Rajmachi Trek is one of the most popular and sought-after treks in Westof ern Ghats. It is basically a fort, hence this is a fort trek that is still intact and was one the stronghold fort of Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj. Rajmachi is located 80 kilometers away from Pune, Maharashtra. So you can try and visit during the post-monsoon period because at this time the weather would be calm and vegetation becomes colorful with lush green.
An overview of the Trek
The best time to visit this place is between September to November. The plan of the trek depends on the availability of the time with you. If you have ample time and want to rest in nature then you can make it a two day trek and plan a camping trip or you can wind up the trek in a day. The trek to Rajmachi takes 4 hours and apart from this you must also move to Shrivardhan and Manaranjan, which can take another hour. The trek of Rajmachi Fort is a moderate to difficult level trek. The trek becomes difficult after the Kondana Caves because the trail gradually begins to steep.
Travel from Mumbai to Rajmachi
There are two routes to reach Rajmachi : one from Lonavala and the other is from Karjat. If you are from the Lonavala side then from Mumbai you must catch a train to Lonavala that might take around 3 hours. Once you reach Lonavala, you can take a jeep or a rickshaw in order to reach Tungarli Dam, which is the starting point of the trek. If you are preferring your own vehicle, then it is 16 kilometers from Lonavala to Rajmachi. So you need not do the whole trek if you start from Rajmachi. Almost ¾ of the journey would be via vehicle and 1/4th would be trekking. But if you are starting from the side of Karjat, you can take a local train to Karjat from Mumbai and that can take 2 hours. From Kajrat you can hire a jeep or rickshaw or a bus to Kondhivade village or Kondane Gaon, which is another base village for Rajmachi Trek.
All about Rajmachi Trek
Rajmachi is a plateau or Machi actually means a plateau. And this plateau is actually a village called Udaevadi village. The place is very welcoming to all sorts of trekkers and camp events. There are also few houses on the plateau that are willing to provide food and camps on rental basis, even if you are not carrying you. Camping along with the trekking is a beautiful experience in Rajmachi especially you can have on-site experience of local cultures and cuisine.
While on the trek availability of water is quintessential. So water sources for this trek are available in the Kondivade village itself. And in the midst of the trek during Monsoons there are many fresh water streams covered all over. So you can be rest assured that there is a consistent supply of potable water while on the trek. Apart from the base area there is also availability of water even on the fort premises.
If you start from Kondivade village to Rajmachi you can complete the trek in 3-4 hours depending on your speed and physical fitness. But remember that Rajmachi is not the final point of the trek. There are two other citadel or the forts or the higher points from Rajmachi namely, Shrivardhane and Manaranjan. They will both each take at least an hour of the trek after the 4 hours trek to Rajmachi.
From Kondana Caves to Rajmachi
From Kondana Caves there is also a waterfall, which is now prohibited for tourists. There are directions for you where you must head towards Kondana Caves, which can take around 45 minutes to trek. From Kondana Caves you must take the right to reach Rajmachi Fort. Rajmachi fort is a very picturesque and beautiful fort. Apart from Rajmachi fort, Kondana Caves is also a delightful place in the trail. The Caves are endowed with the waterfall and they fall from the top of the caves. After the caves the trail becomes a bit steeper as compared to the trail towards the caves. Now if you take the right you will get the route to Shrivardhan and if you take the left you will get the Manaranjan route. They are actually steeper trails. But both are equally beautiful and mesmerizing with fog covered all over. So do visit and enjoy the soothing breeze and atmosphere of Rajmachi.