- 127 Kms
- 4 / 5
Location: Near Karjat
A small fort near Karjat, the impressive Kothaligad Fort is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Raigad district.
Kothaligad is a small fort situated near the town of Karjat in Maharashtra’s Raigad district. It is one of the most popular trekking destinations in the region.
Very little is known about Koligad Fort’s history. However, the caves atop the hill date back to the 13th century. It is believed that the fort was under Mughal control for a while, and was later conquered by the Marathas. The British took over the fort in the 18th century and it remained under their command till 1862. According to a few historians, this fort actually served as a lighthouse or a watch tower used for keeping a vigil on the Mawal region.
Kothaligad is also known as Peth Fort, because the village at its base is called Peth. Set at a height of about 3,100 feet above sea level, the fort is on the smaller side. The hike to the top of the fort is relatively easy, but certain patches can be slippery during monsoon. Beginners may find the trek a bit difficult, but it is achievable with proper guidance and training.
The Kothaligad trek starts at Ambivali village. The route from Ambivali to the base village of Peth has a slow ascend, and a few rocky and muddy patches. The views along this route are simply stunning, especially during monsoon, when there is an abundance of lush greenery and gushing waterfalls. After walking for about an hour, you finally reach Peth village.
Once you reach the small farming village of Peth, grab a quick bite at one of the food-stalls run by friendly locals. You can also pre-order a lunch, and the villagers will happily serve you a piping hot meal on your return. The fort and pinnacle are clearly visible from the base village. After a refreshing break, proceed to resume the trek with replenished energy levels. From here on, the challenging part of the trek begins.
The climb from Peth village to the top of Kothaligad is considerably steep, and quite narrow in some places. A little while later, you reach a series of rock-cut caves. One of the caves is small and has been converted into a temple. The biggest cave has large windows and some beautiful carvings on its pillars and doors. It can accommodate up to 30 people, and is the perfect spot for overnight camping. A couple of smaller caves are located next to this cave, but they are inhabitable due to the presence of bats and mice.
Next to caves is a series of about 87 steps. These steps have been carved in the rocky interiors of the funnel-shaped pinnacle. Be extra cautious when you climb over these steps, as some of them are weathered and broken in places. Once you reach the top, the treacherous climb seems worth the effort, because the bird’s–eye view from here is absolutely mind-blowing. On a clear day, you can even see the Bhimashankar Range in the distance. After feasting your eyes on the majestic scenery, carefully descend down the same path.
On reaching Peth village, enjoy your pre-ordered lunch. Or else, rest for a while and then continue walking towards Ambivali village. There are a couple of great family-run eateries in Ambivali village, where you can savour delicious Maharshtrian dishes.
- It is advisable to carry your own food and sufficient water for the trek.
- However, you can eat at the eateries in Peth village and Ambivali village.
- Accommodation is available in the neighbouring town of Karjat.
- Mode of Transport : Best way to reach Kothaligad Fort from Pune is by car. Or else, you can travel to Karjat by train first and then proceed to Ambivali village.
Things to do
- Embark on an exciting trek to Kothaligad, one of the most popular trekking destinations near Karjat.
- Walk through a beautiful trail from Ambivali village to the base village of Peth, and enjoy the stunning landscape along the way.
- From Peth village, climb up about 87 rock-carved steps to reach the top of the fort.
- Enjoy the breathtaking bird’s–eye views of the picturesque surroundings from the top of the fort.