Asherigad trek in Palghar region is one of the good trekking spots near Mumbai. It offers a nice trekking route and is not known to many people!
Best Time To Visit: June to March.
Location Address: Near Khodkona village, 31 km from Palghar, Maharashtra (India).
Formation: 13th Century.
Asherigad Fort Information:
It is a relatively less popular fort in the Palghar district of Maharashtra. The fort lies at a height of 1664 feet above MSL. Asherigad trek in Palghar is a great hiking destination. It is quite a huge fort which covers a large area and is very strong hill fort. The base village of this fort is just 1-1.5 km away from Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway. You can spot this the Asherigad fort just next to Adsul Fort Pinnacle. The atmosphere of this region remains cool even in summer months.[caption id="attachment_1639" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Crossing a river stream![/caption]
There is a rock sculpture of having a carving of a crown and shield at the entrance of the fort. Total 17 water tanks, 2 lakes, one cave and a temple are present on top of the fort. You can see remnants of fortifications, foundations, rainwater gutters and fort structures all over the top. One big cannon is also there on this fort.
Asherigad Trek Route
The trek route to the fort goes through a lush green and thick jungle. It is one of the best treks in Maharashtra. Even the fort top has thick vegetation. The route to the top has continuous climbing without any long plateau. There is an open temple of Vaghdev (Tiger God) on the way to the fort. You need to take a right turn after going ahead of this temple. From this point, it takes about 2-3 hours to reach top of the Asherigad fort.[caption id="attachment_1641" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Misty view of the fort![/caption]
The trek route also has an iron ladder to move towards the top. A valley on one side and steep climb on other side gives thrilling experience while trekking over here. Some steps have also been carved out on mountain rocks which help you to reach atop. There are some water tanks on the way to the fort and also on the top of the fort. One big water tank sometimes contains pink colored lotus flowers. While doing Asherigad trek, you can see Kohoj Fort to the South-West from the top and Adsul pinnacle.
Various kings of different dynasties had their control on this fort. It was built by Bhojraj of Shilahar Dynasty about 800 years back (13th century). Then it was under the reign of Bhimdev III (King Bimba). The fort was further won by Portuguese rulers in 1556 and strengthened during their reign. In the 17th century, Mughals gain the control of Asherigad fort but it was immediately taken back by Portuguese.[caption id="attachment_1640" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Proceeding towards the fort![/caption]
You can see some relics of Portuguese origin while doing Asherigad trek.After that, during the Battle of Vasai, the prince of Peshwa rulers – Chimaji Appa (younger brother of Bajirao Peshwa) captured it in 1739 from the Portuguese. In the end, it was finally won by British in 1818.
Fort Height: 1664 Feet (507 meters) above Mean Sea Level.
Time Required: Asherigad trek takes 2 to 3 hours to reach the top of the fort from base village.
How To Reach Asherigad, Palghar:
Khodkana village in Palghar district serves as a base village for this trek. You can reach over there by following means of transportation:
- By Road: You can take a private vehicle to the base village. The road to the base village goes through Manor Cha Ghat, Vaghoba Ghat, a small dam on the Surya River and Mastan naka. From Palghar, ST buses also ply to base village of Khodkona. First ST bus to Khodkana leaves at 08:00 am from the Palghar ST Stand. ST buses will get you to the exit point of Khodkana village on Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. The village is just 1-1.5 km away from this point.
- Otherwise, you can take a 6 seater Tumtum auto to reach Mastan Naka (Rs.25-30 per seat). Then from Mastan naka, another tum-tum services are available to reach exit point of Khodkana.
- Nearest Railway Station: Palghar station is the nearest railhead to reach this fort. There are frequent trains from Churchgate, Dadar, Virar, Panvel and Mumbai Central to Palghar station. You can catch any of them as per your schedule and convenience. The distance between Palghar station & Asherigad fort is 31 km. So you can either catch an ST bus or hire a vehicle from the Palghar station.
Eating Stuff / Restaurants Availability: There are no fancy restaurants in the base village. Please carry sufficient amount of food and water with you for Asherigad trek. Few water tanks on the fort has potable water from July to November.
Accommodation / Staying Options: About 10 to 12 people can stay in the cave at the top of the fort. Otherwise, you can stay in the base village and start your trek early in the morning!
Map To Reach:[mapsmarker marker="153"]
Overall, Asherigad trek is a good fort for one-day trekking near Mumbai!