25 kms from Karjat, Kothaligad makes for a great trek. The first leg of the trek is from Ambivali village to Peth village. We parked our car near this village and started the trek. The climb is gradual as you move along the winding road. The road is rock strewen (may be plans of preparing a pukka road here). The climb took us around 1.5 hours which took us to a sort of plateau. From here to the Peth village which is at the base of the fort is another 20 minutes.
Peth village offers a good stopover during the climb to the top. You can have snacks/cold drinks here before resuming the climb to the top. We stopped at Bhairavnath Bhojanalay. The person operating the hotel mentioned that they regularly prepare meals for trekkers. You can call in advance and arrange for the meals.
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From Peth we started our onward climb, but lost the way. We were looking for help when we spotted a lady selling lime juice half way up. She helped us with the correct way. The climb is fairly steep but offers some great views of the surrounding mountains. A dog started following us some way into the climb. After some time we started following him. We realized that he was actually showing the way and this helped us in 1-2 occasions. We later came to know from the villagers that these dogs go along with the visitors all the way to top and back to the village (in hope of getting something to eat). We bought some biscuits and gratefully offered them to the dog. :)
At the top there is a temple and a old cave. From here, there is a staircase carved on the inside in order to reach to the top. We had done no research before the trek and missed this staircase. :(
The landscape was beautiful and am sure it will be stunning during the monsoons with a number of waterfalls on view and surroundings changing into fresh green.