15 Best Monsoon Treks in India To Pump Up Your Adrenaline

The thrill of a new terrain, a new adventure and above all the beauty of darker skies and greener terrestrials is what gets a trekker going in the monsoons. The following list of the Best Monsoon Treks in India, encompasses treks from the majestic Himalayas to the forts in Maharashtra that witnessed glorious battles of the Maratha history. After all, standing at the apex of a mountain is no less than a battle won!

1. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Image source: Wikipedia.org

The Valley of Flowers, is nestled high in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Frozen during the colder months, it bursts into its youthful splendor at the advent of summer. It is perched gracefully amidst the towering Himalayan peaks, at an altitude of 3,858m. With millions of species of wild flowers in every possible color, the entire valley has an ambrosial scent to it. It’s the perfect setting for a trek, that is moderate in level. The terrains vary throughout, with some steep ascends/ descends. However, even a beginner can undertake this. In case someone is still unsure, there is an arrangement for ponies at some points throughout the trek.

The average trek duration is 6 days, with an approximate trekking distance of 38 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 15,696 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Moderate

2. Tarsar Marsar Trek, Kashmir

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

Kashmir, popularly known as 'Heaven on Earth' has valleys well renowned for trekking in Kashmir. These valleys are a desirable and yielding site to commence the exhilarating sport of Trekking. Tarsar Marsar Trek is a trek encompassing a journey to two beautiful twin lakes, Tarsar and Marsar, surrounded by the peaks of Kolahi Mountain. It is a trek of moderate level which can be rambled by any nature lover, with the highest Peak being achievable at 13, 000 ft. The trek can be accomplished easily without any need of acclimatization.

The average trek duration is 7 days, with an approximate trekking distance of 33 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 13,500 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: July to September

Difficulty level: ModerateHampta Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh

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3. Hampta Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Image source: Wikipedia.org

The mountains of Himachal Pradesh are used for many adventure sports, with trekking being one among them that is considerably carried out there. The Hampta pass trek is considered to be the easiest and convenient of all treks in Himachal Pradesh. Thus, it is not really the most adrenalin-rush-giving or the most sought after trek. However, it definitely is a trek that will leave you in awe of its beauty. One reason why the Hampta Pass Trek is a famous trekking zone is snow; the pass has lump sum snow which draws tourists and trekkers avidly. The variation in the trails, easy access and an exceptional, adventurous and hair-raising crossing of the pass makes the trek an exciting one.

The average trek duration is 5 days, with an approximate trekking distance of 26 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 14,100 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: May to first week of October

Difficulty level: Easy

4. Roopkund Trek, Uttarakhand

Image Source: Abhijeet Rane/flickr.com

The Roopkund trek is the quintessential Himalayan trek. Roopkund is a mountain lake, again lying in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Placed at a high altitude, the lake remains frozen almost throughout the year. It is also referred to as the 'Mystery Lake', or the 'Skeletal Lake', on account of the several hundred human skeletons found scattered in and around the lake. Make sure you are in good physical health for this trek, as at this altitude the level of oxygen in the air is considerably lesser and to adapt to the thinning air quickly.

The average trek duration is 8 days, with an approximate trekking distance of 53 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 15,696 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to October

Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult

5. Indrahar Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Image source: Youtube.com/Gaurav Kumar

Starting at McLeodganj (Dharamsala) in the Kangra valley, the Indrahar Pass Trek progresses over the impressive snowbound Dhauladhar range and ends at Chamba. The trek propounds a beautiful view of the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal mountain ranges. The Indrahar Pass Trek begins with a steady climb that proceeds into a steep one. Experience walking amidst rich wildlife areas and witness wild goats, leopards and the Monal bird along with an ultimate adventurous experience, comprising of continuous climbing often over boulders. Interestingly, this is a geologically active region, set on a major thrust zone of the Indian plate. All these factors definitely make this one a must in the list of the most challenging treks in India.

Be careful of formidable obstacles like falling rocks, slippery rocks, stinging nettles, insects, landslides and rivers in spate amongst many others.

