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Anupriya Bedi Jun 10 2014

Can you tell me about things to see and do in Karjat?

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In the green foothills of the Sahyadris, Karjat is a good base for a number of tourist activities. You will come across many things to see and do in Karjat; you can either come to one of the health resorts here or visit the ancient rock-cut caves. In case you have a penchant for adventure, you can climb the imposing Maratha forts, attempt some easy treks, or go on a monsoon white-water rafting trip on the Ulhas River.

Kondana Caves

Kondana Caves are rock-cut Buddhist caves with a stupa, chaitya, vihara, and sculptures. It is believed that during an earthquake in the early 1900s, much of the front, floor and stupa were damaged. This left the pillars in the chaitya suspended like huge stalactites from the ceiling. Large beehives hang at the entrance to the cave, so refrain from smoking, or carrying aromatic foods. If you follow this trail uphill, it will turn into a steep climb. From Karjat, drive or take an auto to Kondana Village. Once here, you can follow an easy trail to the ruins of the caves.



Photo of Kondana Caves (by Nagraj Salian)

Trekking

Karjat offers lots of options depending on your energy and determination levels.

A great trek is to Matheran, via Rambagh Point. From Karjat station take an auto to Vavarle Village. Just outside of Vavarle is a fork in the trail. You can take the right fork up--an initially gentle climb that progressively gets steeper and eventually brings you to Rambagh Point in Matheran. A small restaurant at Rambagh Point serves basic refreshments.



Photo of RambaghPoint (by ganuullu)

Alternatively, take the left trail at the fork outside Vavarle, which also goes to Matheran via Ambewadi Village. The last section, known as the Shivaji Steps, is a steep climb and you could end up scrambling over boulders and rocks. On your left will be One Tree Hill and to the right, the steep cliffs of Matheran. It takes around three and a half hours to trek up to Matheran from Vavarle, via both routes. From Matheran you can’t come back to Karjat unless you walk. You may either take a cab or train down to Neral and from there go back to Mumbai to Karjat by train.



Photo of trekking in Matheran (by dtravelersworld)

The walk up to Bhimashankar from Karjat is another classic trekking experience. This 7-hour long trek is quite steep.



Photo of Bhimashankar (by sandeepachetan.com)

Peth Fort is unique among the forts of the Sahyadris because of its funnel shaped
top (Koraigad) and its rocky staircase carved in the middle. To get to the trek, take a bus from Karjat to Ambivli Village, near Peth. From Ambivli, take the path to Peth Village; from there it’s an easy climb to the fort. Camp in the caves at the top, where you have access to drinking water too.



Photo of rocky staircase at Koraigad fort (by Himanshu Sarpotdar)

White Water Rafting

During the monsoon (July to September) it’s possible to go rafting on the Ulhas River. This is one of the best things to do in Karjat, while you are here. The trips are dependent on adequate rainfall. Outbound Adventure in Mumbai organises rafting and canoeing trips here. A day trip costs Rs 2,000 per head and includes rafting and a vegetarian thali lunch at Van Vihar, Kondana.



Photo or River Rafting (from the Official Website of Outbound Adventure)

Health resorts

Healing and de-stressing is another Karjat speciality. Two health resorts here— Dr. Modi’s Health Resort and Satya Health Farm—boast all kinds of remedies and natural treatments. Do note that neither of the health resortspermit the consumption of non-vegetarian food, alcohol or smoking.



Photo of Dr. Modi’s Health Resort (from the Official Website)

If you are planning a quick and quiet getaway, Karjat is the place to head to. This list of things to do and see in Karjat should come in handy. For hotel options, check out the Hotel app link. Happy journey!

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