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Alang Madan Kulang: Toughest Trek of Sahyadri (Not for Novice Trekkers)

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The Alang Madan Kulang, also called as the AMK trek is one of the most beautiful and band-aids treks in Maharashtra. This trek is a mix of three forts in the state and is a trek full of adventure. This is termed as the most difficult trek in the Sahyadri. The Alang fort is located in Nasik whereas the Madan and Kulang fort are located in the Kalsubai range in the Western Ghats. This is a trek which will test your endurance, patience and mental strength. You will come across a lot of various kinds of adventure when you do the Alang Madan Kulang trek. Rock climbing long walks, steep wall climbing and rappelling are all a part of the AMK trek.

There is no set path to do this trek as it is all covered in dense forests. There are a lot of chances that you may lose track, so it is always better to do this trek in a group. As this trek is in the remote region of Maharashtra it is one of the most neglected treks and low maintained sight by the government. There is no detailed information about this trek or an itinerary that can be followed. 

Know more here:

Alang Madan Kulang Fort: An Overview

alang madan kulang forts
The trio of Sahyadri hills 

Where it is located:  Nashik district, Maharashtra
Number of Trekking Days: 3 days
Climbing Distance: 7km, 5km, 6km (AMK distance)
Max Altitude: 4852 - 4841 - 4822 ft (AMK fort heights)
Trekking Grade: Difficult
Best Season: October to February
Trail Type: Rock Climbing
Livingit Rank: Advanced-Expert

This is considered as one of the most offbeat treks in the Sahyadri trek belt. You are open to a lot of adventure, different paths and great picturesque views of the Sahyadri mountain ranges. Be prepared with good energy and stamina levels to conquer these forts. 

About Alang Madan Kulang Fort

About Alang Fort:

The Alang fort is also called as Alangad and is one of the most difficult forts to climb in Nasik. This fort is covered with dense forests and hence it becomes very difficult to climb it. It is not recommended to do this trek in the monsoon as it receives very heavy rainfall. 

About Madan Fort:

The Madan fort is a climb which is preferred by the trekkers to do between the Alang and the Kulang climb. It takes around 4 hours to do this climb after leaving the Kulang Fort. It is recommended to do rock climbing here as the walls of this fort are very steep and the steps of the fort were destroyed due to the cannon used during the fights. You will also find a large cave here and some water quarries here. The top of this fort forms a large plateau with a breath-taking view. Remains of buildings are spread all over the fort. Kalsubai, Aundh Fort, Patta and Bitangad are to the east of this fort, Harihar, Trimbakgad and Anjaneri to its north and Harishchandragad, Aajobagad, Khutta (pinnacle), Ratangad and Katrabai are to its south.

About Kulang Fort:

The Kulang Fort is the most difficult climb amongst the three forts. This is due to the patches of rock-cut steps which are seen all over when you climb this fort. The base is Kulanwadi and you will take around 6 hours to reach the top of this fort. You can stay in the caves present in the fort and there are around 5 water cisterns which can also be found here. From this fort, you can see Mahuli with three pinnacles which is a beautiful sight! 

The Best Season to Plan Alang Madan Kulang

It is advised to challenge your inner warrior and trek to these forts during the months of November to February. We strongly recommend you not to visit the forts during the monsoon season due to the slippery routes and climbs. Also avoid visiting during the summers, as the rock climbing activity would tire you in the heat!

Average temperatures:

Monsoon: 28 ° C to 32 ° C (day); 21 ° C to 26 ° C (night)
Winter: 30 ° C to 33 ° C (day); 19 ° C to 22 ° C (night)
Summer: 31 ° C to 36 ° C (day); 35 ° C to 40 ° C (night)

How to Reach Alang Madan Kulang

Ambewadi is the base camp village of your trek. You can reach the base camp villages from both Pune and Mumbai. Reach Pune or Mumbai via flight, train or bus and then start your journey from the respective cities via bus or train. 

By Bus 

Take a bus from Pune to Igatpuri which is about 240 km and catch another bus from Igatpuri to Ambevadi. The best route to Ambevadi is  Igatpuri - Ghoti -Pimpalner. The distance between Ambewadi and Ghoti is 32 km. You can take a bus ride which starts at 6 in the morning. From Ghoti, the Alang Madan and Kulang forts are easily visible. Whereas if you are travelling from Mumbai, opt for the same route. However, you would reach Ambevadi faster from Mumbai as the distance from Mumbai to Igatpuri is only 121 km. 

By Train

Apart from buses, there are trains from Pune junction and Mumbai to Igatpuri station. Once you reach the Igatpuri station, you can catch a bus or taxi to the Ambevadi village or reach. 

alang madan kulang route
The route to the challenging climb (source)

Best Routes to Alang Madan Kulang

Reach Ambewadi village and start your thrilling trekking journey to the Alang Madan Kulang.

