Asherigad Fort Trek
Asherigad fort trek is located in Palghar district, of Maharashtra. It is located 102 km from Mumbai and 88 km from Thane. It is an important fort in Palghar district. The fort is located on the hills near Mendhavan Khind on Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway. The base village for this trek is Khodkona, which is a very small tribal village.
Asherigad fort was constructed by the Bhojraja of Shilahara dynasty about 800 years ago. The fort was captured by Bimb Raja of Mahim (Palghar)from Kolis. It was under the rule of Gujrat Sultanate.
The Portuguese captain of Bassein, Antonio Moniz Barreto annexed the Asherigad in 1556, after bribing the Abyssinian captain who commanded the fort. Manor Fort was also captured later. This fort marked the northern boundary of Portuguese territory.
Portuguese symbolised it as a capital of 38 villages and 6 Parishes. The fort has twenty water cisterns and two ponds. In 1737, Maratha forces led by Chimaji Appa conquered this fort from Provincia do Norte. by the against . It was reconquered in the counter-offensive by Antonio Cardim de Frois, the new General of the North. The Maratha took it back in February 1739. The fort finally fell into the hands of the British Captain Dickinson in 1818.
The fort lies in ruins. There is a temple at the top. There are huge water tanks which has potable water till December. Asherigad fort trek offers amazing views of pinnacles around it. There’s a cave on the fort that can be used for accommodation. The local villagers provide night stay and food arrangements at a reasonable cost.
The trek route for Asherigad starts from the hillock north of the base village, Khodkona. It is well marked till the top and there is no chance that anyone can get lost there. The route is very safe and wide. The route goes through a dense forest and hence provides a lot of shade to the trekkers.
There is a temple of Vagdev a bit ahead of this pass on a higher level. One should turn to right and proceed towards the top of the fort. We reach the base of the entrance as we go around a huge rock face in the route. Here one can find a small sculpture of Ganesh on the rock face.It takes 60 minutes to reach a col below the entrance of the fort that has a ladder installed. From this point it takes about 10 minutes to reach the top.
How to reach
Palghar Station on the Western Railway line is the nearest railhead. Take any Bus going towards Manor / Wada and get down at Mastan Naka. Sharing Rickshaw or a van will reach you to the Khodkana village is 1km inside from the highway.
If travelling by a private vehicle, take the NH8 Highway. HEad straight from Mastan Naka for 10 km and to your left. A board to your left will guide you to the base village of the Asherigad fort trek. Alight at the Khodkona village.