Mumbai may seem all sin and vice but there's something for everyone in this city. Especially for those who like heading outdoors and climbing a peak. The city is located near the Sahyadri (Western Ghats) that run parallel to the western coast of India, separating it from the heartland.
The high point of trekking in the Sahyadris is Kalsubai, which is named after a local deity. At 1646m over sea level, the mountain is the highest point in Maharashtra. Situated off Igatpuri and about 6km away from popular hill station Bhandardara, Kalsubai looms over the village of Bari. Surprisingly, the trek itself is of an easy difficulty level but your endurance is put to the test.
Ratangad, in the same area, is a hill fort about 200 years old. The hike is mostly through thickets and across streams but it's the entrance into the fort that's the tricky bit. Once up, there are large cisterns, water catchments and a lesser peak enshrouded in clouds.
Naneghat located near Junnar is a mountain pass built around 200 BC that cuts through the Western Ghats and take you to the Deccan Plateau. There are a few caves at the top, whose walls have inscriptions in the ancient Brahmi script.
The good thing about adventure sports is that there's at least one for every season. In summer, the clear skies are perfect for paragliding. And in the Monsoon, it's the best time to wrestle for catch in the freshwaters of Kolad.
Abseiling: Also known as rappelling, this sport involves you climbing down the face of a valley with the help of a rope and harness. The entire Malshej region and hillocks around Harishchandragad especially, are popular rappelling destinations.
Angling: This is similar to shore fishing in that both sports involve catching fish. Except, angling is done in deeper water - both in the river and sea - and requires a variety of equipment. The aim is to catch bigger game such as the barracuda, kingfish, tuna, mahaseer, trout and carps.
Mountain biking: Bikers are often wont to explore uncharted territories once they team up and set off. But they'll assure you that the pleasure of riding down a hilltop at full speed is unmatched. For an adrenaline-soaked adventure, head to the Yeoor Hills in Thane on a clear day.
Watercraft skiing: This sport involves you sitting astride a personal watercraft (PWC) and riding the waves at full speed. A brief 20-minute induction tutorial will fetch you a boat. Riding a personal watercraft (PWC) doesn't require much else if you know how to swim.
Paragliding: What outdoor adventure activity is complete without sauntering in the skies and looking at the ground far below you? The sport is popular during the summer months at Kamshet near Lonavala. There are two options available to those interested: one-off joyrides or introductory classes and training.
White-water rafting: Rafting on the Kundalika River in Kolad is a year-round activity since the river is fed by a hydro-electricity dam project. Though the rapids (Grade 2 to Grade 3) may not be of the same calibre as those in Rishikesh and Ladakh, it's good fun nonetheless.
Top five treks and adventure sports
Abseiling -- Rappel down the cliffs of Harishchandragad in the Malshej region. Contact: Campfire India -- 98694 74343
Paragliding -- Soar in the skies over Kamshet Lake. Contact Nirvana Adventures firstname.lastname@example.org
Whitewater rafting -- Battle the rapids of the Kundalika River in Kolad. Contact Quest Adventures email@example.com
Kalsubai trek -- To do the trek, take a train to Igatpuri followed by a rickshaw or bus to Bhandardara and get off at Bari village.
Ratangad trek -- Reach Bhandardara as mentioned above, then take a rickshaw to base village Ratanwadi.