The Sondai Fort Trek is located near Karjat, Raigad district in Maharashtra. It is located at 1200 feet elevation and is considered one of the most easy treks in Maharashtra. Sondai Fort was more of a watchtower than a fort. It was built to be a watchtower and keep an eye on the surrounding areas.
Name of the Sondai divinity Sondai, which is located over the hill fort, was the inspiration for the Sondai name. The rocks used to forge the path to the Sondai temple are very impressive. Fort contains four water tanks, two of which provide portable water. Beautiful views of Songiri (Morba Dam), Prabalgad Rajmachi, Prabalgad, Prabalgad and Rajmachi forts, and the Matheran mountain range are visible from the fort’s crest.
It takes just over an hour to get to Sondai fort from the trailhead. These villages are the base villages for this fort trekking. Sondewadi village is located at one-fourth of the fort’s height. Sondewadi village is also more favorable than Wavarle because it passes through dense forests. The trek route can be dangerous and slippery during monsoons, as it passes through a dense forest.
Sondewadi Village route
Sondewadi village can be found at approximately 10kms from Karjat station. Depending on your speed, the climb to this peak will take between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
Wavarle Village route
The village is located at approximately 12kms from Karjat station. To reach the village, you can take a bus or an automobile from the station. This route is more difficult and will take you longer as it takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete. The route is also not ideal for travel.
When you get off the bus or car, remember to refresh yourself at the hotel nearby. You will find the start of your trek at the Sondewadi village. A rough road patch with small stones will guide you to the right.
The walk will be effortless until you reach the plateau. You will need to turn left towards the fort from here. You can slow down here, depending on your ability. You can then resume the trek by turning left.
The most exciting part of the trek will be revealed soon. These are the iron ladders that have been built by local villagers to ease the journey. Two reservoirs will be visible on the trail’s extremity once you have reached the top of the first ladder. Although the water in these tanks is not recommended for drinking, it is suitable for small animals. It is easy to see.
You will soon reach the second ladder once you have passed this one. This will take you straight to the top. There you are!
The beautiful views will be yours from the top. You can take pictures and eat if you have something to eat. However, you should clean up after yourself. You should always bring back any plastic packaging you have used for food. Once you’re done, dispose of it properly.
There you will see the Sondai idol of devi. You won’t see any temple structure in which the divinity statue is located so please do not look. The idol is actually placed under a large tree, which acts as a Mandir to them. Sondewadi villager take good care of the tree and mandir. They are greatly appreciated.
The trek’s top section is also very small, with very little space
As there is not much up there, you can begin to descend at any time. It is obvious that stepping down takes less time than climbing. If you’re traveling in summer, make sure you have enough water.
Monsoon travel and summer travel will be very different. Travel will be difficult and the views will differ. Monsoon travel is not recommended, but it is not prohibited. Although the terrain can be slippery, if you’re a skilled mountaineer you could consider adding this trek to your bucket list. Summer will be hotter and present additional challenges.
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