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The Complete Guide to Sindola Fort Trek

Sindola fort trek is one of the lesser-known treks in the very popular region of Maharashtra. It is situated in the Malshej ghat in Junnar region at an altitude of 3,680 ft from the sea level. 

Sindola fort dates back to similar times of Nimgiri and Hadsar. This fort was used as a watchtower as it offers a complete view of Malshej Ghat, Pargaon village and other famous forts. 

The fort is very small compared to other famous forts in the Junnar region. However, the ruins of bastions, few water reservoirs and a Ganesha idol at the entrance, are at the top of the fort will set you wondering of the beauty. The rock-cut steps while climbing to the pinnacle will leave you astonished.

➤  Highlights

1. An adventurous ridge walk surrounded by some of the famous mountains and a crystal clear Pimpalgaon Joga dam

The Ridge walk on the Sindola Fort trek is a celebration for the eyes. You can clearly see the Sindola fort from here. 

On your right side, the crystal clear Pimpalgaon Joga dam and on your left side, some of the peaks like Devdandya, Bhojgiri and Nimgiri-Hanumantgad are visible.

There are many forts of Malshej ghat that are visible from the Ridge. However, The ridge walk itself is a beautiful sight.

The Ridge, seen from the fort. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

2. A Spectacular view of the rare Karvi/Karwi flower that blooms once in a seven years

Karvi/Karwi is a group of seven species of shrubs, restricted to the western ghats. Famous because they rarely bloom. Each flower has its own cycle. Once in a seven-year period, they bloom. You can spot these rare flowers on the trail.

There are other beautiful wildflowers throughout the trek. You can see them all around you. 

Bluish purple-coloured Karvi/Karwi flower spotted on the trek - Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

3. The Pinnacle Structure of the Peak

The Pinnacle structure of the peak makes Sindola fort stand unique. This is visible from anywhere in the Malshej Ghat region. This unique structure can be seen clearly from the second ridge.

The pinnacle structure of the Sindola fort seen from the second ridge. Picture by Kailesh Padevkar

➤ Trail Information on the Sindola Fort Trek

Sindola fort trek can be divided into 3 sections: 

  1. The route from the highway till the plateau is a field walk and from there a gradual trek until the first ridge walk.
  2. From the First Ridge to the starting point of the traverse, there is a narrow trail.
  3. Trek to the Sindola fort through the traverse is a rocky section and a very narrow trail. 
Route Map
Sindola fort-Route map-Indiahikes-Google earth pro

Route map of Sindola Fort Trek. Screenshot on Google Earth Pro

GPX File of Sindola Fort Trek

Click here to download the KML file of the trail.

Section 1: Karanjale Village to the First Ridge

Trek Distance: 1.2 km 
Trek Duration: 35 minutes
GPS coordinates of the starting point: 19°19’12.7″N, 73°48’52.9″E
GPS coordinates of the first Ridge:  19°18’57.80″N,  73°48’35.86″E

The base for the Sindola fort trek is Karanjale village. It starts from the highway itself. When you get down from the bus, on your left you can see the Karanjale Village board. Sindola fort trek starts from the field opposite that board. 

The trail for the next 20 minutes is a field walk. You come across many small routes on the way. But take the route which leads you in the direction of the fort. 

Field walk on the way to the starting point of the Ridge. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

After 20 minutes, you reach a palace that looks like a plateau. From there another 15 minutes of gradual ascend, you are at the starting point of the ridge. 

You can see the narrow trail in front of you that leads to the second ridge. Sindola fort is standing tall behind it.

Section 2: Ridge walk to the starting point of the traverse

Trek Distance: 1 km
Trek Duration:  25 to 30 minutes
GPS coordinates of the first Ridge: 19°18’57.80″N, 73°48’35.86″E
GPS coordinates of the starting point of the traverse: 19°19’13.76″N,  73°48’16.78″E

As soon as you reach the starting point of the ridge, you are open to a beautiful view of the Malshej Ghat. Crystal clear Pimpalgaon Joga dam is spread across the right side of the ridge. You can also see Harishchandragad and sister peaks on the right.

When you turn to your left, a series of famous peaks like Devdandya, Bhojgiri, Nimgiri – Hanumantgad and many forts will be standing tall. Take some time to enjoy the stunning view around you. 

The Pimpalgaon Joga dam, visible from the ridge. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

The trail ahead of you is very narrow and slippery. Only one person at a time can trek. So keep your foot carefully.

Tip:  Wear proper trekking shoes. You can carry a trekking pole as well. These two things will really help a lot in trekking.

The trail on the first ridge. You can also see the Second Ridge from here. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

The second ridge walk is shorter than the first one. You can see the Sindola fort clearly from here. Observe the pinnacle structure of the fort.

