After a gap of 3 long months our group decided to go for trek. We had to canceled our trekking plans in summer as it was too hot to do a trek. As monsoon is a great time to do a trek we decided to go to Karnala fort near Panvel. The date was fixes as 27 June 2010.
We decided go by train to Panvel as from thane we have direct train to Panvel. meeting time was decided as 6.00 am. Thane – Panvel train was at 6.24 am and we all had reached well before time. As it was Sunday not many people boarded the train and we got place to sit. We were waiting for one friend as he had everyone’s ticket with him. We all decide to get down of the train if didn’t turn up as the train had given yellow signal but to our luck he made it. As he entered the compartment the train started moving.
The total expense decided was 150/- PP, so we started collecting the amount. The final count for the trek was 17 people. By 7.15 am we had reached Panvel. Next destination was ST Stand to inquire about the bus which can drop us at Karnala. As everyone were hungry we decided to do our breakfast in a hotel near ST stand. By 8.10 am our stomach were full and then we inquire about the bus, we came to know that buses going towards alibaug can drop us at karnala. Panvel – Alibagh bus was at 8.30 so couple of us decided to inquire about the 6 sitters (tumtum). So i and pravin went to ask the rate of tumtum. When inquired they told 150 to hire one 6 sitter. The deal was final for 300 Rs for 2 6 sitters. We called our group near the 6 sitter stand as they don’t have permissions to take customers from the ST stand area. The distance from Panvel ST stand to karnala is just 14 Km hence we reached karnala in 30 min.
As karnala is also famous for its Bird Sanctuary many people visit it as its not far from mumbai. Entry fee of 20 rs per person is charged before entering the area. They even take 100 Rs deposit for carrying plastic bottles (they ask the count of bottles we are carrying) which is refunded when we return and show them the same count which while going we have told them. If bottle is lost then they don’t refund 100 rs.
The way to the fort is from the Bird Sanctuary itself. We started our trek, for 10-15 min we were walking on tar road. Many trees have their name written on them. The actual trek for us started when we left behind the tar road and entered the bush. Climbing karnala is not much difficult , there are some patches which are rocky and some patches which have red slippery soil. Its difficult to climb on the slippery soil as we don’t get proper grip on that soil. Different types of insects can also be seen on the way. As we too many halts while climbing we reached at the top in 2 hrs. Staircases led us to the entry of the fort. The view from the fort was awesome. prabalgad, Irshalgad and plateau adjoining Matheran were clearly visible from karnala fort. The history of the fort is also worth knowing . Read it from wikipedia
The only bad luck we had was rain , we were there to enjoy trek and rain but didn’t even had a single shower till we reach the top. We could see rain in all direction except on the fort. When we decided to have lunch and when we started our lunch we were blessed with heavy rain along with heavy wind. We enjoyed our lunch in that shower after which we took rest in that place for 1 hour. Before descending rushme told us the history about the fort. While descending we were quite lucky as we were blessed many times by small small showers . We reached the base in 1 and half hours and then we went to see the birds which were in the cages. There we saw rabbits, parrot, love birds, peacock , duck. The best and amazing to watch was the peacock who had spread her wings and was giving different poses. The duck was Snizzing , yawing. On the main gate we gave them the count of the plastic bottle and took the 100 Rs deposit.
There are two ways to go back to panvel, one is to take the phone number of the 6 sitter auto driver and call them but they charge 50 rs extra i.e they’ll charge 200 Rs per 6 sitter and the second way is to wait for the bus. We had taken the number of the 6 sitter auto but to our bad luck the number was not reachable. So we decided to wait for bus. As we were waiting, road going towards alibaug was jam due to an accident. Someone told me that accident site was just ahead of us so i decided to take some snaps of that and went in that direction with siddesh. When i was returning pravin came and told that 12 members of the group went ahead with a tumtum (cant call it 6 sitter now) and only 5 of us were there. As the traffic was about to get clear we ran to see if we can get any lift or bus or any tumtum. Luckily we got a bus which dropped us out side Panvel ST stand. We got a 6.18 pm Panvel – Thane local. We calculated the total expense and we were shocked that the total expense per head was dropped from 150 rs to 100 rs per head as we had 850 rs balance with us. At 7.15 we reached thane and before we say bye to each other we promised each other to meet again at our next trek.
Read more about Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Some important things about the trek to Karnala
How to reach karnaka
Option 1 : From Diva , Diva – Vasai train
Option 2 : From Kurla, Kurla – panvel train
Option 3 : From Thane, Thane – Panvel train backup option Thane – Vashi, Vashi- Panvel
Thane to Panvel ticket cost is 14 rs single side journey.
ST Stand is at walkable distance from station. If decided to go by ST then take ST which go to alibaug
If want to travel by tumtum (6 sitters) go towards gandhi hospital 3-5 min from ST Stand.
6 sitters will charge 150 rs one side journey for returns journey take his cell number and call them. Returns journey they charge 200 rs (Talk to the drivers before about the rate)
From Karnala to Panvel
ST Buses plying towards Panvel can stop ticket cost is 17 rs
A 6 sitter will can charge 15 rs per head till ST stand.