Kothaligad Trek (Peth) 2023 – Complete Travel Guide

Brief About Kothaligad Trek

As a traveler, Kothaligad is a must-visit location located in the famous Bhimashankar wildlife sanctuary near Karjat, and is commonly known as the fort of Peth. Its pinnacle can be seen from the village of Peth, and the trek to the top of the fort is famous for its stairs cut through a huge rock. On reaching the top, one can witness beautifully carved caves inside the same rock, with the Bhairoba cave being the most spacious and special. The fort also has perfectly restored cannons, and during the monsoon season, it is surrounded by clouds and many waterfalls en route.

Serene View of Kothaligad Fort from far

Located less than 100 kms from both Mumbai and Pune, Kothaligad is an ideal all-season trek for those looking for a quick getaway from bustling city life. The location is well-connected by road and railways, and the trek to the top is a great experience for those who love trekking and exploring natural wonders.

Key details of the Kothaligad Trek:

  • Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 1 Day
  • Trek Distance: 4.1 km
  • Trek Altitude Range: 3100 feet
  • Nearest Railway Station: Karjat (30 km)

Best Places to Visit & Explore at Kothaligad Trek

You can enjoy the unique thumb-like structure of the fort, well-preserved cannons, and intricate carvings of pillars in the cave temple, while also witnessing panoramic views of the surrounding ranges and gushing waterfalls often sent upwards by strong winds from the valley. By embracing these wonderful views of nature filled with small streams of waterfalls below the Fort, you can reconnect with nature and explore the majestic cave with ancient cannon balls scattered around the fort.

Kothaligad Top View with Travvelers Around
Kothaligad Top View with Travelers Around

What is the best time to visit Kothaligad Trek?

The best time to embark on the Kothaligad Trek is from June to August. You can witness fireflies at Kothaligad Fort before the start of the monsoon season, mostly during the months of May and June. However, it is important to note that the section from Ambivli to Peth gaon is very prone to landslides, leading to numerous incidents of trees falling and obstructing the trail during the monsoon season.

How to reach the starting point of the trek?

The best way to reach Kothaligad from Mumbai is to take a suburban train to Karjat and alight at Neral station. From there, regularly shared 6-seater Vikram or Tum-tum rickshaw services are available to Kashele, which cost Rs. 55 per seat.

If you’re traveling from the Mumbai International Airport, the most convenient way to reach Karjat is by taking a route that includes the Airport Road Metro station, Ghatkopar railway station (Central Railway), and Karjat railway station.

Availability of accommodations and food near the trek

While embarking on the Kothaligad trek, keep in mind that restaurants and stores are available in Ambivli. However, you’ll have fewer options as you move away from the base village, and the next restaurant is located 4 km away near Peth gaon. The base village offers food during the day.

On the accommodation front, there are several options available near Kothaligad. You can pitch a tent near Peth gaon or spend the night in the Bhairoba cave near the peak. Alternatively, you can arrange for a homestay in Peth gaon.

The Difficulty level of the Kothaligad Trek

Kothaligad Trek is an easy trek with no section classified as difficult. However, trekkers should be prepared for every eventuality.

The trail from Ambivli to Peth gaon is prone to landslides and incidents of trees falling during the monsoon season. There is a patch after emerging from the spiral steps hewn from the fort’s insides where the trail sharply turns right and overlooks a 50+ feet drop. Care should be taken while descending this patch as it can turn slippery during the monsoons. The last narrow and exposed trail that circumvents the fort has been a cause for concern, with multiple incidents of trekkers getting injured while attempting this stretch.

Preparation required for the Kothaligad Trek

If you’re a beginner and want to start a fitness routine, you should begin slowly and increase your pace gradually. A brisk walk of 5 km in 45 minutes should be your starting point. You should aim to walk 5 km, 4 times a week, and introduce jogging as you become more comfortable. Once you feel comfortable jogging, you can increase the distance you jog in a workout until you can complete 5 km in 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can choose cycling and aim to cover 15 km in 60 minutes when you begin, and gradually increase your pace to cover 18 km in one hour.

You will get mobile network for all major operators like Airtel, Vodafone & Jio throughout the trek.

However, if you plan to visit Ambivli, you should be aware that it is not yet fully modernized, and you may not find an ATM nearby. The nearest towns with operational ATMs are Karjat and Neral, so it’s essential to ensure that you carry enough cash before starting your trek.

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