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Trekking is what keeps us the adventure enthusiast alive. We live for trails and never lose and opportunity of trekking anywhere. The western ghats of India have already given us some of the most famous to some of the most unknown ones. Be it Mangi tungi of Maharastra, Skanda Giri near Banglore, or Bandaje waterfalls trek. These mesmerizing western ghats treks are phenomenal and beautiful at the same time.
We are yet again back here in the western ghats in search of the trek. This time we have chosen the Kalavantin Durg Trek which is known as one of the hardest and toughest treks in Maharastra. We wanted to experience the hardest trek of Maharastra and see what it has got for us.
Kalavantin Durg trek basically is for a coveted fortress named Kalavantin Durg. The fort of Kalavantin Durg is at a height of 2300m above the sea level. The fort used to be watchtower in its olden days. IT lies in the northern edge of the Prabal plateau in the western ghats. The Kalavantin Durg trek is the way to reach the top. Not only it is famous because of the fort and trekking difficulty but also it offers some of the most phenomenal panoramic views. The trek is also an opportunity for Mumbaikers to go out for an adventure as it remains very near to the city.
Facts about the Kalavantin Durg trek
- Trekking difficulty Moderate
- Trek duration one day
- Base camp Thakurwadi
- Max altitude 2300 ft
- Nearest big city Mumbai
Trekking Itinerary for Kalavantin Durg Trek
I strongly recommend you if you are going solo on the trip then please book a travel company like TravelHikes rather than going solo. This is due to the fact that it can get very confusing and if you are relying on google maps then it takes you to the Durg peak through a very dense forest. While if you are in a group than this trek can be done on your own.
The base village or the base camp for the Kalavantin Durg trek is Thakurwadi. To reach Thakurwadi take the Mumbai – Pune expressway and reach Shedung. From Shedung you can ask locals on how to reach Thakurwadi.
While the trek is only one day so the trip has been divided into few small stops. Our trip starts from Thakurwadi.
Thakurwadi to Prabalmachi plateau
Our small trek begins from Thakurwadi. Thakurwadi is a small village and you will see only a few people here around. The roads too are kaccha road full of mud and slush. The trails are not marked here and you can ask any village about the direction of the trail. As you walk by you will see few huts which are quite an exposure into the olden era.
While initially, the trek started from all those mud and slushes of Thakurwadi but soon it changes into the stone-paved road. The trail gradually ascents up to Prabalmachi. The trail here is stone-paved as this trek is frequently used to transport goods around. Along the way, you will see different flowers blooming around. The flora and fauna along the path are extremely beautiful. The dense forest by the side and mountains on the other side is a very scenic experience.
As you further move along you will see numerous waterfalls. The villagers here said that these waterfalls double up as the monsoon season starts. A few hours later you will reach Prabalmachi. You can take a break ar Prabalmachi. In Prabalmachi you can have breakfast or can have some tea. Prabalmachi has quite a few shops and small restaurants in their village.
While the plateau here is covered with grass which looks absolutely stunning. There is no tress just a stretch of green grass. It looks like a football ground in the hills. You can see the peaks on one side it is a very scenic experience.
Prabalmachi to Summit
From Prabalmachi we will reach the summit for our Kalavantin Durg trek via a junction. While earlier in the route there were rocky terrains but now it gets muddy again. The vegetation earlier was plateau full of grass now you will see grasslands and tall trees. ON the way you will numerous small waterfalls with lush green mountains at the backdrop which just enhances the trekking experience
In the last few stretches, you will have to tussle a bit. You will have a zig-zag up and down ride in the last minutes of this Kalavantin Durg trek. So the last few patches are bit rocky and slippery. The rocky ascents should be carefully taken. You must be very very cautious at these last moments. I think due to this last 20 minutes tussle it is named as one of the most difficult treks to take in Maharashtra. While all the terrain of Kalavantin Durg trek was fairly simple but these last few minutes demands a very high attentiveness.
When you cross these cut steps and rocky terrain you will have to climb over a rock of about 15 ft to reach the summit.
So What makes the Kalavantin Durg Trek dangerous?
So I thought that what makes this trek one of the most coveted treks in the area and answer is not very simple.
Well, the initial path is very simple but at last, trekkers have to climb the rock-cut and edgy staircase that is deprived of railings or of any kind of support. Those who reach till the base of the summit have to cross this big barrier to reach the summit. The summit is a very tricky and dangerous place. Those who know about trekking they know how enduring and tiring trekking can be not only physically but mentally too. You Mental strength with physical strength is being tested here. If you can overcome your fear than this trek is fairly easy for you.
But as soon as you dare to take the leap you see the gorgeous view all around. The neighboring towns are visible from up top. The Mountains are your reward for such a dangerous trek. From the top, you can see places like Chanderi, Matheran, and even some parts of Mumbai.
The Kalavantin Durg Trek is an extremely rewarding trek which is one of a kind experience especially when you live nearby only. This is a perfect one day trek for people living in Mumbai or Pune who want some adventure in Maharashtra only.
Best time to take Kalavantin Durg Trek
The best time to take this trek is from October to march. After the monsoon season, there is very little chance of rain. The temperature also remains fairly good to take this trek,
While if you are taking this trek in summers then you can till early May. Because after may the temperature gets extremely hot and it becomes extremely tough to trek here. The humidity too plays a big role here.
I will suggest you to not take this trek in Monsoon season. While the rain in monsoon is pleasant but the path gets so slippery that it is completely impossible to take this trek at this time. While even if you dare to go the trail remains extremely difficult at this point of the time
Post monsoon and winters are the best time to take this. Not only the temperature at this time is awesome but the views too look alluring.
What to pack for the Kalavantin Durg trek
Since it is just a one-day trek, you don’t need to carry much. But few things which you can carry are mentioned below
- Proper clothing
- Wear proper trekking/hiking shoes
- carry two liters of water per person
- fruits, dry fruits, energy bars.
- first-aid kit
- personal medication
- winter or rain gear
How to reach Thakurwadi ?
Thakurwadi is the base camp of Kalavantin Durg trek and to reach Thakurwadi starts from the Panvel railway station. Then take a bus to travel till Shedung. Shedung is approximately 162 km from there. Take NH 79 to reach Shedung. From there take a rickshaw. You can make your way from Shedung to Thakurwadi from there