Karnala fort also called Funnel Hill or The Thumb Fort because it shape. It is a hill fort in Raigad district about 10 km from Panvel city.
Currently it is a protected place lying within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. It was a fort of strategic importance as it overlooked th
e Bor pass which connected the Konkan coast to the interior of Maharashtra and was the main trade route between these areas.
Karnala fort actually consists of two forts one at a higher level and other lower. At the centre of the higher level is a 125 feet high basalt pillar. It is also called Pandu’s tower. This structure was used as watchtower when the fort was occupied however now it is in a ruined condition. The presence of bee hives also makes it difficult to climb and have resulted in at least one casualty in recent times. There is a water cistern which provides fresh water all year-long. From the top the forts of Prabalgad and Rajmachi are clearly visible.
The fort has two inscriptions one in Marathi and the other in Persian. The Marathi inscription which has no date is seen on the lower gate on the inner side. Its words are indecipherable. The Persian writing is on upper gate reads “Syed Nuruddin Muhammad Khan, Hijri, 1147 AH (1735 CE) and probably dates from the Mughal occupation of the fort
Place: Karnala Fort and Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Altitude: 439 m/ 1,440 ft ASL
Grade: Easy (ideal for first timers)
Base: Panvel City, Navi Mumbai
How to reach karnala fort ?
Rail head: Panvel is the nearest railway station at a distance of 10 km. Regular buses and auto-rickshaws are available from outside the station. Panvel is the last stop on the Harbour line of the Mumbai Local train system.
Road head: Karnala is 60 Km from Mumbai on Mumbai-Goa highway, NH-17.
Trail Type: The trail through the sanctuary is a well-defined motorable road. The trail uphill is narrow, under thick forest cover and full of scree. The last walkway up to the fort is plain with sparse vegetation.
Best Time: October to April
Approx Trek Cost:
From Panvel Station:
Bus/Auto rates (20 Rs one way)
Entry Fee (30 Rs)
A deposit of Rs 500 will be charged for all the plastic ware that would be carried inside the forest.
From Panvel to Panvel: Approx. Rs 80