Manikgad 

Dairy Entry 

Manikgad may not be amongst the thirty most popular forts of Maharashtra, but surely deserves to be regarded as one of the most beautiful trek destinations in the monsoons. The base village Vadgaon (looked more like a tribal settlement), is quite a remote place and we took direction from at least a dozen people on the way before reaching it.

We hired a guide from the village (Rs.200 for taking us to the top and bringing us back, after a lot of bargain). It was quite a sunny and extremely humid day, which made the climb seem tougher than it actually was. From the tribal hamlet Kitkari, which we reached in forty five minutes, we could catch a clear glimpse of the Karnala peak at a good distance and the Manikgad peak itself in front of us, which was quite scary at the first sight.

What followed was one hour of normal walking in forests and grass lands till the base of the peak. The last one hour of the climb to the top was tiring, though not difficult, due to the non cooperative weather. After a certain distance, we walked through grass that was a feet tall and bright green in color, the very sight of which was very refreshing.

In three hours we were on the top of the peak. The plateau on top was huge and totally green. We went around for an hour inspecting the numerous water cisterns and the huge frogs that inhabited them. After lunch and some rest, we started climbing down at 2'o clock and reached the village in two and a half hour.



Itinerary

(The trek was done with the trekking group in my company and some experienced folks took care of the logistics).
Leave alone traveling by public transport, the base village is tough to spot even if you have your own cab/car.
When proceeding from Pune, you need to take a diversion from the highway, after Khopoli and before Pen. The only landmark that can help you find directions is a huge Reliance Plant in the vicinity.

Album

The trek begins

The trail.

Water Cistern before the fort.