Karnala Fort Trek

Escape into the lush green of the Karnala Bird Sanctuary and embark on a trekking adventure to the ancient ruins of the Karnala Fort

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Karnala Fort Trek overview

Karnala Fort trek is one of the closest treks to Mumbai, and is located only 10 km from Panvel. It is one of the prime locations for trekking around Mumbai due to its close proximity to the city. Karnala fort is located inside the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. This is a protected area, and attracts bird watchers and naturalists from the region all the time

You’ll be trekking through the bird sanctuary and might be able to spot some of the 200 species of birds, colorful birds like ashy minivet, three toed kingfisher, golden oriole, and many other exotic and migratory birds that live here. You will climb way high on top of a hill, and enter a protected fort which was once ruled by the Mughals, the Marathas and the Peshwas.

The view from Karnala Fort is spectacular, overlooking the Bor Pass, and the thickly forested slopes all around. You will also get great views of the valley below, as well as Prabalgad, Chanderi Fort, and Manikgad. The fort has a fascinating structure, with a pinnacle that juts out, long ramparts that stretch out and give you many scenic views.

The ruins of the fort lend it a historic feeling. Look around and all you can see is far stretched views of beautiful forests and mountains. This is an easy trek suitable for beginners. The fort combines two forts, with one lying lower than the other, and with iron railings at the top to make it safe for climbers.

There is a Bhavani temple at the bottom of Karnala Fort, which can be visited by the trekkers and locals. Because it is located so close to Mumbai, most trekking groups arrive here by public or private transport. You’ll park in the parking spot just outside the gates of Karnala Bird Sanctuary and then begin the route upwards. You’ll trek along a thickly forested trail, and up to the top of a ridge.

From the ridge, you’ll get views of the valley on one side, which used to be a trade route at one time. The trail continues along the top of the ridge for a long way, and is a great spot for photography and birdwatching as it looks over the treetops below.

The trek takes about 2 hours one way, and you’ll arrive at the fort, at the end. You can explore the ruins here, and eat lunch. You’ll descend after lunch, and will return to the parking lot. You’ll arrive in Mumbai by late evening.

The trek to Karnala is good during the monsoon and the winter. In the monsoon, you’ll walk through the sanctuary, with bird calls and thriving greenery all around. From the ridge leading to Karnala fort, you’ll be able to see the dark rain clouds gathering around the rocky tower of the fort. However, do be prepared to get soaked and muddy!

Karnala Fort trek is popular in winter too, when the morning mist takes longer to clear, and you’ll have cool climbing weather. For your Karnala fort trek, you should take appropriate rainwear and trekking shoes. Do carry your essentials like water, snacks, insect repellent, first aid kit, ID proof, and camera in a small day pack.

Don’t forget to pack a rain cover for your bag, or pack your belongings in plastic to protect it from getting wet. Also, carry a change of dry clothes and a long-sleeved jacket or sweatshirt to keep you warm on your return.

Karnala Fort trek summary

  • State: Maharashtra
  • Nearest city: Mumbai
  • Total days: 1 days
  • Grade: Easy
  • Max altitude: 1440 ft
  • Total trekking distance:4 km
  • Season: Monsoon and winter

Karnala Fort Trek – 1 Day

Sketch itinerary:

Day 1: Trek to Karnala Fort

  • Start point: Panvel
  • End point: Panvel
  • Day start time: 07:30 AM
  • Trekking distance: 10 km
  • Trekking time: 3 hrs

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1:

Please be on time to board the train departing from CST at 05:47 hours for Panvel. You will reach Panvel by 07:00 hours and meet the operator there. Transfers to the base village of Karnala Fort trek will be arranged by the trek operator. Have tea and breakfast in the base village and begin trekking to the Karnala fort.

You will be ascending through the thick jungle, watching colorful birds and walking over ridges to reach the fort. Please carry packed lunch from home which you can savour at the hill-top. Post-lunch, start descending and reach the base village in the afternoon. The operator will make the arrangements for transfers to Panvel railway station.

You will reach the station by 15:00 hours. Your trip ends by late afternoon. Please remember to carry a packed lunch with you.

Inclusions:

Panvel to Panvel transportation will be provided. Breakfast and tea maybe included, please check with the operator. Karnala Sanctuary entry fees are included. Services of an experienced trek leader are included along with first aid kit. All applicable taxes are inclusive.

Exclusions:

Lunch may not be included, please check with the operator. Local train tickets are not included. Any personal expenses such as extra meals, cigarettes, etc. will be additional. Any additional costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, roadblocks, etc. will be additional. Travel or medical insurance is not included.Anything not mentioned in the inclusions will be additional.

