Trekking in Rajmachi Fort
Lonavala and Khandala may be great places to relax and unwind but it is Rajmachi that has caught the attention of adventure seeking Mumbaikar. Located some 20 km away from Lonavala Rajmachi is a scenic trek to the twin forts named Manaranjan and Shrivardhan. The proximity to Lonavala has added to the convenience of taking a day trip to Rajmachi. An ideal weekend getaway from Mumbai Rajmachi is great for those looking for a slice of adventure and scenic beauty.Shrivardhan is the highest among the two peaks located at a height of about 3000 feet. Manaranjan has an altitude of 2700 feet. There is a serene plateau between the peaks. Rajmachi overlooks the stunning Bhor ghat.
1. How to Reach Rajmachi
- By Air: Pune is the nearest airport 70 km away.
- By Train: Lonavala is the nearest railway station approximately 20 km from Thakurwadi village which is base to Rajmachi. One can also reach Karjat by rail and hire a taxi or take shared auto to reach Kondavane village the base for Rajmachi trek.
- By Road: Thakurwadi village [by Lonvala route] is the place from where trek to Rajmachi begins. Regular bus service is available from Mumbai and Pune to Lonavala. Thakurwadi is 20 km from Rajmachi.
2. History of Rajmachi
Rajmachi a picturesque region consisting of two stubborn peaks namely Manaranjan and Shrivardhan is a magnificent tourist destination in the state of Maharashtra India. Rajmachi is famed for the fort and is near to the twin hill stations Khandala and Lonavala in Maharashtra. Shrivardhan is the biggest peak with a height of about 3000 feet and Manaranjan has an altitude of 2700 feet. There is a serene plateau between the peaks. Rajmachi has a verdant history as the part of many rulers and invaders of the country. The fort symbolizes the political turmoil Rajmachi witnessed.
The fort in Rajmachi can be considered as two forts one each in both the peaks. The fort is constructed to have an overview of the konkan region down. Rajmachi is renowned for trekking: one can trek from the Tungarli Lake region to Rajmachi through the breathtaking rocky natural trek routes. The ancient caves known as Kondhavi enclosed by the Rajmachi fort offer a nice view of the ancient creative architecture on rocks.
3. Places to visit in Rajmachi
- Manranjan Fort -
West part of the Rajmachi fort is Manranjan Fort. Its construction was strong so that no enemy could destroy it easily. The fort was built to have a watch on the plateau down the Manranjan hills. The fort has three entrances and also has a water tank at the top of the peak.Presently the fort is in ruins and the government and local authorities are taking necessary steps to preserve this historical fort. The fort offers an excellent panoramic view of the plateau down. Fort is placed at the peak of the hill which is vibrant with thriving natural beauties
- Shreevardhan Fort -
Shreevardhan Fort an ancient fort spotted with the history of Maratha rulers is situated to the east region of Rajmachi town. The construction of the fort is in Martha style architecture and the imposing entrance of the Shreevardhan fort is in a semicircular shape. The fort is built at the pinnacle of one of the peaks in Rajamchi so that one can view the movements of the downhill region. The view from the fort is breathtaking with wide greenish landscape and undulating hilly terrains.The fort encloses attractive Buddhist caves and two water tanks with plenty of water all through the year. Bhairavnath temple adds the attraction of the Shreevardhan fort.
4. Attractions near by Rajmachi
The Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the picturesque locale surrounded by dense green forests. The wildlife sanctuary is on the foothills and hilly terrains of Western Ghat in Sahyadri ranges. The sanctuary offers the wildlife beauty in its pristine passion. This is a weekend destination for the nature loving tourists.The sanctuary encloses abundance of animals and birds. One major attraction here is the mammoth Indian squirrel. It is a rare place where one can spot the wild animals freely moving in their natural habitat. The landscape is enriched with rare species of herbs and plants. The location is very good for nature walks trekking and bird watching.
5. Activities at Rajmachi
Rajmachi Fort is famous for trekking. The beautiful place is has exotic natural locations as well as it is a historic site. Rajmachi can be reached via the town of Lonavla along the Khandala plateau. Lonavla is an important train station on the Indian rail network. It is most convenient to start the trekking from the morning itself at around 11am.
Near Kalbhairavnath Temple there is some space that can be used as a campsite. Those who do not want to stay outside can stay inside the temple. There is a tank which is 100m away on a path to the left of the temple water is available here. One has to cook his own food or buy some village-made food of Bhakri and Chutney. Once the trekkers reach the fort one will realize that the climb was really meaningful.
Opposite to Kalbhairavnath Temple there is another fort called Shreevardhan. The fort has lots of secret tunnels leading to battlements. There is a place called Manranjan behind the temple that gives one a nice view of the plains. Trekkers who want to explore the area can go the base of Manranjan where there are some simple rock-cut caves. Return route is easier to follow: still trekkers are to be careful while getting down from the steep slopes
6. Where to Stay in Rajmachi
Rajmachi has very limited accommodation options. Accommodation is avaialbe in the villages. Lonavala is a good base for travellers to stay and Rajmachi.