The Prabalgad trek near Mumbai takes you to the historic fort that sits at an altitude of 2,300 feet, overlooking the vast Western Ghats’ valleys and mountains. On this trek, you get to explore the ancient ruins of the fort and you’ll spend a night in alpine tents on the Prabalmachi Plateau, in the shadow of Prabalgad and the Kalavantin Pinnacle.
The Prabalgad fort trek route begins in Thakurwadi, then goes to the Prabalmachi Plateau where you spend the night. In the morning you head to the Prabalgad fort. The trail runs through the lush forest of the Western Ghats and you get to enjoy the jungle sounds along with many bubbling streams along the way.
Once at the top, you are treated to a breathtaking view of the Western Ghats that includes the Kalavantin Pinnacle standing close to the fort, along with various other forts. On the west, you can see the Peb and Chanderi forts, Karnala fort can be seen to the north, and the Manikgad fort stands tall towards the south. With the forts, you also get to see the Ulhas River cutting across the green landscape, and the Mumbai-Pune expressway winding through the hills.
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The Prabalgad Fort is located at an altitude of 2,300 feet on the Prabalmachi Plateau, between Matheran and Panvel. The fort is a part of the Western Ghats of Maharashtra and can be spotted from the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Historically, the fort was known as Muranjan but once it came under the Maratha Rule, it was renamed as Prabalgad. Its sister fort is Irshalgad, and next to it stands the steep Kalavantin Pinnacle. From the fort, you can even see the winding, eighty-degree stairs of Kalavantin.
Prabalmachi is one of the best campsites for fireflies treks in Maharashtra, so you can even go during the onset of monsoon for camping and trekking here. At night, you’ll get to witness the gorgeous fireflies buzzing all around you, and in the morning, you can trek to the Prabalgad fort.
The Prabalgad fort trek can be done throughout the year, but the best time is to go during the monsoon season. During this season, the landscape of the Sahyadris transforms into a lush paradise with flourishing forests, colourful wildflowers, and the many milky waterfalls running down the green hills that stand in contrast to the dark skies.
The winter season is another great time to go for the trek. During these months, the wind is cool and breezy and the forests are veiled in mist. The forests are still green and the views are clear with the blue skies, making this the perfect season for those who don’t want to get soaked in the rain.
Read our blog on why monsoon is the best time for trekking in Maharashtra.
For the Prabalgad trek, the meet-up point is the Panvel Railway Station. If you are coming from Mumbai, then you can catch a local from CST to reach here, or you can use local transport like bus or taxi. For travellers from Pune, you can catch a train or bus to reach Panvel. Once at Panvel, you’ll meet the trek leader who will take you to Thakurwadi, the base village of the trek, by local transport. Do make sure you arrive on time otherwise you will miss the trek.
For the Prabalgad trek, you need to pay special attention to the packing list to ensure a safe and comfortable trekking experience. To begin with, you need to wear comfortable clothes that are non-restrictive, i.e. a quick-try t-shirt paired with trek pants. Avoid wearing anything that is restrictive like denim jeans, saree, etc. If you are going during the monsoon season, then you should also wear a raincoat/poncho, and if you are going during winters, then wear a hoodie/light jacket.
Then comes what you’ll wear on your feet during the trek. This is one of the most important gears that you should not skimp on, so do wear good quality trekking shoes that provide ample support and good grip. Make sure they are well broken-in. Avoid wearing open-toed footwear like sandals/slippers and sports shoes.
Then comes what you will carry during the trek. So for that, first, you need a good sturdy bag that is comfortable on your back. You’ll carry all your essentials in this bag like sanitizer, tissue paper, spare cash, etc. Remember to carry some dry snacks and a bottle of water for the trek too. And you should also carry sunglasses, a sun-cap and apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the harsh sun. Lastly, carry a personal first aid kit with personal medicines, bandaids, etc.
When you’re booking the trek, remember to read the inclusions/exclusion section of the trip to know what is included in the package, and follow the packing list given by the operator upon booking thoroughly.
Know more about the packing list for trekking in the Sahyadris. Click here.
Day 1: Head to the base camp
Day 2: Trek to Prabalgad and return to Mumbai
You have to report to the Panvel Railway Station by 17:00 hrs where you’ll meet your trek leader and the rest of the team. From there, you’ll head to the base village, Thakurwadi. There, you’ll begin your trek after an introductory session. You’ll reach Prabalmachi by evening and enjoy a delicious dinner before retiring into your tents
Today, you’ll wake up to a hot breakfast and the misty views of Prabalgad and Kalavantin Durg. Post breakfast, you’ll head to Prabalgad via an easy route. After exploring the fort, you’ll head back to Prabalmachi and enjoy a hot lunch. After that, you’ll make your way towards Thakurwadi and catch the train back to Panvel Railway Station.
The Prabalgad fort trek package includes local transport between Panvel and Thakurwadi. For the night, you’ll be accommodated in alpine tents on triple sharing basis. And the meal package includes dinner on Day 1, and breakfast and dinner on Day 2. The cost also includes the services of an experienced trek leader and support staff. All applicable taxes are also included in the Prabalgad fort trek price.
