Karjat is located at 18.91°N 73.33°E, and has a population of 2,17,363. It is located on Bhor ghat, Sahyadri, Western Ghats as well as at the end of coastal plains of Konkan region near Deccan. It has an average elevation of 194 metres (636 ft). It lies on the banks of the River Ulhas. Tourism, Adventure Sports, Higher Education, Film Shooting, Retailing, Nurseries & Plantation and Spa Hospitality are the main occupations. Karjat is a tahsil/taluk in Maharashtra and is situated in the Asthavinayak Ganesha belt region. As Karjat is a part of Mumbai Metro Region Mumbai metropolitan area, MMRDA has cleared Karjat for advanced Urban Planning with minimum FSI of 1.0. and CIDCO is being entrusted with town planning and implementation. New Housing policy has removed many procedural hurdles, which will facilitate ultra-modern urbanisation of the area. 100 acres (0.40 km2) townships are being developed under MMRDA Special Township provisions of Maharashta Regional and Town Planning Act, amended in year 2007 and also under Special Township Projects under section 63-I(A) of the Mumbai Tenancy & Agricultural Lands Act providing for automatic Non-Agricultural conversion of land of 100 acres/40 Hactres. Karjat has engineering, pharmacy, medical, management, advertising, hospitality colleges and also a Mass Media Advertising Institutes (AICAR) affiliated to the AICTE & University of Mumbai and also a few other graduation colleges and Oxford Schools. It has several tourist attractions including Palasdari, Matheran, Khandala, Bhimashankar, Malshej Ghat, Lonavla, etc.
Karjat is a preferred spot for weekend holidays, picnics, river rafting, trekking, hiking, and mountain climbing. It is a favored destination during rainy season.
Many farm houses and residential colonies are situated here with all civil amenities and a municipal corporation. People from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Pune have second or weekend homes here and regularly celebrate festivals, new year parties, week-end bash here. It is also popular for pleasure visits during the monsoon season. Distance from Chembur to Karjat is 46 kilometres and from Sion it is 49 kilometres. Karjat has an advanced bio-tech institute which has been developing patented hybrid varieties of rice of international repute, apart from other crops and techniques.
Art Director Nitin Chandrakant Desai’s “ND Studio” is a major stopover attraction for Karjat Tourists these days and top directors Films are shot here. White Feather Films is also setting up a new studio here. Hollywood production companies such as Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney and DreamWorks(with Reliance Big Studio) are setting up mega studios and production facilities here. Academy Award winning movie Slumdog Millionaire was shot here.
Karjat has got one of the largest chain of Farm Houses in Asia.
Karjat is also a trekking destination: it offers plenty of trails, ranging from medium to very demanding. The undulating hilly terrain and lofty slopes make it an ideal spot for trekking enthusiasts. The three prominent trekking trail leads to Matheran via Rambagh point, Peth Fort, and Chanderi Fort.
It’s possible to go for white water rafting during the monsoon, on the upper sections of the Ulhas River. Kondana Village, 15 km from Karjat, is the put-in point. The best time go rafting is July to September, and the nerve tingling rafting adventure highly depends on the rainfall.
Some of the other attractions in Karjat include:
Ulhas Valley : This valley glitters with large flowing streams of Ulhas river. It offers breathtaking sights during the monsoons, when the water falls gush through the thick greenery of the valley. There are a number of tunnels in the Ulhas valley, which helps the trains to pass through the valley.
Bhor Ghat : This ghat has a historical significance. It was the ancient trade route connecting the ports at Choul, Revdanda, Panvel, etc. on the Konkan coast and the hinterland on the Deccan plateau.
Kondana Caves : These caves are famous because of their Buddhist style .These caves offers an ancient life style of Buddhist followers. There are many Sculptures and stupas which are the architecture of the ancient period of Buddhist.
Peth Fort : This fort is also known as the Kotligad. This fort is conical in shape and gives an amazing view of the foothills. This fort is placed on the back of the Western ghats and Matheran ranges.
MMRDA has planned to develop a part of area in Karjat-Khopoli belt as Recreational Hub. On horizen are Twenty20 league ground, Paint Ball Park, Theme Parks, Amusement Park, Golf Course and other recreation facilities. Greg Norman’s 27-36 Hole Super Championship Golf Course is also located in Karjat.