Difficulty Level: Easy
Time required: One day
Base Village: Warangade
Best time to go: All year round
Altitude: Approximately 1,070 feet (Above sea level)
Accommodation: Possible to pitch a tent or stay in large natural cave which is located a few metres below the top of the fort
Drinking Water: A few water tanks on the fort, but they are dried up in the summers. Water in the cave is present all year round, and quite clear, but covered by a layer of ash. So it is better to carry enough water.
Food: No food available at the base village,so carry your own food/snacks.
History of the fort
Not much is known about this fort, which lies in the Palghar range of the Sahyadris. It is thought to have served as a watchtower. The Palghar range of forts offers a great set of easy and moderate trails for those who live in Mumbai.
How to reach
From Mumbai, take a train via the Western line to Boisar station. If you are looking for an early start, I would recommend the train leaving from Churchgate station at 5.24 a.m. This train will reach Boisar by approximately 7.38 a.m. Have some tea and breakfast at Boisar itself, as there is no other place on the way to grab food. From the station, a short walk of 5 minutes will lead you to the Boisar bus stand. Ask for buses that go to Warangade village. All buses heading to Kalyan or Thane will halt there.
About the trail
The trail starts from a dirt road where you alight. You will first pass by a small factory (with a blue coloured building), and then in 5 minutes, you will be able to spot a small cement bridge. This bridge also has a painted arrow on it, marking the beginning of the trail for the fort. Keep going on the prominent trail, guided by the painted arrows on rocks.
You will climb across 2 small hills before reaching Asawa. Because of the arrows marking the trail throughout, it is quite easy to find the way. This trail takes you about an hour to reach the top.
There is an alternate route that goes to the fort, which is quicker but steeper. This trail starts a little ahead of Warangade, from opposite Mamacha Gaon resort (before Tarapur MIDC). This trail is also marked with blue painted arrows. You will encounter a large cave on the way from this route. You can reach the top of the fort in less than an hour.
A good idea to explore both trails is to ascend via the longer trail, descend to the cave, and further down to the base via the steeper route.
Things to see
There a two main attractions in and around the fort. The top of the fort has a massive water tank with steps to descend into it. There are a few smaller water tanks around as well, and a broken structure. Below the fort is a HUGE famous natural cave, called ‘Ganesh Gufa’. The way to the cave is from a partially-destroyed gate structure, and there are arrows marking the way. It takes around 15 minutes to reach the cave from the top of the fort.
This cave can easily fit 50 people! It also has some water, which is present throughout the year. It has quite a few frogs, but is quite clear below the layer of whitish ash/powder on the surface.
Total Cost for one person (from Mumbai)
Churchgate to Boisar train (Return journey) fare: Rs. 60
Boisar to Warangade bus (Return journey) fare: Rs. 14
Snacks (optional): Rs. 25 (For a small snack/tea. Carry your own packed lunch if required and atleast 2 litres of water)
Total: Rs. 100 ONLY!!!