Takmak Fort Trek

Difficulty
Difficulty
Easy-Moderate
Duration
Duration
1 Day
Trek type
Trek type
Day Trek
Altitude
Max Altitude
2000 ft
Required Fitness
Base
Sakawar Village
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
June-February

Takmak Fort Trek


Table of Contents

The Takmak fort is one of the hidden gems of the Sahyadris. The fort is situated in the Vasai Tehsil, Thane district. Though it is closer to Mumbai, it still remains unexplored.

The base village for the trek is Sakawar which is at sea level. The trek gradually gains altitude and climbs up to 2000 ft from the base.

History

Takmak fort has a very rich history. It was constructed in the 12th Century by King Bheemdev. During that period it was used as a watchtower to look up the trade routes. Later on, Shivaji Maharaj won this fort along with the Kohaj and Asheri. 

This fort is very close to the Mumbai coast. Since the Portuguese used to enter India through the sea, they invaded this fort after the Marathas.

The Takmak fort was held by many rulers. The Marathas and the Portuguese were fighting for almost two centuries until the British took over this fort during the 18th century. They used this fort as a prison. The fort has seen a history for more than 400 years of a tussle to control. 

Click here to see what the trek expert Saini Krishnamurthy has to say about Takmak fort history.

Apart from history, Takmak fort trek includes a beautiful walk through the village, adventurous trekking inside the dense forest and a thrilling ridge walk where you get to see the beauty of the western ghats. 

What to watch out for

A walk through the prototypical village of Sakawar

Sakawar is the base village for Takmak fort trek. This village is like a typical village shown in the movies. You can see the kids playing around, women washing clothes near the small streams and men ploughing the rice paddy field.

Takmak fort trek-man on paddy field-Indiahikes-Karan Chawda
A pretty setting with a villager ploughing up the fields at Sakawar. Picture by Karan Chawda

The trekking inside the dense forest of Palghar region

Palghar region of Maharashtra is known for its dense forest. This forest has very thick vegetation and is rich in flora and fauna. You can find many Curculigo Orchioides and starflowers. 

These flowers look really pretty during the monsoon season. The trail will be completely covered with tall green grass and the blooming flowers. Observe and enjoy the eerie silence when you are trekking in this foliage. 

Takmak fort trek-Forest walk-Indiahikes-Saini Krishnamurthy
Trekking inside the dense forest. This is the initial section. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

The freshwater crabs on the trail

Most of the crab species are found in the ocean but surprisingly the forest section on this trek is a house to many crabs. They accompany you throughout the trek. You can find the crabs that are of cream and pink in colour. 

There are 11 different types of crabs in Sahyadris as per the recent research. It is very interesting to find the freshwater crabs on western ghat treks. If you want to know about those 11 species, here is the link to the recent research. 

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Trail Information on the Takmak Fort Trek

The Takmak fort trek can be divided into 4 sections. They are:

  1. Trek from Sakawar village to the forest section – 20 minutes
  2. Trekking inside the dense forest – 1 hour
  3. A ridge walk to the final climb – 35 minutes
  4. The final climb to the Takmak fort – 20 minutes

Route Map

Takmak fort trek-Route map-Indiahikes-Nayana Jambhe
Trail map of Takmak fort trek. The screenshot is from Google Earth Pro

GPX File of Takmak Fort Trek

Click here to download the GPX file of the trail.

Section I: From Sakawar village to the Dense Forest

Trek Distance: 1.4 km 
Trek Duration: 20 minutes
GPS coordinates of the Sakawar Village: 19°32’46.52″N, 72°55’16.95″E
GPS coordinates of the Dense Forest: 19°33’6.63″N, 72°55’48.43″E

The base village for Takmak fort is Sakawar. The trek trail starts from one of the houses you find at the junction. There is a trail that starts between two houses in the village opposite to the junction.

Takmak fort trek-House in the village-Indiahikes-Karan Chawda
One of the houses you see while trekking through the village. Picture by Karan Chawda.

Tip: If you do not have a GPX file with you, ask one of the villagers to guide you to the starting point.

The trail is completely through paddy fields. On the way, you can see many small streams passing through these fields. 

Takmak fort trek-Stream crossing-Indiahikes-Karan Chawda
Stream crossing on the way to the forest. Picture by Karan Chawda
Takmak fort trek-Field walk-Indiahikes-Karan Chawda
The trail passes through this field to the forest that you see at the end of this photograph. Picture by Karan Chawda

Section II: Trekking inside the dense forest

Trek Distance: 1.6 km
Trek Duration:  1 hour 
GPS coordinates of the Dense Forest: 19°33’6.63″N, 72°55’48.43″E

Once you exit from the field, you enter into a dense forest. It has thick foliage. Even if you are trekking in the summer season, you get pin drop silence. A sense of chill and spookiness is felt as you enter this forest. It is an adventure just trekking inside the forest. 

You can see a lot of flowers if you are trekking in the monsoon season. Added to these, you will be surprised to find freshwater crabs on the trail as well.

