Adventurous trek to Gorakhgad Fort in Mumbai
Located in the district of Thane, the Gorakhgad Fort stands at a distance of 24 km from Murbad. One of the uses of the fort was to guard the trade route in ancient times passing along Naneghat. The fort was mainly utilized by the monks and hermits for the purpose of meditation. The village of Dehari is located at the base of the fort. In fact, a fort is a perfect place for trekking and tourists find it interesting to climb the steep rocks of this mountainous region.
About Gorakhgad Fort
After entering through the main gate you can see an inscription in the language of Marathi. Water cisterns are also there cut out of the rock where rainwater is collected for drinking purposes all through the year. There is also a cave inside the fort supported by square pillars. On the top of the cave, you can spot a temple that is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva. The view from the top is awesome and Siddhagad and Ahupe Ghat are visible from there. It was believed to have strategic importance during the period of Shahaji Raje. No such battle is said to be in its historical background. The fort is smaller in size but there is enough space for accommodation. The name of the Gorakhgad Fort is derived from the name of Saint Gorakhgad who meditated in this fort. The fort stands at a height of 2150 feet on the mountain range of Bhimsankar.
You can view two cisterns after passing through the main gate. The path takes you ahead towards the small steps that go down into the large caves carved out of the main rock. There are two big frangipani trees that can be seen leaving in the valley. Apart from these, there are fourteen cisterns in total out of which only three provide potable water.
The history of Gorakhgad Fort is not well documented. It is believed to have been built by the Maratha Empire in the 17th century and was used as a strategic military outpost during the Maratha-Mughal wars. The fort also served as a place of refuge for travelers and traders passing through the area. However, it does not have much historical significance and is not as well-known as other forts in Maharashtra such as Raigad or Sinhagad.
It takes a maximum of one day to trek from Mumbai to Gorakhgad Fort. Actually, it is not regarded as any historical place but is a very interesting tourist destination due to the pinnacles suitable for rock climbing. The fort region is covered by dense forests in Machhindragad and Gorakhgad. The trekking route goes towards the temple of Vitthal- Rukmini. The backyard of the temple offers the trek route. You have to pass through lush green vegetation, and wildflowers accompanied by waterfalls. It looks more beautiful during the monsoon season. The trekking journey remains incomplete without reaching the pinnacle. You can reach the top by going through the route towards the right. After walking some steps, head towards the left and climb to the top. Climbing through these steps needs utmost care as it is very tough.
Suggestion for trekking
You can start your journey from Thane and head towards Dadar. From there, go to Dehari, the village base of the fort. Start the trekking from Dehri and go up through the beautiful waterfalls and forest. Enjoy the beauty of the surrounding Ghats and hills. In the afternoon start heading towards the deep forest into the caves. Then return to the base village and back to home.
There is accommodation available for 25 people in the cave. Trekkers are advised to carry dry food or packed food as per their choice. It takes 2 hours to reach there from Dehri and also 2 hours from Khopivli. You can visit the fort at any time of the year but monsoon is said to be the best season as the beauty of the vegetation blooms in monsoon which is a great treat for the eyes. But you need to be very careful while climbing the steps in the rainy season as the path is steep and gets slippery. Wearing shoes with a better grip is recommended.
The Gorakhgad Fort serves as a break or resting place while trekking to Junnar. The trekking experience through this route offers the most wonderful one among all the trekking journeys in the Western Ghats. Rock climbing is already a thrilling journey and this fort is the perfect one to provide such an opportunity with picturesque views all around. The group of three forts altogether makes Gorakhgad, the other two being Siddhagad and Machindragad. Siddhagad is regarded as the biggest one.
Things to Carry
Here is a list of items that you should consider carrying on a trek to Gorakhgad Fort:
- Water bottle: Carry at least 2 liters of water to stay hydrated throughout the trek.
- Snacks: Pack some light snacks such as energy bars, fruits, or dry fruits to keep yourself fueled during the hike.
- First aid kit: Include basic first-aid items such as band-aids, antiseptic cream, pain relievers, etc.
