Mahuli Fort Trek (via Asangaon) Review Blog
Location : Mahuli, Asangaon Maharashtra
Posted By : HIKEDEN
Date of Article : 29/07/2016
Activity Type: Trekking
Difficulty/Endurance Level: I love it (Level 2)
Date: 25th Oct, 2015
Distance from GOREGAON to ASANGAON: 78 kms.
Route: From Goregaon (E), Godhbunder Road, Bombay Nashik Road, Asangaon, Turn Left from Manas Mandiram (See picture 1), Reach Mahuli and finallly reach a kind of a guest house called as Bhakti Dham.
Rank of toughness (from 1 easiest to 5 toughest) - 2-2.5
Must carry: Water bottles - 2 litres per person (minimum)
Approximate trekking time (one way): 3.5 hours
At 2815 ft., this is a popular trekking destination and a paradise for rock-climbers because of many nearby pinnacles with interesting names like Vazir, Vishnu, etc., given by the local trekking and climbing fraternity. This mountain complex is actually a group of two or more hills with common cols and pinnacles.
It is the highest point in the Thane district. The forest surrounding Mahuli has been declared as a sanctuary. Shahaji Raje, father of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, had this fort built so that their son Shivaji Maharaj can be born here although due to some enemy problem it was not possible.
Team: Anuj & Anik
Time: 4.45am - Team started from Goregaon after filling up the fuel tank. They took the Godhbunder route for the Thane Nasik Highway. In about 60 mins, team reached Asangaon. There is a left turn for Manas Mandir (see picture 1) that one has to take to take. Mahuli is about 20 mins from this point. The roads here give you complete feeling of a trek(ya really bad roads)... so drive carefully.
Time: 7 am - Team reached the place, where there is a small hotel called as Bhakti Dham which serves breakfast and offers a place to stay (many people opt for this). We freshened up at the hotel and had kaanda poha.
Time: 7.40 am - The team started the trek. The hotel person sent a guy with them till the starting point which is about 5 minutes walking distance from there. There is a Ganesh Temple and a gate in which there is a wooden board which reads MAHULI NIHAM PARYATAN and a small pool of water (See pictures 4 to 7). Please cross the pool of water and then see a board, which shows the way to fort. If you turn before the pool of water, you will reach the waterfall, which will be there only in monsoon season.
Its was lush green all around and the way was beautiful. You will find white painted arrow heads all along the way at regular intervals which tells you are on the right track. There are points in between when it gets a little rocky and steep but otherwise its fine. Just before you reach the top there is a small iron ladder that you have to climb. Seriously, if you are a regular trekker, you might think that it is easy when you look from down, but it is not that easy. It is like a never ending trek.
Time: 10.30 am - They reached at the top, where there is a big plateau. You may find many people who come here for camping. Hikeden advises if you are really a good Trekker, then you may start the TREK at 2 am and try to see the sunrise from that place.
Once you reach on top, you will see a board that has a map of the plateau (through which one cannot understand much). They roamed around the place for more than three hours. Places to see there are a taal (small water pond), caves where many people come for overnight stay, kalyan darwaza & end of the plateau. Team went to the caves first, which used to be a stable at one time but now it is just a shelter place. There is a small pond of fresh water with fishes neat the caves but this water is completely drinkable and has water throughout the year. Apart from this, there are ruins of Shiv Mandir, a small lake and some many peaks on other side. One requires around 3 hours to see that place completely. Do not forget to see Kalyan Darwza, a small route, which used to directly go to Kalayan (a small town near Mumbai). Hikeden advises that if you are going in rains, be very careful. Rocks will get very slippery especially near Kalyan Darwaza. To reach the final end of the plateau called BHANDARGARH (See the picture), one will have to take a ladder which joins one plateau to another. For amatuares it is advisable to have someone who is expert in trekking so that a rope can be tied and people can be pulled up if required. It is a beautiful paradise of mountains ranged one after the other. And really worth to come here, if you have travelled so far.
Time 1:30 pm - By this time, Team started from navri to go to the point where "peene ka paani"(near the caves) is there and lit a small fire and cooked some refreshing noodles that they had carried with them.
Time: 2.15 pm - Team started their descent. This time they were tired as it had been a long trek without much rest. They even lost their way in the end near the water body close to the starting point. By doing trial and error, they reached the starting point at around 4:15 pm.
At this time, Team reaslied that how much an APP will help a trekkers if the app had all the routes marked. Team stopped at the hotel where they had also parked their bike for a delicious lunch which they had told him to keep ready at the time of breakfast only. The awesome lunch included chicken, chana masala and Rice Bhakri. At 5 pm, team started for Mumbai back.