Visit Mahuli Fort: The Urban Fort of Konkan Area (2023)
The Mahuli Fort is in Thane, on the outskirts of Mumbai. The fort is on the Mahuli hill and is, therefore, a trek. The entire area is a trekker and tourist’s delight because of the lush greenery. Are you planning on a trip to Mahuli? Read on to know everything about Mahuli.
Historical Importance of Mahuli
The Mahuli Fort is the highest point in Thane District. It’s called the Mount Everest of Thane by trekkers. The fort was the home of Shahaji Maharaj, the father of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The fort is one of the few that young Shivaji spent time. His father Shahaji had to surrender it, but Shivaji Maharaj won the Mahuli fort at least once in his lifetime.
Structure of Mahuli Fort
The Mahuli fort can be reached only by trekking and is a popular place among trekkers. That is because the trek offers a rare opportunity of rock climbing within Maharashtra to trekkers. Inside the fort, right at the gate, there is a Shiva Temple, which has an open Shivling and a Hanuman Temple.
There are some caves as well. Trekkers usually camp at the biggest fort overnight or before their ascent. Mahuli fort is dilapidated. and there is little to see, as compared to the other forts in the Konkan area. The fort has become more of a trekking area. You see several stones with carvings and inscriptions.
The fort is also home for several water structures, like a perennial water source and the Lake Mahuleshwar. From the very top, you can see the pinnacles of the surrounding hills, which makes for a surreal experience. The Kalyan Darwaza is another route to climb up to the Mahuli fort. It has some rock-cut steps. All over the fort, you will find old ruins of structures that housed people and animals.
Tourist Experience of Mahuli Fort
The Mahuli trek is an easy trek for experienced trekkers. But the trek involves rock climbing and climbing steep steps, so it is not recommended for the elderly and people who are not sure-footed. Mahuli fort is on a hill, the best time to do this trek is the monsoon season. The monsoon season also means slippery slopes, moss all around, and in case of heavy rain, loss of visibility. So, do not plan this trek in the peak of the monsoon season.
Summers in the Konkan region means sweltering heat, sometimes even in the rainy season. So, make sure that you carry sunglasses, caps, and enough drinking water. The complete trek, to and from, can take up to 5 hours.
As you go further upwards, you will get some breathtaking views of the valley below and weather that rejuvenates you completely. If you are here in the correct season, you will see fluffy clouds trying to kiss the rolling valleys, with various hilltops piercing the sky as you move up and ahead.
Once you reach on the top, the view of the Western Ghats is breathtaking. You also get a mesmerizing view of the Tansa Lake. Very few shops or vendors are around, so plan to carry some snacks and water. You will find some local vendors selling local fast food and tea. All through your trek, during the monsoon season, you will come across small and big waterfalls. The fort is within a reserved area; chances are, you might spot a wild animal or two. The forest department had released leopards here a while back. You might see one – rarely, though.
It is a good idea to take a dip and take a rest at these waterfalls, as the trek becomes more difficult as you head up. Because of the trek, the route to the fort is closed during the monsoon for extended periods.
Places Near Mahuli Fort
Mahuli Fort is in Thane, an urban district that is a stone’s throw away from Mumbai. If you plan to spend a weekend, you can travel to Mumbai and experience its nightlife and everything that Mumbai has to offer. Mumbai is home to several beaches, right from the urban areas to the suburban areas. If you are a beach-buff, Mumbai is the place to be. If not, there are some places in Thane that you can visit.
If you are up for it, you can visit the Tansa Lake, one of the largest lakes in Maharashtra. It’s the perfect place for a walk in the evening. The path leading to the Tansa lake is full of greenery, making it a great experience altogether.
If greenery, birds, and butterflies interest you, head over to the Ovalekar Wadi Butterfly Garden. The best times to visit this is the monsoon and the summer season. The butterfly park isn’t just a place to see some beautiful butterflies; you learn about butterflies and nature as well.
How To Reach Mahuli Fort?
The closest to Asangaon is Mumbai. You can travel from Mumbai to Asangaon on a train and then take public or private transport. If you wish to reach Asangaon from Pune, it’s a three-hour drive. Or else, you can take a train from Pune to Kalyan and then proceed further to Asangaon. Several buses from Swargate also drop you to Thane. It is a nearly 5-hour bus drive.
The Mahuli Fort is one of the few forts that are near to urban areas like Mumbai and Thane. If you are interested in trekking and want to restart your trekking, the forts like Mahuli and Vasai, are a perfect beginning point as they are nearby.