Chanderi Fort Panvel | One of the Magnificent Trek Near Mumbai



Chanderi Fort Panvel | One of the Magnificent Trek Near Mumbai

Situated on the height of 2300 feet above sea level, a Chanderi Fort near Mumbai, Pune is the perfect adventure for trekking enthusiasts. It is a fort situated in the range of the Matheran district of Maharashtra, India. Though it is a historical monument, the history of Chanderi Fort is not much known. The surrounding of the fort does not look like a fortification. Basically, it was used as a watchtower. Trek to Chanderi Fort is much well-known activity from the area of Matheran range. This fort is located close to Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. There are two routes to reach the Chanderi Fort. One is from Tamsai village which is 20 km from Panvel, Raigad district, and another is Chinchavali at Vangani, Badlapur.There is no air service available to reach directly to the Chanderi fort. The nearest air service is located at Mumbai International airport at a distance of 60 km from the location. One can take a self-drive car from the airport to reach the fort or you can also option for local transport till base village Tamsai at Panvel or Chinchavali at Vangani within the Mumbai.

How to reach Chanderi Fort:- 

By Train

There are two routes to reach the fort. You can either travel to Panvel station on the Harbour line or Vangani, Badlapur on the central line of Mumbai. The fort is accessible in both ways, from Vangani is within walkable distance. If you are traveling from Panvel then hire tumtum from Panvel depot. The distance is 16 km.

By Road

Easy road connectivity is available to reach the base village of the fort. You can take your vehicle to the base village and park. Two-wheelers and four-wheelers can be taken to the base village. From there you have to walk till the summit point. 

My Trekking Experience of Chanderi Fort

This was all started with a random discussion with my friend. We were discussing the necessity to be away from regular boring life. Post second covid wave when a lockdown was lifted out, we made a plan to trek to Chanderi Fort from Panvel district. The distance was not more than 30 km for me. We managed to reach the base village with all precautions and started the trek at 9 am in morning from village Tamsai. As we started to move further, the fort was clearly visible from the base village. As the monsoon had recently hit Maharashtra; the climate was wind chilled with little raindrops and a 360-degree view of greenery. Monsoon is the best season for trekking in any corner of Maharashtra. It does not only offer the greenery but one can be engaged with the gorgeous view of the sky, shimmering waterfall pouring a massive amount of water on the rocky surface. 

The initial route passes from the village Tamsai. There is no diversion so one doesn’t need to worry. You need to cross a small water stream at a distance of 5 min from the base village. A flat plateau welcomes the trekkers with the view of Chanderi Fort hidden in the clouds. After walk for 10 min, the trail opens up into the dense forest. The human trail is the only way one needs to follow to ascend. Though it is a human-made trail, it is clearly visible. There is an arrow marked at someplace on the trees. Following the same trail will take you to a more dense forest. One can witness the magic of nature along with clouds playing hide and seek games. Colorful crabs on route attract most travelers. A large number of crabs swarming across the road look spectacular. After a walk of 30 minutes, you witness the little glimmer with the exquisite view of a shimmering waterfall in the valley. 

Starting route of Chanderi fort passes from village Tamsai crossing small water streams at the border of the village

Trek continues towards the left with a gradual walk. It can be tough and challenging for some of the new trekkers. It has a very thick forest till summit point, one should have great endurance level to reach the top with challenging ascend. The chances of getting lost are more in this thick forest, the only thing is you should look for some sort of arrow marking. Now the trekkers have left behind the arrow mark and piled rock to indicate the direction for other trekkers. With this arrow marked you need not worry about the directions. Up until the top trek becomes a little gradual with lots of rocks. After a walk of 2 hours in the forest, you come across the diversion, left towards the Badlapur route and right goes to the summit point of Chanderi fort. Another 20 min trek and you reach the Khind. There is a small cave with the statue of Lord Shiva. You can find the Chanderi fort on the left side of this cave. Summit was yet to come because the final 30 min climb was very dangerous and risky too. If you are a regular trekker with some basic idea about rock climbing, only take the risk to reach the summit point. One person at a time is the thumb rule to climb the final patch of the mountain. If one is having a phobia of height then better to avoid the final climb. 

Arrow mark at some point to show the direction of ascending

After walk for 30 minutes, nature welcomes you all with this waterfall view

Chanderi fort pinnacle dipped in the dense fog

There was a rescue operation once for few trekkers who had stuck at the final patch. They all climbed the summit, but couldn’t descend as the trail was not visible due to dense fog. The climb becomes very dangerous in monsoon when the loose rock starts falling and a route becomes more slippery. A human trail parallel to caves goes to the top of the fort.

Final and the only risky patch of Chanderi fort where you should think twice before climbing

View of the valley after climbing final patch

View of surrounding mountain from Chanderi fort with Irshalgad in background

After the long struggle of 3 hours, you reach the summit point of Chanderi fort. The astonishing view from the top will wander the travelers. It is said that the best of view comes after the hardest climb. Chanderi fort provides a breathtaking view of surrounding forts like PrabalgadKalavantinIrshalgadPeb fort, and Matheran mountain range. This trek is something where new trekkers should avoid at least the final patch. On top one can get engaged with the statue of Shivaji Maharaj (the great Maratha) surrounded with the Swarajya flag. The space is not much at the summit point so one has to take care. 

The statue was placed by the local villagers at the summit of the fort



Ideal Time to Visit Chanderi Fort

Being located in the range of Sahyadri Mountain this trek is not seasonal like other places. You can find many trekkers trekking in the monsoon time. Chanderi being risky fort it is better to avoid it in the monsoon due to slippery patch.

Post monsoon from September to February is the ideal time to visit the fort. This is the time when one can witness the greenery and blossom of flowers. The climate here is very chilled at this time. One can also think of camping at the base village or at the fort where the caves are located.

Summer from March to May is a bit hot with humidity on the hiring side. You will hardly see any trekkers trekking in summer. If you are trekking in the summertime, then it is advisable to start the trek early in the morning to return to base before the sun becomes extra hot.

Things to Carry for Chanderi Fort Trekking

Being situated at the height of 2300 feet, there are no hotels or dhabas on route so better to load the bag with enough food and water.

- Wear a proper pair of shoes that can give a good grip on a wet and dry surface. You need to walk for almost 6 to 7 hours in a single day.

- Do not wear heavy clothes while trekking to the fort; it may make you uncomfortable to climb.

- A cap with sun lotion if your skin is a bit sensitive to the sun.

-Do carry the lightweight rain jacket over the umbrella for your own comfort while climbing.

-If you are climbing from the Panvel route then you may take a guide from the base village.

What to Know Before You Reach Chanderi Fort

-It’s a thumb rule to search and take extra information about the place before you visit.

- The trail from Vangani is very easy to compare to Panvel, but it is so long and takes close to 4 hours to reach the summit of the fort.

- Route from Tamsai village, Panvel may confuse you as it passes through the dense forest. Follow marking or you can ask for a guide at base village.

- There is some space in the caves where people stay at the night; you can put your tent inside the caves.

- Do not try the final patch of a trek if you are not experienced in rock climbing, because there have been cases where people have lost their lives at the final climb.- There is drinking water available for emergencies in small ponds close to the caves before the final climb.

Source :- Sambhaji Patil

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