This part of the trek is notorious for trekkers getting lost. Because of the thick vegetation, finding trails becomes very difficult. Another reason you may get lost in the forest is there are many small trails that have been created by villagers. You may end up taking the wrong trail if you do not have the GPX file. 

Takmak fort trek-Forest walk-Indiahikes-Saini KrishnamurthyTrekking inside the forest. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

There are also direction signs on the trail. But it may not be visible in the peak monsoon season.

Tip: Do not start the trek without downloading the GPX file. In case you are not able to access the file, ask one of the villagers to guide you until the first clearance.

Section III: The Ridge Walk

Trek Distance: 1 km
Trek Duration: 35 minutes
GPS coordinates for the starting point of the Ridge:  19°33’15.82″N, 72°56’32.49″E

As soon as you exit from the forest you can see a long ridge in front of you. This is where you get the first view of the Takmak fort. 

You can see the Sakawar village on your right side and the confluence of the Tansa and Vaitarna rivers on the other side. Observe Navra – Navri twin peak that is standing tall behind the Takmak fort. 

Takmak fort trek-View from the ridge-Indiahikes-Saini Krishnamurthy
View of the Takmak fort from the ridge. The peak behind the fort is Navra-Navri. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

Section IV: The Final Climb to the Takmak fort

Trek Distance: 1.4 km
Trek Duration: 20 minutes
GPS coordinates of the Final Climb:  19°33’40.61″N, 72°56’32.70″E
GPS coordinates of the Takmak Fort:  19°33’48.55″N, 72°56’35.84″E

Once you reach the final climb, you need to be very careful while climbing further. The ridge becomes narrow. There are boulders and loose rocks on the trail.

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

Takmak fort trek-Final Climb-Indiahikes-Saini Krishnamurthy
The final climb to the fort where you see boulders and loose rocks. Picture by Kailesh Padvekar

There are rock-cut steps, water reservoirs and cannons on the fort. You can also see a remnant of a wall when you reach the fort. 

Takmak fort trek-Cannons-Indiahikes-Karan Chawda
Pieces of cannon on the fort. Picture by Karan Chawda
Takmak fort trek-Remnant of a wall-Indiahikes-Karan Chawda
The remnant of the wall near the entrance of the fort. Picture by Karan Chawda
Takmak fort trek-Water reservoirs-Indiahikes-Saini Krishnamurthy
Water reservoirs on the top of the Takmak fort. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

Take some time to explore the fort. The northern end of the fort is where you get to see the best view of the western ghats.

You can see a peculiarly shaped Vandri Lake in front of you. It will remind you of the shape of an Amoeba. 

The confluence of the Tansa and Vaitarna rivers is on your left. Highway and village are on your right. If the weather is clear you can see all the way through the Arabian sea. 

Find out the other forts and peaks around you. Spend 45 minutes there enjoying the majestic view of the Western Ghats. 

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

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Best Time to do Takmak Fort Trek

Takmak fort trek is one of the western ghat treks that is best recommended in the monsoon season. 

Most of the western ghat treks are accessible only after the monsoon season. This is because of the difficulty level or type of the trail which makes it difficult to climb. But Takmak fort trek is the one where you can experience the greenery of the western ghats during monsoon season.

You can also expect less crowd on this trek during monsoon as it is still an unexplored trek in Maharashtra.

You can do this trek from June to February. Since the fort comes in the coastal region, You can expect high humidity with extremely high temperature. So trekking in the summer season is not recommended.

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How to reach Takmak Fort Trek

The base village for Takmak fort trek is Sakawar village. This village is located in the Vasai Tehsil of Thane District, Maharashtra. 

Reaching Takmak Fort by your own vehicle

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

From Mumbai, get on to the Western National Highway(NH48) towards Shirsad. Continue on the same road until you reach Sakawar. Sakawar is 80 km from Churchgate. When you reach Sakawar you see Ramakrishna Mission Health Centre on the right side. Take the U-turn and turn right after the hospital. Follow the road for the next 750 m. You see a junction from where the trek starts. Park your vehicle near any villagers house.

Reaching Takmak Fort by Public Transport System

Sakawar village is easily accessible by public transport. If you are coming from Mumbai, catch a local train to Virar. From there get into the bus that goes towards Shirsad. It costs around Rs 30 per person. You get buses every 15 minutes from Virar.

There will be many white-coloured big autos(tumtum) where you get down at Shirsad. You can ask them to drop you at Sakawar village in front of Ramakrishna Mission Health Centre. If you are opposite to the hospital cross the highway and get onto the road which is in front of you. From there another 10 minutes of a walk after which you enter the field and start the trek. It will take an hour to reach Sakawar from Virar.

Return option: You can get the white auto(tumtum) from where you entered the village road. Get down at Shirsad and catch a bus back to the Virar. You get the local train every 15 minutes to Churchgate Mumbai.

Nearest Railway Station

Virar Railway Station – 20 km

Nearest International and Domestic Airport

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai – 58 km 

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Difficult sections on the Takmak Fort Trek

There are no difficult sections as such on the Takmak fort trek. However, few of the sections can be tricky if you are a beginner.

