You can take a historical stroll with the Peth fort (also known as Kothaligad) near Karjat. Trekkers can climb the forts in Sahyadris because of their valleys and folds. Maharashtra’s forts are mainly located in Sahyadris, which was strategically important for Maratha rulers to keep an eye on the valley and foreshadowing enemies.
Peth fort can be found in Peth, Raigad District. It is about 90 kms away from Mumbai and 125 kilometers from Pune. Built at 2000 feet elevation, the fort was once the watchtower of Marathas. Smart architectural decisions such as the chimney-thumb-like summit structure and its view of the valley, Matheran and Bhimashankar peaks, and forts Malanggad and Chanderi fort, make this fort stand out. Trekkers who are interested in trekking can find the trek easy, making it an ideal place to start their journey.
Ambivli is the base village for the trek. Peth is not well developed so it is best to travel by bike or hire a private car to Ambivali. It is a short trek and takes very little time. Even if you are walking slowly, the trek takes around 2 hours. You can reach the base village by getting off at Karjat Railway Station. This station is closest to Kothaligad. Many trains run on the Central Line from Mumbai to Karjat. There are many taxis that can take you to Ambivali once you have reached Karjat station. Trekkers traveling from Pune would have to travel via Lonavala, Mumbai-Pune Express Highway.
These are some great places to walk during monsoon
The trek trail leads to the fort, which is located within the territory of Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga wildlife. It features a lot of greenery, waterfalls, and jungle. Although the fort is partially destroy, it’s worth climbing cause of its unique caves and temples. It also contains preserved ammunition and cannons from ancient times, which adds to its value. You will be able to imagine the calculations and strategies use to build the fort through the caves and stairs that are carved into the rocks.
The trek is monsoon-relat, so it is easier to climb because of the lush greenery, clouds, and waterfalls that will drench your body with cool misty air. When the state gets the most rain, June-September is the best time to visit Kothaligad. The weather can be hot and humid even during dry seasons such as winter or summer. With rolling clouds and rain through the jungle, the monsoons bring out all the best aspects of the area.
The whole valley and area are surrounding by wide-open meadows, fields, and mountains. There are restaurants and hotels in the base Ambivali village, where you can have lunch or breakfast. Ambivali Buddhist Caves is another nearby attraction. You can walk to the caves and admire the river from the banks. Peth and the surrounding village have no concrete roads. Instead, you will travel along a narrow mud road that has green fields on one side.
About Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga –
Bhimashankar, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, is also five among those in Maharashtra. It can found in the highest reaches of Sahyadris, at its farthest point. It offers an unforgettable trekking experience in Maharashtra, as well as in the Western Ghats. Legends say that Bhimashankar got its name from Asur Bhima (son of Kumbhakaran) who was defeate by Shankar (Lord Shiva). Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga is believed to have been Lord Shiva, who is believe to reside in these magnificent Sahyadris ranges.
Visit the Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga temple in the wildlife reserve. As early as 5.30 AM, you can attend the morning Aarti!
Mumbaikars’ favorite spots for weekends are Kothaligad and Karjat. Many people choose to escape the city by staying at farmstays, second homes or weekend villas. Matheran, a famous hill station located near Karjat, is the only hill station in India that is not motorized. You can choose to ride horses, pull carts, or walk within Matheran. You can access the hill station by private car or local taxis. They will take you from Neral station to the entry point. From there, you can either follow the toy train tracks or go horseback riding up the mountain. It is located within a 100-km radius of Mumbai and is the most environmentally friendly hill station.