Get treated to stunning views of the Sahyadri ranges bathed in the silver light of the moon on this moonlight trek to Torna Fort.
The Torna Fort, situated atop the highest hill in Pune, offers spectacular views of the Sahyadris, challenging hikes in the thrill of the dark and a fascinating exploration of its historic ruins. The fort is home to old ruins consisting of temples, walls, courtyards and entrances.
The trek is characterized by slippery rocks, narrow trails and tricky edges to get to the top of the fort. You will be navigating this mountainous terrain of the Western Ghats under the white light of the moon. The route is covered with wildflowers and during the monsoon, you can spot a number of waterfalls on the way.
This challenging, history-rich trek attracts many adventure enthusiasts and historians. The magnificent vistas around the area and the view of a breathtaking sunrise over the hills makes it a nature lover’s and photographer’s paradise.
The Torna Fort holds tremendous historical significance. It was one of the first forts captured by Shivaji Maharaj in the year 1646 when he was just 15 and was an important part of the Maratha Empire. Resting at an elevation of 4,603 feet, it is one of the highest hill-forts in Pune and aptly also known as Prachandagad, literally meaning massive fort. You can take in the breathtaking views of the Sahyadri Mountains and once you reach the top, there's a lot more to discover.
A little ahead is the Menghai Goddess Temple and you will set up camp here for the rest of the night. The next morning, you will witness the most beautiful sunrise from atop the hill and explore the temple, other intriguing ruins and its nearby locations. Breathe in the fresh mountain air, soak up the views and then trek back down the hill.
This trek is a little challenging because of the low light but it is easily doable with the assistance of experienced trek guides. If you're not up for a moonlight trek, you can also go on a day trek to Torna Fort and witness stunning views from the top.
Day 1: Trekking and camping
Day 2: Rappelling and return
Day 1: Trekking and camping
Your operator will pick you up from Bavdhan, Pune at 07:00 hrs and drive you to the Rajgad fort base. From there, you'll begin to ascend the spectacular Murumbadevi Dongar. After a few hours you'll reach the monumental Rajgad fort entrance. You’ll journey on inside the fort and explore its intricacy and learn about its historical significance.
You can then bask in the beauty of the fort and admire the magnificent views as you eat some healthy snacks atop the fort. After a little more exploration you will descend back to the base and be driven to the campsite. Once at the campsite you can enjoy delicious BBQ and dinner. Overnight in tents.
Day 2: Rappelling and return
Today, you'll wake up early in the morning and witness a breathtaking sunrise. It will freshen you up for the day's adventure activities. After breakfast, you'll engage in a thrilling rappelling session over a waterfall after which you'll head back to the campsite for lunch. You can then relax at the campsite taking in the beauty of Rajgad. You'll leave at about 15:00 hrs. and be driven back to Pune. Your trip ends here.
Your Rajgad trek package includes all transport from Pune-Pune as per itinerary in a private vehicle with all entry fees. You’ll enjoy a guided informative tour at Rajgad fort. Accommodation for 1 night in twin-sharing tents, equipped with sleeping bags, mats and the use of 2 toilets, 1 bathroom will be arranged. Your package also includes the following meals: Snacks at the fort, BBQ (approximately 350 gms of veg/non-veg per person) on Day 1, Buffet dinner (veg/non-veg) on Day 1, Breakfast on Day 2 and Lunch on Day 2.
Some packages include a waterfall rappelling session, all equipment required for it and the services of a guide for the adventure activity. The package is all inclusive of taxes. Please check with the operator for details.
Any meals or snacks, any adventure activities or anything not mentioned in the inclusions will be additional. Any kind of personal expenses and insurance are also not included.
The Torna Fort is an all-round trekking destination, however, it is the most enjoyable during the winters. The greenery is rich, there's always a cool breeze and the mornings are misty.
During the monsoon, the sight of the lush greenery will soothe your eyes and one can also spot a couple of waterfalls. However, the trail includes some steep climbs and the rain makes it slippery and a little tricky to navigate.
Make sure you carry a sturdy pair of shoes that are comfortable. Pack a raincoat if you’re going in the monsoon and a warm jacket if you’re going during the winters. Always carry sunscreen, sunglasses, cap and insect repellent. You’ll find a complete packing list in our blog, What to Pack for Trekking in the Sahyadris.
This trek is characterised as tough due to the lack of visibility while trekking in the dark. The route is initially simple but increases in difficulty during the last few sections. This trek is not recommended for beginners during the rainy season attributable to slippery rocky patches.
The Torna Fort trek is a year-round trekking destination for many adventure seekers and history buffs but it is the most ideal during the winters. The weather is cool and pleasant, and the scenery is marvellously green.
The fort and its surroundings are also gorgeous during the monsoon, the lush scenery is a sight to behold.
This trek is not recommended for children below 15 years as some of the routes can get really steep and tricky. The trails are also super slippery during the monsoons. Hence, this trek would be dangerous and unsafe for kids.
Torna trek is moderately challenging. It’s best for trekkers with some prior experience. The initial route is simple but it gets tougher as you proceed upwards. There is also the challenge of trekking in the dark, however, it is totally manageable with an expert guide leading the way.
To get to the Torna Fort, you have to first reach the base village, Velhe which is around 50km from Pune and 220km from Mumbai.
Most operators offer a pickup point from where you’ll be transported to the base village. The pickup points in both Mumbai and Pune are popular landmarks that are easily accessible by railways and roads.
While trekking, wear comfortable quick-dry apparel and a pair of good, sturdy shoes. Make sure to wear a raincoat to protect yourself from the rain and a warm jacket to protect yourself from the cold.
Any and all safety equipment needed for the trek will be provided by your operator. You will need to carry a good quality torch with extra batteries, water bottles, some dry snacks and a sleeping bag if you plan on camping in the temple. Always pack sunscreen and insect repellant before going on a trek.
You don’t necessarily need to undertake any sort of preparation before going on the Torna Trek. However, maintaining an active regime prior to your trek will make your climb easier.
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