For a travel enthusiast, trekking at Karnala, as part of Trek India, is like nailing 4 targets with one arrow. You get to view a Bird Sanctuary. You get two routes as options for easy trekking or medium level trekking. You get to explore two Forts, one at an intermediate height, and the other at the peak. Finally, you also get to experience your fair share of adventure, around the hills, rocks and forts of Karnala. What’s more, you get to do all of this at a minimum of just $3 per head!
Best Season to Trek Karnala
The best season to trek Karnala is between the months of June and September, which is the rainy season in India. Trekking Karnala at this time of the year, makes it easier and more pleasant for you to explore the hills and the forts, due to the pleasant cool rains, which tend to keep your body and head cool. This way you cannot end up feeling exhausted and hot-headed on your way uphill. The rains also make the trek a little more adventurous and trickier. It doesn’t make the trek difficult. Just take care of the grip you have on the ground with each step, and the rest of it is an easy way up and down.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary:
The actual bird sanctuary spans a total area of 4.27 square kilometres. It is home to over 150 species of resident and 37 species of migratory birds, who visit the sanctuary during winter. Two very rare birds have also been sighted at this bird sanctuary. These are the birds, Ashy Minivet and Malabar Trogon.
Trek Duration, Rates & Trekking Groups:
On an average, if you set out at 7:00 am in the morning, from Panvel station (1 hour by train from the nearest station to Mumbai Airport in India), you can expect to complete your trek and return to Mumbai City, by 5 pm in the evening. From Mumbai Airport, it might cost you 40 cents for a return ticket to Panvel station. From Panvel Station, any local trekking club like “Keen Venturers & Trekkers” or “Wild Rangers“, or an array of other such groups, can be chosen from, to execute your Karnala Trek.
You might need to do an online search for these groups, and register in advance, based on their timetable and the date on which any of them have scheduled, for the Karnala Trek. These trekking groups are non-profit groups led by qualified and senior IT professionals, Doctors, Lawyers etc. These groups are passionate about trekking, and are expert trekkers, conducting proactive trekking since years, around the tricky terrain of the state of Maharashtra, in India.
The Karnala trek may cost you between $3 to $10, based on whether the trekking group offers to provide morning snacks, or snacks in the morning and evening, or lunch with morning and evening snacks etc. The cost is generally inclusive of at least: The cost of travel from Panvel station to the foothills and back, and at least a morning, or an evening snack.
More Information on Personal Experience of the Author at Karnala & Pictures taken during the Karnala Trek:
To view my first-hand experience during a trek to Karnala, and to view pictures of the same, you can read my blog post on a Karnala Trek, in which I participated, in June 2011 at: http://photographer-arrnica.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post.html.