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Sondai FortHeight : 1200 ft. from MSL
Type : Hill forts Fort Range : Matheran
District : Raigad Grade : Medium
      Karjat is one of the favourite destinations for trekkers. This is a central location for trekkers to visit places like Rajmachi, Peth, Songir, Peb, Irshalgad, Bhivgad, Dhak and Bhimashankar. Sondai, a relatively less known popular fort is also within reach. This fort is a part of the Matheran range. Though it does not have any structural remnants, the scenic views it offers and the final 15ft of rock patch makes it a thrilling experience. This fort was supposedly built as a watch Tower.
15 Photos available for this fort
Sondai
Fascinating Spots :

      Sondewadi and Vavarle are the base villages of Sondai fort. Sondewadi village is situated at 1/4th height of this fort. The pathway from this village goes to the fort which takes 15-20 minutes to reach to the plateau. Here we can see the route coming from Vavarle village. From here we can see 2 flag posts at the top of the fort (from one of this flag post, i.e. at the cliff of rock patch, one can reach to the top with the help of ladder which is kept there). Further there is carved steps in rock.
From Sondewadi, it takes 45mins to reach the second plateau.
Here exist the two adjoined cisterns which are carved in rock and hold water all year round. But in summer the water level falls and we can pull out water using rope. From here we can see neighboring Gavari hill which seems taller than this fort.
At the upward side of the plateau carved steps are there. After climbing them, at the left side we can see the dried cistern while at the right side, there has a ladder to ascend. We should remove our footwear here and move forward to the summit. (This is a sacred place dedicated to Sondai Devi and it is recommended to respect the beliefs of the locals). There are footholds as well a ladder to climb to the summit.
After climbing this rock patch, at the right side there are two cisterns, in which one is a big with two rock pillars in it and its water is not potable. Second cistern is small compare to the first one. There is not much place to move around at the top of the fort. Here we can see two-three carved idols which are placed under the tree. One of it is Sondai Deviís idol/statue. From the top we can see the Matheran Mountain Range, Morbe Dam, Vavarle Dam and nearby surroundings.
Ways To Reach :
      There are 2 routes to reach to the Sondai fort.
From Vavarle: :
      Alighting at the Karjat station, walk towards the Kalyan end and come out to the East side. By taking 6 seater auto or S.T from Karjat-Chowk for around 4km we can reach to the Vavarle villageís Phata, where we can see the arch at the entrance of the village. The route under the arch entrance leads to Vavarle dam which comes down from the Vavarle village. It takes half an hour to reach here. The pathway at the right side of the damís wall goes to the Vavarle Thakarwadi. After crossing the hillock in Thakarwadi and coming down from the hill, we have to cross a stream. It takes almost 15 minutes from here to reach to the plateau. Here we meet the trail from Sondewadi.
From here the way to reach to the fort is well described above.

One can avoid this route after November-December and take the other way along the direction of stream flow. This will save the time by not making us to climb and get down the Thakarwadi hill.

It takes 2-3 hours to climb the fort from this route(Vavarle village).The route goes from the Vavarle village is more tiresome and tough than the route of Sondewadi village, and also takes more time to summit.

