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Distinctive for its thumb shaped pinnacle Karnala fort is located at Raigad district along the Mumbai-Goa highway. Ringed by the Karnala Bird sanctuary and bounded by the natural greenery the fort is approx 14 Km from the Panvel city and approx 65 Km from Mumbai. The height of the fort is around 1440 ft and one may take 60 to 90 mins depending on his endurance for heading at the top from the base camp.

Best time to visit the Karnala fort and bird sanctuary…

The best time to visit the fort is in winter or monsoons. If you are visiting on monsoons, go preparing yourselves for continuous rains and slippery routes. If you manage to reach the top you can have stunning view of the fort pinnacle/ pandu tower covered with the clouds and surrounding area totally covered with green vegetation.

How do you reach Karnala Fort…?

Please find the Karnala fort address from your location.

Mumbai to Karnala route:


Route to reach Karnala From Mumbai

  1. First route:via Bengaluru – Mumbai Hwy/Mumbai Hwy/Mumbai – Pandharpur Rd/Mumbai – Pune Hwy/Sion – Panvel Expy
  2. Second route:via Eastern Express Hwy/Mumbai – Agra National Hwy and Bengaluru – Mumbai Hwy/Mumbai Hwy/Mumbai – Pandharpur Rd/Mumbai – Pune Hwy/Sion – Panvel Expy

The above route is for those who own personal vehicles and travelling from Mumbai.

For those who don’t own personal vehicle can visit from following route:

  1. Reach Panvel station from local train. (Panvel is the nearest Railway station to Karnala Fort)
  2. You can after hire share auto/cab from Panvel station towards Karnala Fort.

Pune to Karnala Route:

Pune to karnala route

Pune to Karnala Fort route

Pune to Karnala Fort route

via Bengaluru – Mumbai Hwy/Mumbai – Pune Hwy/Mumbai – Pune Expy

My experience to the Karnala fort…

The Karnala fort trek was my first ever experience of trekking which gave me a pleasant taste of this sport always wanting to explore more. It was of medium level difficulty for me as it was my initial trek and I would personally recommend this fort if you are rookie trekker.

Since it is located near to Mumbai this would make an amusing one day trek for stress relieving yourself from ones fast pacing life.

“Collect MOMENTS not THINGS”

Tip: The trek will be more pleasant one if you reach at the earliest to the spot. There is a saying “Early bird catches the worm,” so if you reach early you will be able to mesmerize the cool environment and also may catch a glance of the birds in the forests. As you climb the fort you will get to enjoy the view of the rising sun which is just awesome from the top. Besides this you will also beat the heat of the sun.


Entrance from base station

Once you reach to the base station of the Karnala fort, you need to go through security check by the forest department. This is just for precaution purpose to avoid littering of waste by the tourists. Here are the things one must carry during the trek.

Checking point before entering the Karnala bird sanctuary…

If you are carrying any plastic bottles or bags for carrying water or energy drinks, eatables, etc, the person at the counter will check them and you are asked to pay a refundable amount which you get after the tour on showing the person exact same quantity of plastic bottles or bags.

According to me this is a good initiative taken by the forest department to preserve the beauty of the nature and maintain cleanliness.

Karnala Fort Entry fees…

You are also charged for parking and also a fee called as Upadrav shulk (अपड्रेव शुल्क) i.e trekking fee. The charges are as below:

Visiting Charges:

  • For Indian Tourists: 30
  • Indian Kids: ₹ 15
  • For Foreign Tourists: ₹ 60
  • Foreign Kids: ₹ 30
Camera Charges:
For Photography
  • For Indian Tourist: ₹ 100
  • For Foreign tourists: ₹ 200
For Video shooting
  • For Indian Tourist: ₹ 250
  • For Foreign tourists: ₹ 500

Parking Charges:

  • Two-wheeler: ₹ 25
  • Four-wheeler: ₹ 100
  • Bus: ₹ 250

अपड्रेव शुल्क: ₹ 5 each

Sign board showing way to Karnala fort

Beginning of the trek after crossing the Bird Sanctuary…

After walking 150-200 mt from the entrance through the plain road, you will reach where all canteens are located and this is the point from where exactly the trek starts.

