Monsoon is the best season for trekking near Mumbai. This time we planned for Chanderi trek near Badlapur. I called up my trekking friends who stay in Badlapur for more info. I got to know that Vangani station is more closed to Chanderi base village. Vangani is next station to Badlapur station. Also, it is not the typical fort with the bastion and fortification wall. It is the pinnacle and must be used as a watchtower or hideout place during that era. One can explore caves, water tanks and rock-cut steps during  Chanderi fort trek.

Chanderi Trek Badlapur Info

  • Chanderi height: 790 m above sea level
  • Fort Type: Hill fort
  • Chanderi Trek difficulty level: Easy till caves
  • Region: Vangani/Badlapur, Maharashtra
  • Range: Matheran Hill range, Maharashtra
  • Base village: Chinchavali Village near Vangani
  • Best time: Monsoon but trek till caves and winter to explore the pinnacle top as well
  • Trekking Time : 3 Hrs one side
  • Stay: Cave stay possible
Chanderi Fort View from base village

Chanderi View from base village

Food and Water availability

Water is available at the base village and en-route you will come across a few waterfalls. There is no potable water available on top and inside caves.

There is no food available at the base and throughout the trek. Trekkers who are planning for the Chanderi trek, please carry food and water. There is an update that one of the villagers of Chinchavali has started serving Poha for breakfast and Dal, rice Bhakri for lunch. But, these villagers are not reachable on call and not always available in the village. They spend most of the time on farm fields.

 

Best Chanderi Trek Badlapur Route

Best Chanderi Trek Badlapur Route

Chanderi Trek route

  • Chanderi Trek Badlapur route – It is also known as Chanderi trek Vangani route. Both are one and the same. This route is famous for its jungle trail and the waterfall patches. Thus, we chose this trek route.

V point is the place where both routes join. One can stand here and spot the Panvel on one side while the Badlapur on the other side.

  • Tamsai route from Panvel– Tamsai is the base village and falls on the other side i.e. the opposite side of the Chinchavali village. This village is accessible from Panvel. The route is said to be steep while ascending till the V point.
Chanderi Caves Waterfall

Chanderi Caves Waterfall

How to reach Chinchavali Base

By road

Follow this Chanderi Fort Vangani GMAP location to reach Chinchavali.
Chanderi base location – https://goo.gl/maps/KtzcJSCrzSMkqo1z9

By Train

Catch the Karjat local from Central line of Mumbai. Get down at Vangani station. Hire 4 seater auto for pick and drop at Rs. 100.


My Experience

We reached Chinchavali base with our group. After the intro and instructions, we started our trek to Chanderi caves. Everyone was excited and started walking one after one. As it was monsoon, the trek was restricted till caves and exploring top was not our agenda due to very risky rock patches.

Finally, Chanderi Fort Trek started

The small ascending route took us to the big plateau. It was all green everywhere. Immediately, we were disconnected from the city life and was into the woods. Within a few minutes, we entered the forest area marked by the forest department. It was the first landmark to know we were on the right track.

Chanderi Trek Vangani

Chanderi Trek Vangani

Green Vast Plateau

It was a big plateau and many cows were wandering here and there. Due to which there were many trodden paths. Thus, keeping us confused with the available routes for the fort. Simply, we started walking in the direction of the fort.

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A Rock Cairn

Rock Cairn is nothing but the stack of rocks to mark the route. It very old and universal way of marking the routes. It is said that plateau is magical and most of the people lost the route during their trek. But if you keep your eyes open and follow the same, you won’t deviate. If you spot this, never ever kick instead make this stronger if possible. While returning, it’s gonna help you only.

Another milestone

We crossed wetland, slippery patches while walking beside bushes. Initially, we were worried about the path but then we found another clue to keep us our hopes high. We looked at the col line coming down from V point. We just walked and walked in that direction.

Chanderi fort Images

We walked for half an hour continuously on that plateau. Everyone was scattered but was in the visibility of at least someone. Generally, this happens with every group that those are at the end of the group have more pictures compared to leading troops. Last 2-3 trekkers were shooting and clicking every bit of the trek. I told them to click a few and enjoy the live beauty more. Novice trekkers nodded positively and started walking faster. Though, almost everyone clicked the picture here with the backdrop of Chanderi Vangani fort.

V point

While walking through open forest land, one can easily spot the V point. With that, Chanderi caves and fort on the left of the V point whereas Mhaismal on the right.

