Not to be confused with the Takmak Fort, Raigad; this place has its own charm. The hill fort is located at 2000ft. above the sea level and offers the stupendous view of hills and Tansa and Vaitarna rivers (Tansa River is the main source of water for Mumbaikars). Located very close to Mumbai, it is a one-day trek.
On a rainy day of Sunday, I and my friends set out on our bikes looking for a new adventure. We reached Sakwar village at 9 am. There were farms spread across, as far as our eyes could reach. The farmers had already hit the field. The houses looked quiet and abandoned with few children playing outside their home. It was surprising to see such a tranquil village so close to Mumbai. Monsoon had played its role in adding the contrast to nature. Soon, we were accompanied by 4 children who became our guides.
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Our trek started from the muddy road with a view of widespread paddy fields. Soon we entered into the dense jungle where various kinds of insects, crabs, and butterflies were spotted. In about an hour, we had covered the first half of our trek and reached the ridge. The view of the peak covered in mist made us ecstatic. The ridge provided the view of Vaitarna and Tansa rivers on one end and the hills and plains covered with green carpet on the other.
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The other half of the trek was a steep climb to the top. The slippery rocks and the gusty winds along with the rains pricking our exposed body parts made the climb more difficult. Every step that we took from here made us skip our heartbeats! Not only did it test our stamina but the patience and our perseverance to climb the mountain was equally tested. We managed to reach the summit in 2hrs after a watchful climb.
The fort speaks about the remnants of the past. There are 2 water tanks which are said to store drinkable water (according to locals). As we move further, there is a broken cannon followed by 2 more water tanks. The water in these tanks is not fit for drinking. However, during monsoons the water is fresh and hence we spent quality time bathing here.
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After having lunch at the top, we were on our way to the base village. The descent was far more challenging than the climb. I even slipped and fell few times but slowly and steadily, we managed to reach the base village. It was quite an adrenaline journey providing an overwhelming view. After all, all good things come with a price, doesn’t it?
How to reach?
Via Train- Alight at Virar station, take a shared auto or a bus from the east to reach Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway. From there take another shared auto/tuk-tuk till Sakwar village.
Sakwar village is approx. 20km from Virar railway station.
(Note: It is advisable to take the driver’s phone number in case if there is no auto available from the Sakwar village)
Via Road- Sakwar Village is located off the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway and is approx.80 km from Mumbai. You can use Google Maps to get here.
Best time to visit?
The most favorable time is during the monsoon (June-August). But, it has to be noted that the final climb is steep and slippery. Hence, I would advise the amateurs to visit this place post monsoon, i.e., between October-February.
- Carry ample of water and snacks/food as there are no restaurants/shops available in the base village.
- Wear full-length clothes to avoid mosquito bite in the jungle.
- Carry mosquito repellent.
- Ensure to wear good shoes/sandals having a firm grip.
- Hire a guide. They are easily available in the base village. They will charge a minimal amount of Rs. 200-300.
- It is a one-day trek that costs Rs. 300-500 each.