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The Karnala Fort popularly known as the Funnel Hill is a famous tourism spot in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, and lies at a distance of 10km from the Panvel city. The fort is of great importance as it overlooks the Bor Pass that connects the Konkan coast in the west with the Deccan plateau in the south. Subsequently, it was the main trade route between the two areas. This fort is cozily nestled in the Karnala Bird Sanctuary.
The Funnel Hill stands proud and tall at 475m, and has a chequered history of having passed through the hands of Portuguese, Mughals, and Maratha rulers. This magnificent fort comprises of two forts, one at a higher level and other at a lower level. A 125 feet high basalt pillar called the Pandu’s tower is erected in center of the higher fort. During the ancient times, it was used as a watchtower.
Persian and Marathi inscriptions are carved on the walls and pillars of the fort. You can see the Marathi inscription carved on the inner walls of the lower gate. The Persian engraving is on the upper gate and is written “Syed Nuruddin Muhammad Khan, Hijri and is probably from the Mughal era. No vehicles are allowed inside the area, so you can explore the fort and the bird sanctuary only on foot.
What can you see around the fort?
Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Migratory and local birds are the chief attraction for tourists and visitors from Mumbai and nearby towns. On the onset of monsoons, you can see paradise flycatcher, the magpie robin (shama) and the whistling thrush (a melodious bird). Migratory birds like blue-headed rock-thrush, the bluethroat, the ashy minivet, the red-breasted flycatcher and the black headed cuckoo-shrike arrive in winters
The Karnala Pinnacle offers refuge to wild animals and endangered birds like peregurine falcon, king vulture, crested serpent eagle. The African monkeys, four horned antelope, wild boar, common langur, barking deer are commonly seen here.
Dedicated to goddess Bhavani, the Bhavani Temple is established at the foot of Karnala fort. The ancient scriptures tell that goddess Bhavani gave a sword to Shivaji to conquer vast land areas for establishing the Hindu nation.
Get drenched in the spirit of adventure at the Bot Lake. This destination offers magnificent sightseeing and innovative architecture and layout compels you to spend quality time with family and friends. You can enjoy a boat ride and explore the area on foot.
So come, visit Karnala and its picturesque landscape for a memorable time!