There are plenty of reasons, why we can call ‘The Rajmachi Fort’ as nature lovers paradise. Even if I mention few of it, you will find more to it when you’ll explore.Rajmachi fort(Killa) is located above the two popular hill stations Lonavala and Khandala in Maharashtra. Nature lovers, Trekkers, Outdoor Campers will find this place perfect for their break. Visit this place during the rainy season, you’ll get to see the lush green forest, meadows, streams and much more. From mid of June to mid of October, is a perfect time to experience its natural breathtaking beauty with amazing landscape view.
The Bygone days:
The Rajmachi fort is one of the historical forts in the jagged hills of Sahyadri mountains (Western Ghats). The fort consists of twin fortresses Shrivardhan ballekillas and Manaranjan Ballekillas. This fascinating fort was built by the Satavahanas but it came into limelight under the rule of Shivaji Maharaj in 1657. In the year 1704, The Mughal Emperor- Aurangzeb captured it and in the very next year, Marathas took the control over it. This was a major trade route, connecting Mumbai and Pune in 18th Century. Then in 19th Century, the fort was under control of British from Marathas. And as India gained ‘Independence’ the fort was declared as a ‘Protected Monument’. Every edge of this fort possesses an old-world charm.
Experience the highest mesmerizing viewpoint from Shrivardhan fort at an altitude of 914 metres. From Manaranjan fort you will get a view of 833 meters which offers the equal charming view. Trekkers are welcomed by local people from Udhewadi, a small village of about 23 houses situated on Machi at the southern foot of Rajmachi fort. Accommodation, food, camps are provided by them only. Further, because of the tourism industry; the local people of the village gave up the cattle rearing and traditional agriculture. And started to earn their living by serving tourists. The fort was ruled by several Kingdoms at different periods of time, and the brilliant architectural styles mark their past existence. You will find fortification ruins, historical reservoirs, secret gateways, ramparts on both the ballekillas.
Except for trekking, camping, enjoying the viewpoint, enjoy the Kondana Cave and temples. The Kondana cave highlights the 16 Buddhist caves. These caves enhance the beauty of the fort by its stone-cut structures, waterfalls, pillars and much more. Approximately, in the 8th century; the Shiv temple was built in Hemadpanthi style architecture. This temple is worth visiting, located on the western end of the historical water reservoir. Another, you can visit Kal Bhairav temple.
For trekkers, there are two hiking routes to Rajmachi Fort-
One route runs through Karjat and another via Lonavala. However, Lonavala route is the easiest one but Karjat is a bit difficult.
Trekking in Karjat the base village will be Kondivade. This is a one day trek but you can extend it for two days as well. The first stoppage will be Kondana Caves, do stop here and enjoy the spellbinding beauty. The route to Karjat will be rocky, you’ll encounter many small water streams and waterfalls. Its suggested having a guide while you trek in Karjat.
Trekking via Lonavala route is a one day trek which starts from Udhewadi village. This 10-mile long trek has relatively flatter route than Karjat trek. Enjoy the stunning view around the fort while trekking. You can complete your trek here without the guide.
Find homestays in nearby villages which won’t hit your pocket hard.
Enjoying the fort with trekking and other viewpoints will be an amazing experience by nature’s side.