  1. The forest section can be tricky if you do not have the GPX file or guide with you. There are many small trails made by villagers. This can be confusing while choosing the path. So you need to take precautions while trekking here.
  2. The ridge walk is a bit narrow. So you need to be careful or have your presence of mind when going in a group. 
  3. The final climb to the Takmak fort becomes slippery in the monsoon season. The angle is at about 60 degrees. You need to keep your foot carefully on the boulders of this section. Make sure you wear proper trekking shoes and carry a trekking pole. 

 

Takmak fort trek-Final Climb-Indiahikes-Saini Krishnamurthy
The final climb to the fort where you see boulders and loose rocks. Picture by Kailesh Padvekar

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Frequently asked questions about Takmak Fort Trek

Permission and camping on the trek

Takmak 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 Takmak fort trek. You can camp on the fort as well as immediately after the forest in the clearings. However, there is no potable water available. You need to carry a minimum of 4 litres of water if you are comping. 

Food and Water source near the Takmak Fort Trek

There is no hotel in Sakawar. The nearest place where you can get the food is Shirsad. There are many small hotels near the bus stop where you can pack enough food for the trek. Virar also has some hotels and restaurants where you can get the food packed.

There is no water source on the fort. You can fill your water bottle in the village. There is a hand pump and a well where you can fill your bottles. Make sure you carry a minimum of 2 litres of water.

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

Who can do the Takmak Fort Trek?

The total distance of Takmak fort trek is 10 km. It requires endurance to complete the trek in a day. 

There are less difficult or technical sections on the trail. Hence, a beginner who is fit can attempt the Takmak fort trek. 

Best time of the day to do the Takmak fort trek

The best time to do the Takmak fort trek is to start as early as possible in the morning. You can complete the trek and have late lunch at Shirsad. 

This gives you enough time to cover another fort or nearby places in a day. You can head over to Nearby places to visit section to know more about the treks and places. 

ATMs: Virar is the only place where you can find reliable ATMs. There are few ATMs in Shirsad but it is recommended to carry a minimum of 300 Rs from Virar itself.

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What to pack for Takmak 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 Full Sleeve 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.

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How To Get Fit For Takmak Fort Trek

The Sindola Fort trek is classified as an easy-moderate trek. From the base, you will gain approximately 2000 feet in altitude. The continuous ascent on the trek can be quite demanding for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Training yourself for a low-altitude Medi-grade trek:

Here’s a guide to help you get fit for the trek in 4 weeks.

Cardiovascular Endurance

In case you’re just starting with a fitness routine, start slow and increase your pace every day in the following manner –

  • Target completing a brisk walk of 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin.
  • Gradually increase your pace by walking 5 km, 4 times a week.
  • As you become more comfortable, introduce jogging in your routine. 
  • Progressively increase the distance you jog in a workout until you can complete 5 km in 40 mins.

If you prefer cycling over running, target covering 15 km in 60 minutes when you begin.

  • Progressively increase your pace to cover 18 km in one hour.

Strength Training

This is an important area you need to work on. 

Strength training is equally important to trek comfortably. Work on your glutes, calves and knees. Additionally, work on strengthening your core.

You must strengthen your core muscles. For strengthening your core muscles, holding a plank and it’s variations (elbow, side planks) are the best exercises to go about doing it.

Also, try these exercises for strength-

Target 4 sets of squats with 20 in each set

– Squats (Mix it up with sumo squats)

– Lunges (Forward, backward and lateral lunges)

– Planks

Flexibility

Flexibility determines the amount of movement your bones can make in any direction around joints such as shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. 

It is an aspect that will help you trek comfortably. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain. Stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors and lower back muscles regularly, promotes relaxation in the tissues reducing the strain on your back.

If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

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Places to visit after your trek to Takmak Fort

Kohoj Fort: This fort is 40 km from the Sakawar village. This trek also has a lake called Pazhar. You can spend some time beside the lake and come back.

Kaldurg Fort: This fort is 40 km from the Sakawar towards the coast. You can cover Takmak fort and Kaldurg in one day. 

Asawa Fort: This fort is also located 40 km from Sakawar. An easy trek that can be covered along with Takmak Fort trek. 

Chinchoti Waterfall: This waterfall is near Naigoan and Vasai east on the western line. The trek to the waterfall takes around an hour and a half. The trail goes through very small streams and green forest. 

Asheri Fort Trek: This is an important fort in Palghar region, Thane. It was the northern boundary of the Portuguese territory and the capital of 38 villages. 

You can find the Portuguese arms engraved in a rock on the fort, rock-cut steps and ponds that are full of lotus. 

 

Asheri fort-engraved rock-Indiahikes-Saini Krishnamurthy
Portuguese arms engraved in a rock on the fort. Picture by Saini Krishnamurthy

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Trek documented by Saini Krishnamurthy and Nayana Jambhe

Banner Image: Kailesh Padvekar

Author: Nayana Jambhe

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Complete trek guide

Last updated: July - 2020

 Complete trek guide

About the trek