One, who is having their own vehicle, can come to Chowk from Mumbai-Panvel highway. On Karjat-Chowk road, Borgaon phata is of 6kms while Vavarle Phata is of 9kms.
From Sondewadi: :
      Alighting at the Karjat station, walk towards the Kalyan end and come out to the East side. By taking auto from here we can reach to the Sondewadi village which is about 9 km. Or take 6 seater auto or ST from Karjat Chowk and alight at the Borgaon Phata. A walk of 3km on the road along Morbe Dam takes us towards the Sondewadi village. The route from Sondewadi to the Sondai fort described above. It takes around 1 to 1.5 hour to climb the fort from this route.
Accommodation Facility :
      No accommodation facility on the fort, but the arrangements can be done in the schools of Vavarle Thakarwadi and Sondewadi by asking the villagers.
Food Facility :
      Food arrangements have to be made by our own or in Karjat village.
Drinking Water Facility :
      Cisterns on the fort are a source of drinking water all year round.
Time To Reach :
      2 hours from Sondewadi, 3 hours from Vavarle
Notes :
      1. In rainy seasons, donít rely on the carved sockets or the ladder. Carry your own rope (at least 30 ft.) for more safety.
2. In summer, carry your own rope to pull out the water as the water level of these cisterns goes down.
3. To climb up use the Sondewadi route and to climb down use the Vavarle route. This is because from the top of the fort Vavarle village and surroundings can be easily seen so there are fewer chances to stray.
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Forts of Grade: Medium
 Aad  Achala  Ahivant  Ajmera
 Ankai  Balwantgad  Barvai  Bhairavgad (Satara)
 Bhairavgad(kothale)  Bhandardurg  Bhaskargad  Bhavanigad
 Bhivgad(Bhimgad)  Bhorgiri  Bhushangad  Bishta
 Bitangad  Chambhargad  Chandragad(Dhavalgad)  Chavand
 Daulatmangal  Dehergad (Bhorgad)  Dermal  Devgiri (Daulatabad)
 Dhakoba  Dharmapuri  Dubergad(Dubera)  Dundha
 Durg  Durg Dhakoba  Gagangad  Galna
 Gambhirgad  Gavilgad  Gharapuri  Ghosalgad
 Ghotawada Fort (Gotara)  Gorakhgad  Gorakhgad(Manmad)  Gowalkot
 Gunawantgad  Hadsar  Hanumantgad  Hanumantgad(Nimgiri)
 Hargad  Harihar  Harishchandragad  Hatgad
 Hatkeshwar to Lenyadri  Honnur Fort  Jangli Jaigad  Janjala (Vaishagad)
 Jawlya  Kailasgad  Kalanidhigad (Kalanandigad)  Kaldurg
 Kalsubai  Kamalgad  Kamandurg  Kanchan
 Kanhergad  Karha  Katra  Kavnai
 Kenjalgad  Khairai  Kohoj  Kokandiwa
 Koldurg  Kolkewadi  Kondhavi  Korlai
 Kunjargad(Kombadgad)  Laling  Mahimangad  Mahimatgad
 Mahipatgad  Malanggad  Mandangad  Mangad
 Mangalgad  Manikdurg  Manikpunj  Markandeya
 Mirgad(Songir)  Mohangad  Mordhan  Mrugagad
 Mudagad  Mulher  Nanded Fort (Nadgiri)  Narayangad
 Narayangad(Amboli)  Narnala  Nhavigad  Nimgiri
 Pabargad  Padargad  Padmadurg ( Kasa Killa)  Padmagad (Malvan)
 Palgad  Pandavgad  Panhaledurg  Panhalekaji Fort
 Pargad  Parvatgad  Pateshwar  Peb
 Pemgiri(Shahagad)  Peth (Kothaligad)  Pisol  Prabalgad
 Raikot  Raireshwar  Rajgad  Rajmachi
 Ramgad  Ramshej  Ramtek  Ranjangiri
 Ratangad  Ratangad(Ratnadurg)  Rohida  Rohilgad
 Sada Fort  Sagargad  Sajjangad  Salher
 Salota  Samangad  Santoshgad  Saptashrungi
 Sarasgad  Shivgad  Shivneri  Siddhagad (Malvan)
 Sondai  Songad  Songir (Dhule)  Songir (Karjat)
 Songiri (near Roha)  Suvarnadurg  Tahuli  Takmak
 Talgad  Tandulwadi  Thalner  Torna
 Trimbakgad  Umberkhind  Underi  Vairatgad
 Vallabhgad(Hargapur)  Vardhangad  Varugad  Vasota
 Vetalgad  Vetalwadi Gad  Visapur