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Weekend Trek to Kondana Caves in Karjat, Maharashtra

Turn your lousy weekend into an adventurous one in no time. The state of Maharashtra is known for its trekking trails, and nothing beats the monsoon. Whether you're in Mumbai or Pune, you'll have a wide range of treks to choose from. Starting from easy trails where you can bring your family to the moderate and difficult ones - Maharashtra brings a mixed flavor for all seasons.

A quick pitstop on my way to Kondana Caves

While this is my second stint in Mumbai, I am guilty of not exploring the beauty of this place as I should have. This time around, I intend to make as many trips as possible and find some real hidden gems along the way. The weekend that just went by was a fun-filled one. The best part of it was that it didn't take all that time planning.

The idea was to go somewhere not too far from the city but find ourselves amidst nature. Karjat, approximately 2 hours from Mumbai, is a perfect blend of nature and breathtaking views. We were thrilled to trek up to Kondana Caves, which is currently undergoing restoration works. The road leading to the base village is simply out of this world, especially the old Pune highway. Two-way narrow lanes with lush greenery on either side of your car windows - I mean, what more do you need?

But one must be fully geared for any trips during monsoon, and we all know about Mumbai's notorious weather during this time of the year. We made sure to store all the rain gears at the back of our car before taking off at 5:30 A.M. For some reason, I couldn't sleep all that well the night before - perhaps due to anxiety. Unfamiliar places or lesser-known activities always do that to me. But that strong cup of coffee fixed me well.

The weekend lockdown situation here in Maharashtra hasn't been all that accommodative. Finding a place for a quick breakfast was tough as hell since all places were shut. So, if you're going out over the weekend, please make sure to carry your own food and water. We spotted a small roadside stall after driving for an hour and got ourselves something to eat after all. While it wasn't all that filling, it did its work for that moment. An hour later, we finally arrived at the base village - the trek was around 45min to one hour from there.

Kondana Caves

We got some drizzles during our climb but it wasn't all that bad. The trail, however, got too slippery for my liking. I wasn't sure what to step on to and not slide down. But I kept moving, slowly and one step at a time. We crossed a bunch of streams on our way up, and found a few more upon arriving at the cave entrance. We sat near one of the waterfalls for a while before heading back to where we had parked our car.

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