You need special shoes for hiking — and a bit of a special soul as well.
Karnala fort history:
Karnala fort also called Funnel Hill is a hill fort in Raigad district about 10 km from Panvel city. Currently it is a protected place lying within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. It was a fort of strategic importance as it overlooked the Bor pass which connected the Konkan coast to the interior of Maharashtra and was the main trade route between these areas.
Shivaji conquered it from the Portuguese in 1670 by building breastworks as he advanced. After his death in 1680 it was taken over by Aurangzeb. After this the Mughals occupied it for some time after which it in 1740 with the rise of the Peshwas of Pune it went to them.
Karnala Site information:
Type: Hill fort
Height : 439 m (1,440 ft) ASL
Owner Government of India
Open to the public from 06:00 am to 06:00 pm
Karnala Bird Sanctuary is great for photographers and nature lovers. It is the house of more than 150 species of birds and butterflies. Very green, clean, and well-maintained. Entry Fee: Rs.20 per Adults, Rs. 15 per Child, Rs. 15 per Two Wheeler & Rs. 50 per Four Wheeler,camera charges are also applicable. There are less birds in the monsoon. There are 2 routes at Karnala. Take the easy one if you wanna find more birds. The difficult one is for trekking all the way to the top.
Best time to visit Karnala Fort:
If you are well-prepared for the heavy and continuous rains during the monsoon, then this is a fantastic time to visit Karnala fort. The whole bird sanctuary around the fort becomes beautifully green during the monsoon, and if you can manage to get a view from the top of the fort through the clouds, the surrounding area is lush green. Be prepared for heavy rains and a very slippery, muddy trek to the fort - wear shoes with a good grip, and carry a waterproof jacket.
If you don't want to visit during the rains, then winter is a good time as well (Nov-mid to Feb). The temperature is not very hot even during the day, and you can get a clear view from the top of the fort.
For bird watching : At the onset of rains, one can see the paradise flycatcher, the shama or the magpie robin and the malabar whistling thrush which is one of the most melodious birds. In winter, the migrant birds take over. These include the blue-headed rock-thrush, the bluethroat, the red breasted flycatcher, the ashy minivet, the black headed cuckoo-shrike and a host of others.
How to Reach Karnala Fort:
At a distance of 13 km from Panvel, 53 km from Matheran, 56 km from Lonavala, 66 km from Mumbai Central and 120 km from Pune.
From pune : around its 120 Km ,it takes around 2:30 hrs by own vehicle via Bangalore - Mumbai Hwy/Mumbai - Pune Hwy/Mumbai - Pune Expy,this route has tolls.