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Vikatgad or Peb (विकटगड किंवा पेब)

 

Difficulty Level
(very easy, easy, medium, slightly tough, tough)

Medium

Duration of the trek

1 day

When to visit

Anytime except Summer. In monsoon it has many waterfalls and water streams on its way.

Nearest City / Location

Neral (नेरळ)

Base Village

Neral (नेरळ)


Lush green trees on the way (Trek route)

The fort Vikatgad is next to Matheran mountain. Matheran is situated between Prabalgad and Vikatgad. There are two ways to reach the top of the fort Peb.

  1. Trek route this path is an excellent trek with diversity of forests, rocks, geography at every step you take. The path passes through water streams, rocks, small interesting rock patches, grassy meadows, forests and a ladder at the end. (2 hours)

  2. Peb-Matheran trek This path is also quite popular, easy and small enough. You will directly reach the fort from Viikatgad station on Neral-Matheran railway. (45 minutes)

 


20 feet of rock patch (२० फूट प्रस्तर)


Way to the ladder

  1. We recommend trek route while climbing. Nothing is so interesting.

  2. Reach Neral (नेरळ) station and start walking towards Kalyan end from Neral east. This is Neral Matheran tar road. Road takes left turn. Walk for sometime and then ask natives for the way if you get confused.

  3. The way will pass through some Date (खजूर) trees. Head towards the huge electricity tower at the top of a small hill. Behind the hill, you can clearly see Peb fort and Matheran Mountain beside it. (Peb is at right hand side and Matheran at left)

  4. After you reach electric tower the way ahead is quite clear with arrow marks.

  5. You will climb a small hill first, then pass through meadows, then climb up though a water stream path, then small rock patch. The trek contains about 20 feet of rock patch (२० फूट प्रस्तर) an easier but exciting one. After that you will reach a ladder at the back side of the fort.

  6. After entering the fort, search for the temple of God Datta (10 minutes from ladder)


Ladder to enter the fort


Peak of the fort (Prati-girnar Datta Paduka) (प्रति गीरनार)


Fortification of Vikatgad and Matheran hills in background
(Snap taken from Prati-girnar)

  1. Vikat means twisted. Vikat means horrible also. The trek route of the fort is really strange and unguessable. It has very strange turns and every now and then new surprises. The fort was originally called Peb. King Shivaji renamed it to Vikatgad. Vikatgad was mainly used as granaries to store grains.

  2. Datta Mandir (दत्त मंदीर) the base of the temple is 800 years old. The temple is in the process if renovation. The ambience is really peaceful with a Yadnya-Kund at the center of the yard of the temple. You can get water here. you may get Prasad in the temple at the time of Datta Jayanti utsav.

  3. Prati-Girnaar (प्रति गीरनार) The top of the fort is exact replica of Girnaar Mountain in Gujrat. The Girnar mountains are sacred place of God Datta and so is vikatgad called as Prati-girnar

  4. On the fort - On the way you can see a Ganesh Temple in a cave, and small pipe like openings of granaries. On the fort an ancient Shiva temple and a reservoir can be seen. There are some other remnants on the top of the fort. This 800-years-old fort is told to be one of the favorites of King Shivaji.

  5. View of Matheran Hills and railway track, Fort Chanderi (Neral), Prabalgad (Panvel) and Malanggad (Kalyan) is really amazing.


Peb-Matheran trek


Fort Peb at left side and Matheran hills on right


Fort Vikatgad from Matheran Hills

While coming back, use the Mathran route. It is equally interesting. The steps and ladder will take you to the matheran mountain from a natural bridging hill between Peb and Matheran. Catch the mini-train from there to Neral. Confirm the train timings in the Datta-mandir on the fort. There is one at 3.30pm.

If you miss the train, walk down the track (approximately 1 hour) till you reach the junction of track and the road. You can get some lift or taxi from there to Neral (approximately Rs. 25/head).

Local train from Kalyan Station to Karjat.

Last train to Karjat at night is 2.00am at Kalyan.
In the morning, 6.40am at Kalyan. Get down at Neral (
नेरळ)

Time to climb 3 hours from Neral station by trek route
45 minutes from Viikatgad station on Neral-Matheran railway track.
Food Available at Neral (नेरळ). Not on the top.
Drinkable Water Available in Datta-mandir on the top of the fort and also in Neral.
Shelter In hotels at Neral.


NarrationMap of Vikatgad

               

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2006 Sanket Sangwikar. sanketsangwikar@gmail.com

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