- Sunscreen and sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun with a good sunscreen and sunglasses.
- Warm clothes: Even during the summer months, it can get cold on the fort, especially in the early mornings and evenings.
- Good quality trekking shoes: Comfortable and sturdy shoes are a must for a trek.
- Torch: It can get dark inside the fort, so carry a torch to light your way.
- Camera: Carry a camera to capture the breathtaking views from the fort.
It’s always better to carry a light and minimalistic backpack, as the trail to Gorakhgad is steep and strenuous.
How to reach
Gorakhgad Fort is located near the village of Gorakhpur in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Here are a few ways to reach the fort:
- By road: Gorakhgad Fort is located about 65 km from Mumbai and can be easily reached by road. There are several state-run buses and private taxis that run from Mumbai to the base village of Gorakhpur.
- By train: The nearest railway station is Kalyan Railway Station, which is about 40 km from the base village of Gorakhpur. From there, you can take a taxi or a local bus to reach the village.
- By air: The nearest airport is Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, which is about 75 km from the base village of Gorakhpur. From there, you can take a taxi or a local bus to reach the village.
It’s important to note that the trek to Gorakhgad Fort starts from the village of Gorakhpur and can take anywhere from 3-5 hours, depending on your pace. The trail is steep and strenuous, so it is advisable to be physically fit before attempting the trek.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Gorakhgad Fort is from October to May, as the weather during these months is pleasant and suitable for trekking.
Summer months (March to May) are hot and dry, but it can still be a good time to visit if you prefer to avoid the monsoon season. Winter months (October to February) are cool and ideal for trekking, but you might need to carry warm clothing, especially during the early mornings and evenings.
It’s best to avoid visiting the fort during the monsoon season (June to September), as the trail can get slippery and dangerous. The fort is also not accessible during the monsoon season, as the Bhavali river near the village of Gorakhpur overflows and blocks the trail.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Gorakhgad Fort:
Is the trek to Gorakhgad Fort difficult?
The trek to Gorakhgad Fort is considered to be moderate to difficult. The trail is steep and rocky, and can take anywhere from 3-5 hours to reach the top, depending on your pace.
Is there water available at the fort?
There is no water source available at the fort, so it’s important to carry enough water to last you throughout the trek.
Is there a place to stay at the fort?
There are no accommodations available at Gorakhgad Fort. Trekkers usually return to the base village after visiting the fort.
Are there any shops or food stalls available at the fort?
No, there are no shops or food stalls available at the fort. It’s important to carry enough food and water to last you throughout the trek.
What should I do if I get lost on the trail?
It’s always advisable to hike with a group and a knowledgeable guide, but in case you do get lost, try to retrace your steps and follow the markers or trail signs. If you’re unable to find your way back, call for help or inform someone at the base village about your situation.
Here are some important things to keep in mind while visiting Gorakhgad Fort:
- Permits: No permits are required to visit Gorakhgad Fort.
- Trekking trail: The trail to Gorakhgad Fort is steep and rocky, and can take anywhere from 3-5 hours to reach the top, depending on your pace.
- Water source: There is no water source available at the fort, so it’s important to carry enough water to last you throughout the trek.
- Accommodations: There are no accommodations available at Gorakhgad Fort. Trekkers usually return to the base village after visiting the fort.
- Food and drinks: There are no shops or food stalls available at the fort, so it’s important to carry enough food and water to last you throughout the trek.
- Safety: It’s always advisable to hike with a group and a knowledgeable guide, and to carry a first-aid kit, a torch, and a phone with you in case of an emergency.
- Respect the environment: Gorakhgad Fort is a part of the natural environment, and it’s important to follow the principles of Leave No Trace and to avoid littering.
- Avoid visiting during monsoon season: It’s best to avoid visiting the fort during the monsoon season (June to September), as the trail can get slippery and dangerous. The fort is also not accessible during the monsoon season, as the Bhavali river near the village of Gorakhpur overflows and blocks the trail.