Karnala Tourism

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Reviews (7)

Kavita gandhi

Kavita gandhi3.6/5

2 reviews

Nice to enjoy

Its nice place we enjoyed a lot with my family and friend we are thinking to visit again with friends water rides are nice. We enjoyed other adventure activities. Staff people are very supportive and helpful. Food quality was nice we enjoyed a lot. We enjoyed a lot at rain dance

Krutanjali Parab

Krutanjali Parab2.9/5

2 reviews

Perfect destination to visit in winter.

It is quite a nice place to visit in winter. But noot good to visit in summer of rainy season. It cost liitle high to reach there if you are centrally located. Best way to visit is go from Panvel station. There is bird santuary which is not worth watching. When we visited the place we found only 3 to 4 birds which were just parrot and peacock. But its all about fort so climbing to the fort feels like tr eking. You people will find it really exciting. And canteen is also fine. Chicken is tasty.

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Recommended Duration in Karnala

Number of days to spend in Karnala as recommended by our travellers.

2 days


Karnala Overview

Karnala is a well-known fort city in the Raigad District of Maharashtra, situated at an altitude of 475 m above sea level. Marked by dense forests and high mountain ranges, this city is an ideal weekend getaway from Mumbai, which is located 61 km towards the north. Lying on the Mumbai-Goa highway, Karnala is equidistant from Pen and Panvel, both of which are located at a distance of 10 km.

During the rule of the Devagiri Yadavs (1248 – 1318) and the Tughlaqs (1318 – 1347), Karnala served as the capital of the north Konkan districts of the respective empires. Later, the city was taken over by the Gujarat Sultanate, who then lost Karnala to the Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar in 1540. The Gujarat sultans then sought the help of the commanding officer of the Portuguese at Bassein to win it back, and recaptured it.

Later, a battle took place between the Nizam Shah and the Portuguese, in which the latter won. Karnala thus, came under the rule of the Portuguese; however, the fort of Karnala was given to the Nizam Shah by the Portuguese viceroy to nurture their friendship.

In 1819, the British East India Company established its rule in the region. Karnala was considered strategically important as it commanded the trade route between Bhor Ghat and the rivers of Panvel and Apta. The region was declared as a bird sanctuary by the Maharashtra Government in 1968.

Karnala has gained prominence as a tourist destination for its sanctuary (around 25 m above sea level) and the fort (370 m above sea level). The thumb shaped pinnacle on the top, known as the Karnala Thumbs Up, is actually a 1538 ft high volcanic plug. The hill, better known as Funnel Hill, is further adorned with the Karnala Fort that lies within the protected region of the Karnala Bird Sanctuary.

Spread across an area of 4.27 sq km, the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is home to over 150 species of resident and 37 species of migratory birds. The two rare birds that have been spotted here are Ashy Minivet and Malabar Trogon. From the bird sanctuary, tourists can choose to climb up to the Karnala Fort to explore the region.

The nearest air gateway to Karnala is the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai (49 km). Those travelling by train can get down at Panvel (12 km), which is the closest railhead to the sanctuary. Another option is to take a direct bus or auto from Mumbai Central.

The best season to travel to Karnala is during the monsoons; however, the best time for birdwatchers is between October and April.

There is so much to see in Karnala.

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