Karnala Fort- A Gorgeous World In a Bird Sanctuary

Karnala Fort- A Gorgeous World In a Bird Sanctuary

This 12th-century monument is called Funnel (Karnala Fort) because of its fascinating shape. Keep your bags ready to visit this beautiful place.  

Karnala Fort Details:

Karnala Trek Difficulty levelMedium
Base VillageShirdhon / Karnala Village
RegionPanvel, Raigad District
Time1- 2 hrs
Height1,440 ft
Nearest Railway StationPanvel
LocationPanvel taluka, Raigad District, Maharashtra, India

Karnala Fort History

Fort Karnala was built before 1400 by the Dwagiri Ya rulers of Devagiri Yadavs and Tughlaq. It later fell to the Sultanate of Gujarat but was finally taken over by Nizam Shah of Ahmed Nagar in 1540. 500 soldiers marched on the mighty fortress and reoccupied it, handing it over to the Sultan of Gujarat, but under the Portuguese garrison. However, the Sultan of Gujarat fled Karnala, leaving the fort under complete Portuguese control.

fort at top
way to fort

An angry Nizam Shah sent 5,000 soldiers to reoccupy the fort but failed. In the end, the Portuguese governor realized that Karnala fort had no strategic value to them, so he agreed to return it to Nizam Shah, paying an annual payment of 1,7500 Indian rupees.

How to reach

It is located in Karnala Village, Raigad District, Maharashtra. The daily fort time is from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

waterfall at top
Karnala Fort Trek

Train: Panvel railway station is the nearest railway station and the main station on the busy route between Mumbai and Roha and on the suburban route of Mumbai. The station can provide rickshaws and taxis to reach Fort Karnala.

Road: Karnala is on National Highway 17, also known as the Mumbai-Goa Highway. The national buses to Pen, Alibag, Murud, etc. stopped at the gate of the sanctuary. Regularly shared rickshaws from Panvel to the surrounding villages are another way to reach Karnala. Taxi can be hired from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai or Thane to reach Karnala.


Amazing Structure

In the middle of there is a 125-foot-high basalt column called the Pandu Tower. When the fortress was occupied, the pillar served as a watchtower, but now it is in ruins. This is a reservoir that supplies fresh water all year round. From the top of the fortress, you can see Prabalgad and Rajmachi fortresses on the north side.

Also Read: A Journey To Remember: PRABALGAD Fort Maharashtra!

top view
Pind view

The fort has two inscriptions, one in Marathi and the other in Persian. The undated Marathi inscription can be seen on the lower door on the inner side, and the text is illegible. The Persian script that came to the door was Syed Nuruddin Muhammad Khan of Hijri, probably from the Mughal era.

The Best Time to go

If you are fully prepared for the continuous heavy monsoon rains, then this is the perfect time to visit Fort Karnala. During the monsoon, the entire karnala bird sanctuary around the fortress turns into a wonderful green. If you can overlook the clouds from the top of the fortress, the surrounding environment will become lush. Be prepared for heavy rain and be prepared for a very slippery and muddy hike in the fortress-wear shoes with good grip and bring a waterproof jacket.

sky at top

 If you don’t want to visit on rainy days, winter is also a good time (mid-November to mid-February). Even in the daytime, the temperature is not very high, you can see a clear view from the top of the fortress

For Bird watching

At the beginning of the rain, you can see the flycatcher of heaven, shama or robin and horse Barr whistling thrush, it is one of the most pleasing birds. In winter, migratory birds take over. These include blue-headed thrush, blue throat, red-breasted fly, black-headed cuckoo shrike, etc. As well as Malabar whistling thrush, cattle egrets waiting when you walk into the forest. The cost of these antics is the entrance fee per adult: Rs. 30. Photographic fee: Rs. 100.

Karnala Fort

 Once you reach the top of the mountain at an altitude of 1,500 feet, don’t miss this 125-foot-tall watchtower, even though it is now in ruins. There are exquisite inscriptions from Persian, Marathi and Mughal times on the walls and doors of the fort. There is also an ancient Bhavani temple at the bottom of the fort, which should not be missed.

Karnala Fort view
Karnala Fort picture

When you are here, don’t miss the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. You can also visit other nearby attractions such as Ram Mandir, Gandevi Mandir, Ganesh Mandir, Datta Mandir and Bot Lake.

 There are many great dhabas on the road near Fort Karnala before leading to the fortress in Mumbai. Most of them offer excellent local Maharashtrian style chicken/lamb, and some of them can also taste Konkani seafood. You will also find regular North Indian / Chinese food places near the fort because it is a popular tourist attraction, especially the food court not far from the fort has all the food and some cafes.

Hotel Fort View is a popular restaurant near Karnala Fort. The people, Neel Kamal, etc. They are other good restaurants in Panvel, offering all kinds of cuisine.

Karnala Fort jungle
Karnala Fort jungle at monsoon

Karnala Fort Trek

The fortress is a protected property located in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, giving you a great opportunity to cool off and relax. Fort Karnala consists of two fortresses, one of which is on a higher level and the other on a lower level.

jungle at monsoon
waterfall at top

 If you are in good physical condition, the hike to the top of the fort will take at least 2 hours, as you walk backwards. It will take less time. Although it does become slippery during the monsoon, this route is easy and not very steep. For adventurous hikers, there is a shortcut at the top of the fort, which can shorten the time by about half an hour. However, this route is very steep and you should only try it if you like to hike.

Also Read: Kalavantin Durg- 2nd toughest trek on Sahyadri

Basic information:

trek at monsoon

 You need to drink a lot of water, we recommend that each person bring 2 litres of water. Bring an extra pair of clothes, a pair of good luck hiking shoes, and a backpack, and put all these things away. If you don’t want to get wet, bring a rain cover too. Avoid wearing gold medals and other musical instruments. It is a good idea to take some snacks with you during the trip, such as bananas, some cookies or nuts.

Nearby Places

  • Kalavantin Durg
  • Prabalgad Fort
  • Sankshi fort
  • Pandavkada Falls
  • Kharghar Hills

Watch Video: Waterfalls In Navi Mumbai | Maharashtra | UnseenSafar

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