Irshalgad is a continuation of Matheran Mountain Range of Sahyadri Hills and Irshalgad Fort Matheran perched at a height of 3,500 feet on the mountain. It is surrounded by dense forests and offers a splendid view of the adjacent peaks. Irshal means pinnacle and gad means a fort but Irshalgad is not a fort but a pinnacle. This apex is unique as it has a natural hole in the mountain. But Irshalgad is hardly mentioned anywhere in history.
As Shivaji Maharaj captured the complete region of Kalyan and Bhiwandi, up to Rairi in May 1666, this fort too, must have come under the Marathas. The area of Irshalgad Fort is not large but there are several water cisterns cut from the rock. There is a water tank on the route from Irshalgad Plateau to the peak. Irshalgad fort is a sister fort of Prabalgad fort and from the top of Irshalgad, you can see places like Prabalgad, Matheran, Chanderi, Malanggad, Karnala, and Manikgad. This place also offers an amazing view of Morbe Dam, Karnala Fort, Sondai Fort, and Prabalgad Fort.
This fort is a favorite among trekkers, adventurers, and nature photographers as well. The trekking route to the fort is dotted with many viewpoints over the Morbe reservoir. At sunrise, the water in the reservoir glints like orange shards as it reflects the pale early morning sunlight. The trekking route starts from Nanivalli village and the route is simple and well-marked till the top of Irshalgad. The initial route goes through open fields and provides an amazing view of Morbe Dam. After 2 km you will reach Irshalwadi, a small village situated at the base of Irshalgad. From this village, the trail goes through the forest and there is a small temple dedicated to Goddess Irshaldevi. You will then reach a small plateau that provides an excellent view of Irshalgad Pinnacle. As you go further you will find the natural hole in the mountain. This natural hole called Nedhe is the main attraction of the fort. The top of Irshalgad has a very small area and it has a small cave and water tanks. To reach the top of the pinnacle it is essential to have artificial rock climbing equipment.
Irshalgad Fort Matheran is often draped in clouds which adds to the charm of this place. Surrounded by greenery all around, this hill fort offers a splendid view of the adjacent peaks and remains a favorite trekking trail to nature lovers.
Irshalgad Fort Matheran Timings: 24 hours
Irshalgad Fort Matheran Entry Fees: Nil