The ascent just before the narrow tricky section. Observe the pinnacle structure of the fort. Picture by Suhas Paranjpe

Section 3: To the Sindola fort through the traverse

Trek Distance: 600 m
Trek Duration: 45 minutes
GPS coordinates for the Sindola Fort: 19°19’21.44″N 73°48’11.55″E

From the end of the second ridge, take the left traverse. Once you enter the traverse, your right side is exposed to the amazing mountain view. Below you are the Konkan plains. 

The traverse trail. The right side is exposed to the beautiful view of the mountains and the left side is the fort. Picture by Kailesh Padevkar

Continue to trek for another 15 minutes on the traverse. The tall grasses are all over the trail. Between them, you can find wildflowers including rare Karvi/Karwi. The trail ahead of you is not clear. You need to keep walking towards the direction of the fort.

Find the trail in between the tall grasses. Observe the wildflowers. You can see Karvi/Karwi flowers here. Picture by Kailesh Padevkar

When you think that you have completed the trek and are about to reach the fort, the most challenging section of the trail will be waiting ahead of you. The last part of the trek is to climb the pinnacle of the fort. 

This section has rock-cut steps. They lead to the fort. It becomes slippery during the monsoon season. There are also some loose rocks on the trail that makes it more difficult to keep your foot.

The entrance of the fort is demolished. But after reaching the topmost part of the fort, you see a Ganesha idol on your right. This is considered as the gateway of the fort.

The fort is very small. There are a few rows of water reservoirs inside as soon as you enter. Some of the water reservoirs are filled with grass and some are still clean. But the water inside the reservoir is not always potable. 

Water reservoir inside the Sindola Fort. Picture by Suhas Paranjpe

The Sindola fort is surrounded by a spectrum of peaks. You can see all the famous forts like Harishchandragad, Kulang and the peaks like sisters peak and Taramati peak. The route which you climbed up is visible from the top. 

Spend one hour on the fort finding all the famous peaks and forts of the Malshej ghat. Enjoy the beautiful view of the western ghat around you. The view in front of you is worth the efforts you have put in reaching the fort.

The Ridge, seen from the Sindola fort. This is from where you have climbed up to the fort. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

The descent is the same route as you came up. Be very careful while descending as the return trail is steep and slippery. This is where trekking poles can be used.

➤ How Difficult is the Sindola Fort Trek

There are multiple sections that are difficult to trek. The entire trail becomes slippery if it rains. 

The traverse that starts after the second ridge is a tricky section. There is no proper trail to follow. This part is filled with grass and wildflowers that make it more difficult to find the route. 

In some places, you have to cross the greasy rocks. If you are not wearing proper trekking shoes, it is very difficult to negotiate. Use the trekking pole here if you are carrying.

Slippery rocks on the way to the fort. This part comes when you take a left after the second ridge. Picture by Kailesh Padevkar

The last leg of the trek which looks like a gully is also one of the dangerous sections. The rock-cut steps and the loose rocks can be slippery. Hence, while descending down keep your foot very carefully. 

Rock-cut steps seen on the trail. This picture is taken while descending down from the fort. Picture by Saini Krishnamurty

➤Best Time to do Sindola Fort Trek

Sindola Fort trek is done in multiple seasons. You can expect a different view every time.

  1. If you want to see the greenery, blooming flowers and the mountains surrounded by mist and cloud, then visit in May-June or September-October.
  2. For a clear view of the Sindola fort, mountains and other famous forts, visit between November and February

The views are clearer in the months of November to February. Picture by Suhas Paranjpe

Trekking in the monsoon season is very risky. The trail becomes slippery and the winds can knock you over.

There are no trees on the trek. It would get really hot and difficult to trek. Hence, trekking in the summer is not advisable.

To know how to reach the Sindola Fort Trek, go through this section.

To know more about the permissions, water sources and other finer details about the trek, head over to the FAQ section.

➤ How to Reach the Base of Sindola Fort

Sindola fort trek can be done by 3 routes. They are:

  1. From Karanjale Phata
  2. From Pargaon Phata
  3. From Bagadwadi

All three of them can be accessible by public transportation. 

Reaching Sindola Fort by your own vehicle

Karanjale Phata is the base village for Sindola fort trek.

If you are planning on reaching Karanjale Phata using your own vehicle, you can use this link to help set up navigation in google maps. For a more detailed explanation, read through the information below.

If you are travelling from Mumbai get on to Mumbai Agra national highway towards Thane (NH160). After 49 km on NH160 take a right to join the Kalyan-Bhiwandi road( NH61). 

Continue on the NH61 until you reach Karanjale village. You will reach the base after 3 hours 30 minutes of drive from Mumbai. The distance is about 135 km from Mumbai and 93 km from Kalyan.

You can stop the car where you see “Karanjale Village Board”. Your trek starts from the field that is opposite to the board(On your right). 

