Are you looking for a short but visit-worthy trek around Mumbai or Pune? If yes, then you are at the right place. For people living in megacities like Mumbai, life often turns out to be hectic and monotonous, and to cope with this, a weekend adventure is a must. No doubt the Mumbai city itself has several destinations to spend your weekends but to have a different or unique experience you have to move out of the city and explore some amazing spots around the city. Rajmachi fort trek is one among them that is sure to make your time a memorable one there. This trek is a full package that offers a lot to watch out for, from ancient forts to rich flora and fauna, it has something for everyone. Here is a full guide to this must-visit destination. 


About the destination

The Rajmachi fort is perched at an elevation of 2,710 m above sea level near the Lonavala and Karjat hill stations near Mumbai. The fort is accessible from both of these hill stations. It is situated on the rugged hills of the Sahyadri mountains of the Western Ghats as a result it has a lush green surrounding. The fort has two twin fortresses namely, Shriwardhan and Manaranjan, and a wide plateau( locals call it Machi) surrounding it. The fort holds great importance in Maratha History as it is associated with the legendary Chatrapati Shivaji and has played a significant role in the First Anglo-Maratha War. Due to its history and natural surroundings, it has been among the most sought-after trekking destinations around Mumbai-Pune. 

The Rajmachi Trek : 

This is a very easy trek that can be done in 1-2 days with reasonable fitness. The trail mostly consists of plains and is well marked at several points which makes it a DIY trek. The trail is packed with rich flora and fauna. The irrespective trail route is chosen ( whether via Lonavala or Karjat) you will be crossing the thick forest with a great variety of fauna, several waterfalls, and small quaint villages. Another highlight of the trek is the view that you will be witnessing upon reaching the Rajmachi fort. The breathtaking views of the valley from the top are a lifetime experience.


 On the first day of the trek, you will be trekking towards the base village Udhevadi which is at the southern foot of the Rajmachi fort. To reach Udhevadi you can start from two routes, either Lonavala or Karjat. However, there is another route available that is considered a bit tricky for beginners and thus is suitable for experienced trekkers which is via Kondane Caves. Upon reaching the base village, camp amid the rich forest adorned with fireflies and star-studded clear sky. The following morning, wake up with one of the most beautiful sunrises and prepare for the final trek towards Rajmachi fort. It will take hardly a 1-hour trek to reach your destination. Start exploring the forts, inhale the fresh air and soak yourself in the vibe of the fort and its vicinity. You can extend your trek to Kondana Caves as well or just return to basecamp and then to Lonavala or Karjat. If you are someone who is done with the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle of modern cities, this trek is gonna hit you differently. Every experience and moment will be so raw and exhilarating that is sure to leave you spellbound. It’s like healing, a cure for your body and soul. The sunset and sunrise are equally mesmerizing during this trek.  


Best time for Rajmachi Trek :

 The monsoon ( June- September) is considered to be the best time to do this trek to see the green Sahyadris range in their full glory. The Winter season is also a preferred one because the trek gets easier with a clear trail and the temperature lies near 17 degrees Celsius. Till March you can do this trek without a second thought but avoid the months of summer as the temperature may rise to 35 degrees Celsius which may suck all your stamina during the trek. 

How to reach Rajmachi Fort : 

As to reach Rajmachi fort, there are two routes, let’s have a look at them separately; 

Via Lonavala: The best way to reach Rajmachi Fort is to take an express train to Lonavala railway station from Mumbai. If you are planning to drive by yourself, head towards the Mumbai-Pune highway towards Khandala, and from Khandala the base village Udhewali is 15 km away while Mumbai is 100 km away. 

Via Karjat: Local trains will take you to the Karjat railway station from where you can take a cab or other public transport to reach the Kondivade Village( from here you will start your trek to Rajmachi). 

For trekkers traveling from other cities, you have the airport at a distance of 100 km ( Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai) and 90 km ( Pune International Airport). From these airports, you can hire a cab or use public transportation as well. 


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