Peth Fort (Khotaligad Fort)

Kothaligad (also called Kotligad or Kothligad) is a small Fort (1500 ft) is situated to the east of Karjat in the Indian State of Maharashtra. It is one of the famous treks in the Karjat area, because of its small height and easy climbing. It is also known as the Fort of Peth because of its vicinity to Peth village at its base.

There is a small temple and large cave at the base and a chimney like tunnel (see image) to the top of the fort. This pinnacle is carved from inside forming a staircase reaching the top.

There is a tank of water at some distance from the cave and another one at the top of the fort. This tunnel is the high point of the trek, with its funnel like structure and steps along the inside in a steep ascent to the very top.

History: The cave and the temple carvings date back to the 13th century. Not much is known about the history until the 18th century. In 1716, this cave was captured by the British. Then later on, on November 2, 1817, it was recaptured by the Marathas under the leadership of Bapurao who belonged to the generation after Bajirao. It was recaptured by the British, on December 30, 1817, the very next month, under Captain Brooks. The British had the fort till 1862 as an outpost for vigilance on the surrounding valley and the hills all around it.

The locals say that this is not actually a fort but a sort of lighthouse from where the directions were given to know the advancements of the enemy. in fact it can be called a watch tower to keep a vigil on the Maval area in the greater province of the Marathas. It is absolutely breathtaking to climb and to have a feeling of the engineering marvel being crafted when there were no engineers like today or even no PWD departments as well. only the foresightedness of the Maratha warrior has been behind the development of the watch tower standing atop the small but sturdy hillock. the stone is a single black expanse reaching till the Peth village standing on the fertile soil with abundant natural resources for water and farming.

Accommodation :
The cave on the fort is the best place to spend a night. There are many a cisterns and tanks on the fort, but the one near the cave is reliable.

Getting There :
By Air : Mumbai is nearest airport.
By Rail : You can reach Karjat by morning train. Sinhgad express which boards, from pune station,at 6am. You will reach Karjat by 8:15am. From Karjat you will get bus for Ambivili at 8:30am. Trek starts at Ambivili from where you have to get at base village Peth. On can get down at Neral, another railway station on Mumbai-Pune route and reach Kashele by local conveyance and catch bus for Ambivali from there. Ambivali to Peth 2 hours. Peth village to top of the fort 1 hour.
By Road : One has to board ST bus for Ambivali via Kashele or from Karjat railway station on Mumbai-Pune route. The distance from Karjat to Ambivali is about 30 Kms. A road leads to village Peth from Ambivali. A tiring pathway leads to the fort door from village Peth. The pathway pierces through lush green trees and we can refresh ourselves with the lovingly smelled flowers and tasty fruits.

Places to see nearby :
The pinnacle of the Peth can be seen from the village. It looks like a filed surface. On reaching the top of the fort, we see caves carved in huge rocks. The first one is the cave of Goddess, besides which is a water cistern and the last one is the specious Bhairoba cave. A flat floor and well-sculpted pillars are specialty of the cave. Along the Bhairoba cave, steps are carved leading the pinnacle. Four Five potholes and some canon balls are scattered in the fort. Kalwawantinicha Mahal, Nagfani, Siddhagad, Malanggad, Chanderi, Prabalgad, Manikgad, and Matheran all these surrounding historical places are visible from top of the fort Peth.

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