Karnala Tourism

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Reasons to go to Karnala

1Thumb Point trek
Thumb Point trek

Karnala is famous for two things - the Bird Sanctuary and the Fort. The Karnala fort is believed to be to be built around 1400 CE, at it is a mind blowing experience to trek up to the fort until thumb point. If you are a bird watcher or into wildlife photography, the Bird Sanctuary is the best place for you.

HolidayIQ reviewer Darshan says, "It is a perfect place to have great peace of mind together with great fun". and HolidayIQ reviewer Hemant says, "Good for those who like trekking." 


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2Explore The Karnala Fort And Bird Sanctuary Together
Explore The Karnala Fort And Bird Sanctuary Together

The Karnala Fort also called the Funnel hill is located in Raigad, about 10 km from Panvel. Although the fort lies in ruins now, the surrounding area coupled with the bird sanctuary and the fresh air give the whole scene a unorthodox air of romanticism.

HolidayIQ Traveller Suyog Patil from Mumbai shares, “Best time to travel this fort is between June and September. Once you reach at bottom of this fort, you will have to pay for parking vehicles and entry fee for you. If you go straight to the road, you will find few steps and rocks heading you towards the fort. Make sure to have high gripped shoes and 2-3 litres of water with you while travelling up. Also, you will see different species of birds during this period if you are lucky enough to have one view.”


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3Bird Watch, Trek, Rope Walk
Bird Watch, Trek, Rope Walk

HolidayIQ Traveller Darshan shares, “It is a perfect place for some peace and fun. Apart from the Karnala Bird Sanctuary, there are activities like rope walking, bunjee jumping and river crossing.”

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Reviews (3)

Krutanjali Parab

Krutanjali Parab1.1/5

1 review

A bad experience

We have travelled from karjat to karnala santuary. It was a sunny day. We thought the place will be too awesome as it is known as bird santurary. But when we reached there bird santuray ends before it starts. We felt like we have become fool.
We have travelled above 1 hour to see that worthless place. Yes fort is quite nice.

Darshan thakkar Thakkar

Darshan thakkar Thakkar4.3/5

4 reviews

PANAROMIC resort, karnala

It is a perfect place to have great peace of mind together with great fun. It is a must visit place for 2N & 3 days.

Food, sight-seeing and shopping: There is nothing to Shop but you can visit KARNALA bird sanctuary & fort. But I can say no need to go anywhere just relax urself at pleasant atmosphere of resort.

Activities & things to do: Swimming pool, water park, rope walking, river crossing, bunjee jumping..

Travel tips, How to reach, travel warnings etc: Drop urself at PANVEL station and from there you can hire auto which will cost you around 200.. U can choose state transfer bus as well

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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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