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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Sarasgad Fort Trek | How to Reach From Mumbai? Things to Know Before Going

Sarasgad Fort Trek | How to Reach From Mumbai? Things to Know Before Going

Sarasgad Fort is one of those forts residing in the Sahyadri mountain range of Maharashtra India. It is located in Pali village in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. Sarasgad the name sounds melodious, isn't it? The caves carved in the stone and rock-cut stairs make this fort more attractive and it becomes a trekker's desire to do the Sarasgad Fort trek. Sarasgad Fort is the twin fort of Sudhahagad. The height of Sarasgad fort is 1600feet. The fort is located right behind the temple of Lord Ganesh in Pali, which is known as Ballaleshwar temple, and it is one of the Ashtavinayak (8 Lords) temples of Maharashtra.

How to reach Sarasgad Fort?

By Air

Mumbai International Airport is the nearest to reach Sarasgad Fort. You need to take a private vehicle from the airport or can also opt for local transportation to reach Pali in the Raigad district. Direct bus connectivity is available to reach Pali.

By Train

There is no direct rail connectivity for Pali. Khopoli is the nearest railhead to reach Pali village. The distance from Khopoli to Pali is 40 km one way. Once you get to Khopoli walk a few minutes to reach the Khopoli bus depo and take a bus going towards Pali or Raigad. A bus has a very good frequency. One can also hire private Auto to reach Pali.

By road

The Pali is 100 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune. There are two routes to reach Pali from Mumbai. The very first route is from Mumbai-Panvel-Khopoli-Pali and another is Mumbai-Panvel-Wadkhal-Nagothane-Pali. The roads are quite well in condition except at some point. There is direct ST connectivity between Pali and other major cities of Maharashtra. Once you reach Pali, the fort resides within 10 min walkable distance. I would suggest you take your own vehicle to reach the base village of the fort. The parking facility is available at the base. If you are traveling from Mumbai then reach Panvel depo and take direct ST towards Mahad and Pali.

My Experience of Trekking to Sarasgad Fort

One fine day, I was feeling a little bored going to the office and wished to bunk an office day. Have you also thought the same someday? I wanted to go somewhere far from office life where my phone should get not be reachable. Sarasgad Fort is what my wife suggested. We immediately got up from our place and hurried to pack up for the Sarasgad fort trek. I knew Sarasgad was not that far for me, but since I wanted to be in nature, we decided Sarasgad fort trek destination. The fort was located in the Pali area, and reaching Sarasgad was not difficult for me.  However, it was a sudden plan to travel to Sarasgad instead of the office so we left late in the morning and reached the base village Pali at around 2:30 pm. Since the weather was quite cold on that day and this brought me to the Sarasgad fort. A glimpse of the fort was visible while driving on the bike. We always prefer to travel on our own bikes rather than local transportation.
There was some parking space on a pay-and-parking basis next to the Ballaleshwar temple. I parked my bike and started moving toward the starting point of the trek. Locals here are so kind and helpful. One of the local shop vendors helped us to reach the starting point.
The trek starting point was right behind the temple of Lord Ganesh in Pali. The route is well marked with the direction arrow on the main road. It was 2:40 pm by the time we started ascending towards our destination. Since it was a sudden plan, we started so late. As we start trekking, we could follow the human trail just beside the school at the starting point. The initial route passes through the dense forest area. The trekking trail is not that difficult so, you need not worry, newcomers can start their adventure with the Sarasgad fort trek. After a good walk of 30min, we reached the plateau of the mountain but, the summit was yet to come. I could clearly see two more mountains standing behind each other to reach the summit point and I was like, did I do a mistake coming so late. Another 30min took us to the second plateau of the mountain. As I started reaching the summit point I could see the bastions of the fort which were still well maintained. This credit goes to the one and only Marathas worrier who helped to build such a beautiful fort as Sarasgad Fort. This fort was built to keep a watch on surrounding forts. 

