Karnala Bird Sanctuary & Fort: The Comfort Escape
Karnala Bird Sanctuary lies on the Mumbai-Pune highway. It is small in size and covers an area of 4.8 square km. The sanctuary houses as many as 150 species of resident birds and 37 types of avian migrants. There are small cages for the birds where the wounded ones can get healed and also for the people to be able to come for bird watching. It is a beautiful place with greenery all around and lies away from the noise and pollution of the city.
There are two ways for trekking- the easy one and the tough one. The people who are more familiar and comfortable with trekking can go for the latter one while beginners can choose the former. The path is such that one needs to move to the left of the entrance and then follow the road taking the pump house as the origin. Arrows displayed on the trees need to be followed further.
For the challenging route, one needs to move to the right from the entrance which will lead to the forest directly. There will be some streams and waterfalls on the way over. The elevation is of 375m which is not at all difficult to climb. Once the base area of the forest is reached, there are railings to climb.
Karnala Fort also known as the Funnel Hill is a hill fort in Raigad district, about 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. I would advise you to carry at least 3 litres of water per person on the trek and make sure you are wearing appropriate shoes.
Start Early: If you want to spend fairly good time on the top and to avoid heat.
Carry lots of water, once you start the trek there is no water available. I would advise you to carry at least 3 litres of water per person
The Karnala trek has wild grass a bit of rock climbs. So make sure you are wearing appropriate shoes.
Carry a handy bag just so you can keep your litter (if any) with you through the trek. It would be a shame really, if you came for a nature-trek and littered nature.