While traveling by the Mumbai-Pune or the Mumbai-Goa highway, beyondPanvel, one can easily notice a thumb shaped pinnacle. This is theKarnala pinnacle. There is a windingtrail that goes up to the base of the pinnacle, 450 meters above sea level. Theview from the top is very good and makes the half hour climb worthwhile. Youcan see the wooded areas of the sanctuary, the villages around and even theMumbai coastline. The walk is especially beautiful during the monsoons. Brightpink begonias stand out against damp, dark rocks along the path right up to thepinnacle, which is almost permanently wreathed in wisps of cloud and mist atthis time of year. At the base of the pinnacle there is a temple of goddessBhavani and many water cisterns. There are many beehives on the pinnacle andyou have to take care not to irritate the bees.
Climbing this fort is a hard workbut you will enjoy the atmosphere and breeze after reaching the top. Majesticranges of the Sahyadri, area up to Dand Rasayani on Mumbai-Pune road, area upto Kharpada on Mumbai-Goa road and ranges of Prabhalgad, Matheran, Manikgad,and Vishalgad, which are far away, come in sight and you get an unforgettableexperience. You can see Kharpada creek, bird sanctuary in the mountains, Apata, Rasayani , Gulsunde. This fort has many bastions and there is enough spacebetween two. Fortification has huge holes to fire cannons. In all, theexperience to go to this fort is breathtaking.
Karnala is abirdwatcher's paradise and even the casual picnicker is rewarded with sights ofcolourful local bird species. The best time of year for bird watching isbetween November and February. Spot sunbirds, drogues, orioles, babblers andthe occasional male paradise flycatcher with its unusual silvery-white tail.The sanctuary is also home to troops of monkeys and herds of deer. On a luckyday you might even be rewarded with your first glimpse of a panther. Forvisitors who wish to stay overnight, MTDC has rent-a-tent facilities. Don't forgetto take the binoculars with you.
Gallery: Visit gallery here..
Map: Visit map here.
Though some rooms are available at the foot of thefort, it is recommended to visit this place from Pen, Panvel or Mumbai whereyou will find adequate accommodation and food.
By Road: State transport buses, jeeps, six-seater and rickshaws are available.
By Railway: Nearest railway station is Apte, but only passenger trains stop here.