As you march ahead making your way up, you will come across monkeys which are quite an entertainment till the top. After the trek you can calm yourself in the canteens and fill your stomach will delicacy.

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Monkeys all over the Karnala Fort

Beware of the monkeys….

Stay away from monkeys when you are having your snacks or bites to avoid unwanted attention from them.

There are many cases where monkeys snatch away tourists belonging. Don’t expect to get them back once taken by these animals. Monkeys won’t harm you until and unless you provoke them to do so.

Early morning sun ray passing through the woods.

Exploring the beauty of forest and enjoying morning breeze…

As mentioned earlier, if you begin early you will be lucky enough to catch the glimpse of beauty of the nature as you ascend upwards. Morning sun rays passing through the the branches and leaves of the tree is just bewitching.

As you walk through the middle of the woods with the birds chirping and melodiously singing in the morning, you feel the cool breeze touching your body and passing is just a fascinating feeling. Here are some advantages of starting trek early.

Small mushrooms on your way to the Karnala Fort

Flora and Fauna in the way of Karnala fort…

On your way you will come across many diversified species of flowers, small animals and insects. The little mushroom umbrellas rising from the roots of a tree are eye pleasing.

Challenges you need to overcome while climbing Karnala fort…

Describing the first patch of the climb is a bit challenging one as you go ome distance ahead from the starting point.

The route is some what like climbing steps which are naturally created by the roots of the trees encircling you. The patch is a bit inclined and you require quite a strength in your limbs to overcome this patch.

Being a mixed combination of rocks and stepped roots the path challenges a beginner trekker.

Also I must mention you will also come across with small crabs in your way, who play hide and seek as you walk across their homes.

After you complete the first patch, you will get some plain ground and an incredible view from the mid height of the mountain. Vehicles from top appear like mini toy cars making their way through the road surrounded by the green patch.

You can relax a bit here to free your muscles and gain back stamina, you can also have couple of clicks as the scenery is juts outstanding.

Soon after you finish the second patch which is just like walk in a park you will reach to the final patch. The second patch is easy to cross as it is plain and you walk through vegetation making your way to the last patch. The pinnacle along with other trekkers are visible climbing the last patch from the second patch.

Railings are constructed to cross the last patch to have a firm grip as you climb the inclined surface. After climbing the inclined surface you can look for yourself how long distance you have covered till up.

Ruins of the fort can be seen on the top which can give you an idea of the history of the fort. Also there is a source of water which is naturally stored beneath the den like structure of the pinnacle. This water can be used for drinking as it is pure coming from the basalt rock of the mountain.

The pinnacle of the fort cannot be climbed without a rope as it is too inclined to climb. The flag on the top of the pinnacle is changed by climbing with the help of the rope. This pinnacle is also known as ‘Pandu tower.

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There is no shadowy place to relax or sit except the ruins so it is advised to start trek early in the morning before sun is at the top of your head.

Feasting after the trek…

While returning back we took hardly 45 mins to reach back to the starting point. We relaxed ourselves in one of the canteens and had our lunch.


Feasting after the tiring trek

Though we couldn’t have lunch peacefully as there were group on monkeys constantly entering the canteen for food. The canteen owners helped us to have lunch by keeping away the monkeys.

Conclusion: Why you should visit the Pinnacle head Karnala fort…

Overall my first trek experience was very much enchanting and I decided to explore nature through this sport. Karnala being a medium difficulty level trek is advisable to all those people who want to start their first trek. Also trekkers of all age group can easily enjoy this trek with mother nature. If you are a beginner trek do follow this complete guide on how should you proceed for trek.

If you like the post, please do like and comment. Your comments and suggestions are really appreciated…

“TREKKING….It leaves you SPEECHLESS then turns you to a STORYTELLER”


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