Karnala fort(also called Funnel Hill) is a hill fort in Raigad district about 10 km from Panvel city. Currently it is a protected place lying within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
Brief History : Karnala Fort was a fort of strategic importance as it overlooked the Bor pass which connected the Konkan coast to the interior of Maharashtra(Vidharba) and was the main trade route between these areas.It has been controlled and ruled by Ahmednagar sultanate, Portuguese, Marathas, British East India Company.
Height 439 m (1,440 ft) ASL
District : Raigad
Nearest City :Panvel (10 km)
Time to climb the fort(Ascend) : 2 hrs
Best Time to visit : Rainy season / Early Winter
Duration : One day Trek
How to get there :
Get a train to Panvel station (Last station on Harbour line )
Or get a ST/bus to Panvel Bus Depot
From there you can catch ST bus(Alibaug,Penn) to Karnala Bird Sanctuary (Recommended)
Or you can catch a rickshaw/tum tum/rent vehicles (will be more costly)
But I highly recommend that if possible please come by your own vehicle or book some vehicle/minibus for your group.
Either way, you will find yourself at the Karnala Bird Sanctuary Main Gate
How to return :
Seriously, this is the toughest part (Even tougher than the trek :P).
It is very difficult to get rickshaw/ST from Karnala back to Panvel depot.
During my first visit, we were lucky to get a tumtum ( 6sitter rickshaw)
Second time, we were again lucky to get a lift from a family in Sumo.
So If you have book a vehicle or have one of your own,it is really very good, since you can enjoy your time without worries exploring the beauty of karnala,without keeping eye on your watch .
Trek route has become very easy and safer.To summarize :
Karnala Fort trek = starting cement road + jungle + karnala hill
Now the karnala hill is step like with 4 step.
Still if anyone wants ,he/she can refer the route to the fort below.I have mentioned some key spots and wherever possible have embedded pictures (Click on the words for the pictures).
Karnala Main Gate (Start point)
=> Keep walking straight through the cement road
=>At the end of the cement road you will find Bird cages on your right and Guest houses on your left.
=>Walk straight ahead to find a mini dam( thats what we called it)
=> Keep walking through the narrow path into the jungle
=>Big rocks(yup, you have to climb over them :D )
=>Keep moving up through rough track
=> Big fallen tree (It was there 2 years before and I am sure it will be few years later too,itz still alive)
=> First hill step (itz top of the leftside hill,you can rest here)
=>Second hill step
=>Green rush track (Keep your cams ready :) )
=>Goddess Bhavani Temple
=> Third hill step
Things to Carry for the Trek :
- Water - Must for every trek
- Food - Snacks,not very heavy food to just make you dozed off
- Band aids - Carry them,but make sure you won't need them
- Win-shy - To protect your bag and yourself from rain,cold,insects etc
- Light Clothes - T shirts, track pants,jeans (mosquitoes can be deadly )
- Footwear - Sports/Trekking shoes (terrain is full of rocks,mud and Crabs )
- Plastic Bag - To carry all the mess you make - chocolate/chips wrappers,etc
- Camera - Digicam/SLR whichever you can handle easily
- Cellphone - :D
Torch,Extra pair of clothes,napkin,meds etc
A KIND REQUEST
Forts and Monuments are places of Historic Importance.Writing your name on the walls of the forts or littering the places and even drinking at these places is a disgrace and a direct insult to out ancestors whose blood was spilled at these places.So please don't spoil our HISTORY.