|Time to climb||1 and ½ hours from Pali to fort. ½ hour to citadel from fort|
|Food||Available in Pali.|
|Drinkable Water||Available in Pali and also on the fort.|
|Shelter||caves at the base of Balekilla or accommodations are easily available in Pali village, which is a pilgrimage|
(very easy, easy, medium, slightly tough, tough)
|Duration of the trek||1 day|
|When to visit||Anytime during the year|
|Nearest City / Location||Pali , Khopoli|
The trek is in 2 steps. First reach the Dindi-darwaja from the village Pali. Look around the fortification, ponds, caves and remains on the fort and then climb the citadel (inner fort).
The another route is chor-darwaja ( ) which we recommend only while coming down from the fort.
- Reach Pali from Kalyan by ST. Or you can go to khopoli and then reach Pali by ST from Khopoli.
- You can first visit Varad-vinaayak Ganesh Temple of Pali (One of the AshtaVinaayak)
- Start climbing the fort from the backside of the temple.
- Soon you will reach stone steps after crossing 2-3 meadows.
- Climb those 96 steps with your both the hands and feet and you will reach the door of the fort.
- This fort was mainly used as Observation post for the regions around Pali. So you can get a good view of Pali and Khopoli valley and sudhagad, dhangad and Korigad forts.
- Entrance – The bastion near the entrance has rooms under it for the stay. The entrance of the fort is really amazing with steps curling in between the two bastions. These 96 steps are almost 2 feet each in height. The entrance is not a huge elephant door commonly seen on Maharashtrian forts. It is a small door through which an elephant cannot come inside.
- Caves and Water Tanks – There are exceptionally large number of ponds, water tanks and caves on the fort. Many of the caves have drinkable water and some are worth a night stay. These caves and ponds are situated at the base of the Balekilla.
- Balekilla (Citadel) – Balekilla with its tricky entrance serves as an inner fort for extra protection. Temple of Kedareshwar in the citadel is really cool with a huge rectangular water tank behind and trees beside the tank. Every year, People celebrate Mahashivratri in this temple. There is a good water tank with cold and clean water on the way to Balekilla.
- In monsoon sarasgad fort is full of lush green grass and shepherds of Pali bring their goats here up on the fort.
- Chor-darwaja – It is situated near a cave full of clean water and this is where the route towards citadel starts. We can get down by this route also. There is not much architectural difference in the main entrance door and Chor-darwaja.
- NIGHT STAY – You can stay in one of the caves at the base of Balekilla or accommodations are easily available in Pali village, which is a pilgrimage.
- Around Sarasgad – Varad-vinayak Ganesh of Pali (One of the AshtaVinaayak)
You can also visit another Ganesh amongst the AshtaVinaayak at Mahad which is 5km from Khopoli or you can also visit Unhere for hot water springs.
While coming back, you may come down using chor-darwaja. The route is amazing with carved steps in the rocks, which is really unique among the forts. Ask native people for guidance if you are stuck. The route gets down at Pali main road. Get down to Pali and get the buses to your respective locations or do direct 6-seater to Khopoli for Rs. 150 or 200.
|From Thane Station ST stand||6.15am bus to Pali|
|From Kalyan ST stand||8.15am bus to Pali|
|From Diva station||6.30am train to Nagothne. Hire a 6-seater to Pali from there.|
|From Panvel ST stand||Every one hour buses to Pali|
|From Khopoli Naka||Reach Khopoli by tain (6.40am at Kalyan) From Khopoli there are every 30 minutes buses to Pali or Hire a 6-seater (Go to Parali and hire another one or hire directly to Pali)|