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Amidst with lush green agricultural fields and farm houses, it is a picturesque tourist outpost in the backdrop of Bhor Ghat. It is located in the Konkan coast in the foothills of Matheran, a famous hill station in the state and also serves as the entry point to Matheran.
Situated at an elevation of around 636 feet, it lies on the banks of the River Ulhas.The river offers many water sports activity in Karjat.
Karjat is popular for Tourism, Adventure Sports etc. Also many movies, TV Serials, commercial ads have been shot in this picturesque town of Karjat. It's pleasant weather, calm environment and secluded atmosphere make this place a much sought destination.
Besides sightseeing and adventorous activities, the hillstation also possesses one of the largest chain of Farm Houses in Asia, a dog farm, health resorts which offer facilities for inpatient ayurvedic treatments such as Massaging, Nasyam, Meditation and Yoga are integral parts of the therapies.
Some of the attractions in Karjat include:
Kondana Caves are rock-cut ancient Buddhist caves which attract tourists and Buddhist pilgrims throughout the year. It is a one hour trek from the Kondana village. These caves are cut out from a single rock situated at the bottom of a waterfall. Apart from exploring these caves, one can enjoy a shower under the waterfall. But the water can be seen only during the monsoons. According to archaeologists, these caves date back to the 2nd century BC. It is said that there was an earth quake in early 1900 by which many stupas, front entrance and floor of the caves were damaged.
Inside the cave, enclose sculptures, vihara, cahitya and stupas, specimens of ancient Buddhist architecture.
To maintain the sanctity of the place, there are some restrictions on these protected ancient caves. Eventhough, smoking and the consumption of liquor and aromatic foods are prohibited nearby places of the caves, unfortunately, the entire cave area is often littered.
To reach this caves, take a bus or rickshaw from Karjat to direct Kondivade village. From Kondivade proceed to Kondane. From Kondivade to Kondane, it is a 1 hour trek. It is a winding up-hill climb across streams, through green bushes. The way here is narrow and mostly hidden by the plants and trees that grow alongside the path.
It lies between Rajmachi and the Karjat- Khandala route. One of the prime attractions in Karjat, it offers breathtaking sights during the monsoons, when the water flows amidst the thick greenery of the valley. It is well known for its adventurous activities such as Hiking, trekking and river rafting. River Rafting is possible on the upper sections of the Ulhas River. Note: Take care during the monsoons as the river is very fierce.
There are a number of tunnels in the Ulhas valley, which helps the trains to pass through the valley.
The Jain temple is situated on the Mahavir Peth road leading to Karjat station, close to the rickshaw stand. It is a small, but beautifully, made Jain temple which caters for the small Jain community present in the area. It is the only Jain Mandir in Karjat. Constructed out of white marble, it is dedicated to Lord Neminath, the 22nd Jain Tirthankar whose idol was adorned with flowers and jewelery, a custom followed by Jains. The entrance is brilliantly decorated with carvings of figures symbolise the Jain faith. The stairs leading to the temple are decorated using colourful stones and patterns on white marble. The upper level of the main sanctum is dedicated to Lord Shantinath, the 16th Jain Tirthankar.
The pillars are all colorful carvings of various figures and the ceiling is dome shaped which is beautifully designed. The most prominent feature of this temple is the Swastika carved wooden door.
Big ND Studios
Started in 2005, it is a major stopover for people traveling to Karjat. Spread over 40 acres in Karjat, it was earlier called ND Studios (Nitin Desai Studios) but Reliance accquired 50 per cent share in it and now it's called BIG ND Studios. Several films, TV serials, commercial ads have been shot here. The studio has open spaces, havelis, forts and two huge floors measuring 240/100 ft for indoor shootings. Jodhaa Akbar, Slumdog Millionaire and Devdas are the popular films that shot here.
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It is located in Sandshi. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture which makes it a favourite tourist spot.
Bhor Ghat also known as Bor Ghat, Bhore Ghaut is a mountain passage located between Karjat and Khandala along the railway line. Situated on the crest of the Western Ghat mountain ranges, Bhor Ghat is noted for its urroundings comprising scenic waterfalls, lakes and dense woods. It also has a historical significance. It was the ancient trade route developed by the Satavahana to move the goods from the merchant ships from Syria and Egypt to their capital Paithan. The ports of Karanja and Rajapuri were connected to the ghat.
Located near the Ulhas Valley, it is famous for trekking. Situated at an altitude of 600m. this cave is religious for many Hindu devotees. According to legend, the Lord of Bahiri lives inside the cave. Several Hindu devotees visit this cave on the occasion of Chaitra Purnima a fair is held in the area.
Stands at an altitude of 704m high, Nakhind hill offers flawless view of the ghats.
Situated around 1 km away from Kadav in Chote Takve village is the dog breeding farm. Its been around for 10-15 years and has a wide range of pedigree dogs; Caravan Hounds, German Shepherds, Doberman, a couple of Pugs, Cocker Spaniel and a few more.
Since Karjat has hideous valley routes and lofty slopes, it offers plenty of trekking trails for trekking enthusiasts. The three main trekking trail leads to Matheran via Rambagh point, Peth Fort and Chanderi Fort. Stands at a height of 790m, Chanderi is joined to a group of four pinnacles called Mhasmal. A cave at the base of Chanderi is famous for one-day trekking.
The another trekking trail Peth Fort is relatively safe for trekking. Also called as Kotligad, it is one of the major tourist attractions near Karjat. It is built on a cone-shaped hill from where the Western Ghats, Wandre Khind Pass and Bhimashankar can be seen. The fort derives its name because of its vicinity to Peth village at its base. It was built by the Marathas to safeguard their kingdom from enemies. A vertical tunnel inside the fort leads to the top of the fort, from the beauty of the Sahyadri range and the Konkan plains can enjoy. The Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary and the Nethersole Dam are located in the vicinity of the Peth Fort.
The villages in Karjat namely Sandshi, Kondiwade and Khandpe are offers good trekking facilities to enthusiastic travelers. Trekking is good during the monsoons and the winters.
Karjat River Rafting
Karjat is also famous for river rafting. It is best to go for rafting during the monsoon i.e, July to September.