Day trek to Karnala fort
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Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Karnala Fort Trek – 1 Day

Sketch itinerary:

Day 1: Trek to Karnala Fort

  • Start point: Mumbai
  • End point: Mumbai
  • Day start time: 06:00 AM
  • Trekking distance: 4 km
  • Trekking time: 4 hrs

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1:

You will be picked up from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park gate at 06:00 hrs, from there you will be taken to Karnala Bird Sanctuary. Please be on time. From there, you'll begin your trek to the Karnala Fort. It will take a couple of hours to reach there.

After spending some time at the top, you'll trek back to the base and begin your return journey to Mumbai. You'll be dropped back in Borivali by 20:00 hrs, which is subject to traffic conditions. Your trip ends before nightfall.

Inclusions:

Transportation in private non-AC bus from Mumbai to Karnala and back will be provided. Forest entry fees and the services of an experienced trek leader will be inclusive. Meals and refreshments will vary from operator to operator. All applicable taxes are inclusive.

Exclusions:

Any kind of insurance is not included. Any personal expenses such as extra meals, beverages, etc. is not included and will be additional.Anything not mentioned in the inclusions will be additional.

Karnala Fort Trek
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Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
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1
Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Best time to go/Weather

The trek to Karnala is good during the monsoon and winter. In the monsoon, you’ll walk through the sanctuary, with bird calls and flourishing greenery all around. From the ridge leading to Karnala fort, you’ll be able to see the dark rain clouds gathering around the rocky tower of the fort. However, do be prepared to get soaked and muddy!

The Karnala trek is popular in winter too, when the morning mist takes longer to clear, and you’ll have cool climbing weather. During the summer is gets quite warm so it will become uncomfortable and warm trek.

Getting there

Due to the proximity of the Karnala Fort to Mumbai, most trekking groups arrive here via public or private transport. You’ll park in the parking spot just outside the gates of Karnala Bird Sanctuary and then begin the route upwards. You’ll trek along a thickly forested trail, and up to the top of a ridge.

From the ridge, you’ll get views of the valley on one side, which used to be a trade route at one time. The trail continues along the top of the ridge for a long way, and is a great spot for photography and birdwatching as it looks over the treetops below. The trek takes about 2 hours one way, and you’ll arrive at the fort, at the end.

You can explore the ruins here, and eat lunch. You’ll descend after lunch, and will return to the parking lot. You’ll arrive in Mumbai by late evening. The return time is subject to traffic conditions.

What to wear

ensure to wear good trekking shoes, warm jacket, full sleeves cotton t-shirt, full-length trousers or track pants, dry fit clothes and a windcheater. dark and dull coloured clothes are preferred and avoid clothes that will not offer you any protection from sun and insects, such as shorts, etc. avoid wearing perfume on this trek. please do not wear any expensive jewellery or gadgets on this trek.

What to carry

Make sure you are carrying a government issued ID card. Carry a backpack with rain cover, water bottle (2 litres), insect repellent. Do carry some dry snacks (chocolate bars, biscuits, energy bars, dry fruits, etc.). Carry your personal toiletries including wet wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, etc.

Carry light towel/napkins. Do not forget your camera with extra batteries and torch with extra batteries. Protect yourself with sunscreen, sun-cap and sunglasses. Carry an extra pair of dry clothes, raincoat/poncho and personal first aid kit. Please carry any prescribed medication

Preparation/Fitness

This is a fairly easy trek but having said that you must be physically fit to complete the trek. It is a fun way to spend your day. A physically fit beginner can trek to Karnala fort or even an experienced one can if they haven’t explored the area yet.

FAQs about the Karnala Fort Trek

What kind of physical condition should I be in for this trek?

This is a fairly easy trek but having said that you must be physically fit to complete the trek. It is a fun way to spend your day. A physically fit beginner can trek to Karnala fort or even an experienced one can if they haven’t explored the area yet.

Are there any restrictions for this trek?

Travellers are required to adhere to the instructions of the trek leader during the trek to Karnala Fort. Treat the local culture with respect and avoid littering, defacing property and monuments and causing general disturbance. Consumption of liquor, drugs, tobacco products and cigarettes is strictly prohibited during the trek to Karnala Fort.

Who can trek?

Any person from the ages of 10 to 65 who is physically fit can trek to Karnala fort.

What should I pack for this trek?

A list of things has been provided by the operator which should be carried by every trekker on this trek. Any equipment required for this trek will be provided by us.

What type of footwear should I wear?

Choosing the right footwear is important for a trek especially depending upon the season. Trekking shoes are preferred. Always buy a shoe one size bigger than your foot size. When buying shoes try them in the shop, check if they are comfortable and your toe has wiggle room after wearing socks.

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