Western Ghat is famous for its rocky terrain & natural beauty that it offers in many ways. Such is the Kalavantin Durg near Panvel. It is the most dangerous trek near Panvel. Trek is divided into two parts – first one hour trek from base to the Prabalmachi Plateau which is a rest point and second is from Prabalmachi to Kalavantin Durg Top (Which makes it more difficult and interesting at the same time). The first half is very easy trek for beginners as well. Forest Trail starts from a big banyan tree at the Base Village where paid parking is available. Initially, you walk for 15 minutes and then gradually gain height while walking in the forest of Kalavantin Durg. Irshalgad, Prabalgad, Chanderi, Karnala is visible from the top.
Tips for the Kalavantin Durg Trek
- During Monsoon, Don’t forget to enjoy Waterfalls near the base village.
- Avoid monsoon trek. Still, if you want to go for an adventure, avoid weekends as it gets overcrowded and you will be facing traffic jams on rock-cut steps of Kalavantin Durg Panvel.
- Go with Hiking shoes only. As I recommend Action Trekking shoes for Western Ghat Exploration due to its better grip in monsoon season as well. Avoid footwear like Sandals, Chappals. You can purchase Shoes from Shopclues.
- Avoid Extra Luggage. Don’t carry trekking stick for Kalavantin Durg Trek, as it won’t be much helpful during the second half of the trek where your hands should be free to take the support of the rocks.
- Vertigo patient should avoid the second half of the trek.
- Good food options are available at Prabalmachi.
- Avoid selfies while climbing rock-cut steps of Kalavantin fort trek.
Best season for Kalavantin Durg Trek
Monsoon treks near Mumbai are more famous, but not to try this one because rock-cut steps get slippery and at times wind add more challenges while climbing Kalavantin Durg Trek. Winter is the best season to explore Kalavantin Durg near Panvel.
Deaths at Kalavantin Durg Trek
Every year minimum 1 death on Kalavantin Durg is reported and many death facing accidents. In Recent times, Kalavantin Durg Trek gain more popularity due to which it attracts tourist, travellers or Solo Backpackers from all over the world.
Those who don’t study or have knowledge of the Sahyadri Treks or those who go for picnic considering it as a party destination face the major problems. I am expecting some action from forest officials and local authorities to prevent deaths during Kalavantin Durg Trek.
Stay Options near Kalavantin Durg Trek
There are many hotels in Panvel. But, there are not much options available at base village of Kalavantin Durg Trek.
There are many home stay available at Prabalmachi or you can pitch your tent else you can hire a tent from the local villagers for overnight Prabalmachi Camping.
How to get to the Base Village of Kalavantin Fort
Thakurwadi is the base village of Kalavantin Trek. It is 20 KMs from Panvel. One can hire cab from Panvel Station. Otherwise, there are few local transport buses available from Panvel bus Stand as well. By private vehicle, you can directly reach to the base village of Kalavantin Trek.
Kalavantin Durg History
Kalavantin was the name of a queen. Local share a folk story that the Kalavantin Queen was from Rajput dynasty. She did Jauhar( sometimes spelled Jowhar or Juhar, was the Hindu custom of mass self-immolation by women in parts of the Indian subcontinent, to avoid capture, enslavement and rape by any foreign invaders, when facing certain defeat during a war) at the top of the Pinnacle before getting into the hands of enemy. And thus after the defeat, Pinnacle was named with Kalavantin. More importantly, it’s not a fort, don’t expect any Mahal, lake, fortification or some historical construction as it’s a pinnacle which was used as a watch tower for adjacent Prabalgad Fort.
Things to Carry
Before getting into adventure pumping and thrilling trek, you need to pack you backpack with the essentials to avoid last minute risk. Comfortable clothe is the key to smooth & safe adventure. However, don’t fill up your bags with unnecessary things. Be a light traveller.
- Action Trekking shoes
- 2 Ltr. Water bottle which you can refill at Prabalmachi
- Some energy bars for emergency
- Winter jackets during winter
- Raincoat during monsoon
- Tent for Camping at Prabalmachi – Best place for camping near Mumbai
Trekking tour Operators
It is always advisable to go with an experienced tour operators/ guides to such a difficult trek. Kalavantin Durg trek near Mumbai is regularly hosted by many trekking organizers of Mumbai and Pune. Therefore, I would like to recommend Small Steps Adventures based out of Panvel.