Brief About Takmak Fort Trek
I recently visited Takmak Fort near Virar and discovered it to be a hidden gem of the Sahyadris. Although it is located near Mumbai, it remains unexplored by most travelers.
The fort was constructed in the 12th century by King Bheemdev and has a rich history. It was used as a watchtower to observe trade routes, and was won by Shivaji Maharaj along with Kohaj and Asheri. It has been fought over by different rulers including the Marathas and the Portuguese for centuries. The British later took control and used the fort as a prison.
The trek to Takmak Fort begins at the sea level base village of Sakawar and gradually gains altitude, climbing up to 2000 ft. It is recommended to hire a guide from the Sakawar village, as the trek can be confusing without one.
The fort offers splendid views and a chance to escape the chaos of the city. During the monsoon season, the place becomes more blissful with misty valleys and mesmerizing views, making it the perfect time to explore this hidden wonder.
Additionally, the fort is a paradise for bird watchers as it offers a chance to see some rare varieties of birds on the way. Overall, Takmak Fort Trek is an excellent experience for history lovers, nature enthusiasts, and those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Key details of the Takmak Fort Trek:
- Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 1 day
- Trek Distance: 6 km one way
- Trek Altitude Range: 2000 feet
- Starting Point: Sakawar Village
- Nearest Railway Station: Virar Railway Station (20 km)
- Nearest Airport: Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport, Mumbai (58 km)
Table of Contents
Best Places to Visit at Takmak Fort Trek
During the trek, you can explore the picturesque village of Sakawar, which is the starting point for Takmak Fort trek. This village portrays a typical Indian countryside life, with children playing and women doing laundry in the nearby streams, while men cultivate rice paddy fields.
The Palghar region of Maharashtra is known for its dense forests, which are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including Curculigo Orchioides and starflowers. These flowers bloom in the monsoon season, covering the entire trail with tall green grass and flowers, providing a tranquil and peaceful experience for trekkers.
Additionally, the forested region on this trek is home to many species of freshwater crabs, including cream and pink-colored ones. Observing these crabs and learning about the 11 different crab species in the Sahyadris is an interesting and unique experience.
Finally, the Takmak Fort features a well-maintained cannon, a few rock-cut cisterns, and the remains of some buildings.
What is the best time to visit Takmak Fort Trek
Winters are the ideal season for trekking to Takmak Fort. Although it’s recommended to trek in the monsoon season, the Takmak Fort trek is accessible year-round and offers greenery of the Western Ghats during the monsoons. The trek is less crowded during the monsoons, as it is still unexplored.
However, it’s not recommended to trek during the summer season due to high temperatures and humidity. A word of warning for prospective trekkers: avoid doing this trek in the summer or October/November heat. The trek can be done from June to February, and a night trek is also an option.
How to reach the starting point of the trek?
The base village for this trek is Sakawar village in the Vasai Tehsil of Thane District, Maharashtra.
If you’re planning on reaching the village by your own vehicle, you can take the Western National Highway(NH48) towards Shirsad from Mumbai and drive 80 km to reach Sakawar.
Upon reaching Sakawar, take a U-turn and turn right after the hospital, follow the road for 750 m to reach the junction from where the trek starts, and park your vehicle near any villager’s house.
Alternatively, if you’re coming from Mumbai by public transport, you can take a local train to Virar and then take a bus towards Shirsad to reach Sakawar village.
Upon getting down at Shirsad, you can ask the white-coloured big autos(tumtum) to drop you at Sakawar village in front of Ramakrishna Mission Health Centre. After walking for 10 minutes from there, enter the field and start the trek.
To return, you can get the white auto(tumtum) from where you entered the village road and catch a bus back to Virar to get the local train every 15 minutes to Churchgate Mumbai.
Availability of accommodations and food near the trek
It’s important to note that there are limited food options available at the base village of Sakawar and along the trek, so it’s recommended to carry your own food and snacks. However, if you need to purchase food, small hotels near the bus stop in Shirsad offer enough food to pack for the trek, as well as some hotels and restaurants in Virar.
Additionally, there is no water source on the fort, so make sure to carry a minimum of 2 litres of water, and consider carrying purification tablets or life straw bottles to purify the water from the hand pump or well in the village.
When it comes to accommodation, there are no hotels in Sakawar, so it’s best to stay in Mumbai or Thane, where there are plenty of options available. This also makes it easy to travel to Sakawar for the trek.
The Difficulty level of the Takmak Fort Trek
As a beginner, you can attempt the Takmak fort trek as there are less difficult sections. However, some areas can be tricky, such as the forest section, which can be confusing due to multiple trails. The ridge walk is narrow, so caution is advised, and the final climb can become slippery in the monsoon season, with a steep angle of around 60 degrees. It’s essential to wear proper trekking shoes and carry a trekking pole.
Overall, the moderate difficulty level of the trek makes it an attractive option for those seeking misty valley views.
Preparation required for the Takmak Fort Trek
While the trek is not technically challenging, it can be demanding for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Travelers are advised to wear trekking or sports shoes and comfortable, earthy-colored clothing. Additionally, they should carry a comfortable backpack, sun protection, a refillable water bottle with a minimum of 2 liters of water, a cap, hand sanitizer, and breakfast and lunch, along with other necessary personal items. It’s also compulsory to wear a face mask during the trek.