Day 1: Ascend the Alang Fort

The agenda for the day is to reach and rest at Alang fort, so start the rock climbing patch of Madangad and once you reach there, rest for a while, have lunch and then descend the Madangad. Now reach the traverse patch between Alang and Madan and indulge into more of rock climbing for a couple of hours to reach the Alang fort. The 70 ft climb is challenging, toughest and taxing. Once you reach the top of Alang fort, you can view the stunning peaks of Kulang, Madan and Kalsubai. There are two caves in Alang fort, so you can camp there and enjoy the night by star gazing and bonfire.

Blogger Yash Gaikwad shares his thrilling experience at Alang fort-"We were amazed to see the expanse of the fort and the chiselled walls of the hill on which this fort, standing for many years. The shape of the Alang fort is similar to U shape. When you enter the fort, broken temple of Lord Shiva will welcome you. There are 6-7 small water tanks on the machi area. You can see the two caves on the fort. One cave is not good for stay. Another cave is the spacious and good option for the stay on the fort. It can accommodate 30-40 trekkers. There is small tank adjacent to this cave. The water is not potable. To the west side of the fort, you can see Fort Madan and Kulang.”

alang fort
Tough climb to Alang fort (source)

Day 2: Trail from Alang to Kulang Fort

Begin your day by exploring the historical Alang fort. Then descend the Alang fort to move ahead to trek the Kulang fort. Descending the 70 ft rock patch can be difficult, so stay alert and be well prepared. Now begin the long walk from Alang to Madan Fort to Kulang fort. Walk to the Madan fort col and then start your trail from Madan fort to Kulang. The walk can be tedious as there are rocks, loose gravel everywhere. Now there are rock steps that will take you to the top of Kulang fort, climb those steps carefully and reach the summit. Camp and rest here for the night

Livingit Tip
Reach Kulang fort before the sunset so that you can view the spectacular Harishchandragad and Ratangad forts. 

madan fort to kulang fort
Trail from Madan fort to Kulang fort (source)

Day 3: Descend from Kulang Fort to Ambewadi

Wake up to watch the scenic sunrise that glorifies the stunning mountains of Sahyadri. It is ideal to start your descend early, as the sun might hit you strong and exhaust you soon. The descend and trail from Kulang fort to Ambewadi is long yet nice as you get closer to nature. While descending the Kulang fort, give complete attention to your footsteps, as one wrong move can cause a mishap. Once you descend, walk through the jungle and reach the Ambevadi village. 

Traveller Mohit Kharb pens his experience at Kulang fort- “The Kulang base needs further traverse and the steep slopes make the trek real challenging. This was the only good trekking part of the whole area. After reaching the westernmost part of Kulang we meet the original route to Kulang from where the route is mostly stairs. We reached the Kulang top by 6.30 in the evening, winning race with another group for the better camping spot. There is no dry wood on the top of Kulang so all the wood required for cooking needs to be got from the base. Our group split into two, one securing the camping spot, another getting the wood. There are a lot of water cisterns at the top for filling water and also having a dip in them.”

kulang fort
Steepy climb to Kulang fort (source)

The Alang Madan Kulang trek is a beautiful trek which will test your resistance, endurance and give you the true meaning of trekking! 

Things to Pack for the Alang Madan Kulang Trek

As the Alang Madan Kulang is a three-day difficult trek, you will need certain things which is a must to carry:

  • 3 litres of water and water purification tablets: Make sure to carry enough water and water purification tablets to stay hydrated during the trek
  • Trek Pants and comfortable tees: Do carry 2 trek pants and 3-4 cotton tees for the trek
  • Backpack (sturdy with rain cover): Make sure you pack ultralight for the 3-day trek
  • Food – ready to eat: There are no foot outlets nearby, so do carry ready to eat food items. Most trekkers carry instant noodles like Maggi along with them.
  • Torch with a set of batteries: Torch or flashlight will help you during the night camping.
  • Sun cap, goggles and sunscreen lotion: Protect yourself with proper sun protection clothing and stay safe under the sun
  • Energy drinks or bar: As the trek level is difficult, it is important to fuel your body with energy bars, drinks
  • Sleeping bag: You can camp at the forts, so do carry comfortable and lightweight sleeping pads or bags
  • Toiletries (Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper) and a set of towel
  • Medical kit (antiseptic cream, pain relief spray, tablets, and band-aids.)

Summing Up

This trek is for outdoor enthusiasts who love to challenge themselves. This trek is considered as the most difficult trek in the Sahyadri belt just because of these reasons. Dense forests, heavy rains and a lot of steep and risky climbs are what it offers to trek enthusiasts. Beginners should not at all attempt this trek and it should only be done by professionals. This trek is not a very famous trek because of its location and the kind of state the forts are in. It is not well maintained and doesn’t even have a fixed route map. But if you have the wanderlust streak in you, then go ahead, find these stunning forts and feel the Maratha’s reign here. If you have visited AMK trek then do share your inputs with us in the comments below. 

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