The Sondai fort trek is a situated around 9 km from Karjat in Raigad district. It was built close to the Karjat and Matheran mountain ranges.
The Sondai Fort was built so that it could act as a watchtower for surveillance of nearby areas. It gets its name because of the presence of temple of Goddess of Sondai, at the top of the mountain. The tree above the temple is considered to be its wall since it has no proper structure.
Standing at a height of 365 m, the Sondai fort trek is a small hill fort trek, which is more of a watchtower. The fort is at the base of two villages, Sondewadi and Wavarle. Sondewadi village is at quarter height from the fort.
From the summit of the Sondai Fort, one can get a clear and beautiful view of the Morba Dam, Prabalgad , Songiri , Rajmachi and Irshal forts and the Matheran mountain range. There are 4 water tanks on the fort, out of which 2 of them provide potable water. There is also an idol of Sondai Devi on the top of the fort and the steps to take one there are carved out of rocks. The villagers have put up 2 ladders to make the climb easier.The first ladder has two cisterns to its right while the second one takes us directly to the top.
The Sondai fort trek has an easy trail and takes approximately an hour to reach the fort. The trail becomes a bit hard during monsoon as the rock steps become slippery.
There are two routes to reach the fort. The one from Sondewadi is more preferable since the route from Wavarle has a little difficult approach as it passes through a dense forrest.
How to reach
Via road, while coming from Mumbai, one can either use the Sion-Panvel Expressway or the Eastern Express Highway.
From Pune, take the Mumbai-Pune Expressway to reach Khopoli and from there, head towards Talawani using Khopoli-Karjat road.
Trains are easier as there are direct trains from Mumbai and Pune towards Karjat. To reach the base village of Sondewadi, one has to take the 7 seater rickshaw called as tumtum or can even catch an ST bus.