The average trek duration is 8 days, with an approximate trekking distance of 100 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 14,245 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Difficult

6. Pin Parvati Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

This one’s for the seasoned trekkers! The most beautiful region during the trek is the Pin Parvati valley of Spiti. It is risky and difficult given high altitude, lengthy crossing areas, and heavy snowfall for almost the entire year. The name Pin Parvati Pass was derived after the linking of Parvati valley in Kullu and the Pin valley in Spiti. The famous Kheerganga trek too is a part of this pass. Further to Kheerganga, lies Thakurkuan where trekkers can enjoy the wildlife sanctuary of Kanawar. This is the ultimate adventure with reasonable risks!

The average trek duration is 11 days, with an approximate trekking distance of 110 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 17,500 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: July to September

Difficulty level: Very difficult

7. Sinhagad trek, Pune

Image source: Wikipedia.org

Sinhagad is one of the most famous monsoon trekking spots in Maharashtra. Trek through the clouds on this moderate level trek along with many other locals on the same hike. Hear co-hikers merrily shout slogans like ‘Jai Bhavani, Jai Shivaji’ throughout, given the historic importance the fort testimonies. Witness diverse kinds of co-hikers, some may be local teenagers enjoying the rains gleefully, some may be veteran every day/ every weekend hikers, families and the most striking ones the NDA cadets on their punishment as they sprint ahead of you! On top, you will see more visitors who have come by road. Indulge in some authentic Maharashtrian food like pithla bhakri, batata and kanda bhaji, vangyache bharit, matka dahi, raw mango with chilli, taak and the succulent kulfi! Finish this with naturally sweet water from the dev taaki, situated a little more ahead.

There are quite a few local trek organizers that arrange night treks here, the most famous one being Katraj to Sinhagad. 

The average trek duration is 40 minutes to 3 hours, with an approximate trekking distance of 2-3 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 4320 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Very easy

8. Kalsubai Peak, Maharashtra

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Everest of Maharashtra, Kalsubai is the peak in the Sahyadri mountains range. Avid trekkers, Kalsubai temple devotees, and wildlife enthusiasts frequent the peak throughout the year. However, its appeal to trekkers in the monsoon is at another level! There are well-designated trekking routes to reach the summit, the most popular route though is through the eastern mountain face taking off from the base village Bari. This village has its own charm, untouched by civilization. It takes 3 hours to reach the summit from Bari Village. Locals have arranged ladders at some places for trekkers’ convenience.  Open high-altitude forests dominate the scenery. There is thick fog and gusty winds during the monsoons.

The average trek duration is 3 hours, with an approximate trekking distance of 1.7 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 5400 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Moderate

9. Raigad Fort, Maharashtra

Image source: Flickr.com/Prashant Ram

Situated in the Raigad district, the Raigad fort served as the capital of the Maratha Empire from 1674 A. D. The trek starts with a walk of approximately 40 minutes towards the steps of the fort. There are approximately 1400-1450 steps that take you to the fort. This fort is a must visit for all the history fans. Raigad has a rich history of Shivaji Maharaj’s empire. The fort has been a witness to some of the major happenings of the Maratha empire. The Takmak tok, Hirkani Buruj, Jagdishwar Mandir, Shivaji Maharaj samadhi and the Bhavani Mandir are points on the fort one must not miss.

The average trek duration is 90 minutes, with an approximate trekking distance of 0.8 kilometers and a maximum altitude of 2800 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Easy

10. Lohagad, Maharashtra

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Another of the many forts in the Sahyadris, Lohagad is situated next to Lonavala, a famous hill station near Mumbai-Pune. The fort is connected to the neighboring Visapur fort by a small range. Several dynasties have occupied Lohagad at different parts of time, historically. Lohagad overlooks the Pavana reservoir, located to the south of the mountain and divides the basins of the Indrayani and Pavana rivers. The hill extends to the northwest to a fortified spur, called Vinchukata - Scorpion's tail in local terms, because of its resembling shape. The four large gates of Lohagad are in good condition and reasonably intact even today. Caution is necessary as during the monsoon, the top of the fort is covered with mist and clouds and becomes particularly wet with growing moss. Also, the roads and trails leading to the hill are quite slippery. Lohagad is one of the most popular trekking places near Mumbai.

