Standing at a height of 4511 feet in the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats, Ajoba Hill is one of the highest peaks in the Sahyadri ranges. It is one of the most famous treks near Mumbai, Pune. Situated in the Shahapur Taluka at the base village of Dehene, the Ajoba Hill is considered sacred due to the local folklore that this was the place where goddess Sita stayed in an Ashram during her exile and separation from Lord Rama. Halfway through the climb up the mountain is located the “Valmiki Ashram” and the cave here Goddess Sita stayed with her two sons Luv and Khush. The hill got its name from the term “Ajoba” which means grandfather in Marathi – a term that Luv and Khush used to address Saint Valmiki. It is also believed that Saint Valmiki’s Samadhi in the hill increases in size every few years.
Trekking to the Ajoba Hills fort can be done from two ways, either the eastern side (which is the longer route) or the western side. The topsy – turvy mountain path is best visited at dry periods as it is risky during the monsoon. Halfway through the climb, near the Valmiki Ashram, which takes roughly an hour and half to reach from the Dehene phata, there is provision for trekkers to stay and rest in a hut. The mountain has a small water stream that provides trekkers with pure water. From here, trek to Luv-Khush Palna can be done by crossing a rivulet just beyond the ashram while ascending our way along a waterfall. The “Cradle of Sitamai” is located over this cave at its precipice. Fottprints of Luv-Khush are found carved inside the cave where they supposedly lived.
The trek to the precipice is a challenging part of the trek. The Ashram and the caves have several carvings depicting stories of people who lived there. One day trek to Ajoba hills from Mumbai is offered by tour operators. The trek involves first reaching Asangaon through train which leaves the CST at around 5.00 A.M in the morning and can be caught from Dadar too. The train reaches Asangaon at 7.20 A.M after which a private jeep takes you to Dehene. At Dehene, orientation, a small introduction and breakfast is completed after which the trek begins through the sacred forest route. The trek continues till the Valmiki Ashram and then a visit to the Sitamai Palna if possible. Lunch (which you will have to carry) can be eaten at the Valmiki Ashram after which you trek back to Dehene. After tea and snacks, the journey back begins.
Depending upon the time of the year that you’re planning to trek, trekkers are advised to wear appropriate clothes, trekking shoes and carry with them raincoats and outer jackets for protection. Carry enough water, energy drink, Glucose or electrol etc to keep you hydrated along with food items that are easy to carry like cut fruits, small fruits like grapes, plums, berries etc. and energy bars and biscuits to help with fatigue. Personal medicines and emergency first aid kit should be carried. You could carry a camera for your own needs but otherwise it is advised to keep yourself as less burdened as possible. Trekkers are advised to carry with an identity proof and are advised against smoking, drinking or practice of any addictive habits while on the trek. Keep the place clean and respect the sacred reputation of hill and not destroy the preserves.
Location : Dehane Village, Shahapur, Thane, Maharashtra
Nearest Town: Thane
Distance From Mumbai, Maharashtra : 1026 KMs
Total Height: 4511 Feets
Type : Hill Treks
Difficulty Level : Moderate