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Best Day Hikes In India – 5 Fort Treks Overview

It’s no secret that India is a spectacular spot for hiking and trekking. But you may not always be willing to commit to a multi-day trek, so here is a guide to the best day hikes in India. After the hike you could also try out other backpacking opportunities in the vast and breathtaking regions of India!

Fort Hikes – Day Hikes In India

1. Chapora Fort Hike

Chapora Fort India
Photo by Saidil Das

The Chapora Fort in Goa is where the famous movie Dil Chahta Hai was filmed. The fort is located on top of a mountain and boasts incredible views once you re at the top, enjoy the sunset and the beautiful sea once you reach the summit.

It is a bit of a climb to reach the fort, you will have to walk along an inclined road which can be slippery at times, but luckily there are helpful refreshment stops along the way to make sure you stay hydrated and happy as you hike.

The distance is 8.9km and you can expect it to take you 2 hours and 48 minutes. This hike is moderately difficult, and you can expect to be tired once you reach the top, but the amazing views and fort ruins will definitely make it worth it.

2. Mahuli Fort Trek

Mahuli Fort India
Photo by Bhavana Ganesh

This fort was built by the Mughals and is located on a solitary hill and is the highest point in the Thane District. The forest surrounding the hill has been declared a sanctuary and spotting of wild animals is common.

This hike is a climber’s paradise because of the multitude of pinnacles to climb.

The hike is roughly 12km from start to end and goes in a loop, so you will end where you began, and you will return via the same path.

The hike is moderately difficult, and you can expect to be walking for about 4 hours, but you should allocate just under 8 hours of time for this hike as you may want to stop to view animals and explore the fort once you reach the top.

This hike is only a day hike if you hike until Chota Mahuli, otherwise you will be required to spend the night in the caves which can accommodate 12 people. Whether you choose the day hike option or choose to hike over two days, the beautiful forest sanctuary is well worth your time.
The best time to hike to the Mahuli Fort is between June and December.

3. Karnala Fort Trek

Karnala Fort India
Photo by Bhushan Parab

The Karnala Fort is situated along the Mumbai-Goa highway in the Raigad District 10km from Panvel City. The fort lies within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, so if you have a love of birds and bird watching, this hike is for you.

You will walk through the beautiful forest in order to get to the fort. During the monsoon you can spot songbirds and the best time to view migratory birds is between October and April. The fort is located at 1500ft and this hike is ideal for beginners or families looking to introduce their children to the joys of hiking and nature.

The hike is split into 2 routes; the main route is a well-defined trail that goes through the center of the forest, and the other track encircles the sanctuary before re-joining the main trail. There are well maintained climbing steps near the entrance of the fort.

There are water cisterns which provide fresh water all year round so staying hydrated won’t be a problem.
The hike should take about 2 hours from the bottom to the top and is about 3km. This is an easy hike to be enjoyed by all.

4. Lohagad Monsoon Fort Trek

Lohagad Monsoon Fort India
Photo by Sanjeev Garuda

If you are in India during monsoon season, this hike should definitely be on the top of your list of things to do. It is easily accessible from both Mumbai and Pune.

The fort is located 3389ft above sea level and the surrounding areas display lush green grass and lovely wildflowers. This hike is simple and easy and can be enjoyed by those of all ages and abilities.

The view from the top is beautiful but beware of the pesky monkeys along your way. There are 2 routes. The route from Malavali should take you about 2 hours and the route from Lohagad Wadi should only take about 40 minutes. The total distance to climb Lohagad Killa is 5km.

5. Tikona Fort Hike

Tikona Fort India
Photo by Bhupendra Singh

This is definitely the easiest hike on the list and gives you a chance to explore the small ruin of an Indian fort. The fort is on a small hill located near Kamshet in Maharashtra. It is south of the Mumbai-Pune expressway. The fort is located 3500ft above sea level.

The hike to the fort is only 2km and you can expect it to take you between 1 hour and 1 and a half hours and getting to the top of the hill will take minimal effort. Once you reach the fort you can see lakes, caves and have a view of Lohgad and Tung.

The best time to go will be during winter or during the rainy season. Allocate at least half a day to this hike, because although it is a short hike, you will want to explore the fort and surrounding areas.

Final Thoughts

Although India is known for its multi-day treks it is possible to enjoy the beauty of the landscapes, whilst simultaneously experiencing the beautiful history of the Indian forts, in less than a day if trekking is not something you are interested in.

About the author

Mila has been to 5 continents, visited over 40 countries and hiked across some of the most famous mountain ranges including the Andes and the Atlas Mountains. As an AMS sufferer she learned a few techniques to reduce the symptoms and the effects on her hiking adventures.

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