PUNE has been a real hotspot for cycling since ages. Are you looking for an eco-friendly way to take a day trip in and around Pune? Have you considered cycling? Going on a cycling trip can take you to places you never thought of visiting and it is a great way to explore new places. The best part is that Pune has some awesome cycling routes that offer breathtaking sights and sceneries, so taking off on your bicycle is a great idea if you want to leave the city for a while and pedal your way through picturesque routes for a much-needed break. Here is a look at some of the most scenic cycling routes you can take in Pune.
Pawana parikrama is a very popular route among cyclists. Cyclists most often start at chandni chowk and return via somatane phata. The total distance will be around 100 km. Only small climb you will encounter is near Tikona fort. After village Peth there is steep downhill towards pawana dam. the view from top is amazing in monsoons. The trail can be completed within a day or if you have time you can plan to visit Tikona fort and stay at one of many camping facilities available near the dam.
Route : Chandni chowk - Paud - Chhale - Tikona peth - Pawananagar - somatane phata - dehuroad - Mumbai pune old highway
If you are more of local traveller and love riding through narrow village roads rather than highways, then this is one of the best trails you will find. There is a similar trek that is organised in monsoons popularly known as LOBHI which starts at Lonavala and ends at Bhimashankar. I had a similar thought of doing this on a bicycle. This will be a 2 day trail which will also include some portion of hiking. You can cycle starting from Vadgaon and end at Bhorgiri. From here, the very interesting and scenic hike starts till Bhimashankar. Plan a stay somewhere near the temple and return the next day.
Route : Vadgaon - talegaon MIDC - Kude Bk - Bhorgiri - hike to bhimashankar
Really looking for a long distance ride, then this is it! Get on your saddle and pedal to the strawberry farms located in the hill station close to pune - Mahabaleshwar. This is a long ride of approx 150km one way, out of which almost 90 km is highway. Once you cross Wai, the pasarni ghat is unendable. Make sure you have stomachfull calories before you even try to ascend the ghat. Visit to Mapro garden to have sandwiches, strawberry with cream and brownies is a must. A slight detour from Wai, will take you to Nana fadanvis wada. Best time to visit is in the strawberry season starting from March to May end.
Route : Pune - Wai phata - Wai - Pasarni - Mahabaleshwar temple
It is best to start and end this ride in Mahabaleshwar. For that you need to travel till Mahabaleshwar either in car or bus. Shivneri bus can be a better option, in which you can also carry your bicycle. This ride can be completed in a day if planned properly. Total distance you cover is 98km. It is better to ride as per the route below to get a lot of downhill as compared to uphill. It is complete ghat section and may get hectic if you are a naive cyclist.
Route : Mahabaleshwar parking - Mettale - Goroshi - Tapola - Taldeo - Manghar - Mahabaleshwar
Varandha ghat is one of the toughest climbs in Pune. It is a beautiful mountain pass which proceeds through the majestic Sahyadri mountain range. This mountain pass joins Pune and Konkan region. Lush green mountains, valleys & waterfalls attract many tourists. The Waghjai Mata temple is among main attractions at Varandha ghat road. From this point, you can witness magnificent views of valleys & waterfalls. Its a never ending ascend. But the view you get from the topmost point is jaw dropping. Best part is there are many places you can visit if you are in Bhor. Kenjalgad, Mandhardevi, Shivthar ghal, necklace point, Nira deoghar dam are few of those.
Route : Pune - kapurhol - kasurdi - bhor - shivthar ghal
If you are an offbeat traveller and like to ride places less crowded and untouched, then this is it. Sorrounded by mountains on one side and panshet dam on the other this trail provides a wild ride. Scarcely populated, no hotels or tea shops, no moving vehicles, You are all on your own. Not much away from Pune, it can be easily covered in 2 days. It is better to keep the dam to your right while you complete the parikrama so that you get a continous 2-3 km downhill at the end of the ride.
