Kalavantin Durg : A challenging trek in Indian state of Maharashtra
Kalavantin durg covers the northern edge portion of Prabal Plateau, where Prabalmachi village is nearby, and this village is the base camp (starting point) to trek Kalavantin Durg and Prabalgad Fort. Kalavantin Durg is just a part of Prabalgad fort, and trekking can be arranged to reach the peaks of both these forts. We can say, that, Kalavantin Durg is the sister fort of Prabalgad Fort and the peak of Prabalgad Fort is located at a height of 2240 ft from sea level.
Once you reach the peak of Prabalgad Fort, the people standing on Kalavantin Durg pinnacle will be visible to you and vice versa. The peak of Prabalgad Fort, is however, at a greater height than the summit of Kalavantin Durg, and both are on opposite sides separated by a deep valley. Kalavantin Durg looks like a steep hill when we look at it in the picture over internet, but while ascending it in real, it doesnít look that steep.
In ancient times, the rocks of the hill were carved to create stairs, and that became the path to ascend the hill and reach its top. That path to reach the top of the hill still exists, and now itís being used for trekking. In ancient times, however, the major reason to reach the top of the fort might be to look at, if some enemyís army was approaching near the village to attack. That could be the only good reason, to make a path to reach the top of the hill, to look for suspicious activities nearby the fort. The path is also not protected by stair rails, and so there is risk involved to fall from the hill, if slipped. The path to ride on the fort is actually scary for faint-hearted. So make sure you are a brave hearted to try this out.
After reaching to the top of the Kalavantin Durg, the magnificent view of the whole Mumbai city is visible, as this fort is on the way to Mumbai Pune Expressway. Various other important landmarks nearby the fort are also clearly visible from such a great height. The landmarks include Peb, Chanderi, Karnala, Matheran, and Ershal forts, the Karnala Bird sanctuary pinnacle, Elephanta Caves Island, "J.N.P.T" port etc.
The major caution to take is to carry lot of drinking water, and eat well before ascending the hill. Your shoes should also be of high quality, and specifically made for the trekking purpose, else you may slip which would be dangerous. The trekking to Prabalgad Fort and Kalavantin Durg cannot be done alone, and you need to take the help of a guide, who is well experienced as the path to reach the top is complicated, and you may loose your way. You can take help of tour operators like Mumbai Travellers who can arrange the complete trekking journey for you under their guidelines.
Now the question is, how to reach the base of the Kalavantin Durg. As mentioned earlier, Prabalmachi village is the place you need to target to reach to the base of the Kalavantin Durg. The trek would actually start from Thakurwadi Village to reach Prabalmachi village. There is no other way than trekking, to reach Prabalmachi village, as this village is located on a plateau. So first you need to somehow reach to Thakurwadi Village. Thakurwadi is one of the villages among 177 villages that come under Panvel taluka. Panvel is most populated and largest city in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. Panvel taluka is a subdivision of Raigad district, with Panvel as itís headquarter. You can reach Panvel by local trains from Mumbai, or Pune, and then it is quite easy to reach to Thakurwadi Village, from Panvel, by a bus, or auto rickshaw. For more detailed information on how to reach Thakurwadi from Mumbai (Bandra) by train visit floydsindia.blogspot.in
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Picture of Kalavantin Durg as seen from top of Prabalgad Fort
Picture of Kalavantin Durg on a plateau as below
Picture of stairs on Kalavantin fort as below
Written by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )