladder, which leads from One Tree Hill down to the valley below. The Sahyadri Hills are particularly beautiful in September after the rains, when the hills are carpeted with wild flowers and cascading water falls seem to appear at every turn.
Routes: There are several walking routes that can be carried out
Lonavala to Matheran – A four to five day treck starting at Lonavala and going on to Rajmachi, Bhairi caves, Dhak fort, Karjat and finally Matheran.
Kondana Caves to Lonavala – Start from Kondana Caves hike till Rajmachi Fort and then proceed to Lonavala.
Kiomoi Tip: One should remember that there are some obstacles and hurdles while hiking in the Sahyadris. Be aware that there are huge bee hives on the cliff side of the Dukes Nose and an accidental disturbance could cause major bee trouble.
There are several insects and other creatures found in the jungles of Sahyadris, large spiders, beetles, snakes etc. A creature that stands out is the black rock Scorpion. It is the largest in the species of scorpions. While walking around the hills keep an eye for them.
(Last Udated on 31.03.2009)