Kalavantin Durg, The Most Dangerous Fortress

One reason for people taking interest in the Taj Mahal is romanticism associated with the monument but Kalavantin Durg is another fort in India that is supposed to have been built for a queen. It is 2,000 ft high but no one knows much about its history. The fort can be found near Mumbai in the Western Ghats which are also called Sahyadri Mountains. It is often visited by tourists (usually local and native) and is also visible from the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway and lies opposite to Prabalgad.

Kalavantin Durg – History and Legends

Kalavantin Durg is believed to have been built during the time of Buddha or in or around 500 BC for a queen named Kalavantin. It is a bit saddening for an explorer to know that this is the only information locals can give and so many marvels and mysteries of the fort have died without leaving a record behind. The fort is accessible through steps that were cut into the rock of the hill and looks quite impressive given the technology and advancement in those old times. One can but wish to learn more about it.

Kalavantin Durg – What to See & Do

Since Kalavantin Durg is at such a height you can see Peb, Chanderi, Karnala and Ershal forts from the top. The City of Mumbai is also visible and catching a bird’s eye view of the surrounding makes one wonder how people must have built such a marvellous structure with simple tools. There’s plenty of greenery to take in along with rocky mountains. Look around for birds and animals some which are believed to be undiscovered yet!

Enjoy adventurous trekking as Kalavantin Durg is amazing for a trekker as it is like a climb to heaven itself. It is almost a three hour climb to the peak (more or less depending on your speed) then climbing up to the fort is another part of the challenge. Get ready to touch the clouds and hug the wind and give a good thumbs up to the mountains around you as you reach the peak.

Explore other forts around Kalavantin Durg such as Prabalgad, Karnala, Irshalgad, which have a history of their own.

You can choose to spend some time near rivers lying in the vicinity of Kalavantin Durg such as the Ulahas River, Gadhi River and Patalganga River.

On every Shimga Festival of Holi locals from Machi-Prabal Village dance on top of the fort and they consider it a part of their culture and heritage so a good time to visit this fort would be the Holi Season.

Being an abandoned site in general, there is not much development in the area. There is a free-style local snack bar called dhaba halfway up the peak. It is advisable to pack your own lunch and water.

Good to Know

  • The terrain is uneven and the high steps will pose a challenge to inexperienced trekkers.
  • Keep instant energy items such as lemonade and granola bars in your backpacks.
  • Keep an inhaler if you have breathing issues as climate in these mountains varies with altitude.
  • At such a height the fog might disrupt vision so caution is required while climbing up and down.
  • The Sahyadri Mountains, on one of which is Kalavantin Durg, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sara Martin

I work as a travel professional and a travel writer. I have been blessed to travel to various parts of the world and my travel “Bucket List” is still growing.

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One Response to “Kalavantin Durg, The Most Dangerous Fortress”

  1. Amod Raje says:

    Hello Sara,
    I am glad to see that one of the forts in Maharashtra has a place in your list. Just wanted to clear that Kalavantin Durg is not at all a dangerous fort. It might look dangerous but from risk point of view it’s quite easy to climb and reach top of the fort. Out of 350+ forts in Maharashtra there are many which are considered as dangerous (risky) on the basis of difficulty level to reach top. Mostly dangerous if you need rock climbing techniques.
    Wish you to complete all in your Bucket List :)
    Best Regards,
    Amod Raje

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