Tailbaila Fort Trek
Tailbaila fort trek can actually be considered a climbing route rather than a trekking trail. Tailbaila fort is a magmatic dyke with a distinct shape. It has two protruding rock walls separated by a V-shaped gap. It lies in the Mulshi region of the Pune district. It is popular amongst the adventure seekers especially from Pune and Mumbai. It is also referred to as Telbaila fort trek.
The history of the fort is not well documented but it is said to be built during the Maratha Empire. The left or the South Dyke had a series of stairs leading to the top. These were destroyed by the British using mines and gunpowder to avoid mutiny.
Tailbaila or Telbaila fort is a magmatic dyke. Dykes are created when lava flows through a protrusion and is allowed to cool down naturally. Somewhere in the middle of the rows, there are cone-like cliffs. In geological parlance, such cones are called volcanic plugs and sloping walls are called dykes. It is a rock formation formed by the accumulation of lava. Tailbaila fort trek offers a view of this unique magmatic dyke which has the shape of two walls separated by a gorge.
The Tailbaila walls lay north-south and it’s highest point is 3322 feet above sea level. Th V-shaped notch in the middle of this wall is visible from the base village.
There are ruins of a temple and the idol of a goddess on the right side at the start of the trek. On the right side of the cave, There are two perennial potable water tanks. The caves are pretty big and can accommodate 3 to 4 people. There is a dry ditch in front of the cave.
These places in the gorge can be explored without using any climbing equipments. There are 4 to 5 steps dug in the rock on the side. A small cave can be seen beyond these steps. There are three idols carved on the rock a bit further from this cave. Another cave and a potable water tank can be seen here.
There are another set of 10-15 steps. The climb to the top has to be done with the help of climbing ropes and harnesses. There are only 1-2 trees on the top. Tailbaila offers spectacular views of the plateau below and the neighbouring mountains. It has Sudhagad to the southwest, Ghangad to the southeast and Korigad to the northeast. The head of Sarasgad is also visible to the west. The view of Konkan is unparalleled from the top of this fort.
The trail for the Tailbaila fort trek starts from the base village, Tailbaila. A straight path from the village leads you to the gorge between the two mountains. The path is well trodden and can not be mistaken. The trail is a trekking trail and is about 1.5kms long.
There are 4 climbing routes to reach the top of the Tailbaila fort. Two of these are on the right dyke and two on the left dyke. The traditional route is on left or south dyke where the steps are blown off. All routes require mountaineering equipment and should not be attempted without them.
The free climb maybe easy but descending the same way is dangerous without safety attachments. One has to rappel down their way from the top. A lot of trekking and adventure groups have weekend events to this fort. If wishing to climb till the top. it is advisable to go along with these groups or restrict themselves to trek till the gorge only. All the four routes are bolted.
One can also reach the Sudhagad plateau by the Savashini Ghat or to Thanala caves by the Waghjai Ghat from the Tailbaila plateau. The trails are well marked and are frequented by experienced trekkers.
How to reach
Tailbaila or Telbaila the base village is located about 35kms from Lonavala. If traveling Bhushi Dam-Korigad-Saltar from Lonavala. Lonavala can be easily reached from Pune and Mumbai. On this road, there is a fork next to Saltar gorge. From here Tailbaila village is 3 km.
One can get here by private jeeps or State transport (ST bus) from Lonavala. Any bus going towards Bhamburde can take you to the fork.
Frequently Asked Questions
It takes about 45 minutes to reach the gorge of the fort between the two walls, this is where the trek ends. The way to the top has to be climbed with the help of mountaineering equipment and should take about a days time.
The height of the highest point on the two walls of the Tailbaila fort is about 3322 ft above sea level.
The base village for the Telbaila fort is the Tailbaila village. the village is about 35 kms from Lonavala and is well connected to it by road.
The Telbaila fort trek is of easy grade till the gorge between the two walls of the fort. The climb to the top needs mountaineering equipment and is considered challenging in technical terms.