Commonly known as the Fort of Peth, Kothaligad stands tall at a height of 3100 feet in the east of Karjat, near Karjat-Murbad road. Prominent features of the fort are temple, and cave at the base and chimney like a tunnel to the top of the fort. Close to the lake, and chimney, there's a water tank. Like the fort, equally beautiful is the trekking route to Kothaligad from Ambivali. To reach the hill, one needs to trek for approximately six kilometers from Ambivali village. The zig zag trails flanked by trees, bushes, and shrubs, makes it a perfect choice for the trekkers.
Not much was known about the history until the 18th century but as per the carvings seen in the fort’s caves, and temples, it appears to belong to the 13th century. In 1716, the fort was seized by British. Later on 2nd November 1817, it was recaptured by the Marathas under the leadership of Bapurao who belonged to the generation after Bajirao. On 30th December, British tried to recapture it, and till 1862, it remained an outpost for vigilance on the surrounding valley and the hills all around it. Some historians even believe that it is not a fort but a lighthouse built with a purpose to keep a vigil on the Mawal area in the greater province of the Maratha.
The best way to approach Kothaligad is to take a suburban train from Karjat, and get down at the Neral station. From Neral, take a six seater to reach Kashele. After alighting at Kashele, board another rickshaw going to Jamrukh and get down at Ambivali village. These rickshaws are easily available both ways up to 6 pm. Or, take a ST bus from Karjat station to Jamrukh and alight at Ambivili.
But the frequency of ST buses is less hence going via Neral is recommended. The last ST bus from Ambivili to Karjat is at 5:30 pm.
In and around the fort, tourists can go for trekking and camping.