When Life gives you one reason to cry, show him the hundred reason to smile.
Since very long I wanted to go for a solo backpacking trek. Being in Maharashtra, I had a lot of options too. Finally, I ended up deciding to go for a trek at the Karnala fort. Karnala fort located in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, which is at a distance of 60 Kms from Mumbai if you are traveling by road. You can also come by train to Panvel, and from there you can either take an Auto-rickshaw or a state transport bus to the Karnala bird sanctuary. You have to pay an entry fee of rupees 35/- and need to get registered yourself. And then, it starts a beautiful trail for the Karnala fort!!
Before the actual trail starts for the Karnala fort, there is a rehab center for injured birds, animals rescued by the forest department. I found this as one of the best initiatives taken by the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. As the forest department mentioned, you can see nearly 140 type of bird species at the Karnala bird sanctuary.
Initially, it was a steep climb for first 15-20 minutes until I reached the First rest stop. Yes, the forest department has made 4 rest stop on the way to Karnala fort where you can take some rest. This rest stop has shade on it which will keep you safe from rain and sunlight. Since I was trekking alone I decided not to take much rest and keep on moving as fast as I could. After crossing first rest stop, in next 20-25 minutes I reached the second rest stop. There I met one family who was returning back after visiting the fort. They offered me some food and water. Since the family had few kids with them, I gave some chocolates to them. And then, I continued for the trek.
After crossing the second rest stop it was a gradual ascent towards the fort. Since I was capturing videos for my first video blog, my pace was a little slow. Somehow, I crossed the third rest stop and after 15 minutes from there, I reached fourth and the final rest stop. And there, a beautiful view was waiting for me. That view tempted me to take some rest. After the fourth rest stop, it was just 10 minutes of flat walk towards the Karnala fort. And finally, I reached to the top of the Karnala fort.
Karnala fort was built in the 14th century by Yadavs. Later it fell into the hand of the Gujrat Sultanate but was eventually taken over by the Nizam Shah. With the help of Portuguese, Gujrat Sultanate won this fort back from Nizam Shah. Later in the 16th century, Shivaji Maharaj captured this fort and later in the 17th century, this fort fell into the hand of the Aurangzeb. East India Company was taking care of this fort during their rulership in India. And today, Maharashtra government is taking care of this fort and the Karnala bird sanctuary.
View from the top was breathtaking. I was lucky that the weather was clear. Just because of that, I got the view of other forts like Kalvantin durg, Prabalgadh and Matheran range from the top. Basically, Karnala fort is made of two different forts. One is lower Karnala fort and second is higher Karnala fort which is also called as Pandu tower. This fort also has few water containers on the top. Today this fort is not in proper condition. But still, it is a good tourist place and a good place for hiking. The view from the top will definitely amaze you and will inspire you.
Watch my video blog on Karnala Fort: