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Peth Fort in Karjat near Mumbai

Sunday, November 21, 2010

It had been a while since my last trek, so I decided to go on an easy one. Ha, ha. I got in touch with my trekking buddy Neel and we agreed to go do some exploring.

Peth fort from a distance

Neel, his fiancĂ©e Neelam, another Neelam’s brother Rahul and I decided to check out Kothaligad in Karjat.

Kothaligad is a small fort, roughly around 1500 ft in height, shaped like a pinnacle. Since it is located at the base of a village named Peth, it is also called Peth Fort. Not much is known about this fort other than the fact that it was captured from the British by the Marathas.

We had to board a train to Karjat on Saturday morning. I filled my backpack with water bottles, and food articles. I met my trekking group at Kurla, and from there we boarded the train to Karjat.

After alighting at Karjat railway station, we boarded a State Transport (ST) bus to Ambivali. From there we had to walk all the way up to the base village of the fort.

ST buses are also known as Lal Dabba in Hindi, literally red container. The driver drives the bus so fast, you wonder if he nurses secret ambitions of being a race car driver.

It took us around an hour to reach Ambivali village. Then from there we walked to the base village of the fort. We met a few villagers on the way. Out of curiosity, we asked them how much time it would take us to reach the village. Thirty minutes, they replied. Taking their word for it, we walked and walked and guess what? After three hours, we reached the base village. Fortunately for the welfare of the villagers, we didn’t meet them again. Grrrr.

Peth Fort from the base village

At the base village, we had our lunch as it was nearing afternoon. And then we set out to see the fort. It was a vertical climb, very steep and very tiring but after a few halts for water and quick snacks we finally reached the walls (the fortification of the fort) and entered the fort through the Maha Darwaja (Main Door). It took us two hours to reach. Phew!

The pinnacle was used as a watchtower by Maratha warriors. They would keep a watch lest their enemies attack the fort.

Entrance to Peth fort from the inside

Amazingly the top part of the pinnacle has to be climbed from the inside of the pinnacle. Doesn’t that sound interesting? Can you imagine having to trek your way up the pinnacle from the inside of the fort which is carved out of sheer rock?

Temple on the fort with carved pillars

Way to the temple

There are a few caves and a temple up here. The top of the pinnacle is like a plateau which had a few cannons and water cisterns, some of which supply water to the base village too. We shot some pictures there and then rested in one of the caves. Finally we decided to descend from the pinnacle. Luckily the descent didn’t take us as long as the climbing had and we were down in an hour’s time.

Cannon atop the fort

Carving on the wall of the fort

We spent some time in the village and then decided to head home. We reached Ambivali and boarded the Formula One car. Oops! I mean the ST bus and reached Karjat. We boarded another ST bus to Panvel. From there we boarded a BEST bus to Kurla, where my buddies went their separate ways. Finally I boarded a train back home to Andheri.

Now this is the first time on a trek that I had had to change three buses and two trains and by the time I reached home, I was dead tired.

But it had been an enjoyable trek, and all said and done, that’s what counts. Readers, check it out some time.

Pinnacle of Peth


Anonymous said...

Nice and informative and really nice narration... to share experiance.

vaibhavi said...

Well narrated and very informative , gr8 work Merwyn...


Thanks Vaibhavi and my secret admirer :)

Laxman said...

Good info... well written


Thanks Laxman

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