Irshalgad – 6 things you need to know about this beautiful fort

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Irshalgad lies in between Matheran and Panvel in Maharashtra and is at an altitude of 3700 feet.

The fort is not known for any historical events but Netaji Palkar, one of the most decorated senapatis under Shivaji Maharaj was born in Chouk Manlivali.

It is also known as a sister fort to Prabalgad.

It is one of the most sought-after treks in Maharashtra because of the view of the Irshal pinnacle from the Irshalwadi plateau and the unique hole-like structure at the pinnacle.

Region: Matheran

Altitude: 3700 feet

Difficulty: Moderate

Best Season: Monsoons (Winters are also considered good)

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How to reach Irshalgad

The base village for the trek is Irshalwadi & Naniwali village; however, to reach the base from Mumbai Pune, these are the two best options:

  1. Via public transport: 
    1. Take a local train to Karjat/Panvel from CST railway station and then take a local bus or private rickshaw to Chouk Manivali. 
    2. The rickshaw driver will charge you between 300-450 INR one way from Karjat to the start point and it takes around 30-40 mins to reach.
  2. Via private vehicle:
    1. You can drive to the base village. The distance from Mumbai is 55 km.
    2. Note: The parking fee is INR 50 for two-wheeler vehicles & INR 100 for four-wheeler vehicles.
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Trek Difficulty & Route

The Irshalgad fort trek is approximately 3 kms from Naniwali to the Irshal pinnacle. It requires anywhere between 4-5 hours to complete the hike; Hence it is a medium-level trek.
The trek can be done in the monsoons, though it gets a bit slippery and can get tough for people not used to trekking in the monsoons.

The trek starts from Nanivali village next to Morbe dam, and is an easy ascend till Irshalwadi or you can call it a comfortable 2.3 kilometres walk.

From the village head towards the temple dedicated to a local deity, from here the remaining distance of 1 km is a bit of a steep climb, and one may require short breaks in this part of the section. From here every trekker climbs a steep ridge.

To reach the Nedhe (a hole in the rock), one has to a thrilling climb over ladders and stones using the ropes attached. 

This is an experience in itself and one should be careful especially during the monsoons.

There is a technical section to reach the very top, which is only recommended to people with experience in technical climbs & mountaineering. (It should be avoided by seasonal trekkers).

The area of the fort is not large but there are several water cisterns cuts from the rock.

The Irshalgad trek is also done at night. You can start around midnight from the base village, reach Irshalwadi, rest for 2-3 hours and reach the summit to enjoy the beautiful sunrise. The night trek is surprisingly underrated. If you want to avoid the monsoon crowds, have the entire trail to yourself, and enjoy the foggy cold mornings & the sunrise, we recommend doing the night trek in the winters.
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Things to do & see

  1. Majestic views of the Matheran range
  2. Irshaldevi mandir at the top
  3. A hole-like structure at the top called Nedhe
  4. Camping at the Irshalwadi village
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Important Information

  1. It is suggested to carry enough water, as you can only refill the water at Irshalwadi village. There are no water sources at the top where you can fill your water bottles.
  2. You can check the trek route on Ramblr or download the GPX file after logging in and import the file to your Google maps.
  3. Try the local food at the Irshalwadi village; you can ask the villagers to prepare a meal for you beforehand.
  4. The trail is well laid out, so you do not require a local guide. However, if you are a beginner, we recommend getting one who can help you through tricky sections and make food arrangements if needed.

Irshalgad Trek Video

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