If your heart is pounding for some high-octane adventure this year, we've got a fix for you. Prabalgad Fort in the Panvel district of Maharashtra should be in your list this year, if you haven't scaled it yet. Here's why.
Trek Alert: Prabalgad Fort Near Mumbai Is A Must-Visit For All You Adventure Junkies
What Makes It Awesome
Earlier known as Muranjan Fort and later renamed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as Prabalgad, this fort is tucked away in the greens of the Sahyadris, at a height of 2,300 feet above sea level. From Mumbai, you need to board a local from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Dadar, and reach Panvel. After reaching, you take a local rickshaw or what is known as the Tum Tum there. It won't cost you more than INR 300 to reach from Panvel to your 1st base point, which is Thakurwadi (And if the autowallahs ask for more, know that it is time to show off some bargaining skills.)
From Thakurwadi, you hike up to Prabalmachi, which is a flat piece of land with a few local families serving food to travellers at minimal cost (Their veg and non-veg thalis are for INR 130 and INR 160 respectively.)
You can camp at Prabalmachi in the night with a bonfire around you, and a lot of dogs for company. After the night's sleep, you wake up to the sunrise (or maybe start the trek before sunrise to avoid the unnecessary sweating) and start ascending towards Prabalgad. It will take you around two hours to reach the pinnacle.
You will be crossing a few secret caves while climbing upward. And once you've reached the fort, let the scenic view do all the talking. Prabalgad also has a sister fort called Irshalgad, which is visible from the top. The greenery is understandably enhanced during the monsoons, but since it's the season for treks, put on those shoes, pack your bags and head out!
There is another route that goes to the Kalavantin Durg. Do not get confused between the two hikes. We'd recommend that you either take a guide with you or ask the locals for proper guidance.