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The Complete Guide to Kavnai Fort Trek

Kavnai fort is a hill fort located at Kavnai village in the Igatpuri region of Nashik district. Being at the heart of Nashik, it is surrounded by many other forts like Harihar fort, Tringalwadi fort, Brahmagiri and many more.

In Sahyadris, many treks are famous during the monsoon season, but very few treks will allow beginners to enjoy the monsoon. Kavnai fort is one of those which can be done by any fit beginner during the monsoon season.

This Fort was built by the Mughals. It was handed over to the Peshvas by Nizam under the terms of the treaty after the battle of Udgir in the 17th century. Later it was captured by the British army in the 19th century.

Trekking to the top of the fort is straightforward. There are rock-cut steps to the top. There is also a metal ladder that leads to the entrance of the fort.

Inside the fort, you can see the remnants of the fort and a small pond which is the main attraction. 

Table Of Contents

Just like you, we love trekking! And this is a trek we’ve documented in great detail to help you do it on your own. Drop-in comments at the end of the page if you need any help!  You will get all the information required to do the Kavnai Fort trek on your own.

To navigate through the documentation easily, use this section of the Table of Contents

  • What to Watch out for
  • Trail Information
  • GPX File for the trek
  • Best Season to do the trek
  • How to Reach the base of the trek
  • Difficult Sections
  • Permission, Water Sources and other finer details about the trek
  • Nearby Places to Visit after the trek

What to Watch Out for

1. A Stunning View from the Top of the Fort

Kavnai fort is surrounded by many other famous forts. From the viewpoint of the fort, you can see Harihar fort, Tringalwadi fort, Brahmagiri fort and Kalsubai mountain ranges. 

View from the plateau. Picture by Prabhuraj Kore

After an easy climb up to the fort, this is the best reward you can ask for. Take some time to enjoy the view.

2. A Big Pond inside the Fort

There is a big pond on the plateau when you reach the top of the fort. You can enjoy the serenity of nature sitting at the bank of this pond. 

You can spot a few, demolished walls, bastions, idols and statues around this pond. Take some time to explore before proceeding.

A small pond inside the fort. Picture by Karan Chawda

3. An almost Vertical Ladder Climb to the Entrance of the Fort

There is a metal ladder to access the entrance of the fort. The ladder can be a little dangerous during monsoon season. You need to be very careful while climbing up. 

Till you reach this point, you can not see the entrance anywhere. Earlier, this was built to protect the people inside the fort.

An Almost vertical ladder to access the entrance of the fort. Picture by Prabhuraj Kore

Trail Information

Kavnai fort trek starts from Kavnai village. It has only one route through which the fort can be accessible.

The entire trek can be divided into 2 sections. The details of each section are mentioned in the below section. 

  1. Kavnai village to the entrance of the fort (metal ladder) – 45 minutes
  2. Things to see on the fort – 30 minutes

Trail Map of Kavnai Fort Trek. Screenshot on Google Earth

Section I: Kavnai village to the Entrance of the fort (Metal Ladder)

Trek Distance: 1.2 km
Trek Duration: 45 minutes
GPS coordinates of Kavnai village:  19°46’44.17″N, 73°37’0.33″E
GPS coordinates of the Entrance:  19°46’26.29″N, 73°37’9.58″ E

At Kavnai village, there is a big chowk(at the centre of the village). Maruti and Mahadev temples are other landmarks. Opposite the temple, you can see a hill which is nothing but the Kavnai fort. 

Steep vertical climb. Picture by Karan Chawda

Park your vehicle near the temple if you have reached the base by private vehicle. 

Trek starts from the trail that goes towards the hill. If you are confused with the multiple small trails, you can ask any villagers there. They would help you with the direction. 

You walk through the village for five minutes before you get onto the actual trail. There is a well-marked trail starting from here to a small plateau. 

The entire trail from the starting point to the plateau is a muddy road with loose rocks. After around 15 minutes of a trek, you reach a ridge that connects to the plateau. From here, the plateau is another 10 minutes. It will take around 25 minutes to reach the plateau from the start point. 

The trail from the ridge that leads to the plateau. Picture by Prabhuraj Kore

You can see the hill in front of you on which the fort is built from the plateau. Take the trail on the left keeping the fort to your right. You can see the entire village and Vaitarna dam from here. 