The Prabalgad fort trek package does not include any kind of travel arrangements from your home city to Panvel. Any personal expenses such as beverages, extra meals, etc. are not included in the meals, nor are any kind of expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, roadblocks, strikes, etc. Lastly, anything that is not mentioned in the inclusions will be charged on an additional basis, as used.
The trek to Prabalgad can be done throughout the year, but the ideal time is during the months of monsoon and winter. Though you can go in the summer season, the weather is quite hot and humid, and the landscape is more or less brown. Hence, it is recommended to do this trek during monsoon and winter.
Beginning from June and ending by September, the monsoon season transforms the Western Ghats into a lush paradise, gracing it with radiant hues of green and many colourful wildflowers. In this season, you get to see the sprawling green landscape and the tall mountains disappearing into the dense grey clouds.
The winter season ranges from October to January and this is another ideal time for the Prabalgad fort trek. During this time, the landscape is still green from the rains but the skies are clear, and you get to enjoy the misty views of the Western Ghats. The weather too is cool and breezy, making it a comfortable trekking experience.
The meeting point of this trek to Prabalgad fort is the Panvel Railway Station. If you are coming from Mumbai, then you can reach here via a local train from Thane or CST, or by a local bus or taxi. There are also regular trains running from Pune to Panvel that you can catch if you stay in Panvel.
Once you reach Panvel, you’ll meet the tour operator who will take you to the base village of the trek, Thakurwadi, via local transport.
For your Prabalgad trek, you need to wear basic clothes like a quick-dry t-shirt and trek pants, along with good quality trekking shoes. Also, wear sunglasses and a sun cap. If you are going during the monsoon season, you also need to wear a raincoat/poncho, and you need to wear a light jacket for the winter season.
Make sure the shoes are trekking shoes and that they provide good support and ample grip. The clothes you wear should be comfortable and non-restrictive too.
For the Prabalgad fort trek, you need to carry a comfortable backpack, light snacks like dried fruits, granola bar, etc. along with a water bottle. You also need to carry all your personal essentials like sanitizer, tissue paper, etc. along with an extra pair of clothes. Lastly, remember to carry a personal first aid kit.
The Prabalgad trek is a moderate grade trek. Hence, it is perfect for experienced trekkers as well as beginners with good fitness levels. If you want to prepare for this trek, then you can start a workout routine of running, cycling or swimming a few weeks prior to the departure date.
The Prabalgad fort trek is a moderate level trek that is perfect for experienced trekkers. The trail consists of some steep sections and is moderately long. But beginners with good fitness levels can also do this trek.
For the Prabalgad trek, the tour operator arranges your travel from Panvel to the start point. So you don’t have to worry about getting there. All you have to do is arrive at the Panvel Railway Station where you’ll meet the operator. From there, you’ll be taken to Thakurwadi, the starting point via local transport
To reach Panvel, you can either take a local from CST and express from Pune, or you can take a local bus to reach Panvel.
If you are going for the 2-day Prabalgad trek, then you will be camping at Prabalmachi and head to the fort on the second day. While camping, you’ll spend the night in alpine tents overlooking the lush Western Ghats. The tents are weather and waterproof.
The meal packages vary from operator to operator, but usually, for a 2-day trek, the package includes dinner on Day 1, and breakfast and lunch on Day 2. These meals are freshly cooked in local cuisine. Some budget operators might not provide any kind of meals for a day trek, so make sure you read the inclusions of the package you’re looking to book to know more about the meal package.
Yes, the Prabalgad trek’s trail is very safe with only a few steep sections. As long as you follow the trek leader’s instructions, you are safe. To ensure maximum safety nonetheless, make sure you stay with the group and don’t stray from the trail.
Yes, the monsoon season is the best time to go for the trek to Prabalgad fort. During this season, the Western Ghats are lashed with heavy rains, covering the valleys and mountains in lush green hues.
During these months, you get to explore the flourishing forests of the Sahyadris, along with breathtaking views of the green landscape in contrast with the grey skies, the dark mountains lined with milky waterfalls and their tops disappearing into thick clouds.
For the trek, you need to carry a sturdy backpack that will carry all your essentials. You need to carry a water bottle, dry snacks, personal first aid kit, tissue paper, etc.
As for clothes, you only need to wear basic clothes like a t-shirt and trek pants. Make sure they are comfortable and non-restrictive and provide optimal comfort. If you are going for a monsoon trek to Prabalgad, then remember to carry a raincoat/poncho. And for the winter season, do carry a light hoodie.
The most important thing that you need to pay special attention to are the shoes that you are wearing. Make sure they are trekking shoes that are well broken in, have a good grip and provide ample support. Avoid wearing sandals/floaters or sport shoes.
From the top of the Prabalgad fort, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Western Ghats with its various lush valleys and craggy mountains. The first thing you’ll see is the towering Kalavantin Peak with the steep winding stairs. On one side, you’ll see the Ulhas River cutting across the lush landscape, and on the other, you’ll see the Patalganga River. You’ll also see the contrasting Mumbai-Pune expressway winding through the landscape.
You’ll also see many other peaks and forts of the Western Ghats like Matheran, Chanderi, Karnala Fort, Malanggad Fort, Vikatgad Fort and Pen Fort