Monsoons and Mumbai have a love hate kind of relationship. This lasts about 3-4 months only, but its chaos while it lasts. So a Mumbaikar who has more chaos in his life to last a lifetime, could actually think of a 10 hour break from the mundane. The location is just 60 kms from CSMT, and inexpensive too!!! ₹ 125 will get you to Karnala from CSMT and back. Read on...
A local from CSMT gets you to Panvel (Return ticket ₹.40/-). A State Transport bus ride from Panvel to Karnala costs you ₹.50/- (return fare). And the entry fee for one individual is ₹.35/-. A sum total of ₹.125/- gives you the break you need.
I would recommend an early start. Be among the first at the ticket counter when it opens at 7 a.m. The trek to the fort falls under the category Easy, if you have been staying relatively fit. An early start will ensure less crowds to manoeuvre through, unless you consider these guys as crowd too.
The ascent is very gradual, but make sure to carry water to keep yourself hydrated in the typical tropical rain forest humidity. What should be the attire?? Depends on what you are comfortable in. But protect yourself from mosquitoes and leeches. Get the drift??
There are designated stop points on the way to the summit. But I found this waterfall, the perfect spot to take a breather.
Do not forget to keep your ears open to listen to the sound of vehicles plying on the Mumbai Goa highway. Around midway through the ascent you will get a clear view, if the swirling fog decides to let you have one.
After a relatively easy incline, and an even easier level walking stretch, I got the first glimpse of the pinnacle, albeit still shrouded in the fog.
This path leads you to a series of stairs, some very ancient and some quite recent. Do not miss out on the yellow beauties that welcome you along the path.
At the end of the stairs, you are confronted by this imposing entrance.
What meets your eye after you go through it is, according to me, the highlight of a trek to Karnala fort.
Though the access to the top of the pinnacle has been closed for reasons of safety, one could walk around the pathways in the vicinity of the pinnacle in all directions except South, which is a sheer cliff with no access.
The Karnala fort is more than 500 years old and steeped with tales from history. So if you find the time tables of the local trains more interesting, do stay in the city. But if you really want a break, do attempt the easy ascent to the summit of Karnala. The views are the only thing that will take your breath away.
And now for the disclaimer. ₹.125/- does not include anything other than the most inexpensive mode of travel to the base of the fort and the entry fee. But the amount mentioned in the title did catch your attention, and I am glad you read through it. Happy trekking.