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Karnala Bird Sanctuary and Fort

Karnala is a hill fort in Raigad district of Maharashtra, approx 12 km from Panvel. It is a protected place within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. It was a place of strategic importance since it overlooked the Bor pass, which connected the Konkan coast to the Deccan Plateau.


The ruins of the fort is a popular trekking destination near Mumbai. There are two trails that lead to the fort - Karnala fort trail and nature trail. The nature trail is a shorter (1.2 kms) and steeper. The more popular Karnala fort trail is 2.7 kms from the base. There are 5 resting shades on the way constructed by forest department. The final climbing steps near the the fort are made safe by iron railings. Cooking is prohibited inside the sanctuary. Timings of Sanctuary is 7AM to 5PM and thus night trek is not allowed. The entry fees is Rs.50 per person. There are extra charges for carrying camera.

For trekking to Karnala with DarkGreen Adventures, Click here


The fort was perhaps constructed before 1400 AD, under Devagiri Yadavs(1248–1318) and the Tughlaq rulers (1318–1347). It later fell under the command of the Gujarat Sultanate and then the Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar. The Gujarat sultans, with the help of Portuguese at Bassien (Vasai) won it back. The Gujarat sultans fled to Vasai, surrendering the fort to the Portuguese. The loss of Karnala enraged Nizam Shah, who sent 5,000 men to reclaim the fort but remained unsuccessful. Realizing that the forts of Sangli and Karnala were of little strategic value, the Portuguese viceroy agreed to return them to Nizam Shah for an annual payment of 5,000 gold Pardoas

Shivaji Maharaj conquered it from the Mughals in 1670. After his death in 1680, it was taken over by Aurangzeb. In 1740 the peshwas captured it again. It remained under the command of killedar (garrison commander) until a colonel Prother won the fort and established the rule of the British East India Company there in 1818.

List of birds spotted in Karnala

  • Ashy Minivet

  • Ashy Wren Barbler

  • Barred Jungle Owlet

  • Braminy Kite

  • Bronze Winged Jacana

  • Bush Quail

  • Blossom Headed Parakeet

  • Barn Owl

  • Brown Shrike

  • Blue Rock Thrush

  • Black Headed Bunting

  • Bay Backed Shrike

  • Brown Flycatcher

  • Black Headed Oriole

  • Baya/Weaver Bird

  • Brahminy Mayna

  • Black Vulture

  • Black Drongo

  • Black Redstart

  • Bronzed Drongol

  • Common Kingfisher

  • Common Quail

  • Common Hawk Cuckoo

  • Common Indian Nightjar

  • Chestnut Bittern

  • Coppersmith

  • Common Wood Shrike

  • Common Zeal

  • Common Rose Finch

  • Common Myna

  • Common Lora

  • Cattle Egret

  • Cuckoo

  • Crow Pheasant

  • Common Sandpiper

  • Emerald Dove

  • European Roller

  • Franklin Wren Warbler

  • Fan Tail Flycatcher

  • Fan Tail Snipe

  • Gray Wagtail’

  • Gray Martine

  • Golden Oriole

  • Grey Jungle Fowl

  • Green Bee Eater

  • Grey Headed Myna

  • Grey Fonted Green Pigeon

  • Hoopoe

  • Heart Spotted Wood Pecker

  • House Sparrow

  • Honey Buzzard

  • Indian Skylark

  • Indian Pipit

  • Indian Robbin

  • Indian Shikra

  • Indian Great Horned Owl

  • Indian Pitta

  • Jungle Myna

  • Jungle Nightjar

  • Jungle Babbler

  • Kestrel

  • Little Green Heron

  • Long Billed Vulture

  • Lorikeet

  • Large Green Barbet

  • Long Legged Buzzard

  • Lesser Kestrel

  • Malabar Crested Lark

  • Malabar Whistling Thrush

  • Malabar Grey Hornbill