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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 small temple and large cave at the base and a chimney like tunnel to the top of the fort. This pinnacle is carved from inside forming a staircase reaching the top. There is a tank of water at some distance from the cave and another one at the top of the fort. 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.
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 Maratha.
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(Vikram/Tum-tum) rickshaw service is available to Kashele. This is charged at Rs 55 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 35 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.
Trekking To Kothaligad
The starting point for Kothaligad trek is Ambivili village. Ambivili is linked to Peth via a dirt road. This road is accessible by a motorcycle or a four wheel drive vehicle. If you start at Ambivili it is 5.7 kilometre / 3 - 4 hours ascent to Kothaligad fort. The 4.3 kilometre road to Peth village is an easy climb and usually takes less than two hours to complete. There is a small waterfall along this route. From Peth village it is a steep 1.5 kilometre / 1 hour climb to the base of Kothaligad fort. You gain 180 metres of vertical elevation in this 1.5 kilometre climb. The trail is rocky, narrow and usually covered with trickling water during the monsoon. The trail meanders through dense bushes and trees as it follows a water pipe that links Peth village to Kothaligad fort. The views from this trail, especially during the monsoons are awe-inspiring. From the base of the fort a series of 87 steps carved inside the funnel bring you to the top of the pinnacle. There is a section along the stairs where the steps have weathered and broken down and this section requires a bit of careful climbing.
- Monsoon Day Trek, to Peth / Kothaligad Fort. "Monsoon day trek to Peth / Kothaligad fort". www.inditramp.com. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Click here to see its photosphere of the peak of the Kothaligad fort.