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Karnala FortHeight : 2500 ft.
Type : Hill forts Fort Range : Matheran
District : Raigad Grade : Easy
      While going on the Mumbai-Goa highway we might have noticed a thumb like rock resting on a mountain. As we leave Panvel, the road towards Pen goes through green forests, and suddenly we have a glimpse of this pinnacle. That is the fort of Karnala; famous for its strange pinnacle and the bird sanctuary that is setup in the forests below. This was an important fort and dates back to 12th or 13th century.

4 Photos available for this fort
Karnala
Kille Karnala Map
Kille Karnala Map
History :
      The history of the fort is also interesting. Till 15th century the fort was under Nizamshahi rule. When Shivaji wanted to capture the fort, his army initially surrounded the fort. They built temporary obstructions and continued to attack. After a few days, they captured the fort. After that the Moguls, the Angres and Peshwas ruled the fort. In 1818, colonel Prother of the British captured it. Finally the tricolour was furled here. However the cisterns here show that the fort is ancient and dates back to 12th century.

The inhabitants are the tribal Adivasi people, who represent a simple living and a life full of struggles. The art of these people is worth, and they still have preserved their tradition. Their paintings are called “Warli” paintings, and are worthy of appreciation. Their life is simple and still they adopt conventional methods of earning. A movie in Marathi was featured on the folks, which enabled many to know about the people and their culture.
Fascinating Spots :

      As we proceed ahead of Karmaidevi temple, we ascend through the main entrance door. Going right is the way to the base of the pinnacle and the caves carved out in it. The northern face of the pinnacle houses many beehives. Hence no sound should be made while going this way. Going rightwards we can see another entrance, but the way here is bit difficult. If we go to the left side, there are remnants of old dwelling places. Here are some tanks. There are many cisterns near the caves, but none of them contains potable water. A cistern on the left side, near the remnants, towards steep side of the fort contains drinking water. We enter the fort from northern side. Going southwards beyond the pinnacle, we can observe the ramparts in good condition. We climb some steps and come to the southern Machi. This face of the pinnacle is clear and suitable for rock climbers. A further southward is another bastion. On the entrance here are the carvings of “SHARABH”, which is a legendary animal. Here are the remnants old constructions. On the western face, there is not a clear way. Some caves are situated here.

From the top of the fort we can see Prabalgad, Irshaalgad, Dhaak and forts of Rajmachi. On the west are Mumbai and Elephanta islands. The forts visible from here show a strong network to keep a check on the surrounding region.

Bird-Sanctuary :
      The bird sanctuary is situated near the region of the fort. The sanctuary covers an area of 4 km. More than 150 species of birds have been observed here. These include Malabar Whistling Thrush, Paradise flycatcher, varieties of kites, owls and bulbuls, Maina, Ayora, Shaheen Falcon and many more. Bird watchers should be alert and should roam in small groups, or the birds may not be seen. Muniya and parrots have been caged here. Animals like porcupines, rabbits, monkeys, etc. are found here. Some rules like prohibition of fire and no injury to any wild animal are to be followed strictly. Now-a-days good resorts have made their way here and solved the problem for tourists.
Ways To Reach :
      One has to board a bus for Panvel. From here we get many buses to Karnala. Any bus travelling on the Mumbai-Goa highway takes us there. Here we enter the bird sanctuary. From here two ways go to the top of the fort. The way to the right goes through the forest, whereas a more simple way goes to the left. As we proceed from the left, we reach to the temple of Karmaidevi in one and half hour.
Accommodation Facility :
      The caves are better to stay, but recently there are many beehives over them. Hence one has to stay there at risk, as a small noise can distract the bees.
Food Facility :
      Available in base village
Drinking Water Facility :
      Water is available in a cistern near the remnants on the left side of the main entrance.

