Prabalgad Fort Trek – Everything You Need to Know!

By Rutuja Bhagwat - August 23, 2018


DIFFICULTY LEVEL  Moderate
ELEVATION  2,300 ft
HOW TO REACH  Prabalgad is accessible both from Mumbai and Pune. By road, drive to Panvel's Shedung Naka and then take a turn for Thakurwadi village, which is the base. By rail (or if coming by bus), get down at Panvel station and then take a cab for Thakurwadi village or just tell the cabbies 'Kalavantin', 'Prabalgad' or 'Prabalmachi'.

ABOUT PRABALGAD FORT

Set in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, the Prabalgad fort is a part of the Sahyadri ranges and lies between Matheran and Panvel. The now government-owned, Prabalgad fort was controlled by the Maratha empire initially. The fort is alternatively called as Muranjan, Prabalmachi or Pradhangad fort. The sister fortress, Irshalgad, is located about 14 km away from Prabalgad. The nearest fortress, Kalavantin Durg, is one of the most difficult treks in Maharashtra and shares the same base village as Prabalgad.
Read: Kalavantin Durg Trek Details

FOOD AND STAY AT PRABALGAD FORT

Camping is allowed on the fort. People usually pitch tents on the open land near Prabalmachi village, which actually is the base for the main trek. Carry sufficient amount of food and water because there is only one home restaurant at Prabalmachi village. If you prefer drinking bottled water, then carry your own bottles; for those okay drinking well water, there's plenty available at the home restaurant. 
It is advisable to give a heads up to the restaurant owner (Contact +918422047131) and place your order for food and tents prior to the visit. You can place an order for breakfast (usually includes pohe or egg bhurji) or your favourite Maggi. The lunch/dinner includes authentic Maharashtrian food like bhakri 'Indian flatbread' made of rice (tandalachi bhakri), pithla/zunka which are made of gram flour, dal, rice, and chicken curry, sided by raw mango pickle and sliced onions. If you're new to the state, you will get to taste authentic Maharashtrian cuisine here. I highly recommend having meals at this home restaurant. 

Besides, you would come across shacks selling quick snacks like wada pav and onion fritters (kanda bhajji) throughout the trek, however, make a note: the shacks are open only on weekends or on holidays. (Psst! I had climbed the fort once on a weekday in July, and though it is a peak season, being a weekday, there was not a single stall functional throughout the trek. The home restaurant was open but there was no stock of Maggi so we had to eat egg bhurji with chapatis.)

Therefore, no matter which season or day you go, always inform the home restaurant owner to keep your food ready. The same applies to hire tents.


You can see the peaks of Prabalgad and Kalavantin Durg almost throughout the climb 

CLOTHING


The pinnacle can get slightly chilly on a winter night but a light sweater would be sufficient. As for monsoon, wear your raingear. Additionally, you would come across a few minor waterfalls so pack some extras if you decide to have fun. Also, since the trek involves walking through a rainforest, wear fuller clothes or smear your body with bug repellant. Wear shoes with good grips, super vital.


TO PACK


The most essential items that should go in your backpack would be a pain relief spray and band-aids as the trek majorly has a rocky patch and a quick twist in the ankle or a bruise on your kneecaps can ruin the fun. Besides, carry an extra pair of clothes (not very important though), a pair of slippers (for post-trek relief), and a lot of water. The ideal backpack should be between 10-20 litres.

THINGS TO DO AROUND/WHAT SHOULD ONE EXPECT

Start early in the day so that you can cover both Kalavantin and Prabalgad forts. People usually prefer camping overnight on the open land at Prabalmachi and climb one fort on day one and the second, the next morning, by waking up really early. You will come across lovely people throughout the trek and the stay. 

And wild animals? There aren't any. A night trek is safe (beware of snakes though). Locals are not nosy either, so Prabalgad could easily be a good option. Apart from Kalavantin Durg, if you have many days at hand, you can climb Irshalgad or Karnala forts, which lie nearby.


Sometimes, going independently can be overwhelming, especially if you have never trekked before. I suggest you go with trek organisers (Contact Shivdhara Trekkers +918268295820). They take large groups, arrange your meals, carry basic first-aid with them, and are good leaders to be with. 

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