- 120 Kms
- 3 / 5
Location: Near Panvel
A popular trekking destination, the historical Karnala Fort is situated near Panvel city, deep within the forests of the incredible Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
It is located in Panvel Taluka of Raigad District near Matheran and Karjat. It occupies 4.8 sq. km. area. Karnala is a paradise for bird watchers.
The sanctuary is centered around the historic Karnala Fort and lies just off the Mumbai-Pune National highway to Goa. It is located 12 km from Panvel. The nearest Rail head is Panvel. Regular Buses at an interval of 30mins are available from Panvel Bus Stand from 5:00 am to 8:00pm. The sanctuary is open for the visitors from sunrise to sunset. There are many hotels and resorts located near the sanctuary. There are two Govt. rest houses inside the sanctuary area.
The bird sanctuary is a popular destination for avid bird-watchers and enthusiastic hikers. The sanctuary is home to over 150 species of resident and 37 species of migratory birds who visit the sanctuary during winter. Three rare birds – Ashy Minivet, three toed kingfisher and Malabar Trogon have been sighted here. The ecological conditions of the tract favour a large variety of bird population. The forests are also ideal as a harbourage to wild animals. A casual walk through the forests is an unfailing source of joy, with the list of bird-song ringing in the air. Though Karnala is principally a bird sanctuary, many other interesting forms wildlife like wild boar, the four-horned antelope, the muntjak and the common langur also occur here.
It is a perfect site for those who are looking for an adventurous excursion. Karnala Fort or the ‘Funnel Hill’ is at a height of 475 metres. Karnala was a fort of strategic importance. Two gateways one at the foot and the other at the top of the rock-hewn steps lead to a dual gateway with a chamber in between. There are two inscriptions in the Fort. One is in Marathi and the other in Persian. The Fort has passed through the hands of Muslim, Portuguese and Maratha rulers.
Karnala fort consists of two forts at 2 levels. At the centre of the higher level is a 125 feet high basalt pillar. It is also called Pandu’s tower. This structure was used as watchtower and now is in a ruined condition. There is a water cistern which provides fresh water all year long. From the top, Prabalgad and Rajmachi forts are clearly visible. It is risky to wait on the fort after 6PM, due to the danger of wild animals.
- Food is not available on the Fort. So carry it from the base of the Fort.
- Take All the Drinking materials from the base. As there is no water available on the Hill/Fort.
- During the summer it is advisable to take lots of water along.
- It is better to stay at Panvel. Good hotels are available in Panvel. Many resorts are also available in the park vicinity.
Things to do
- Bhavani temple : also known as Bhavani Khadageshwar Temple, is located at Devale nearby Karnala. The temple is placed at the peak of the hills. Surrounded by ancient water tanks and rock cut caves formed by Buddhists, the temple houses Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. It has a rejuvenating and holy ambience.
- Shiva temple : The ancient and revered Shiva temple is located in Ambarnath close to Karnala. This is one of the temples where both cults of Vaishnavites and Shivaites offer prayers. The exterior of the temple is decorated with sculptures from the Vaishanava and Shaiva puranas. The temple has beautiful carvings. The temple is visited by the devotees in large numbers on Shivaratri.