Time To Reach :
      1-½ hours from the base village.
Notes :
      Caution:
In recent days many beehives have been formed on the front face of the pinnacle. Any small noise can result in chaos within the bees. Not to make any noise near the pinnacle. If a bigger group is there keep left while going to the backside of the fort.
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Forts of Category: Hill forts
 Aad  Achala  Achalpur  Ahivant
 Ajinkyatara  Ajmera  Ajoba  Alang
 Anjaneri  Ankai  Asherigad  Aundha
 Avchitgad  Ballalgad  Balwantgad  Banda Fort
 Bankot  Barvai  Bhagwantgad  Bhairavgad(kothale)
 Bhairavgad(Moroshi)  Bhandardurg  Bhangsigad(Bhangsi mata gad)  Bharatgad
 Bhaskargad  Bhavangad  Bhavanigad  Bhimashankar
 Bhivgad(Bhimgad)  Bhorgiri  Bhudargad  Bhupalgad (Banurgad)
 Bhupatgad  Bhushangad  Birwadi  Bishta
 Bitangad  Chambhargad  Chandan-Vandan  Chanderi
 Chandragad to Arthur seat  Chandragad(Dhavalgad)  Chaulher  Chavand
 Dasgaon Fort  Dategad  Daulatmangal  Dehergad (Bhorgad)
 Dermal  Devagiri (Daulatabad - Deogiri)  Devgiri (Daulatabad)  Dhak-Bahiri
 Dhakoba  Dharavi Fort  Dharmapuri  Dundha
 Durg  Durg Dhakoba  Gadgada (Ghargad)  Gagangad
 Galna  Gambhirgad  Gandharvgad  Gavilgad
 Ghangad  Gharapuri  Ghodbunder Fort  Ghosalgad
 Gopalgad  Gorakhgad  Gorakhgad(Manmad)  Gowalkot
 Hadsar  Hanumangad  Hanumantgad  Hanumantgad(Nimgiri)
 Hargad  Harihar  Harishchandragad  Hatgad
 Indrai  Irshalgad  Jangli Jaigad  Janjala (Vaishagad)
 Jawlya  Jivdhan  Kailasgad  Kaladgad
 Kalanidhigad (Kalanandigad)  Kaldurg  Kalsubai  Kalyangad(Nandgiri)
 Kamalgad  Kamandurg  Kanchan  Kanhergad
 Kankrala  Karha  Karnala  Katra
 Kavnai  Kenjalgad  Khairai  Kharepatan fort
 Kohoj  Kokandiwa  Kolkewadi  Kondhavi
 Korigad  Kulang  Kunjargad(Kombadgad)  Kurdugad
 Laling  Lingana  Lohgad  Madangad
 Mahadevgad  Mahimangad  Mahimatgad  Mahipalgad
 Mahipatgad  Mahuli  Malanggad  Malhargad
 Mandangad  Mangad  Mangalgad  Mangi-Tungi
 Manikdurg  Manikpunj  Markandeya  Mirgad(Songir)
 Mohandar(Shidaka)  Mohangad  Moragad  Mordhan
 Mrugagad  Mulher  Nagardhan  Nagla Bunder Fort
 Naneghat  Narayangad  Narayangad(Amboli)  Narnala
 Nhavigad  Nimgiri  Nivati Fort  Pabargad
 Padargad  Padmadurg ( Kasa Killa)  Palashi Fort  Palgad
 Pandavgad  Panhaledurg  Panhalekaji Fort  Panhalgad
 Pargad  Pateshwar  Peb  Pemgiri(Shahagad)
 Peth (Kothaligad)  Piliv Fort  Pisol  Plus Valley
 Prabalgad  Pratapgad  Purandar  Raigad
 Raikot  Raireshwar  Rajapur Fort (British warehouse)  Rajdeher
 Rajdher  Rajgad  Rajmachi  Ramdurg
 Ramgad  Ramshej  Ramtek  Ranjangiri
 Rasalgad  Ratangad  Ratangad(Ratnadurg)  Ratnadurg
 Ratnagad  Rawlya  Rawlya - Jawlya  Riwa Fort
 Rohida  Rohilgad  Sadashivgad  Sagargad
 Sajjangad  Salher  Salota  Samangad
 Samrajgad  Sandan Valley - Karoli Ghat  Santoshgad  Saptashrungi
 Sarasgad  Sewri Fort  Shivgad  Shivneri
 ShivtharGhal  Siddhagad (Malvan)  Sinhagad  Sondai
 Songir (Dhule)  Songir (Karjat)  Songiri (near Roha)  Sudhagad
 Sumargad  Tahuli  Takmak  Talgad
 Tandulwadi  Terekhol Fort  Thalner  Tikona
 Torna  Trimbakgad  Tringalwadi  Tung
 Umberkhind  Vairatgad  Vajragad (Vasai)  Vallabhgad(Hargapur)
 Vardhangad  Varugad  Vasantgad  Vetalgad
 Vetalwadi Gad  Visapur  Waghera  Yashawantgad (Redi Fort)
 Yashwantgad(Nate)