Kothaligad (also called Kotligad or Kothligad) is a small Fort (3100 ft) is situated to the east of Karjat near Karjat-Murbad Road in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is one of the famous treks in the Karjat area, because of its small height and easy climbing. It is also known as the Fort of Peth because of its vicinity to Peth village at its base.
There is a tank of water at some distance from the cave and another one at the top of the fort. This tunnel is the high point of the trek, with its funnel like structure and steps along the inside in a steep ascent to the very top.
The cave and the temple carvings date back to the 13th century. Not much is known about the history until the 18th century. In 1716, this cave was captured by the British. Then later on, on November 2, 1817, it was recaptured by the Marathas under the leadership of Bapurao who belonged to the generation after Bajirao. It was recaptured by the British, on December 30, 1817, the very next month, under Captain Brooks. The British had the fort till 1862 as an outpost for vigilance on the surrounding valley and the hills all around it.
The locals say that this is not actually a fort but a sort of lighthouse from where the directions were given to know the advancements of the enemy. in fact it can be called a watch tower to keep a vigil on the Mawal area in the greater province of the Marathas. It is absolutely breathtaking to climb and to have a feeling of the engineering marvel being crafted when there were no engineers like today or even no PWD departments as well. only the foresightedness of the Maratha warrior has been behind the development of the watch tower standing atop the small but sturdy hillock. the stone is a single black expanse reaching till the Peth village standing on the fertile soil with abundant natural resources for water and farming.
How to reach
The best way to reach Kothaligad is to take a suburban train going to Karjat and alight at Neral station. From Neral regular shared 6-seater(Vikarm/Tum-tum) rickshaw service is available to Kashele. This is charged at Rs 20 per seat. After alighting at Kashele you can immediately board another shared rickshaw going to Jamrukh and alight at Ambivali village. This is charged at Rs 15 per seat. These rickshaws are easily available both ways up to 6pm. Alternatively one may also reach Karjat station and take a ST Bus going to Jamrukh and alight at Ambivili. But the frequency of ST buses is less hence going via Neral is recommended. The last ST bus from Ambivili to Karjat via is at 5:30pm.
You can reach Karjat by morning train. Sinhgad express which boards, from pune station, at 6am. You will reach Karjat by 8:15am. From Karjat you will get bus for Ambivili at 8:30am. Trek starts at Ambivili from where you have to get at base village Peth. If you miss bus at 8:30am next bus is at 9:45 am which will leave you at Kashele, from where you will have to take local private transport to reach Ambivili. But local transport charges are arbitrary and high. May cost you around 125 to 150 per person. While returning you will get bus at Amibivili at 5:30pm, which will leave you at Karjat by 6:30pm. From Karjat you will get Deccan Queen express at 6:45pm which is fast and will take you to Pune by 8:15pm. If you miss Deccan Queen express then another nest train is Sahyadri express at 7:45pm which will leave you pune at 10:00pm. Train charges are Rs 40 from pune to karjat. And state transport bus charges are Rs 30 from karjat to Ambivili.