Sarasgad fort trek
This view of the Sarasgad Fort is visible from the base village Pali

Sarasgad fort trek
Sarasgad human trail is easily available to trek

Sarasgad fort trek
Sarasgad Fort view from forest route

The trekking adventure starts here. After climbing the straight route of two mountains here we reached the rock-cut stairs that lead to the main entrance of the fort. The stairs have been carved in between the two mountains and this is the only most challenging path of the Sarasgad fort trek. There was no other route than climbing these stairs. You must have your bones in strong condition to climb these rock-cut stairs. The height between each stair was around one to one and a half feet. In monsoons, it becomes difficult to climb the rock-cut stairs. Once you climb the rock stairs passage you come across the main entrance of the fort with a breathtaking view of the Pali village. There are few caves as you cross the main entrance of the fort. The trek doesn't finish here, a final patch was yet to come. The last and final mountain patch has many astonishing caves which were used for the soldiers at that time. Crossing the two mountain routes towards the right will take you through all the caves and water reservoirs, left ascending goes to the summit point of the fort. We went to explore the caves since it was one of the exploring places. Now, some of these tanks are filled with rainwater. The cave route connected again to the first entry point to reach the summit. The left road from the entrance of the caves goes to the summit of the fort.

Sarasgad fort trek
Rock cut stairs of Sarasgad Fort

Sarasgad fort trek
Small caves at the summit point of the fort

Sarasgad fort trek
These caves were used as a home for worriers

Sarasgad fort trek
Route of the fort from the caves

After reaching the summit we felt blessed with Lord Shiva since his temple resided on the summit point. It is said that people go to Ballaleshwar temple to meet Lord Ganesh and then do the Sarasgad Fort trek to meet Lord Shiva. The summit of the fort gives you an astounding view of surrounding forts like Manikgad, Korigad, Ghanghad, Sudhagad, and Dukes Nose. It is said that Sahyadri is heaven in monsoon and trust me the view from the summit was nonetheless than heaven. I was overwhelmed, being a shortage of time in hand we had to rush to descend the fort. After clicking some of the glamorous pictured we started descending the fort. We headed to Balleleshwar temple and relaxed for some time.

Sarasgad fort trek
Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayak temple at Pali

Sarasgad fort trek
Lord Shiva temple is situated on the summit of the fort

Sarasgad fort trek
Kedareshwar temple at the fort

Sarasgad fort trek
View of the Pali village from the Sarasgad fort

When is the Ideal time to visit Sarasgad fort?

The ideal time to visit Sarasgad is the monsoon and winter season. This is the time you witness a pleasant climate, foggy weather, and wind chill.
The best time to visit is winter from October to February. You get to see the exquisite beauty of Sahyadri Mountain.
The monsoon is when you get to see many trekkers coming to trek Sarasgad Fort. As I rightly mentioned there is one patch with rock-cut stairs to climb, sometimes it becomes slippery to climb while raining. The one extra thing to explore on the route is shimmering waterfalls. The main disadvantage of the monsoon trek is, that sometimes the area gets covered with dense fog and hides the valley view from the summit.

What are the stay options near Sarasgad Fort?

Pali is a famous place known for many devotes to Lord Ganesh. There are so many options of hotels for stay, one can choose to select as per the budget starting from economic to deluxe rooms. There are many resorts a few kilometers away from Pali. In case of extreme emergencies, one can choose the option to stay in the caves at the summit point. If you have your own camping stuff then you can pitch your own tent on the fort and stay there.

Are there any food stalls on the route to Sarasgad Fort?

Of course not. There are no stalls en route from Pali to Sarasgad. There are multiple restaurants at Pali, this restaurant offers multiple cuisines. You can get food of all varieties including Italian. You should pack your bag with some energy bar, Chocolates, and water at the base village Pali. Finish your trek early and have your delicious lunch at Pali village.


Things to know before going to Sarasgad Fort Trek

  • Parking is available next to the Ballaleshwar temple on a pay-and-park basis.
  • Food shacks are not available at the fort point so it is better to carry some energy bars, chocolates, and water.
  • Do carry your own trekking stick if you are going in the monsoon time, the path becomes slippery.
  • Start your trek early morning.
  • The washroom is available at the base village.
  • Do not litter the area around.


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