Planning to go on a holiday to the forts is a challenging decision. Forts are defensive establishments constructed throughout the past to shield a portion of land from opponent raids. They can range in length, form, design, and position depending on the site, landscapes, civilization, and thinking of the builders. Some of the earliest and best forts in the world are Fort James, Fort Zoutman, Bnji Fort, and Kalavantin Fort.
All these forts existed with simple earthworks or rigid walls. Later, other forts, including stone, brick, concrete, and steel. This fort has architectural value, recalling the region’s history.
Among the various forts, Kalavantin Fort is of great importance. Let us discover every element of it.
Location of the fort
Kalavantin Durg is a thrilling hike after Dhak Bahiri. The fort is near Mumbai for its dangerous course. It has already lost many lives, yet it still looks stunning. The fort is 2250 feet tall in the Western Ghats. It is near the Prabalgad Fort in the Raigad community of Maharashtra.
Further, it is called Kelve Teen, Kalavantincha Sulka, or Kalavantin Pinnacle. It is one of the most prevalent hiking points. According to local guides, it was constructed for Queen Kalavantin in the 15th century. It is one of the most risky forts in the world.
Ways to visit
Thakurwadi is the ground village in the Panvel region where the tour starts. One can reach it by air. The closest airport is Pune and Mumbai International airport. From this point, you can drive a motorcar. It is 140 km from Pune and 80 km from Mumbai by highway. Buses are available from Mumbai and Pune towards Panvel.
Moreover, Panvel is the closest railway station on the Mumbai Harbour line. Walk 5 min to the state transport bus stand and take the bus to Thakurwadi village. You will reach in 30 minutes. Cabs are likewise an opportunity to reach this village.
History of the fort
Kalavantin Durg’s past is usually combined with the Prabalgad Fort. In Marathi language the term “Durg” indicates fort. Although it is named “Kalavantin Durg,” there is no fort. It is a model that the ruler used to observe the nearby region. In 1826, Umaji Naik, a brave fighter, and his associates were assumed to have constructed the Fort as their residence for a short period.
The overall experience of trekkers
The trekkers consider that the most awaited day has arrived. It gives cheerful energy to voyage to Kalavantin Durg and do some adventurous activities. A hike to the top of the fort is among the most difficult and pressing in the Western Ghats. One can catch a glimpse of it from the Panvel highway.
From the base, you can also take a cab to the left and hike for 15 minutes to advance to the base point. Private cars have to pass to reach to base point. At the ground end, a small hut deals snacks and water bottles. This ground point has a few parking spaces on a paid base, however, the parking is safe.
Treks to this fort
The route begins from the right of the hut with a straightforward trail. After a walk of around 10 minutes, there is a checkpoint that charges 50 INR per person for entry to this pinnacle. You don’t need to worry about the route because the marking is available throughout. The path is Zig-Zag with a little mount from the stony trail and treeline for a quarter of the way up. Try to begin the tour as early as possible because it’s difficult to trek in heat when the sun affects the rock. A grassland comes after walking for around one and a half hours.
It is Prabalmachi Village, a small resort that delivers homemade food. Locals walk this massive distance daily for work purposes. There is a temple of Hanuman and Ganesh on the way. After the village, the hiking trail also splits into two paths. A shorter one is towards Kalavantin Durg, and the more extended one is towards Prabalgad Fort. After 10 minutes, the track extends up into rock. Be very attentive here. The course is around 60-degree ascent and has rock-cut steps as heightened as 2 feet.
Steps to this trek
After a half-hour trek from the village, there are rock-cut stairs. They are steep and have more considerable height. These stairs are effortless to climb unless you have a fear of heights. Take care in the rainy season, as it is tricky. There is some news of deaths in this area. You are almost at the top of the pinnacle after climbing these massive steps slowly for some time. One rope tied to a big round-shaped rock from the point goes down to thirty feet. You have to hold this string and gradually move upward.
On top, there is an Orange flag and nothing else. You can see Prabalmachi plateau from the canopy and Prabalgad standing back. Try to avoid taking selfies from any crossing of the borders. At most, security is more critical than selfies. Kalavantin and Prabalgad is a trek renowned for its fireflies night walking, and you will find a fair amount of crowd on weekends at night.
At the Prabalmachi plateau, great camping space is available and safe. Descending from any hike is easy, but we had to pass the cord part along with rock-cut actions first. You can get down at Prabalmachi plateau, then down at the base village Thakurwadi for another hour and a half.
The most suitable time to visit
Kalavantin Durg can be seen throughout the year. The most suitable time to visit here is post-monsoon from October to February. This tour is also famous for its firefly activity with evening camping. However, monsoon is not advised to access the hike because the rocks become slick, and many lives have been lost here while climbing from the rocky landscape. Most of the time stroll is close in severe monsoon. Still, the summer sun heats the rock, making walking challenging.
There is no stay facility at the top of the summit. However, there are different homestays open at Prabalmachi plateau. If you are touring with a tour operator, they will organize your housing. They will even assist you with a tent stay. On the stretch of 15 km from Kalavantin, hotels and lodges are available at Karjat, varying from deluxe rooms to standard. You can launch the tent at the Prabalmachi plateau with your camping supplies.
There are many nearby places to visit. It includes Kalavantin Trek, Prabalgad Fort, Prabalgad Camping, and Irshalgad Fort Trek. Other attractions are Louisa Point and Matheran Hill Station nearby.
Things to understand before visiting
You must avoid going in monsoon as the rocks are tricky to climb. Countless lives have been lost here. Try to begin the trek earlier morning because sunlight heats ups the pebbles in the afternoon. Parking at the ground is with a fee. Avoid taking selfies while ascending from a rocky patch of this hike. Moreover, carry functional hiking shoes with confirming soles. You can pitch the tent at the base town. Do not drink on the fort or litter the location around.
You can choose to go to Kalavantin Fort to spend your holiday. It is in the West Ghats of Maharashtra, India. However, it offers a problematic and exciting tour to the top. The trek includes stunning landscapes and climbing rock-cut vertical and thin steps. There is no support or protection rails. This fort is stated to have been constructed for a ruler called Kalavantin in the 15th century. Further, the scenery from the top is spectacular and rewarding.
FAQs on Kalavantin Fort
It suggests a demanding and scenic hike to the top, where one can appreciate the views of the nearby cliffs. Yet, it is unsuitable for tourists of every age, as it needs support. Only trained and fit trekkers should attempt this trek.
Yes, there are a few different forts nearby that you can see. Prabalgad Fort is bordering to Kalavantin Fort. Karnala Fort is found within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, roughly 10 km from Kalavantin Durg. Irshalgad Fort is a hill fort almost 15 km from this fort.
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