Karnala Fort

While traveling by the Mumbai-Goa highway, beyond Panvel, one can easily notice a thumb shaped pinnacle. This is the Karnala pinnacle. There is a winding trail that goes up to the base of the pinnacle, 450 meters above sea level. The view from the top is very good and makes the half hour climb worthwhile. You can see the wooded areas of the sanctuary, the villages around and even the Mumbai coastline. The walk is especially beautiful during the monsoons. Bright pink begonias stand out against damp, dark rocks along the path right up to the pinnacle, which is almost permanently wreathed in wisps of cloud and mist at this time of year. At the base of the pinnacle there is a temple of goddess Bhavani and many water cisterns. There are many beehives on the pinnacle and you have to take care not to irritate the bees.

Climbing this fort is a hard work but you will enjoy the atmosphere and breeze after reaching the top. Majestic ranges of the Sahyadri, area up to Dand Rasayani on Mumbai-Pune road, area upto Kharpada on Mumbai-Goa road and ranges of Prabhalgad, Matheran, Manikgad,and Vishalgad, which are far away, come in sight and you get an unforgettableexperience. You can see Kharpada creek, bird sanctuary in the mountains, Apata, Rasayani , Gulsunde. This fort has many bastions and there is enough space between two. Fortification has huge holes to fire cannons. In all, the experience to go to this fort is breathtaking.

Karnala is a bird watcher's paradise and even the casual picnicker is rewarded with sights of colourful local bird species. The best time of year for bird watching is between November and February. Spot sun birds, drogues, orioles, babblers and the occasional male paradise flycatcher with its unusual silvery-white tail.The sanctuary is also home to troops of monkeys and herds of deer. On a lucky day you might even be rewarded with your first glimpse of a panther. For visitors who wish to stay overnight, MTDC has rent-a-tent facilities. Don't forget to take the binoculars with you.

Though some rooms are available at the foot of thefort, it is recommended to visit this place from Pen, Panvel or Mumbai whereyou will find adequate accommodation and food.

Getting There:
Climbing: It is Possible to climb this fort from both sides. It is better to cross ‘Karnala Kind’ on Mumbai-Goa highway and climb the fort.
By Road: State transport buses, jeeps, six-seater and rickshaws are available.
By Railway: Nearest railway station is Apte, but only passenger trains stop here.

Places to see nearby:
Karnala bird sanctuary: We can see many birds here before climbing the fort. Dense forest is a specialty of this area.

LocationPanvel taluka, Raigad District, Maharashtra, India
Nearest cityPanvel, Matheran and Karjat
Coordinates18°54′31″N 73°6′9″E
Area446 square kilometres (172 sq mi)
Governing bodyMaharashtra State Forest Department

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