Unlike the south, the Northern Konkan region boasts of fewer forts and mountains. However, this region was the playing ground for many rulers from Gujarat, Marathas, British and the Portuguese. The northern coast of Maharashtra has many rivers and wide creeks that were used very effectively for trade and transport. This necessitated the construction of forts to offer protection for the trade. Prominent among them are Tandulwadi, Asherigad, Bassein, Gambhirgad etc.
One fort that stands clear and unique is Kohoj. At a maximum height of (575Mtrs)1889Ft, Kohoj stands tall from the base and stays clear from other mountains due to its prominence. It shares no ridges and hence can be spotted from far. The most unique feature of the fort is volcanic plug that feature like a man standing atop the fort and can be spotted from kilometers away.
The trek to Kohoj is easy and can easily be accomplished in a day as it is only about 100Kms from Mumbai. The trek begins at the base village of Vaghote along the Wada-Manor road. Passign through lush green paddy, the trail passes over a small dam, the waters of which are inviting to take a dip (on the way back - and at your own risk!), before entering the forest. The climb gets steeper until a small depression beyond which it further enters a thicker forests before opening up into a vast plain of green swaying grass.
There is a small temple atop and few fresh water cisterns. One can walk to the foot of the 'One Man Standing' statue which is made of a monolithc rock. Looking at the rock, one quickly realizes Kohoj must have been a volcano and the Monolith a plug.
The fort offers great views of the neighboring plains, which in the post-monsoon season look fresh, swaying with golden paddy. On the horizon one can spot the outcrops of Asherigad Fort, Tak Mak and Mahalaxmi pinnacle. The Deheraja river snakes in the plains at a leisurely pace. One can spend hours on end just soaking in the raw beauty of nature.
Time permitting, one can wash the tiredness by taking a dip in the beautiful and serene dam at the base before heading into the cars and some fresh chai.