The average trek duration is 2 hours, with an approximate trekking distance of 1 kilometer and a maximum altitude of 3,389 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Moderate

11. Rajmachi, Maharashtra

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Rajmachi trek in the monsoons is one of the most exciting and endurance testing treks. Rajmachi is actually a village with two forts in it - Shrivardhan and Manvardhan. In this trek, you do not really ascend a lot but walk about 16 kilometers one way. If you happen to walk around dusk or dawn, you could spot a bunch of twinkling fireflies. If tired or halting for the night, you can sleep in a village house or temples around. There are two routes to Rajmachi, one from Karjat and the other from Lonavala.  From Karjat, the climb is pretty steep and thus, Lonavala is the preferred way. In case go from Karjat, you can see a beautiful old Buddhist cave en route.

The forts are at located at an altitude of 2710 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Easy

12. Harishchandragad, Maharashtra

Image source: Wikipedia.org

Situated in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, in the very famous Malshej ghat, Harishchandragad is another fort in the Sahyadri’s range that played a major role in guarding and controlling the surrounding region. There are multiple ways to reach the fort, the most challenging one being the Nalichi Vaat or ‘passage through a gorge’ route. This is a channel that lies to the extreme right of the mountain and the most difficult path to the top. Nalichi Vaat involves a near 80-degree climb, involving steep rock patches and thus is a favorite of advanced trekkers. Certain sections of the trek are very challenging and it is advisable to carry climbing gear. It is essentially a two-day trek, as the uphill climb is exhausting and takes away the best part of the day’s light. You can camp overnight camp in tents on the verdant plains or shelter in the ancient caves situated all over the fort.

The main attraction of this hill fort remains the Konkan Kada (Konkan cliff), an almost 1,423 m concave fall, Taramti peak - the third highest peak in Maharashtra, the cave of Kedareshwar and the temple of Harishchandreshwar are other places around of tourist interest.

The average trek duration is 9 hours and a maximum altitude of 4668 feet.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Difficult

13. Panhala to Vishalgad, Maharashtra

Image Source: Ankur P/flickr.com

With an ultimate history plot, Panhalagad in Kolhapur’s Panhala district to Vishalgad in Maklapur, is the most fascinating and enlightening trek for a history lover. Vishalgad was sieged by Shivaji Maharaj on his attempt to fled from Panhala. He along with his faithful army walked over a distance of 55 kilometers in almost 20 hours in a heavy downpour while being chased by their enemy - military of Aadilshahi’s patron Siddi Johar. Veer Baji Prabhu Deshpande, one of the most prominent personalities of the Maratha empire became a martyr during this war.

Panhalagad has the highest altitude of 3177 feet while Vishalgad stands at 3630 feet. It usually takes about 13-14 hours to finish the trek.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Easy

14. Vihi - waterfall rappelling, Maharashtra

Image Source: mumbaihikers.org

If you want to try a hand at something beyond trekking, waterfall rappelling will get your adrenaline rushing just right! The Vihi waterfall, also known as Ashoka waterfall (Bollywood movie Ashoka was shot here!) is located in Vihigaon, 12 kilometers from Kasara village in Thane district. Vihigaon itself is a picturesque Adivasi village. The route towards this place itself is very refreshing in the monsoons, a good break from the busy metro routines. A small trek from the village Vihigaon leads you to the waterfall and rappelling activities. This place can be easily accessed by surrounding cities of Mumbai, Pune and Nashik for one-day getaways.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Easy

15. Dudhsagar, Goa

Image source: Wikimedia.org

One of India’s tallest waterfalls, the Dudhsagar waterfall stands on the border of Karnataka and Goa! This trek is along a railway route, amidst rich flora and fauna. The trek to this waterfall is accessible only through the Indian Rail Network, there are no other routes to this splendid white-as-milk-waterfall!  The waterfall plunges down from a height of 310 meters! Trek starts at Dudhsagar station, which is about 570 kilometers from Bangalore. You can also start your trek at Kulem in Goa. Down south, this is ought to be one of the best monsoon treks in India, not very challenging, but definitely a must on a trekker's checklist! 

It’s about an 11-kilometer-long trek that takes 6-7 hours to complete.

Best time to monsoon trek: June to September

Difficulty level: Easy

Check out the things to do in goa in monsoon

So now, get out there, drench yourselves in nature, conquer newer heights and go back in time with history!

Feature image source: wikimedia.org

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SEEMA NANDE SEEMA NANDE

A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternally quenching for new experiences. There is no poison for her as restorative as Life, she is the one who will give you the cliched 'I-am-high-on-life', should you offer her a drink. She gets hungover on the feel of a new place, food and conversations with strangers! All this adding to the way she feels and writes!

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