Rajmachi Fort – A Complete Trekking Guide

If you are an adventure enthusiast and looking for a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai or Pune, the Rajmachi Fort Trek is an ideal choice. This trek is one of the most popular and picturesque treks in Sahyadris. It is a two-day trek that takes you through beautiful forests, breathtaking waterfalls, and scenic landscapes.

View of the Rajmachi Fort - Drone Shot
View of the Rajmachi Fort - Drone Shot (Click on Image for Credits)

The Rajmachi Fort Trek is located in the Sahyadri mountain range in Maharashtra. It is situated at an altitude of 2,710 feet and is approximately 17 km from Lonavala. The fort has a rich history dating back to the 17th century when it was ruled by the Maratha Empire. The fort was a strategic location for the Marathas, allowing them to control the trade routes between Mumbai and Pune.

The trek starts from the base village, Fanasrai (Lonavala) & Kondivade (Karjat), and takes you through a beautiful trail that winds through lush green forests and waterfalls.

The trek to Rajmachi Fort is an experience that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty. It is a moderate-level trek that can be completed by both beginners and experienced trekkers. The walk offers a perfect blend of adventure, soul, and history.

Best Season

  • The best time to visit Rajmachi Fort is from May to September.
  • From May 2nd week to June 2nd week, you can witness the fireflies festival, and during the monsoon season, the entire trek and the fort are covered in green.
  • The waterfalls around the fort are in full flow.

Attractions on the Trek

Kondana Caves
Click on Image for Credits
  1. Udhewadi Village: The base of the fort is the small village of Udhewadi. The village has a rustic charm and is a perfect place to take a break and interact with the locals. One can camp here as there are dedicated camping sites.
  2. Kataldhaar Waterfall: This is a huge waterfall located in the Lonavala region. The waterfall can be seen from the top of the Rajmachi Fort; the waterfall is a trek in itself.
  3. Shrivardhan Fort: This is the main attraction of the trek. The fort is a magnificent structure and offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. The fort has two entrance gates, and the architecture blends Maratha and Mughal styles.
  4. Manoranjan Fort: This fort is located near Shrivardhan Fort and is a perfect spot to catch the sunset. The fort is smaller than Shrivardhan Fort but offers equally stunning views.
  5. Kondana Caves: Kondana Caves are a group of ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves near Rajmachi Fort. These caves date back to the 1st century BC and feature intricate carvings and sculptures of Buddhist deities. The caves are in a scenic location amidst lush green forests and a waterfall, making it a must-visit spot during the trek.
  6. Fireflies Festival: The Fireflies Festival is usually held in May and June during the pre-monsoon season.
    1. During this festival, thousands of fireflies come out at night, creating a spectacular light show in the forests.
    2. The festival is usually organized by trekking & travel groups. Visitors can participate in night treks and camping trips at Rajmachi to witness the fireflies in their natural habitat.

How to Reach Rajmachi Fort?

Rajmachi Fort Top View
Rajmachi Fort Top View (Click on Image for Credits)

You can reach Rajmachi Fort from Karjat as well as Lonavala. In this guide, we will cover how to trek from both locations, Lonavala & Karjat.

Via Lonavala:

  • The starting point of the trek is the village of Fanasrai, located around 11 kms from Lonavala Railway Station. The town can be reached by public transportation, car, or bike from Lonavala or Pune.
  • You can take a shared or private cab from the station or bus stand to Fanasrai village.
  • The cab will cost you INR 3000 for pick and drop from Lonavala to Fanasrai or Udhewadi.
  • It will take around 40-60 mins to reach the start point.
  • During the monsoon season the cabs will only go till Fanasrai village, as the road till Udhewadi is inaccessible.

Via Karjat:

  •  The starting point of the trek is Kondivade village. You can reach the base village via shared/private rickshaws from Karjat station. 
  • The distance is around 10 kms and takes approximately 30 mins to reach.

Rajmachi Fort Trekking Route & Difficulty

Click on Image for Credits
  1. Karjat Route: The trek starts from the village of Kondiwade, a 30-minute drive from Karjat railway station. The trail is about 12-13 km long (including the distance exploring the fort) and takes 5-6 hours to reach the fort. It passes through lush green forests and small streams, with some steep ascents and descents along the way. The highlight of this trek is the beautiful Kondana caves en route to the fort.
    • The trek difficulty from the Karjat route is challenging and is recommended only for experienced trekkers with prior trekking experience in the Sahyadris. As there are steep climbs from time to time.
    • Trek Route from Kondiwade village.
  2. Lonavala Route: This trek starts from the village of Fanasrai, about 11 km from Lonavala railway station. The trail is about 10 km long and takes 4-5 hours to finish the trek. It passes through dense forests and open grasslands, with minimal steep ascents and descents. The highlight of this trek is the breathtaking view of the Rajmachi plateau and the surrounding valleys from the top.
    • The difficulty of this route is easier compared to the Karjat route and is ideal for beginners.
    • Trek Route from Fanasrai Village on Ramblr.

These routes offer unique experiences and are popular among trekkers and nature enthusiasts.

Food & Accommodation:

If you want, you can also get accommodation at Udhewadi village, the locals charge INR 1000 for 2-person tent & around INR 260-INR 310 for dinner & breakfast.

You can get in touch with Mayu from Little Nest who arranges for food & stay at Rajmachi. 

Conclusion

Click on Image for Credits
  • The Rajmachi Fort Trek is an experience that will leave you mesmerized by the beauty of nature and the rich history of Maharashtra.
  • It is a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai or Pune, and the trek offers an ideal blend of adventure, nature, and culture.
  • So, if you are looking for a thrilling adventure and a chance to explore the hidden gem of Maharashtra, the Rajmachi Fort Trek should be on your bucket list.

FAQs

The trek to Rajmachi Fort is a moderate-level trek that can be completed by both beginners and experienced trekkers.

Yes, the trek to Rajmachi Fort is safe. However, it is always recommended to hire a local guide and follow basic safety precautions.

The Rajmachi fort trek via Karjat, is about 12-13 km long (including the distance exploring the fort) and takes 5-6 hours to reach the fort.

Via Lonavala, the distance is about 10 kms and takes around 3-4 hours to reach the fort.

Yes, the Rajmachi fort is open throughout the year. However, during heavy rainfall in the monsoons, trekking to the fort might be suspended.

Comments

  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment
    Open chat
    1
    Want to be a part of our first ever experiential trip to Varkala?