On a Trek with the nature
With the hustle from home to gym to office and then back home, we rarely get the chance to truly experience outdoors. While working out indoors has great benefits, we cannot deny the benefits the outdoor workouts have. Working out outdoors, closer to nature is not only great for your physical health but also your emotional and mental health. With fresher air, it fills up your lungs with goodness and you also get a chance to soak up your share of Vitamin D.
This said, one of the best outdoor workouts you can go for is trekking. During a trek, your body is encountering a constantly changing environment. To get to the end, you need to adapt to all those minute changes in your surroundings such as inclines, bumps, or obstacles, which means your body works harder than if you were running on a treadmill or using a cross trainer. Treks are known to be a great form of cardio with a mix of high and low intensity that maintains your heart rate to pump up the energy.
One such trek is the trek to Kothaligad Fort, Maharashtra. The fort stands tall at a height of 3100 feet in the east of Karjat, near Karjat-Murbad road with the Peth village at its base. This beautiful fort has temple, and cave at the base and a tunnel to the top of the fort. Like the fort, equally beautiful is its trekking route. The trek to reach the top of the hill is approximately 5.7-6 kilometres from Ambivali village. The zig zag trail flanked by trees, bushes, and shrubs, makes it a perfect choice for the trekkers.
The breath taking stone carvings date back to the 13th century and not much is known beyond that upto the 18th century when this fort passed through multiple ownerships among the Mughals, British and the Marathas.
Why should I trek to Koligad Fort?
This trek humbles you down and empowers you at the same time. Every step you take in this trek is worth it because of the following reasons –
- Fort’s Beauty – The fort, in the first place, is a scenic beauty worthy of Instagram pictures from every angle. With light coming in from every corner, it is breathtakingly beautiful and will delight you.
- People of Peth Village – Socializing with the locals here opens your mind to new avenues and gives you good food for thought. It transforms your outlook on life. If you observe them closely, you’ll see just how content they are with whatever they have. They do not have many wants. With their needs met, they’re happy. With their minimalistic living, they get you thinking if being greedy in a materialistic world is worth it.
- Holistic Development and Awareness – This trek challenges you to push your limits. It is in the open that you learn about the reality of your fitness level. What you can generally do in 4 walls will seem tougher and challenging on the trek. It is the reality as there is no equipment and no safety net. So you really push yourself, becoming more and more aware and mindful of your body movements, your surroundings and the harmony between the two. Your mind body coordination improves.
How long is the trek?
The starting point for Kothaligad trek is Ambivili village. Ambivili is linked to Peth via a dirt road. The ascent from Ambivili to the fort is 5.7 kilometre / 2– 3 hours’. The first 4.3 kilometre road to Peth village is an easy climb and usually takes less than two hours to complete. There is also a small waterfall along this route. From Peth village, it is a steep 1.5 kilometre / 1-hour climb to the base of Kothaligad fort. You gain 180 metres of vertical elevation in this climb. The trail is rocky and narrow. It meanders through dense bushes and trees as it follows a water pipe that links Peth village to Kothaligad fort. The views from this trail, especially during the monsoons are awe-inspiring. From the base of the fort, are the 87 steps carved inside the funnel that bring you to the top of the pinnacle.
How many people can go?
The beauty of this trek is that it can also be completed solo!
Level of difficulty?
Easy to Moderate
What do I need for the trek?
Water, some protein snacks, fanny pack or a back pack to store essentials (keys, phone, band aids, etc.), good shoes and comfortable workout attire.
When can I do this trek?
You can embark on this trek any time of the year. It the most beautiful during the monsoon and winter season.
What do I do after the trek?
Hit the gym or carry on with your fitness routine the very next day. There will definitely be body soreness and you will be tired but only working out can help you combat that soreness. Sweat it out and work those muscles to gain the best out of this trek.
I hope this inspires you to hit outdoors and take that trek. If there are any question about this trek or if you need help in planning for it, drop your queries in the comments below and I will be happy to help you out.