View of the village and Vaitarna dam from the plateau. Picture by Prabhuraj Kore

After around 20 minutes of a gradual ascent from here, on your right, there is a small gully that leads to the entrance of the fort. Until you reach here, you will not be able to see the entrance. This is one of the strategies to protect the fort and the people inside during the Maratha empire. 

The rock-cut steps have been demolished by Britishers to keep the fort inaccessible. However, there is a metal ladder kept by villagers to make it available for everyone. Trekkers have to enter the fort through this. 

Small Hay hut on the way to the fort. Picture by Karan Chawda

Section II: Places to see on the top of the Kavnai fort

From the entrance, if you take the right, there is a cave that can accommodate 5 to 6 people together. It is said that this cave was used as a checkpoint at the time of the Maratha empires. 

The cave just after the fort entrance. Picture by Prabhuraj Kore

As you continue to trek from the cave, you reach a plateau on the top of the fort. Walking a few steps further, you see a big pond near the Parvati temple. 

The temple reflection in the pond is something magical to see from far. This is the main attraction of the fort. Do not miss this view before going near the temple. 

Women going to the river to fill in those handis(pots) Picture by Karan Chawda

If you continue to trek from the temple, you see many remnants of the fort and mansions inside. There is also a bastion which is at the end of the fort. 

From there take the right to continue. You will come across a well-constructed water cistern that is dried up. Expect water to be there inside the cistern during the monsoon season.  However, it will not be potable water. 

Well constructed water cistern. Picture by Prabhuraj kore.

Few metres from here, there is another small stone carved water cistern full of water. This is potable water. Till March, it will have good water quality. 

Stone carved water cistern that has potable water. Picture by Prabhuraj Kore

From here if you take a right and trek up, you reach the pond again. Spend some time here enjoying the view. 

Kavnai fort is surrounded by other famous forts like Harihar fort, Tringalwadi fort, Brahmagiri fort and Kalsubai mountain ranges. You can spot them from here. 

Once you have spent enough time on the fort, you can take the same trail to descend. It will take another 30 to 40 minutes to reach the base village.

Best Season to do the Kavnai Fort Trek

Kavnai fort trek can be done throughout the year. However, July to October is the best season when you can see the Trimbakeshwar region surrounded by green hills. 

From October to February, you can expect clear weather and expect to see other forts clearly.

Vaitarna dam behind the Kavnai village. Picture by Karan Chawda

Villagers husking wheat. Picture by Karan Chawda

The summer season is not recommended as the temperature in that region can go to a very extreme point. This would spoil the experience of the trek completely. 

How to Reach Kavnai Fort Trek

Kavnai fort trek starts from Kavnai village. This village is easily accessible by both public transport as well as private vehicles. To know more about reaching the base by different modes of transport, read the complete below section. 

Reaching the starting point by private vehicle

Kavnai village has enough space to allow cars. 5 to 6 cars can be parked near Maruti and Mahadev temple. Use the links given below to help set up navigation in google maps. 

Reaching Kavnai village from Mumbai

To reach Kavnai village from Mumbai, take the NH160 via Thane-Asangaon- Kasara- Igatpuri-Ghoti-Ghoti Vaitarna road – Kavnai Village. Use this link to reach the base from Mumbai.  

Reaching Kavnai village from Nashik

To reach the base village at Kavnai village take the NH160 to Ghoti – Vaitarna road. After around 36 km at Zarekard polyhouse, turn right onto Ghoti-Vaitarna road. Continue on the same road for another 7 km to reach the kavnai village. Use this link to reach the base from Nashik.

Reaching the starting point by Public Transport System

There are multiple options to reach Kavnai village using public transport. A few of the options are mentioned below:

  1. From Mumbai, take the local train to Igatpuri. This will take around two and a half hour. From Igatpuri, catch a bus that goes to upper Vaitarna. Get down at Kavnai village. The distance between Igatpuri to Kavnai village is around 16 km. 
  2. Another option would be is to reach Kasara from Mumbai. From there you either take a bus or arrange a private vehicle to Kavnai village. There are private travel agencies who can also help you arrange the vehicle. 
  3. From Nashik, reach Ghoti village by bus and take a shared taxi or auto to Kavnai village. 

The trek starts from the trail opposite the Maruti and Mahadev temple. You can see Kavnai hill from there.  If you can not find the trail, you can ask villagers who can help you there.

