For those looking to spend quality time with family while also engaging in a healthy work out, trekking outside crowded urban areas is the answer. If you are a novice at exploring places that are ‘far from the madding crowd,’ there are plenty of trekking clubs or travel guides who can lend a helping hand. Now that we have got you interested, here are some destinations for you to consider:
Siddara Betta (Near Bengaluru)
100 km from Bengaluru, Siddara Betta is a beautiful verdant hill near the village of Koratagere with many possibilities – physical challenges, mental relaxation and some spiritual solace; a shrine of Lord Shiva inside a cave on top of the hill and a supposedly inexhaustible fount of holy water complete the picture.
The distance to the top of the hill is around three kilometres and usually takes about an hour to climb. There are steps and grip rails that make the trek easier.
The most practical mode of transport from Bangalore is a private vehicle, but for those that don’t mind roughing it out a bit, there are plenty of buses that operate from Tumkur to Koratagere, and even a few Bengaluru buses that go directly to the village.
Morni Hills (Near New Delhi)
The only hill station in Haryana, the Morni Hills (1220 feet above sea level) are about 280 km and five hours from Delhi. It is a picturesque location, with a thick forest cover and sunny hill tracks.
The cool climate is ideal to explore the myriad nature trails that the place offers. Using a private vehicle is the best way to reach Morni Hills.
Nagla Forest Trail (Near Mumbai)
This is part of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and extends up to Vasai Creek. The three-hour walking trail comes highly recommended as you get an opportunity to see a range of butterflies, insects and birds. Time passes by quite quickly while you are enraptured by the beauty of the forest. Nagla Block forest entrance is about one and a half hour’s drive from Dadar.
Kondaveedu Fort and Guthikonda Caves (Near Hyderabad)
Make the journey to Guntur (260 km from Hyderabad) and you have the chance to explore a historical spot and a legendary hideaway of meditating rishis! The former, the Kondaveedu Fort, situated 1725 feet above sea level, abounds in trekking trails set amidst splendid scenery. The Guthikonda caves are located among dense forests, in a serene and calming environment. You could get to Guntur by train, bus or private transport.
Raigad Fort (Near Pune)
This hill fortress rises 2700 feet above sea level in the Sahyadri mountain range and is a sight to behold, with its imposing structure set against magnificent scenic beauty. The fort is of historical significance, as this is where Shivaji was crowned King of the Marathas. There are around 1400 steps that take about two hours to climb. Raigad is 126 km from Pune and is well connected by buses.
Nagala Hills (Near Chennai)
Located 100 km from Chennai, these beautiful hills are situated at the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The rugged, rocky terrain is dotted with pools and streams, resulting in a very pleasant experience. The reserve forests of Nagala have various trails ranging from easy to difficult. It is advisable to hire a guide for security and navigation, especially if you plan to camp overnight