Prabalmachi trek is easily one of the most simple yet beautiful treks you’ll witness. Nestled comfortably between Matheran and Panvel in Raigad district of Maharashtra, near Shedu Phata, it has everything to provide to calm your nerves and cleanse your soul. Thakurwadi acts as the base village for this trek. This trek is very famous for Prabalgad fort and Kalavantin Durg. Although Prabalmachi Trek is an easy one but Kalavantin durg involves more risk and is often optional for trekkers.
Kalavantin is a high pinnacle found on Prabal plateau. It is 500 metres high and offers a wonderful panoramic view at the top.
Prabalgad fort is built 2300 feet above sea level in the Sahyadris mountain range. It has a sister fort named Itshalgad fort.
This place has a rich history. It was earlier named Muranjan but was later renamed under the forces of Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Flora and Fauna
This place is rich in flora and fauna and does justice to the title of being ‘UNESCO declared heritage site’.
If you want to find a place free of litter, this is it. It is completely free of litter and visitors aren’t allowed to have alcohol, drug and tobacco products. The air and surroundings couldn’t be more clean!
Difficulty Level – easy
It’s an easy and short trek. It’s located at a perfect altitude of 1500 ft above sea level making it comfortable for beginners and professionals alike.However, the Kalavantin durg trek involves more risk and precautions and is optional in most treks. Kalavantin durg is a watch tower near Prabalgad fort. The difficult and trickiest part is the steep stairs one has to climb to get to the top but the view is breathtaking after the climb. The unbelievable nearness to the sky and nature makes the climb worthwhile.
Best time to visit
The best times to experience this trek is in pre-monsoon, monsoon, and winters. The weather during this time is pleasant and good for treks. But it’s open all year in case you’re wondering. It’s hot during
daytime and cool during nighttime.
It takes 2.5 hours to climb from Thakurwadi village and reach Prabalmachi.
The trail begins from Thakurwadi Village. The forest trail is muddy, rocky and uneven. The rich sense of flora and fauna is easily visible while you pave your way through this trail. The view while you climb will stay with you for a lifetime. The villages, mountains and best of all, waterfalls add more to the experience. The climb through the stone paved mushy road might be a little difficult but satisfying at the same time.
- During pre-monsoon, hundreds of fireflies light up the place and turn it into fairyland.
It’s best to visit in pre-monsoon if you’re a firefly enthusiast.
- Camping in Prabalmachi is very famous as it adds to the wholesome trekking experience.
- The bonfires are to die for. They feel like a sweet warmth in the perfect mellow nights. Bonfire activities are highly recommended if you visit Prabalmachi.
- Stargazing is another activity you’ll enjoy here. You’ll experience a pretty sky lit up with stars.
- You can visit Kalavantin Durg and Prabalgad fort.
- The top of Prabalgad fort provides a panoramic view of Karnala fort, Panvel city, Matheran and Irshalgad.
- You can visit Prabalmachi Waterfall point.
- Photographers will be more than thrilled to capture the moments here.
Precautions and Essentials
- Wear a nice pair of trek shoes as they are going to be your best friend throughout the journey.
- Carry torches/ headlamp.
- Pack winter clothes to keep you warm at night.
- Pack some ready-made snacks.
- Sun blockages like sunscreen and sunglasses should be within reach throughout the trek.
- Pack necessary medicines and first-aid.
- A double strap backpack ( no sling bag)
- Mosquito repellent
Overall, it’s a wholesome trip and highly recommended. You’ll feel more connected to nature and yourself on this trek. The untouched exquisiteness of this trek is the best you can ever get. With fireflies, stars, trees, greenery, and a rich sense of history, this place is a world in itself. Having said this, I can only conclude that Prabalmachi should be on the top of your bucket travel list.