The Karnala Fort is a prime attraction in the city of Karnala, in the Raigad District. Also known as the Funnel Hill, this fort lies within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary and is made up of two forts – one higher than the other.
The higher fort occupies a 125 ft high pillar made of basalt that is locally known as Pandu’s Tower and was employed to keep a watch on the activities in the vicinity. Presently, it lies in a dilapidated condition.
The fort has a Persian and a Marathi inscription. The Marathi one is illegible and undated while the Persian one has the data ‘Syed Nuruddin Muhammad Khan, Hijri, 1147 AH (1735 CE)’ inscribed on it. It probably dates back to the Mughal era.
The Karnala Fort houses a water cistern. That apart, the view from atop this place gives a fantastic scene of the Rajmachi fort and the Prabalgad fort in the distance.
The Karnala Bird Sanctuary personifies Nature’s Paradise. Situated at the foot of the archaic Karnala Fort, this sanctuary was established in the year 1968 and is a magnificent haven for all kinds of birds. Bird watchers will be delighted in observing the 150 odd species of birds chirping around, with added 37 species from the migratory birds bracket.
The Spotted Heart Wood Pecker, the Ashy Minimet, the Paradise Fly Catcher, the Red Vented Bulbul, the Magpie Robin and the Racket Tailed Drongo are a few rare species of fowls found here. The Myna and Owl are other birds that can be observed here.
The entire region of this sanctuary makes for a very pretty sight – especially green and eco friendly. This place definitely will get a smile to your face.
The ancient Shiva Temple is situated in Ambarnath, near Karnala. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this shrine was built by Manmuniraja of the Shilahara Dynasty, back in 1060 A.D.
The interiors of the temple are enveloped in exquisite detailed carvings that will leave you stunned. They depict stories of the Vaishnava and Shaiva Puranas. This place of worship is extremely crowded during the festival of Shivratri when an immense number of worshippers and devotees turn up to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings.
This is one of those few temples where both the cults of Shivaites and Vaishnavites offer their prayers.
The Bhavani Khadageshwar Temple is a beautiful temple situated in the village of Devale, close to Karnala. The temple holds a majestic idol of Goddess Lakshmi.The holy place is located atop the hills and is surrounded by water tanks that date back to a few centuries.
There are interesting rock-cut caves from the Buddhist times that are seen in the area.The scenic location that forms the backdrop of the temple gives a pretty breathtaking view of the surrounding horizon.