I was trying to make the most of a long weekend and because I hadn't done a trek for 2 years, I thought I would choose a modest hike. Being a Monday I also had the entire trail to myself. I only saw a few people on the way back. The fort of Karnala lies within the confines of the Karnala bird sanctuary. It's a 2-hour hike to the top if you maintain a modest pace. There are parts that are deceptively steep, and I had to lie down a couple of times to catch my breath.

Unexpected Travelling Companions

This was the first trek I have been to where the path had crabs to keep me company most of the way. Until at least the halfway point there were crabs appearing every five to six meters. Any time something rustled in the plants beside the path it turned out to be crabs that were slinking away on seeing me approach. They appeared frequently on the main path itself. Whenever I got near, they raised their claws while backing away into the nearest crevice.

Nearing the Fort

While there are steep areas initially, after you get closer to the fort it levels out a bit and is easy going for most of the way after that.

These mini temples in inaccessible places always catch my attention. Though I am not religious, religious structures always add character to any places and things would always feel different without them.

Another Fort Conquered

Like most forts in Maharashtra there is little remaining in terms of actuals foundations of the fort itself. A few retaining walls and the occassional viewing window is all that you will find. The rest is upto your imagination

The path closer to the fort opens up to some spectacular views on either side. The forest is as dense as they come in this part of the state.

Trekking solo was a wonderful experience. I prefer to hear my favourite music while I contemplate the history of the the fort and the future as well

Odds and Ends

A reddish tree that was standing out against the lush green all around

While Karnala is a bird sanctuary the month that I visited (September) is not the time for its birds to actually be seen. They arrive after October. But in lieu of this, I saw many beautiful butterflies and moths. Though I am not entirely sure what this one is.

Spotted this beautiful beetle or that appeared alive but from the looks of it if those ants had their way, maybe it wasn't long for this world

I generally fear most monkeys that appears close to human habitation but the ones I encountered on the trail thankfully ignored me and I was more than happy to reciprocate.

The only way I can describe this is nature with a twist.


Karnala is an approximately 2 hour drive from both Pune and Mumbai. Since this is via the expressway it's easy to get there. Currently, the sanctuary is open from 7 am to 4 pm on all days. There is enough space to park your vehicles near the entrance.

I paid INR 235 that included the entrance fee and a charge for using my camera.

All photos shot on Fujifilm XT-200

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