Trekking is always fun, adventurous and helps you push your own boundaries.
Winter climate is more conducive for the trek, after monsoons. Made us want to step outside, so we zeroed down on Manikgad and started our trek on a Sunday. We reached the Panvel station by 7:30 am and then head to the ST stand to catch a bus, you can also take a rickshaw from Panvel. The ST bus to Manikgad leave from Panvel almost every 30 mins and Vashivali is the last stop, where one needs to get down for the Manikgad trek, making it convenient and more local. The ST charges 26 rupees one side as the bus fare.
Manikgad fort is situated near Vashivali, which is about 27 km from Panvel at about 45 mins – 1 hours. You can start the trek from two routes.
- From Thakarwadi, which is a hill on the South of the Village Vashivali, from here the trekking route is created which is a good path and makes it easy for first timers and people who like to take the safer and easier way.
- We took the difficult route that starts from Vashivali. The route is not defined, if going through this route it is advisable to take a guide along. We lost our way twice while exploring the difficult terrains, we fall, skid, but had the time of our life. If going without the guide, there are two stones kept on each other as a sign to direct you the route, follow that.
What to carry, for this trek during winter:
- Sunscreen, because it’s hot in the day
- Water: At least 2 bottles per person, as there is no source of water while on trek
- Food and chocolate bars, to eat lunch on the peak as you won’t get anything up there
- Cap: To cover your head from getting sunstroke
- Bandaids and other medicines depending on your needs.
- Only sports shoes are advisable, as the way is crafted, though it looks easy, this trek requires high endurance and capacity of the trekker to walk long
We started the trek from Vashivali at 9 am and returned to Vaishivali at 6:45 PM, we took little longer than normal as we lost our way twice.
Address: Gherakilla Manikgad, Maharashtra 410220
Height: 572 m
Year built: 1700 (approx)