Mahuli fort trek is an amazing trek route through the dense jungle of Tansa wildlife sanctuary. Mahuli trek is among one of the best one 1-day treks near Mumbai.
Location Address: Next to Manas Mandir near Aasangaon, Off to Mumbai-Nashik (NH-3) Highway, Thane district, Maharashtra (India).
Best Time To Visit: June to January is the best time to do Mahuli fort trek. Visit between July to November gives amazing panoramic views of the surrounding region. You can also experience huge waterfalls during these months.
Mahuli Fort Information:
A trio of Mahuli, Palasgad, and Bhandargad is easily visible from Mumbai-Nashik highway near Shahpur town. All these 3 peaks are part of the fort. Palasgad stands on the northern side, Mahuli lies in the middle and Bhandargad stands on the southern side. A topmost peak of this mountain is the highest point of Thane district. Therefore, it is a popular mountain fort in Thane district of Maharashtra. The fort lies at an elevation of 2815 feet (858 Meter) above mean sea level. This fort is among toughest forts in the Sahyadri Mountain range. It was very difficult to win due to its hard climb (at that time) and dense forest cover.[caption id="attachment_1828" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Starrting point of the trek.[/caption]
Mountain of the fort lies amidst Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary. So naturally, it has a very dense vegetation around it. In monsoon season, you can see magnificent lush green views of the surrounding region from the top of this fort. In clear weather, you can see various mountain peaks of Harishchandragad Fort, Kalsubai, Alang-Madan-Kulang, Matheran Hill Station and Ajoba fort.
Mahuli Fort Trek
A large number of trekkers, rock-climbers, and adventure lovers gives a visit to this fort throughout the year. A temple in the base village is the starting point of the trek. A big arch like gate guides you towards the fort. You will find a small river stream just 10 minutes ahead of the arch gate. A small walkable bridge is constructed on this river but you have to be careful while crossing this bridge during strong water currents.[caption id="attachment_1831" align="aligncenter" width="600"] stunning view from the top.[/caption]
It is one of the best trekking spots in Maharashtra. There are proper signboards along Mahuli fort trek route, a small waterfall, and a big waterfall. Leopards, tigers and other wild animals are frequently spotted in the region around Mahuli. Hence you are advised to be cautious while doing a night trek or camping on this fort.
Mahuli Rock Climbing
This mountain has different pinnacles having curious names like Wazir, Vishnu etc. These pinnacles are one of the best places for rock climbing in Maharashtra. Only expert and experienced climbers can climb on these peaks with special equipment. These peaks are at a considerable distance from the fort entrance. Apart from Mahuli fort trek, many climbers do rock climbing on these peaks![caption id="attachment_1830" align="aligncenter" width="577"] Rock peaks in the middle.[/caption]
If you are planning to do rock climbing here, then it is advisable to stay in the caves and start a trek towards the pinnacles early in the morning. During the rainy season, one can also experience various big and medium-sized waterfalls at the base of the fort. Many people come here just to these waterfalls!
This fort was under the command of different rulers since its establishment. It has a very rich history. The construction of the fort was done by Mughal rulers during the 14th century. The fort was then won by Nizamshahi rulers in 1485. When the Shahaji Maharaj (father of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) was serving for Mughals, he had this fort under his command. Shahaji Maharaj moved to Mahuli fort in 1635 along with his wife Jijabai and son Shivaji Maharaj. Mughal Sardar Jamal Khan attacked this fort when there was no proper defense to the fort. So Shahaji Maharaj asked Portuguese army for the help however they refused to help him. Therefore, he surrendered the fort to Jamal Khan.[caption id="attachment_1829" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Walking over a ridge.[/caption]
Later on, Shivaji Maharaj won and lost this fort 2 times. First, he won the fort in 1658 but lost in 1661. He won it again but in the Treaty of Purandar (1665), Mahuli fort was given to Mughals. With the great ambition of conquering the Mahuli again, Maratha army attacked the fort in February 1670. At that time, Manohardas Gaud was controlling the fort and brave Kadam Sardar was leading from Maratha. The battle was lost by Marathas and thousands of Maratha soldiers died.
After this battle, Manohardas Gaud stepped down from his position and Alveerdi Beg took the control. After 2 months, Moropant Pingale (1st Peshwa of Maratha Empire) won the Mahuli, Palasgad and Bhandargad forts on 16th June 1670. Since then Mahuli fort was under the reign of Marathas and British won the fort in 1817.
Today, almost all structures of the fort have vanished except few fortification walls and one entrance gate. There is also a temple of Lord Shiva and 3 ancient caves on this fort. Maha darwaja (or Kalyan Darwaja) in the form of stone arch lies next to the Shiva temple. This fort hosts an annual festival of Mahashivratri in the Shiva temple premises. A large number of pilgrims visit the Shiva temple on the last Monday of the Shravan month.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Difficulty: Mahuli fort trek falls under the category of easy to medium grade. The last patch of trek has 2 steep climbs – 1 over rock and 1 over the last ladder. However, first-timers & inexperienced trekkers should not trek alone as routes inside the sanctuary are confusing.
Time Required: It takes about 2 hours to reach the top of the fort from base village.
How To Reach Mahuli Fort:
One can easily reach the fort by road as well as Mumbai suburban trains.
- By ST Bus: Aasangaon lies on the Mumbai-Nashik highway (NH-3) which has a great connectivity to various cities in Maharashtra. A regular ST bus plays between Shahapur and Mahuli base village. The first bus from Shahapur leaves by 06:00 am. Shahapur is just 4 km ahead of Aasangaon.
- By Car: You can also take your bike or car right to the base of the Mahuli fort. The base lies just 15 minutes ahead of the Manas Mandir of Aasangaon. Left diversion from the Manas Mandir goes to the base There is a good motorable road from the highway to the base village.
- Nearest Railway Station: Aasangaon station on the central railway line is the nearest railway station to reach this fort. You can catch Aasangaon or Kasara train to reach over here. The station is about 6 km away from the fort. There is a regular auto-rickshaw service from Asangaon station to the base of the fort. Auto-rickshaw drivers charge about Rs. 250/- for single side ride.
Eating Stuff / Nearby Restaurants: There are 2-3 small restaurants which offer homemade food to hikers at a reasonable price. They provide various food items like Kande-Pohe, Vadapav, Tea, Pithal-Bhakri, Veg-Thali and Chicken Thali. Carry plenty of water while ascending towards the fort as it takes around 2 hours to reach the Mahuli fort. No restaurants are there on the top.
Staying Options: If you are planning overnight trek then there are few caves just next to the Shiva temple at the top. These caves lies near Mahadarwaja of the fort. Group of 10-15 people can stay in these caves. However, these caves cannot be used in the monsoon season due to water leakages. In that case, Bhakt Niwas at the base village also offers accommodation facilities to trekkers!
Map To Reach:
Mahuli fort trek is a must try hiking route near Mumbai in monssons. Its lush greenery and pleasant weather gives a memorable experiance to visitors!