Are you sad because you don’t have leaves left for a long trip? Are you looking for a place where you can experience most of nature’s gifts in just a one day trip? If yes, Rajmachi Fort trek is waiting for you. A trek which blesses you with lush green mountains, numerous waterfalls, deep valleys, beautiful fort, amazing trails, flowing river, vast plateaus, village life, water reservoir and much more.
A bit risky option on Rajmachi Fort Trek
Rajmachi fort, a historical fort amidst the rugged hills of Sahyadri is a popular destination for nature lovers, travellers, and trekkers. I did this trek in the last monsoon season, but the memories are still so fresh.
Rajmachi Fort Trek
How to reach Rajmachi fort from Mumbai and Pune
From Mumbai, one can catch a train going towards Pune and get down at Karjat. From Shree Ram Bridge, Karjat catch a shared Auto (Tum –Tum) (INR40) to reach Kondhane village. You can start the trek from this village. On the way, you can also see the beautiful Kondhane Caves.
Note: This is the longer route to reach Rajmachi and trek can take easily around 3-4 hours (one way), but the views all along the way are breathtaking.
From Pune, one can catch a local train to reach Lonavala. From Lonavala, there are 2 routes to reach Udhewadi (base village of Rajmachi fort). Lonavala – Kunhe village – Della adventure Park – Udhewadi and Lonavala – Tungarli – Nandgaon – Udhewadi are the two routes.
One can drive all the way to the base village Udhewadi except in the monsoon season as the road conditions are very bad. Most of the vehicles can go only up-to Fanasrai, from where Udhewadi is another 6.2 kms. Shared taxis are available for Fanasrai from Lonavala railway station in the monsoon season(100-120 INR per person). From Fanasrai, it would take around 2 hours to reach the base village.
Note: Take the Della adventure park route if you are riding by yourself as it is better when compared to Tungarli road route.
Difficulty level of Rajmachi Fort Trek
I would rate Rajmachi Fort Trek as a medium level trek. If you are a beginner, I would suggest you start the trek from base village Udhewadi(if your vehicle can reach till there). Experienced trekkers can start trekking from Kondhane caves or Tungarli Lake. The trail from the base village is clearly marked and it generally takes around one hour to reach the top. Also, there are many shelters all along the trail, which helps to catch your breath. If you are doing the trek in monsoon, just be extra cautious as the route becomes little slippery.
Views on Rajmachi Fort trek
Huge waterfall as seen on Rajmachi Fort Trek
My journey to Rajmachi Fort
I rarely visit a place again, but the beauty of Rajmachi Fort Trek brought me here twice in a span of 3 months. Previously, I visited the place in the summer season and looking at the route, I knew I was definitely coming back here in the coming monsoon season.
The Great Wall on Rajmachi Fort Trek
Along with a friend, I started for Rajmachi Fort from Pune around 5:00 AM. We took the Lonavala – Tungarli – Nandgaon – Udhewadi route. Owing to the monsoon, somewhere near the Tungarli Lake, the road was in very bad condition. So we decided to park our bike and trek all the way till Rajmachi.
Rajmachi Fort Trek route
Our decision to trek to Rajmachi was justified, as we were blessed with breathtaking views all along the way. There are numerous small waterfalls on the route till Rajmachi, taking a bath in those waterfalls was really amazing. It re-energizes you to move forward.
Rajmachi Fort Trek
There are small food joints on the way to erase your hunger. Having tea and pakora in that surroundings would definitely make a memory for a lifetime. After walking for around 2 ½ hours, we made it to the base village.
River in route to Rajmachi Fort
It generally takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour to reach the top of the fort, including few pit stops along the way. The beautiful and lush green surroundings reminded me of what I miss in modern concrete cities. The view of the lush green western Ghat from the top is incredible.
Breathtaking views on Rajmachi Fort trek
Breathtaking scenes as seen on Rajmachi Fort Trek
Places to see at Rajmachi Fort
Rajmachi Fort has two fortified peaks, Shrivardhan and Manaranjan, with a wide plateau separating the two peaks. Also, the fort has few temples, water reservoir, caves, ramparts and the ruins of fortification. The structure at the top may not delight you, but yes the journey to reach the top is really amazing.
On my third visit to Rajmachi, I got to know about this beautiful lake (thanks to zoom in function in Gmaps) which is just a few kilometers away from the base village Udhewadi. Finding the route of this lake is a tough task, but after few efforts, I finally made it to the Shirota Lake. Search for Valvand village road fork on Gmaps, and once you reach that fork, take the right road. After few meters on that road, there would a road going uphill on the right-hand side. From there, walk towards the lake using blue dot(your location) on GPS.
Shirota Lake on Rajmachi Fort trek
Fireflies at Rajmachi Fort trek
Most of you might have seen the fireflies. But have you ever seen them in large numbers in a small area? If not, here is an opportunity!! On the way to Rajmachi Fort, in the last few days of May and the first few days of June, one can see fireflies which are concentrated to a few trees. Watching them glowing together on a small tree, I felt as if it was a Christmas tree where some has put on the twinkling lights. Below click is not at all doing justice to what I saw in reality.
Note:- I did the night trek to Rajmachi on 2nd June 2018, it was very humid, which is said to be the perfect condition to spot fireflies.
Fireflies as seen on Rajmachi Fort trek
Stay and food options at Rajmachi Fort
Generally, no one stays overnight at the fort as it can be covered on a day trip from Mumbai or Pune. If you are looking for camping, you can pitch a tent at the Kal Bhairavnath Temple which is near to the base of the fort. Tents are available for rent if you don’t have one. The locals also offer home-stays; you can stay at their home if you are not comfortable camping.
Local selling lemon drink to earn his living
The tent that I carry during the treks is Quechua Arpenaz 2 Tent. It has enough space for 2 people.
If you are too tired to come down to the base village, you can take shelter in the cave. Setting up tents at the top would be difficult due to high-speed winds, which prevail almost for the entire day.
Trails being cleaned by the trekkers
The locals can cook food for you if informed in advance. I would suggest you taste the Pithla Bhakri – a traditional Maharashtra food. The Pithla has a semi-solid consistency. It is made from chickpea flour and is eaten with Bhakri.
Waterfall seen from top of fort
Amazing view from Rajmachi Fort top
To believe that whatever I am talking about Rajmachi Fort trek is not an exaggeration but the reality, you need to plan a trip soon to this amazing gift of nature.
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Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my post on What’s in my Backpack.
Looking for more weekend gateway options near Pune? Check out these posts:
- A cycle trip to Lavasa city from Pune (INR 100)
- Andharban jungle and Devkund Waterfall Trek – Time to get lost in the dense forest
- Satara – A road trip to the Maharashtra’s Valley of Flowers from Pune (INR 800)
- Tikona Fort Trek and Pawna Lake – One day trip near Pune (INR 250)
- A two-day trip to Torna Fort and Madhe Ghat Waterfall(INR 400)
- Matheran – Asia’s only automobile free hill station
- Daman – A Glimpse of Portugal Heritage
- A road trip to Harihareshwar, Shrivardhan and Diveagar Beach from Pune (INR 1200)
- Kalsubai Peak – Trek to the highest peak of Maharashtra (INR 600)
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