The Umberkhind Trek starts from Khandala Railway Station and moves to Kurvande village near INS Shivaji. It passes through Kurvande Pass and Kurvande Ghat, from where one can see the Chavani village. From here, the trail descends until the Amba River. Walking along the banks of the river, you reach a war memorial. This is the place where Kartalab Khan, with Rai Baghan, surrendered to Chhatrapati Shivaji. On this trek, one can enjoy the lush green Sahyadris and the rejuvenating streams during monsoon season. The trek is an easy one-day trail. It is a wonderful mix of history and nature.
Umberkhind : A Battlefield Trek in Maharastra
- Retrace the footsteps of Chhatrapati Shivaji and his army to Umberkhind, where he cleverly defeated Mughal ruler Kartalab Khan.
- Alive with history, this trail takes trekkers back to the 17th century.
- Offering terrific views of the Sahyadri mountain range, this trail is situated in Pen, Maharastra, and makes for an easy one-day trek.
- The clearly-marked trail bypasses the Khandala Lake and a Shiv temple.
Umberkhind Trek Guide
Kurvande village is 4-5 km away from the NH4 exit to Khandala. This village marks the base camp for the trek. You can either to the village from the highway exit or take a private vehicle / tamtam to get there.
The clearly-marked trail bypasses the Khandala Lake and a Shiv temple. Soon, it moves towards abandoned railway tracks and passes by the Tata power company. The bullock cart trail then passes through a transmission tower. A little ahead, one comes across a small pass.
After passing this cross, one can see the famous Nagphani Hill and Duke’s Nose on the left. A well-marked trail goes up the hill on the right. It takes around 1 – 1.5 hours to reach here from the NH4 exit. You will also notice sign boards in red and blue reading “Duke’s Nose/Nagphani, Loose rocks and steep slippery climb. Trek at your own risk.” In some time, you reach the Kurvande village.
Here, the trail takes a right turn. As you enter the trail, you can see the long fencing of INS Shivaji. With the fence of your left, walk straight on the lush green trail. Your very steps might be retracing the steps of Shivaji’s army, where warriors, horses, elephants and cannons marched centuries ago.
If you’re trekking during monsoon season, you will come across a fresh stream on the way, where you can drink water and freshen up. You could take a small break here.
Once you’re back on the path, spot a couple of settlements, where two or three houses are seen scattered. Cross these houses and take a left from there. Descend on the gentle slope towards Konkan. During monsoon season, you can see some beautiful waterfalls on the mountains on the other side. After descending a little, you reach an open ground just a level above Chavani village. From the settlements to the open ground, it roughly takes 30 minutes.
Chavani village can be seen at a distance ahead, while Duke’s Nose can be seen behind. With overgrown bushes and several insignificant trails, one could easily get lost, so make sure you stay on the right trail.
In a few minutes, you reach the Amba River. From here on, the route is pretty straight-forward as there is a broad cart route on the other side of the river, also going to Chavani village.
Once you reach the river, you could take a break, because the last stretch of the trek, around 7-8 km could get monotonous on the tar road. After the break, you cross over to the other side of the river, in order to follow the broader trail. Crossing the Amba River could be difficult, especially during monsoon season, and one must take precaution.
From there, in a few minutes, you reach Chavani village. Walk past the village and stay on the tar road parallel to Amba River. The lively river is indeed a refreshing sight on the otherwise wearisome road.
In some time, you’ll come across the bridge with Amba River flowing beneath it. Cross over and continue walking ahead. In some time, you will reach the Umberkhind memorial. This is where Kartalab Khan, with Rai Baghan, surrendered to Chhatrapati Shivaji. The memorial has scripts that narrate the entire story. While coming from the Chavani village the memorial will be on your left side. One can relax for a while in the river, before proceeding to complete the last 4 km of the trek. Follow the tarred road to Shemdi village. Shemdi lies on the Pali Khopoli road, from where you can easily get buses to Khopoli. If you are lucky, you can also get tamtam / shared vehicles on the road that connects Chavani village to the main road. As you reach the Pali Khopoli road, you come across the Jananiaai, Vaghajai temple in Shemdi village. You can rest here while waiting for the bus to travel to Khopoli station, which is connected to Mumbai via the central railway. From Shemdi village, one can also get an auto rickshaw to Khopoli. It takes around 45 minutes to reach Khopoli station and another two hours to reach Central Mumbai. All in all, this trek has a lot to offer in terms of history and beauty. During monsoon season, the rain really lifts up the lush green of the Sahyadri mountain range.
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The secret to ascending any trail lies in building your cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Ideally, you should be able to jog 4 km in 20 minutes before the start of the trek. It takes time to be able to cover this distance in the given time. Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too. Strength This is another area you should work on. You will need to build strength in your muscles and in your core body. You can do some squats to strengthen your leg muscles. Do around 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set. Apart from this, you can add planks and crunches to your work out.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek. Working out indoors
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.