Karnala fort also known as the Funnel Hill is a hill fort in Raigad district, about 10 km from Panvel city and 65 km from Mumbai. The fort is a protected property which is situated within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary and offers a great opportunity to enjoy a refreshing, easy trek. Karnala fort consists of two forts out of which one is at a higher level and other is at a lower level.
The trek to the top of the fort takes at least 2 hours if you are in good health, and a little lesser while walking back down. The route is quite easy and not very steep, although it definitely gets very slippery during the monsoon. For more adventurous trekkers, there is a short-cut to the top of the fort as well which reduces the time by about half an hour, however, this route is actually very steep and should only be attempted if you are comfortable with trekking. We would advise you to carry at least 2litres of water per person on the trek and make sure you are wearing appropriate shoes.
In the middle of the higher level is a 125 feet high basalt pillar which is popular as Pandu's tower. This pillar served as a watchtower when the fort was occupied, however now it is in a ruined state. There is a water reservoir here which supplies fresh water all year long. From the top of the fort, Prabalgad and Rajmachi forts can be seen on the northern side. The fort has two inscriptions one in Marathi and the other in Persian. The Marathi inscription which has no date is seen on the lower gate on the inner side and its words are indecipherable. The Persian writing on upper gate reads Syed Nuruddin Muhammad Khan, Hijri, and is probably from the Mughal era. The Fort has a recorded history of having passed through the hands of Muslim, Portuguese and Maratha rulers.
Air: The nearest airport to Karnala Bird Sanctuary is Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai which is 33 km away from Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
Rail: Panvel, the nearest railway station, is a major station on the busy line between Mumbai and Roha and also on the Mumbai suburban line. Auto-rickshaws and taxis are available from the station to reach the Karnala fort.
Road: Karnala is on the national highway 17 which is also called the Mumbai-Goa highway. State-run buses going towards Pen, Alibag, Murud, etc. stop at the sanctuary gate. Shared auto-rickshaws which run regularly from Panvel to surrounding villages is another way to get to Karnala. Taxis, from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai or Thane, can be hired to reach Karnala.
No reviews yet