After a long long time I got a chance to go trekking again on 22 Nov. Sankshi fort is located near Alibag, off the Mumbai Alibag highway. Difficulty level is easy to moderate, but it involves about an hour of walking.
Article on Sankshi fort from Maharashtra government website.
The name Sankshi is said to have been derived from a chief named Sank who is traditionally believed to have been the lord of the fort. See below.] (T. Pen) also known as Badr-ud-din, or Darghaca Killa from a tomb or dargah of the saint Badr-ud-din at its foot, lies within the limits of Nidivali village about five miles north-east of Pen. read more...
We assembled at Panvel ST depot at 7AM, waiting for others to join in, and finally left Panvel at 9:15 after having breakfast at a restaurant across the road. Since the bus started from Panvel, everyone got seats, and I dozed off to sleep.
We got down at Balavali Phata and marched towards saint Badr-ud-din's dargaah. The route is cool and covered with dense trees, but full of giant spider webs. The photographers among us took half an hour to capture the arachnids and buffaloes on camera.
We reached dargaah in less than 2 hours, relaxed and moved towards the Sankshi hill. There's a GI water pipe that runs to dargaah at the base of the hill from a water cistern at the top of the hill. Some walk in the jungle, struggling with the itchy bushes, a rock patch and we were at the top. After exploring for half an hour, we came back down to have lunch at the old dargaah structure that looked beautiful and wise in white color.