If there is something that can warm you up during winters, it’s definitely trekking! For travel and trekking enthusiasts, the Rajmachi fort trek is at the top of the list!
Situated at a distance of 82 km from Pune, this fort is a popular weekend getaway for trekkers, nature lovers and history buffs.
Historically, Rajmachi fort was a strategic fort to control Bor Ghat (between Khopoli and Khandala on Mumbai-Pune route) which was a historical trade route.
It is perfect for a day trip from Pune.
Image source: wikipedia
The fort complex was originally constructed by the Satavahanas. In 1657 CE, Shivaji Maharaj captured this fort along with other neighboring forts from the Adilshahi ruler of Bijapur.
In 1704 CE, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb captured the fort from the Marathas. However, the Marathas regained its control in 1705 CE. In 1713 CE, Shahu Maharaj handed over Rajmachi fort to Kanhoji Angre. Eventually in 1818 CE with the downfall of the Marathas, the British took over the Rajmachi Fort.
Rajmachi Fort consists of two citadels namely Shrivardhan and Manaranjan Forts. It is a very famous fort located near Pune and also one of the top heritage sites in Lonavala.
Surrounded by a wide plateau, this fort overlooks the Bor Ghat.
Image source: rajmachifort
The fort complex consists of huge ramparts, strong walls, massive gateways, residential units, water reservoirs, administrative centers and secret gates for the exit.
Kal Bhairav temple is situated in the gorge between Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts. In rainy season this region is more beautiful with several waterfalls, streams and lush green forests and meadows.
Ancient Buddhist caves known as Kondhane caves are situated on the western side of the Rajmachi plateau, which were supposedly carved during 200 BC. There are 8 Buddhist caves of the Hinayana Buddhist tradition. The Kondhane caves enclose sculptures, vihara, and stupas of ancient Buddhist architecture.
Although many stupas, front entrance and the floor of the caves were damaged in an earthquake, only the Chaitya remained intact.
Image source: crazyholidays
There are two ways to reach the Rajmachi fort, one from Lonavala, roughly a 15 km flat walk and the other one from Karjat, a gradual climb of around 5 km.
If you are new to trekking, Rajmachi fort can be your introduction to the world of fort trekking. It is a 5-hour hike to Udhewadi, the base of Rajmachi. Only SUVs can reach Udhewadi village which is situated at the base of Rajmachi Fort to avoid 15 km long trek.
The route from Kondivade village near Karjat is tough and involves climb-up of about 2000 feet. From Kondivade, you can reach Rajmachi via Kondhane and visit the ancient Kondhane Buddhist caves on the way. The trek to Rajmachi fort starts from Kondhane Caves, which is about 5 km from the fort.
It takes around 3-4 hours to reach Rajmachi from Kondhane Caves.
Image source: justdial
Camping in Rajmachi is a perfect idea especially because of the long trek. Rajmachi Rural Aid and Development Programme (NGO) have 2 dormitories to provide accommodation facilities for trekkers to Rajmachi in Udhewadi village at a nominal charge.
A long weekend is coming, what are you waiting for?
Cover image source: plusvalleyadventure