Kalavantin Fort or Kalavantin Durg is a towering rock pinnacle that stands over 1600 feet tall, at the top of a 1200 feet high plateau called Prabalmachi. The pinnacle was used as a watchtower by Shivaji, to keep an eye on Panvel Fort and Kalyan Fort, after he won it from the Mughals. From the top, you can see Ulhas River, Patalganga River and the Gadhi River, as well as Prabalgad fort, Karnala fort, and Peb fort.
Treks to Kalavantin Durg begin from Thakurwadi, a small village near Panvel. You can get to Panvel by local train, and then use public transport to get to the village. The trek takes about 2 hours, and will take you to Prabalmachi, a village atop the Prabal plateau. You can stop for hot tea or cold lemon juice here, and dig in to some delicious Maharashtrian snacks too. From the plateau, the trail separates, leading you to Prabalgad fort or to Kalavantin Durg pinnacle.
If you’re heading up to Kalavantin Durg, the trek becomes much harder from here. The pinnacle has narrow steps cut into the rock, but there is no railing to protect you from the edge. The winds can be quite strong up here, so make sure you proceed carefully and slowly.
Some itineraries include a night of camping at Kalavantin base. You’ll be able to enjoy some night photography and admire the views from Prabal plateau. The next morning, you can attempt the pinnacle climb, and be back at your campsite for lunch. However, if you get an early start, you’ll be able to complete the trek in a single day.
If you are a trek lover, you might be interested in our list of Top 10 trek in Maharashtra that you might like to explore.
The trek to the Prabalmachi is fun, with a trail that is not too hard. The climb on Kalanvantin Durg is quite challenging, but offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The pinnacle climb is not recommended for beginners, children, or those with vertigo or fear of heights. The views from the pinnacle are steep and you’ll see a sharp drop almost under your feet.
You can trek to Kalavantin Durg all year round. However, as seen with other treks in Maharashtra, the best season is during the monsoon. It is during these months that the climate is pleasant, and you’ll be cooled off by intermittent showers. You get spectacular views of the green hills around, and you’ll be able to watch the mist coming in. However, do remember that in the monsoon season, the pinnacle, which is largely composed of rock, can get slippery. Do climb with caution. Carry the right raincoats and footwear for a monsoon climb. Read our blog about What to Pack for Trekking in the Sahyadris.
The Kalavantin Fort trek is not recommended for beginners. The pinnacle has a very steep, narrow series of steps leading up to the top, with no railing to protect you, and a sharp drop just below your feet. It is not suitable for those with a fear of heights or vertigo. In the monsoon, the steps become very slippery with moss and water that flows down from the top. Beginners may climb to Prabalmachi easily, and can enjoy great views from here too.
Your shoes are the most important gear for this trek. Choose comfortable trekking shoes that lace up well, and will support your feet on the narrow steps. Wear quick-dry clothing that will allow you to stretch freely. If you’re going during the monsoon, wear a raincoat and make sure your bag has a rain cover too. A sun cap, sunglasses, and insect repellent and sunscreen can make you more comfortable on the trek. Your operator will provide you with a complete packing list for this trek, so do pack accordingly.
The Kalavantin Durg trek is one of the Top Monsoon Treks in Maharashtra. The lush greenery and rolling rain clouds are the perfect backdrop for the dramatic Sahyadris, and the weather is pleasant and cool. The Kalavantin trek is great fun in the monsoon, with plenty of muddy patches on your way up to Prabalmachi, and a thrilling pinnacle climb after that.