Return option: You can follow the same route while returning. You can get the buses from the Kavnai village stop. Also, there are shared autos or taxis available at the base till Igatpuri.

Note: The frequency of the buses will reduce after 5 PM. Make sure your reach the Kavnai village before that. 

Stay options: You can stay in the cave just after the entrance that can accommodate 5 to 6 people. You can also pitch your tents near the big pond. There is enough space available for a few tents. 

Nearest Railway Station

Igatpuri Railway Station: 16 km 

Nearest International and Domestic Airport

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport:  135 km

Difficult Sections on the Kavnai Fort Trek

There are no difficult sections on the Kavnai fort trek. Any fit trekker can do this trek with the help of the GPX file

However, while climbing the metal ladder at the entrance of the fort, you need to be very careful. If you are in a group, take the support of each other to cross this section. 

During monsoon season, this section can become slippery as well. We recommend you wear proper trekking shoes with a good grip. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do we need permission to do Kavnai Fort Trek?

Kavnai Fort Trek does not require permission from the forest department. You can do this trek on your own without any permission. 

2. Is camping allowed on Kavnai Fort Trek?

There are no restrictions on camping. You can camp in the fort near the lake. There is plenty of space to pitch your tents. You can also stay inside the cave just after the entrance. 

3. Are there any food and water sources available on Kavnai Fort Trek?

Kavnai Fort trek starts from a small village. These villages do not have any hotels as such. However, few of the villagers do serve food if you have requested them before reaching there. 

Here is the contact number of one person who can provide you with food and even transport: +917741054757 – Prakash Chaude.

Otherwise, Igatpuri is the closest place where you can get your food packed. 

There is one water cistern on the fort. This can be used as a potable water source. However, we recommend you to carry a minimum of 2 litres of water from your starting location itself. 

Tip: If you are not comfortable with having water from outside carry purification tablets or life straw bottles to purify the water.

4. Who can do the Kavnai Fort Trek?

Kavnai Fort trek is of an Easy difficulty level. Any beginner can do this trek. However, all these treks are more enjoyable when you are fit enough to trek. So we recommend you work on your fitness before heading out on any treks.

5. What is the ideal time to start Kavnai Fort Trek?

You can do the Kavnai Fort trek in one day. It takes a total of 3 hours to complete this trek. 

You can start from your place very early in the morning. Reach the base village by 7 o’clock. Complete the trek by 11 o’clock. In this way, you can cover many other forts as well on the same day. Click here to know more about places to visit after the trek. 

6. Emergency Contacts for Kavnai Fort Trek 

Hospital: Rural Hospital Igatpuri is the nearest hospital to Kavnai Fort Trek. It is 20 Kilometres away from Kavnai village.

Police Station: Old Agra road, Ghoti Bandruk is the nearest police station to Kavnai village.

ERSS: For any kind of emergency help, you can contact the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) number- 112

7. ATMs and Mobile Networks on the trek

ATMs: Igatpuri is the nearest place to find reliable ATMs. However, Carry enough money from your home city itself to avoid the hassle. 

Make sure you carry a minimum of Rs 2000 from your starting location.

Mobile Networks: There are networks available on the trek. Jio, Airtel and other network providers catch the signal on the top as well.

Places to Visit After the Trek

From Kavnai village some other places and forts are accessible. You can visit these after you complete the trek.

Kapildhara: It is 1.5 km from Kavnai village. You can see the big mountains around this region. If you visit this place during monsoon season, you can see greenery all over the place. 

Harihar Fort: This trek starts from Nirgudpada village. The attraction of Harihar fort is the iconic steps to the top of the fort. It is almost 80 degrees vertically inclined. There are Lord Hanuman, Shiva and Nandi idols and a small pond at the fort

Anjaneri Fort: Anjaneri fort trek is one of the famous treks in the Nasik-Trimbakeshwar mountain range of Maharashtra. It is an attraction of Nashik city and the Trimbakeshwar region. 

The locals believe that the fort is the birthplace of Lord Hanuman. Therefore, it is considered as one of the religious places among Hindu devotees.

 Trek Contribution

Trek explored and documented by Prabhuraj Kore

Banner Image and pictures by Karan Chawda & Prabhuraj Kore

The trek was written by Nayana Jambhe