Reaching Sindola Fort by Public Transport System

If you are travelling from Mumbai, reach Kalyan. From Mumbai CST you get the local train for every 15 minutes. You can refer to this chart for more route information. To know more about the timings download M indicator app

Once you reach Kalyan, Get into the bus that goes to Ahmednagar. Take a ticket to Karanjale Phata. It costs around 70 to 80 Rs for a normal bus and 180 to 200 for an AC bus. 

Inform conductor to stop you at Karanjale Village. You can also use the google map to navigate. The starting point of the trek is not exactly from the bus stop. You need to get to the village board from your location. From there, take the filed route(on your right from where you get down) opposite to the board.

Return option

The buses do not stop exactly where you end the trek. You have to walk around 3 km to the bus stop from where you exit the trek. Use this link to reach the bus stop.

Stay options

There are many hotels and resorts near the base of Sindola fort. You can book it in advance. 

Nearest Railway Station

Kalyan Railway station – 93 km

Nearest International and Domestic Airport

Pune International Airport, Pune – 123 km

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai – 145 km

➤ What To Pack For Sindola Fort Trek

  • Basic First Aid kit*
  • Identity Card
  • Cap/ Scarf/ Bandana & Sunglasses
  • Water (Minimum two litres)
  • Lemon and salt OR Electrolyte Powder/Drink (Electral/Gatorade/Glucon D, etc.)
  • High-calorie snacks (Nuts & dry fruits, home-baked cake, etc.)
  • Safety Pins, Rubber bands & Whistle (Useful in emergencies.)
  • Quick Dry T-shirts are preferable over cotton tees.
  • Poncho, only during monsoons
  • Plastic sheet to wrap electronic devices, only during monsoons
  • Sunscreen (SPF 50+)
  • Optional: Trekking poles

*First aid kit:

  • Scissor
  • Band aids (Regular & Waterproof)
  • Analgesic spray (Relispray, Volini, etc.)
  • Antiseptic Liquid (Savlon, Dettol etc.)
  • Antiseptic powder (Povidone-Iodine based powders like Cipladine, Savlon, etc.)
  • Cotton roll & Bandage
  • Crepe Bandage
  • 1 inch wide medical tape (paper or cloth.)
  • Micropore tape
  • Tablet for motion sickness (Avomine), Acidity (Gelusil, Digene, etc.).
  • Mild pain relief tablet (Crocin)

| Note: Always consult a doctor before taking any medicine.

➤ Frequently Asked Questions

Permission and camping on the trek

Sindola fort trek does not require permission from the forest department. You can do this trek on your own without any permission. 

There are no restrictions on camping on the Sindola fort trek. However, the fort is very small and there is no space to camp inside. Most of the space will be covered by the grasses that are very tall. 

You can come down and camp near the Pimpalgaon Joga dam. Camp near the lakeside and enjoy the view under the clear sky after the trek.

Food and Water source near the Sindola Fort Trek

Since the Sindola fort trek starts from the highway, there are many restaurants and Dhabas. Most of the Dhabas will be open in the early morning. You can pack your food before starting the trek.

There are water reservoirs on the fort. But the availability of the water is unsure and most of the time they are not potable. Fill 2 or 3 litres of water at the base itself. 

Who can do the Sindola Fort Trek

The Sindola fort trek has a few challenging sections making it difficult for beginners. It requires some trekking experience. 

One who has done a few treks in western ghats and looking for challenging themselves can attempt this trek. 

Emergency contact for Sindola Fort Trek

Hospital:  Prathamika Arogya Kendra Madh is the nearest hospital in the case of an emergency. It is 4 km away from the Karanjale village. 

Police Station: Junnar Police station is the nearest police station to the Karanjale village. It is 20 km away from the starting point of the trek. 

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

ATMs: If you are coming from Kalyan, then Murbad is the last place where you can find an ATM. Make sure you carry a maximum of Rs 1000 per person.

If you are coming from Pune, Bank of Maharashtra is the last ATM you can find. 

Mobile Networks:  Since the trek starts from the highway, most of the network providers catch the signal. 
On the trek, you don’t get any signal but once you reach the fort, Vodafone and Airtel work.

➤ Nearby Places to Visit After Your Sindola Fort Trek

There are many forts and treks in the Junnar Region that you can cover after the Sindola Fort Trek. Some of them are:

Pimpalgaon Joga dam

This is a dam on Pushpavati river that provides water to areas like Otur, Junnar, Narayangaon and Alephata. 
After completing the trek you can visit the dam and stay beside the lake. Carry your own tent and camp there. 

Harishchandragad Fort

This is one of the famous and challenging treks in the Western Ghats. This is situated in the Malshej region. 
After finishing Sindola fort trek, you can reach the Harishchandragad through Pimpalgaon dam itself. 

Other treks: Hadsar fort trekChavand fort trekNimgiri-Hanumantgad twin fort trek.

➤ Trek Contribution

Trek documented by Saini Krishnamurthy and Nayana Jambhe

Banner Image: Kailesh Padevkar

Author: Nayana Jambhe