Our city Pune is blessed with wonderful trekking trails for all age groups. These treks are easily accessible around the year except in monsoons when they might get slippery and dangerous.
Here is a roundup of kid-friendly treks that you should bookmark for a family outing:
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Within Pune City
A few fun hikes with the city are Sinhagad Fort, Parvati Temple, Pashan Hill and Taljai Hill. These locations have beautiful and serene surroundings with a wide variety of flora species and bird-watching opportunities.
Distance from Pune: 50 km
Purandar Fort is a great 40-45 minute trek one-way for your squad. A legacy of Maratha rulers, this fort boasts magnificent structures and scenic temples.
Distance from Pune: 70-80 km
This fort gets its name from its triangular shape. The special highlights of this fort are its grand entrance, Lord Shiva temple and seven water tanks. It takes about 4-5 hours to reach the top of the trek. You can also plan a day trip to Kamshet when you visit this trek.
Distance from Pune: 70-80 km
This trek takes about 30-60 minutes one way as it has steps at various places during the trail. However, some parts can be a little steep to climb. There is a spot on the top which resembles a scorpion’s tail owing to which it is known as ‘VinchKata’ or scorpion’s sting. It is recommended to make a pit stop at rock-cut Bhaja Caves during the trip.
Distance from Pune: 100-120 km
Shivneri, the birthplace of legendary Shivaji Maharaj, will give your kids a glimpse into Maratha history. There are around 400 steps to reach the fort and it can take about 45-60 minutes. The statues of Shivaji Maharaj and his mother Jijabai, a water reservoir called ‘Badami Talav’, and the seven doors of the forts are major attractions here.
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
Distance from Pune: 60-70 km
Rajgad stands tall and proud to narrate the story of the Maratha rule. A former capital of this empire, this fort can take about 4 hours to reach the top. Though it is in the ruins, it has beautiful attractions such as a lake, Padmavati Temple, Ballekila (the highest point of the trek) and Suvela Machi (a narrow strip for a bird’s eye view of the surroundings).
Distance from Pune: 110 km
If you are looking for 4-5 hours climb up and down each, then this fort is a good option. It has two plateaus – you can select which one you want to trek. The rocky terrain to Kalavantin Peak gives an adrenalin rush to trekkers. The day before or after the trek, you can also visit nearby sightseeing places such as Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Louisa Point and Charlotte Lake.
Since you would be trekking along with your kids, here are some tips to keep in mind for a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Do research on the trek to determine if your children can do it
- Hire a trekking tour guide – s/he would know the best and safe routes
- Carry a bottle of water and light snacks for each person
- Carry a cap, hat or protective head covering
- Pack medical essentials for emergencies
Have you been to any of these treks? Share your experiences here.