Mahuli Fort Trek- Mumbai Thane
The Mahuli fort is the highest hill point in the district of Thane and stands at a height of 2815 feet. Mahuli Fort Trek offers an awesome experience for the rock climbers and is regarded as an ideal trekking destination due to the attractive pinnacles it has formed. The local rock climbing fraternity has given the names of pinnacles as Vishnu, Vazir and many more. The hill complex comprises of two and more pinnacles and cols. There is a forest in the surrounding area of the fort that has been declared a sanctuary and the fort as a protected tomb. The fort is a part of the Sahyadri range in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. There is a temple of Lord Mahadeva on the hill top accompanied by three caves. These caves are used to provide shelter to the tourists if they wish to stay overnight.
In the temple complex there is a well that serves drinking water to the visitors. You can also get home made lunch by the villagers if you are there on weekends. Teas and snacks are also sold by the local people. Other than the temple there are no places to stay on the hill. The place is gradually getting developed by the government so that it could be used as tourist spot. It takes 3 hours to cover the trekking route from the village base to the top of the hill that is featured with many pinnacles. There is a difficult part of the rock climbing that has been managed by placing an iron ladder. One thing you must be aware of is the huge number of beehives handing from the vertical cliffs.
History of the Mahuli fort
The fort was basically constructed by the Mughals. Nijamshahi dynasty was responsible to build this fort. Shahaji Raje, Nijamshahi’s secretary wanted to him. Shahaji escaped to Mahuli with Chatrapati Shivaji. When the fort was attacked by Khan Jaman he asked for help to the Portuguese but got no help. Then Shivaji defeated the Mughals and took the fort in the year 1658. Then the fort was with the dynasty of Shivaji till the year 1817 and after that the British raj took control over it.
The fort falls under the Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary. Presently the government has taken the responsibility to maintain the ecotourism and therefore Mahuli Eco Development committee is developed. The management committee would look after the livelihood issues of the village people as well as ecotourism facilities. The committee was further followed up by the Nagpur Forest Headquarter and the ecotourism was further modified that established Nature Camping facility and Women’s Saving Group.
How to reach
The Mahuli village is located 5 km inside Asangaon which is located at distance of 91 km from the city of Mumbai and stand on the Mumbai-Nashik Highway. Asangaon is regarded as the nearest station to the spot. You can reach there from Mumbai CST by catching the local train going towards Kasara or Asangaon. If you are coming by Asangaon railway station, then cross the Agra road highway and walk a few minutes towards Shahpur. Turn towards left and walk towards Manas Mandir crossing the forest check post going towards the village. The Shiva temple stands at the village base. You can also hire a cab or a taxi to reach the temple. The walking distance between the temple and the station is 4 km that need maximum one hour to complete the route.
The fort is a major attraction for the history lovers. It has a long connection with Marathi Empire and the place offers beautiful scenario from the top. Mahuli Fort Trek is worth the journey once you reach the top and the view of the city from there is just fabulous. The trekking route is not as tough and is a perfect one for the beginners. There is huge number of pinnacles which is really something to explore and nature seems to scatter its love to the visitors. Carry your camera with you to get the shots from the top as the beautiful memories are a lifetime achievement and should be captured. The villagers are very helpful and you can hire them as a guide.