Chanderi Fort Badlapur

Chanderi Fort Badlapur

Chanderi Waterfall

Trek to Chanderi fort caves through jungle ends here and then starts the most interesting and thrilling waterfall route. Suddenly, the atmosphere changed. After open forest plateau, we entered thick dark vegetation and lost the route. But, we were able to see the stream and the soothing sound of the waterfall. Quickly, we searched here and there and came back to the main route and jumped into the stream first time. It was bone-chilling crystal clear water of the waterfall.

Waterfall Stream

Chanderi Waterfall Stream

Fun during Break

We crossed the stream and went to the other side. Walked for a few minutes beside the stream, then through the stream for some time and finally reached the hottest spot of the trek.

Fun at waterfall

Fun at waterfall

Everyone threw their bags and got into the water. Photographers waited for everyone to settle. Clicked hundreds of pictures collectively within 10 minutes. You can imagine the place. The waterfall was located perfectly amidst the green valley forest area. No one was ready to move but everyone knew mystic Chanderi caves yet to be explored.

Steep Chanderi Trek Vangani

Immediately, a steep route through dense jungle started. We kept climbing until the V point. This is the only steep route if you opt Chanderi Trek Vangani route.

 

At V point junction

  • Left path – Chanderi Caves & Fort
  • Right Path – Mhasmal Pinnacle
  • Back – Chinchavali village
  • Straight – Tamsai route, Panvel
Mhasmal Pinnacle

Mhasmal Pinnacle

Ridge walk

We took the left for Caves. Ridge walk started. Due to monsoon, few patches found a bit risky but not that much. Everyone thought it will be now 5 mins away as trek leaders started counting last 5 Mins from last 15 minutes.

Last ascend

Ridge walk turned into a jungle walk and back to the ridge walk. En route photographer got the maximum opportunity to click. It was a bit tiring and exhaustive last five minutes. Everyone lost most of the energy in the waterfall and now hunger was at its peak.

Ridge Walk Ends

Ridge Walk Ends

Finally, Chanderi Caves

The wind was in full blow. The rain was hitting us with tremendous force. It was indeed a mystic cave with the fog everywhere.

Fog outside Chanderi caves

Fog outside Chanderi Caves Badlapur

There were a Shiva temple and a water tank with the green water in it. The Chanderi cave was painted white which you can spot easily from Kalavantin Durg. After relaxing for some time, everyone opened their Lunch boxes and I ate every bite from each box.

Lord Shiva, Chanderi Caves Trek

Lord Shiva, Chanderi Caves Trek Badlapur

Awesome weather

We enjoyed the weather, even it was afternoon time visibility was so low. Thus, it is not advisable to trek further till the top. Also, it is a very difficult climb. Loose rocks and screw add more risk to the trek. During winter, it is possible for an experienced trekker to climb without the rope. It is not advisable for novice trekker even in winter.

Given the so much difficult route, there is a 4 ft Shivaji Statue on top of the pinnacle, installed by some trekking group of Badlapur. Isn’t it interesting?

Nearby Forts and treks

During a sunny day, one can spot Nakhind, Peb, Matheran, Prabalgad, Kalavantin Durg, Karnala Fort and Malang gad.

Chanderi Fort descending

As we started, we found very difficult to walk on a few ridge patches. It was slippery due to heavy rain. Somehow, we managed to cross that all safely. Without further ado, we crossed the V point. Everyone took a last quick dip in the waterfall and continued the walk on the plateau to reach Vangani as soon as possible.

Chanderi Trek Waterfall

Chanderi Fort Trek Waterfall

While descending, we faced many mosquitoes and flying insects. I knew about the same and thus wore full sleeves and pants with a bandana to cover the body.

After few last clicks, we bid adieu to Chanderi fort Badlapur. Overall, Chanderi trek was the best trek near Mumbai. Thanks for reading my Chanderi trek blog. Do share, comment and subscribe.

Keep Trekking! Keep Exploring!

 

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Written by Yogendra Patil
Just an Indian Travel Blogger. I left my corporate job & IT business to explore locations and adventure activities. Now, my job is to travel to unique destinations. Sometimes I lead adventure trips of Small Steps Adventures. You can join SSA trips or you can virtually experience those tours through my Blogs. I am always ready to hear from you. Drop me a comment. Share your experiences. You can be in touch with me on Instagram @thewandereryogi.