Padargad trek is one of the fascinating treks in Sahyadri Mountain Range. This fort offers a great trekking route through a dense jungle of Western Ghats!
Location Address: Padargad Fort, Near Khopoli, Behind Bhimashankar Hills, Maharashtra (India).
Elevation / Height: 2202 feets above MSL.
Best Time To Visit: October to March is the ideal season to do the Padargad trek. Do not visit this fort during monsoon season because it becomes difficult to have a grip on its sharp walls. The trek route becomes very slippery in monsoon months.
Padargad Fort Trek Information
This is an unexplored and less visited fort that is located behind the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. This fort is also popular by name: ‘Kalavanticha Mahal’ due to its 2 rock pinnacles. It lies at an elevation of 2202 feet (671 meters) above mean sea level. This fort was built to keep an eye on Ganpati Ghat which joins Karjat to Bhimashankar. The fort is small in size and the fort structure has completely vanished. There are few water tanks and caves on the way of Padargad trek. One must have average trekking skills & preferably equipments to do this trek.
There are 2 main pinnacles at the top: One is big and another is small. They plane land plateau in between them. One big room having dimensions 15 feet long and 8 feet wide is there on the left side of the 2nd pinnacle. It is one of the must do treks in Maharashtra. You can get absolutely stunning views of the mountains from this place!
Padargad Trek Route
The trek route passes through dense jungle and path is marked with the help of white arrows on big boulders and trees. Once the jungle patch gets over there is a rising mountain slope mass comprising of small stone. After it, there is a chimney climb of about 10 feet. Then you will come across one rock patch and rock cut steps. 4 water cisterns are there on the fort top which generally have potable water until December.
You have to cross few rock walls and do a chimney climb in order to at the top. These activities add a super thrill in the trek Padargad trek. Chimney consist of 2 rock walls having a gap of about 2 feets and there is a big stone on top of it fall with some empty space. You need to climb upward with the support of your back, legs and hand! This patch is really an exciting part of the trek.
The descending path of Padargad trek is comparatively more is tougher & risky. Once you reach the top then you can see magnificent views of Bhimashankar mountain range and sanctuary. Forts like Siddhagad Fort, Kothligad (Peth Fort) and Bhimashankar Peak are visible from Padargad fort.
Padargad Fort History
The fort lies between Ganesh Ghat and Nagphani Point (The highest peak of Bhimashankar). There is no firm information regarding the lifespan and creator of this fort. This fort is mentioned in an event of Aurangzeb when he tried to conquer the Peth fort amidst Sahyadri Mountain Range. The challenging Padargad trek calls a lot of enthusiastic rock climbers and trekkers every year. It is advisable to carry a guide or an experienced person with you while visiting this fort. One can easily get lost in the thick jungle in absence of proper guidance.
IMPORTANT TREKKING INFORMATION
Time Required: It takes 3 to 4 hours to reach the top of the fort from Khandas village. The descending path also takes the same amount of time.
Difficulty: Medium to Difficult. This small fort gives a breathtaking hiking option for pro trekkers. Yes! Beginners should avoid this fort as the trekking route is difficult and requires proper trekking equipments. You should at least carry a rope while visiting this fort.
How To Reach
Khandas is the base village for Padargad trek. You can easily reach this village from Karjat or Neral stations on Central railway line. Starting journey from Karjat station is the easiest way to reach the fort. You can easily reach Karjat by catching a train for Khopoli or Karjat.
- 6 Seater Tumtum: From station, take a 6-seater tumtum vehicle to Khandas village. It is a starting point for the trek. You have to start the trek from Khandas village and reach the base point of fort. I take 2-3 hours to reach the base from Khandas village. From here, you can reach at the top in next 2 hours.
- By Bus: You can also catch an ST bus from Karjat to Kashele village. From Kashele, catch 6 seater tumtum to Khandas village. For returning back, the last bus from Kashele to Karjat leaves by 06:00 pm.
Staying Options: If are planning to spend a night on the fort, then you can stay in the cave next to the big pinnacle.
Water & Food: The water cisterns on the top generally have water till December. But you must carry sufficient water and food along with you. You can make the arrangement of food even in the Khandas village.
Map To Reach:
Padargad trek is a must visit spot if you are a rock climber or love to do adventure activities! Follow un on various Social Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to see more amazing photos & info!