Route : Khadakwasla - shirkoli - kasedi - kambegi - Panshet - khadakwasla (120 km)
If you are a beginner, and wanted to get into long distance bikepacking then, this one is a perfect trail. It can be said as a shorter version of Panshet. Not much of steep slopes but more of rolling terrain, it is a great daily workout ride for many cyclists of the city. Khadakwasla chowpaty has become popular for street food.
Route : Khadakwasla - Khanapur - sonapur - Varasgaon dam view - nilkantheshwar - katawadi - kudje - khadakwasla(~65 km)
Tamhini Ghat is a mountain passage located between Mulshi and Tamhini in Maharashtra. Situated on the crest of the Western Ghat mountain ranges, Tamhini Ghat is noted for its surroundings comprising scenic waterfalls, curvy roads, lakes and dense woods.
Gear yourself with a helmet, knee guard, sunglasses and set off for this trail to cover the mighty hills of Tamhini Ghat and the mesmerizing beauty in its own.
If you want to test your leg muscles and also have some super downhill thrill, then Bhor ghat is a must do. 9 km of total ascend starting at khopoli and ending at Lonavala, is rich of uphills and one of the practise rides to do if planning for something big. We did some practise here before going for Manali to Leh cycling. Beware of the traffic here because this is the old Mumbai pune highway and lot of trucks will be using the same route. If you are from Pune you can also opt to get your bike in Local train till Lonavala. Same is the case to get your bike till karjat if you are from Mumbai.
Pune is rich in forts and Sinhagad can be one of the closest to the city. Just 25 km from city center sinhagad is a popular trekking destination as well. There are pmc run buses after every hour from swargate to the base village. Cycling to the top could be a great adventure all together. A continous hard climb of 9 km will have enough lactic acid produced in your thighs. A traditional jhunka bakri pittla and matka yogurt will be a delicacy to have at the fort.
An offbeat adventure trail to Torana via Pabe ghat is a must do for cyclists in monsoon. There are two routes to reach Torana from Pune, one through nasrapur and the other through Pabe ghat. The latter being more offbeat as we have a steep incline of around 3km and a decline of almost 4 km to reach Pabe.
Route : Khadakwasla - Pabe - Torana base - Nasrapur - Chandni chowk
A parikrama of Sinhagad fort
Just 10 km from Hinjewadi, Kasarsai has now turned to be a popular weekend get-away for cyclists. The terrain is more of city flat roads and a must do ride for beginners. Many open water swimmers in the city visit this place for swimming activity. You can get a feel of village ride if you plan to do a parikrama of the dam.
Route : Chandni chowk - hinjewadi mezza 9 - kasarsai
Lavasa, is situated at a distance of around 48 km starting from chandni chowk. The city is nestled amidst the beautiful Sahyadri ranges all around and is a perfect weekend get-away especially for the couples and family. But getting there on a bike is not for the weak of will or soft of butt. You will come across an altitude gain of about 2000 metres.
Starting at Urawade village there will be continous uphill untill you reach the main entrance of Lavasa city. The view to Temghar dam is breathtaking on the climb. After that there is a steep downhill till the lake. So it is a perfect mix of uphill and downhill both ways. One good part is no entry fee required for bicycles, which on the other hand is INR 500 for cars.
Route1 : Chandni chowk - left turn at hotel Rajwada - Temghar dam - Lavasa lake
Route2 : Khadakwasla - Panshet - Varasgaon - Lavasa
The Varasgaon Escapade
Tung fort is also named Kathingad fort. The word "Kathin" in Marathi means difficult. While climbing, one can experience the difficult challenge of reaching this fort. But if you ride from Paud this challenge can be lowered a little. If you are planning to do a 100 miler around Pune, then the parikrama around Tung fort is quite an offbeat ride.
Away from city crowd and highway traffic, this route is blessed with greenery and scenic landscapes. This route is a mix of tarmac, gravel and offroad and proves ideal for hybrid and MTB's.
Breakfast option : Swaraj hotel, Paud
Lunch option : Lonavala (many hotel options)
Route : Chandni chowk - Paud - Chavan - Amby valley Y junction - Lonavala - Highway to chandni chowk.
Distance : ~160km
Mumbai to goa cycling expedition
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