Day 1 – Harihar Fort, Nasik
Harihar Fort near Nashik is a famous place in Kerala rather than Maharashtra. The landscape is blessed with mountains and valleys, fields stretching as far as the eye can see, and small villages here and there. For those coming from Kellam to Hariharfort, take a Delhi-bound train via Mumbai (Panvel / Kalyan) and alight at Nashik. Plan to reach Nashik at dawn. If you don’t get a direct train to Nashik, try to take a night train to Mumbai. There are many daily trains from Mumbai to Nashik. It is only a 3 hour drive. It’s okay if you don’t get a reservation.
On reaching Nashik in the morning, immediately board the Trimbak bus. There is a small bus stand right outside the railway station. From there you can get a bus every half an hour from five in the morning. Trimbak can be reached within an hour. From Trimbak you can get a bus to Nirgudpada, the base village of Harihar Fort Trek. As there is less bus service, there are many Shiretaxis plying this route. These services start from near Trimbak Bus Stand. One has to trek 4 KM from Nirgudpada to reach Hariharfort. You can reach the top in an hour and a half. If it is not too crowded, you can climb the rock and reach its highest part in 20 minutes.
After reaching the top and seeing the views, you can reach the bottom in an hour and a half. If you start the trek at 8 am, you can reach the village by 1 pm. From here take a bus or shared taxi back to Trimbak. You can have lunch from there.
Option 1: With stay in a hotel in Mumbai.
If you plan to stay in a hotel on the first day, book a room in a hotel near Mumbai suburban-central line (Kalyan / Thane). To reach Mumbai from Trimbak, go to Nasik Central Bus Stand (Nasik CBS). The central bus stand is on the route to the railway station. You can get a bus from the central bus stand to Kasara. Kasara railway station can be reached from the central bus stand in two hours. Kasara is the last station on the Mumbai Central Line. From here you can travel by local train to Mumbai CST.
Option 2: Without a stay
Nashik railway station is the best if you don’t plan to take a room for the night. Take a bus from Trimbak to Nashik railway station. If you don’t get a direct bus, you can come and change at the central bus stand. After spending the evening in and around the railway station, board a late 12 pm train to Mumbai. All trains passing through this route have a stop at Kalyan. Getting off at Kalyan can make the next day’s journey easier.
Day 2 – Bhaha Caves, Visapur Fort, and Lohagad Fort
On the second day, we will visit some parts of Lonavala. To reach Lonavala from Mumbai, board any morning express train. 2-morning trains have a 2S coach. If you reserve this, you can skip the general compartment. After reaching Lonavala, board a local train towards Pune and alight at Malavli, the first stop. You can reach there in 10 minutes. After a 3 KM walk from there, you can reach Bhaja Caves. Baja Caves is a cave community associated with Buddhism. Baja Waterfalls can also be seen right in front of it. A way up is found behind the ticket counter at Baja Caves. You can reach Lohagad Fort by trekking for an hour and a half through it.
After seeing the sights of Lohagad Fort, you can go back down through the other side. Below are a few hotels. After eating there, a 3 KM walk will reach Lohagad Fort. There are steps to the top of the fort. With that, you can reach the top in half an hour. Once all the remaining parts of the fort are found and brought down, Shire Jeeps will be available from there to Malavli. Sometimes directly to Lonavala. Lonavala can be reached by local train from Malavli.
Option 1: Stay in a tent
If a tent stay is planned for tonight, the best nearby place is Kuruvande Village, the base village of the Duke’s Nose trek. Tents can also be rented there. Kuruvanti Village is located at a distance of 5 KM from the station. You can get a shared jeep from the station premises to the village. If you can get here before dark, try to get to the top of Dook Nose right away. Or climb to the top of Dook Nose early in the morning. Then immediately come back to Lonavala.
Option 2: Stay in a dormitory
Dormitory is available at a low cost in and around the railway station.
Day 3: Peb Fort Trekking and Matheran
On the third day, reach Matheron via Peb Fort. To reach Peb Fort, board a Mumbai-bound express train from Lonavala railway station with Karjat stop. Karjat can be reached in 40 minutes. From there take Mumbai bound local train to Neral. Shire Auto is available to Anand Vadi village which is 3 KM from Neral station. Starting the trek from Anand Wadi Village, you can reach Aman Lodge near Matheran via Peb Fort. If there is time left you can go to Matheran which is 2.5 KM and come back. There is a toy train service from Aman Lodge to Matharanal every 45 minutes. Matheran can be reached within 15 minutes. After reaching there, return to Aman Lodge by the same train within 15 minutes.
You can get a shire taxi from Aman Lodge to Neral till night. Once you reach Neral, you can take a local train to Mumbai from there. Back home, make a reservation on any overnight train. If you are tired after trekking continuously for the first two days, you can skip the third-day trekking. Without going to Peb Fort, you can go straight to Matheran from Neral and see the viewpoints there.
Tentative Traveling Expense:
Nasik to Trimbak by bus: 40.00
Trimbak to Nirgudpada by bus: 30.00
Nirgudpada to Trimbak by bus: 30.00
Trimbak to Nasik CBS by bus: 20.00
Nasik CBS to Kasara by bus: 95.00
Kasara to Mumbai by local: 30.00
Mumbai to Lonavala by train: 70.00
Lonavala to Malavli by train : 5.00
Lohagad to Malavli by shared jeep: 75.00
Malavli to Lonavala: 5.00 p.m
Lonavala to Kuruvanti: 20.00
Kuruvanti to Lonavala : 20.00
Lonavala to Karjat by train: 35.00
Karjat to Neral : 5.00
Neral to Anand Vadi by share auto: 20.00
Aman Lodge to Neral by share: 80.00
Neral to Mumbai: 30.00