Mahuli is fort near Mumbai. It is easily accessible from Asangaon railway station on central railway line of Mumbai suburban railway network.
We were in month of June and vrangers had planned for one day trek to Mahuli fort. Being saturday, a weekly off i chose to enrol for this monsoon trek.
As planned we all were to board a pre-notified early morning train and reach Asangaon station. There our trekking group was waiting for everyone to arrive. We were a group of 20 trekkers excluding coordinators. It takes around 20 minutes drive from Asangaon to reach Mahuli base. Once we reached, we had a short walk to highway from where we boarded a ST bus to Mahuli village. Being so near to Mumbai, the roads still are in very bad shape. There at the local shack we had tea and breakfast. From here the fort was very seldomly visible due to cloud cover. Mahuli fort and its other sister forts for an unique distinct mountain structures which can be recognised easily. Mahuli is surrounded by other other small forts namely Bhandargad and Palasgad.
Unlike other forts, Mahuli has been developed by state government as 'Eco- tourism' spot. There at the entrance near the arch, our trek lead Mayur gave us necessary instructions. Here we began our trek at around 8 am.
Being eco tourism spot and rainy season, it was all greenery around. The route track were however muddy. Within few minutes of regular walk, we arrived at a small bridge on stream following from the Fort. After crossing the bridge the actual ascend begins.
Being rainy season, here it started raining heavily. To reach fort, one has to pass atop another small hillock. After brisk climb for 20 mins facing west, one has to turn towards right to climb the hillock. Here the route divides into two, one to the right climbs up to Mahuli fort and one to left eventually ends up in valley. Many trekkers happen to miss this turn and lose their track to get lost in jungle. As for me it was a cheerful group to be with. We having fun were making inroads through green cover towards fort.
Additionally on a trek you tend to meet new people from different and varied backgrounds who adds to your acquaintainces. Also we get to meet our old trek buddies here with lot more info on different treks they have been to. But one thing is important to note, that trekkers tend to have a similar spirit and enthusiasm in them which is contagious. They are the most exotovert, adaptable, accommodating and friendly bunch of all human folks on earth.
Then after 30 minutes of trekking, we get first glimpse of Mahuli fort. It was still at height which we have cover for. It was covered by thick clouds all the while we were climbing. There we took a break of around 20 mins.
The route is straight and well defined from here on. One can see entire route to fort from herd. Again we started with route getting more and more steeper, till we reached the fortifications of Mahuli fort.
It was raining heavily by now and feeling very cold as we were all drenched in it. At this point, iron ladder is fixed to climb the fort walls. The point at the ladder is steep and one has to be very careful here, and more so in rainy season as route becomes slippery in rainy season.
After climbing the ladder we were to explore to the fort. It was all covered with cloudz and there was hardly anything visible. We all waited at point above ladder for all of our trekkers to reach. The fort just after entrancd has dense trees. We in that dense cloud cover reached for the mahadarwaja.
The cloud cover was so dense that the visibility was very low. The mahadarwaja or 'Forts Entrance' has been blowen away by British. It is thedead end here; so much that one could not enter or descend the fort through it. There are cave like structures along the mahadarwaza. They may be possibly the storage rooms. There we had our group selfie.
So after exploring the fort for half an hour more, we sat on a flat table land for lunch. By now rains had stopped, but the cloud cover was still present hindering visibility. Everyone had carried their own lunch. So here we had multi cuisine lunch with few exotic foodstuffs.
Then after resting for half an hour we begun our return journey. But as it was weekend, there wers many trekkers on the way to fort crowding the ladder point. So we had to wait to clear the human traffic. Till then had photo session at the mast flag on the entrance. The fog prevented good clicks though. Moreover it had started drizzling again. Then we started again and as the route was pretty much clear to us by then, we covered much of it within less time.
Actually reason for us to hurry was the stream i mentioned earlier. It is dream of every trekker to end the trek by swimming or at least getting drenched in the streams. So till our other slower trek mates make up to the stream, we had a hearty swim in the stream. There was a small cement water block/ dam being made on the stream just below the iron bridge. This was may be for water harvesting purpose i suppose. But it added to our joys. It provided us much essential depths to enable us to spread in water to clear our fatigues. It was to me one of the best part of the trek. This as one of the advantage of a rainy trek; it provides for both trek as well as swimming sessions. How thrilling it was. Moments later our other mates when they came to stream, seeing us they also joined us in this aquathrill session- i must say.
After 20 mins later we regrouped ourselves and changed our drenched clothes. There we had evening tea at the breakfast shack. The bus at 5 pm had already left, so now the next bus was an hour later. So here trekkers as usual had their fun games. So after it we boarded the bus to reach Asangaon at 7 pm.
Overall to sum up it was quite a interesting and refreshing monsoon trek with great trekmates making it more enjoyable. Mahuli is one of the easy one day trek in outskirts of Mumbai.
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Food Facilities at the Fort:
There are two food shacks at the beginning of the trek. They provide with all your food needs from breakfast to lunch. Here you can have breakfast to begin with and pre order your lunch while returning. They provide for both veg and non veg lunch.
For more trek and travel you can check my blog. https://irishpereiraonthego.blogspot.in/