Kaldurg is an easy trek located near Palghar with a height of around 1500 feet. Though I have trekked up Kaldurg before, this time the monsoon was in full swing, and the experience was thrilling! Gusty winds, thick fog covering the mountains, and an overload of greenery around, making it a surreal and exciting adventure!
Here is a quick video summary of the trek and the cycle ride:
Kaldurg - getting there
Kaldurg is located in the sub-range of the Sahyadris that runs parallel to the coast from Saphale to Boisar. This sub-range has three forts - Tandulwadi Fort at the southern end, Asava Fort at the nothern end and Kaldurg roughly in the center.
The trek starts at a temple located on the Palghar-Manor road that cuts through the sub-range just north of Kaldurg. The temple is dedicated to Waghoba, an ancient tribal diety represented by a leopard or tiger.
A study by Vidya Athreya in Maharashtra and Goa areas where Waghoba Shrines are located revealed that people have remarkable understanding of leopards’ biology and behaviour in their area, such as leopard cubs are born once in two years, they stay with their mother, each leopard has its own territory and scent marks its borders, they are nocturnal and they can climb on a tree easily. On the other hand they also believed, that leopard dispels bad omen, once it tastes human blood it becomes a man eater and the man eaters are gigantic creatures (even bigger than a tigers). These are myths but perhaps are ways in which the people negotiate their space with these large cats (ref)
Kaldurg - Trek Route
The trek can be completed in a couple of hours, and is perfect for a group including children. There is only one stretch of rock face where one has to be careful during the monsoon. The rest of the path is well marked and easy to find without any guide.
Kaldurg - Features of the fort
Kaldurg is not very well fortified and there do not seem to be any ramparts that define its boundaries, nor any bastions. It seems to be more of an outpost to watch over the pass through which the Palghar-Manor road passes.
If you are lucky and there is no fog or clouds, the views from Kaldurg are fantastic! To the east of Kaldurg flows the Surya river that merges with the Vaitarna river further south closer to Tandulwadi fort.
To the west, one can see Palghar and the coast beyond. Again, one has to be lucky to get a clear day to really enjoy the view.
Monsoon is not the weather to enjoy the views, but the thrills of trekking in the rain and the exuberance or nature! The mountains are usually covered in fog and clouds, but the forest comes alive with bright greens and wild gusts of wind that can throw you over if you're not careful!
There are two water tanks located on the fort. One of them is on the small plateau at the top. The water is not potable but can be used for a nice wash after a sweaty trek.
A larger tank is located on the northern side. Both tanks only have water during and immediately after monsoon, and are dry for the rest of the year. The water is also not potable. So one has to carry sufficient drinking water.
A short trek down from the northern face also leads to a small temple location. There is no structure remaining, but there are rock shards that indicate the existence of a place of worship.
There is no place to stay on the fort. The plateau on the top is bare and offers little shade. However, there is sufficient space around the tank on the north to pitch a tent.
Forts in the Palghar Region
For more information about other treks in the area: