Kamalgad Fort Trek - Explore The Unknow Trekking Destination
Kamalgad Fort is situated close to the well-famed hill station of Mahabaleshwar in the Satara District near Wai. Despite this proximity to one of the most famous tourist spots in Maharashtra, this fort is not very well known. This stunning fort is located on the pinnacle can be easily seen from the Pasarani Ghat providing it with a certain mystical aura. Untouched by overwhelming tourists this remote fort is surrounded by the waters of Dhom Dam from three sides, a picturesque old beauty, the entire fort seems to be singing the tale of its old glorious days.
Owing to its beauty this fort is seen in the background in the movies ‘Swades’ and ‘Being Cyrus’.
How to Reach From Mumbai?
The base village for Kamalgad Fort is Paratavadi (Google Map Link). There is no direct connectivity to the base village from Mumbai nor from Satara City. So travel route to reach Kamalgad Fort base village would be something like Mumbai - Wai - Paratavadi (Base Village). You need to first reach Wai. From Wai take a bus going towards Vasole via Jambhali. Alternatively, you can take private rickshaw/tum-tum from Wai Bus Depot to Paratavadi. Should cost around ₹ 1500 to ₹ 2000 for round way drop with a hard negotiation, if you are more than two people. Enroute you can see Pandavgad, Kenjalgad and Raireshwar plateau.
Bus: Wai is situated on the route to Panchgani & Mahabaleshwar, therefore, it is very well connected by road from Mumbai. The frequency of buses is quite good, and usually, bus leaves in the night from Mumbai. It will take around 7-8 hrs to reach Wai from Mumbai.
Train: Nearest railway station to Wai is Wathar, only two trains (11029 - Koyna Express & 11023 - Sahyadri Express) from Mumbai has a stop at Wathar. Alternatively, major railway station nearest to the Wai is Satara, which is around 40kms from Wai and has better rail connectivity from Mumbai as compare to Wathar. Road connectivity between Wai and Satara City is quite good and you can find buses leaving from Satara Bus Depot every 15 mins.
Private Car: If comfort is your priority and travelling in a group go for a by car. Our base village Paratavadi is well-connected to Mumbai by roadways it will take around 7 hours via Mumbai - Bengaluru Highway.
Tip: It will be good if you have a private vehicle as the frequency of the buses is very poor between Wai and Paratavadi.
Trek To Kamalgad - Explore The Unknow Trekking Destination
Despite being a lesser-known trekking destination, Kamalgad enthrals the visitors with its unique beauty and mystical aura. The fort is also famous by the names of Bhelanja and Kattalgad and provides an ideal option as a weekend trekking destination for adventure enthusiasts from the nearby cities.
The trekking trail is moderately difficult and takes the participants up to a height of 4522 feet above sea level. Not much is known about the history of the fort except that it was used by the Britishers to keep the prisoners. The fact that the region rarely sees any visitors ensures that trekkers get to enjoy the sights of lush green on the top even post-monsoon. The fort is spread across 3-4 acres. It is surrounded by steep rock
Base Village to Gorakshnath Temple
The trek starts from the temple at the base village passing through few houses and then start with a steep climb. Earlier, the approach was by an artificial tunnel, which started at the base of the rock and emerged on the top. Now, this tunnel is blocked and not recommended to take that route. Trek route is well marked initially, as you gradually start ascending many cattle route emerges out. It's advisable to confirm your direction or get a local guide from the base village. The steep way to reach first halt point will check your power and endurance.
Gorakshnath Temple to Highest Point Of Fort (Balekilla)
From Gorakshnath Temple take a left or follow the path towards the jungle which will take you to Dhangar Wasti on the fort, single-family is living there for many generations they had their own farm on the top. For here you can get a first look of the topmost point of the fort that place we can clearly see the Kenjalgad Fort. There is a near water source on the other side of their house, you can ask them they will guide you if you are running low on water supply. If you need something to eat or food you can order here and have it on the way back.
Take left from the hut or just simply ask the family to way up to the highest point. It will take you another 20-30 minutes from here, walking through the dense forest you will see the iron ladder which takes us to the top of the fort.
From the top, you can see the Dhom Dam on the east, Panchgani on the west. Splendid views of complete Kamalgad Fort covered up with dense forest & rivers Krishna & Valki. Enjoy the 360-degree view from the top, click some photo for memories and start descending bale killa.
Best Season To Visit Kamalgad Fort
The best time to do Kamalgad Fort Trek is from June to February. During this period you can see the spectacular views from Kamalgad fort.
Monsoon is the best season to see the lush green Sahyadris. All the fields in the villages and trails will be full of green grasses.
Listen To Me:
Carry some ready to eat food, atleast 3-4 litres of water, mat/bedsheet to rest and first aid box.
Talk to the native villagers gently and give respect to them, because you are their guests.
Carry an Id proof.
Kamalgad Fort Trek is not recommended for beginners and first timers. Any fit trekker who has prior trekking experience can attempt Kamalgad Fort Trek.
The ideal time to do is to start the trek from the base just after the sunrise. So that you reach the top before noon and descend for your late lunch. Make sure you come back to the starting point before 3 pm. If you are depending on public transport for your return journey, then after 3 pm, you have only a few options to go back.
Don't try to risk your life while trekking and always take a guide if you don't know the route. So it advisable to take a local villager as a guide and pay him for your breakfast and lunch and also you can leave your bag at their place and carry only must required things only.
Trek Level: Moderately Medium.
Base Village: Furus - Paratavadi, Nandgane
Altitude: 4511 ASL
Time Required: 6 - 7 hours round way.
Region: Satara District