Brief About Peb Fort Trek
Peb Fort or Vikatgad Fort is a popular one-day trekking destination located 19 km from Karjat in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. The fort is part of the Matheran Hill Range and is surrounded by deep ravines and cliffs. Its proximity to Matheran and Neral attracts many trekkers on weekends. Restoration and plantation works are being carried out by the forest department and local villagers.
The trek ranges from easy to moderate, depending on your fitness level. It’s located at an elevation of 1084 m above sea level, higher than its twin fort Lohagad Fort. Named after the goddess Pebi Devi, it was built by the Peshwas in the early 1700s and had store rooms for food grains and ammunition. It is famous for its waterfall, especially during the monsoon, and is a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai or Pune, offering a fun trek with great views.
Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 1 day
Trek Distance: 4 Km
Trek Altitude: 2,100 Feet
Nearest Railway Station: Neral Railway Station
Nearest Airport: Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport, Mumbai
Table of Contents
Best Places to Visit & Explore at Peb Fort
Experience the Ruins
On the entrance path of Vikatgad Peb Fort, you will find two gates but only the ruins of these gates remain. At the fort, you can also see water cisterns and the ruins of other buildings. The top of the fort is very narrow and you will find a recently built temple with Lord Datta’s paduka idol at the center. On the southern side of the fort, you will find a lone residential hut or Datta temple, and there is also a lone bastion on the southern ridge of the fort.
Picturesque Places to Explore Nearby
There are several beautiful trekking destinations to visit in the Raigad district, including Louisa Point, Panorama Point, Porcupine Point, Heart Point, and One Tree Hill.
- Louisa Point offers stunning panoramic views of the historic Vishalgad and Prabalgad Forts and is a popular spot for watching sunsets and sunrises.
- At Panorama Point, trek a little to reach the top, also known as the sunrise point, and enjoy the views with trekkers, tourists, and locals.
- From Porcupine Point, you can see the magnificent Prabalgad Fort and is another popular sunrise/sunset destination.
- Heart Point is perfect for lovers to whisper sweet nothings and One Tree Hill is a trekking destination surrounded by the valley of Matheran, with thick woods and dense forests.
What is the best time to visit Peb Fort Trek?
The best time to visit Vikatgad Peb Fort is during the winter season from December to March. During this time, the fort has just been washed by the rain and has a clean and green appearance. The temperatures are low in humidity and the heat of the sun is bearable, making for a delightful trekking experience.
Visiting the fort during the monsoon season from August to November is also an option for those who don’t mind a little bit of rain. The surroundings of the fort are lush green with the waterfall running smoothly and crops flourishing. However, trekking can be a little dangerous due to the slippery slope of the hill, so it’s recommended to carry raincoats and umbrellas.
It is advised to avoid visiting the fort during the summers, as the temperatures range from 23-29 degrees Celsius with a hot and humid climate, making trekking difficult and causing dehydration.
How to reach the Starting Point of Trek?
Commuting to Vikatgad Peb Fort is convenient and easy as it is located along the Mumbai-Pune route. Here are the options available for travelers.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Neral Railway Station, which is just 3.5 km from the fort. The station is 88 km from Mumbai (2 hours), 117 km from Pune (3 hours), and 67.4 km from Lonavala (1 hour 30 minutes). Regular trains run through these stations, making it an accessible option for travelers.
By Road: Although there are no direct buses to the fort, travelers can hire a taxi from Mumbai or Pune. The route is scenic and makes for a good road trip.
By Air: The nearest airport is Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport in Mumbai. From there, travelers can take taxis or buses to reach the railway station or other drop-off points.
Availability of Accommodations & Food near the Trek
Visitors to Peb Fort have several accommodation options to choose from, including pitching tents near the Aashram or spending the night in a cave on the fort. Alternatively, travelers can arrange for accommodation in Matheran. In Neral, there are several restaurants and stores available, but options become more limited as you move away from the town.
Difficulty Level of Peb Fort Trek
The trek can be completed on an easy to medium level of difficulty, depending on the chosen route. The easiest route starts from 134 NM and has some tricky sections during monsoon season as it can become slippery. It is important to be extra cautious as there is no rope or railing for assistance and a small mistake can be life-threatening.
Physical & Mental Preparation Required for Trek
For a successful trek, make sure to bring a sturdy pair of shoes as a comfortable pair is crucial for a successful trek. Additionally, choose the right clothing like t-shirt and shorts or full pants that are comfortable and allow for unrestricted movement while trekking and climbing. It is recommended to wear full clothing.
It is crucial to follow proper safety precautions and take one step at a time during the climb. If you have any medical conditions like heart problems or high blood pressure, it is important to inform the trek leader before booking or after completing the booking. The trek leader’s decision should be respected in case of a medical emergency.