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Prabalgad – Glory at its best

Trekking is your idea of fun then Prabalgad Fort is a must-visit destination for you

By Ambika Sharma
Posted On Monday, April 06, 2009 at 01:23:28 PM

Nestled in Panvel, Prabalgad Fort is one of the few historic monuments in the city loved by the weekenders and day-tippers due to its close proximity to the city. About 15 kilometres from Panvel (Navi Mumbai), it’s one of the much-loved trekker destinations.


Folklore has it... 

According to the natives of Prabal Machi, in 1658, Shivaji conquered Prabalgad Fort from the Mughals after establishing his powers in the Kalyan-Bhiwandi area. When Shivaji attacked the Fort, the Mughal sardar and fort chief Kesar Singh forced himself and the ladies in the Fort to commit suicide in order to save themselves from the Marathas. However, his mother along with her grandchild hid inside the Fort, fearing Shivaji, but not willing to die. Shivaji, known for his greatness, sent them to their village with true respect and dignity on finding them hidden.


Let the trek begin

Panvel can be reached either by train or State Transport buses that ply between Thane and Panvel or Dadar and Panvel. Once at Panvel you have to take a tumtum (auto rickshaws that run from Panvel in the outskirts of the city) to Thakurwadi Village. Once at Thakurwadi Village, the trek starts. If scorching heat poses a problem for you, night-trekking could be your option.


After trekking for a couple of hours you will reach Prabal Machi, where you will come across a hamlet of 'Thakur' Tribe. Most of these people work in the villages below the Fort. There is no water hassles here thanks to the village well. But, it’s always best to carry your food, as the natives generally don’t have extra supply. If you are trekking during the night, it is better to figure out the accommodation with the local residents. For group-trekkers, camping on the plateau situated before the village is also a good alternative. Warm clothes are a must if you are opting for camping, as nights tend to become cold and windy.


After Prabal Machi, one could either trek to Prabalgad – an easy climb for a beginner or Kalavanti (pinnacle) – a difficult and risky climb. Or trek both if time permits. There are a few local trek groups who organise valley crossing here. They anchor a rope between the wall of Prabalgad and Kalavanti Durg, which participants cross from one end to the other.

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