Rajmachi Fort is in the Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats in Pune district of Maharashtra. The site is situated close to the renowned hill station of Lonavala. Rajmachi fort is one of the most popular trekking places in Maharashtra state.
Pune District, Maharashtra, India.
Rajmachi has a history of two thousand years. This defence architecture initially emerged to have a lookout on the Bor Ghats. The fort premise complex comprises grand ramparts, solid walls, huge gateways, residential compartments, water supplies, administrative buildings and secret gates for the exit. A dry masonry temple of Kal Bhairav is located in the crevasse among Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts.
This fort acquired its fame as one of the prominent forts of the Maratha Empire during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who did the expansion of this fort by building new structures in 1657. This fort is known as one of the fascinating constructions in the western ghats. Rajmachi Fort has seen many reigns.
The fort was under the control of the Mughal Empire too around 1704 - 1705. After that, Marathas took charge of it. In the due course of time, Rajmachi Fort saw the fall of the Maratha Empire and the rise of the British Empire. The fort fell into the control of the British Empire in 1818. The western side of Rajmachi Plateau has a panoramic view of the Ancient Buddhist Caves of Kondana. These caves are believed to be carved during the 2nd century BC.
This region gives a different feel of beauty during the rainy season where ample waterfalls, streams and lush green forests and meadows enrich the beauty of the nearby vicinity. The time before monsoon rains explores the beautiful sight of fireflies.
Rajmachi Point is on the way to Mumbai from Pune, just before the starting point of the ghat, which is 6.5 KM from Lonavala. The fort is part of the Sahyadri mountain ranges of Maharashtra. The height of the fort is 3600 feet. Rajmachi Fort consists of two citadels namely Shrivardhan and Manaranjan Forts. Manaranjan Fort and Shrivardhan Fort. The Shrivardhan Fort has the highest viewpoint and sits at an altitude of 914 metres(meter), offering unbeatable vistas of the area, while the Manaranjan Fort is nestled at an altitude of 833 metres(meter) and offers equally breath-taking views.
The region has a hot-semi arid climate year-round with an average temperature ranging from 19-33 degrees Celsius.
April and May are the hottest months in the region when the temperature reaches up to 42 degrees Celsius.
Winters are extreme, and the temperature can go as low as 10 degrees Celsius at night, but the average daytime temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius.
The annual rainfall in the region is around 763 mm.
Things to do
Tourists can enjoy the following places or views on Rajmachi fort:
● The forts offer a vantage point. Starting from the north, you get to see the Madan point, Dhak Bahiri, and Bhimashankar. The south side offers the views of Kataldhar, Lonavala, Karjat.
● You also get to see the valley which cuts through the Hill stations, moving ahead you will also see Valvan Dam, Tungarli Dam and also Duke’s nose at the end. You can also see the Monkey hill on the right from Shrivardhan fort.
● In the southeast (from your left), you get a glimpse of Kataldhar Waterfall (in Monsoons), the twin hill stations of Lonavala and Khandala.
● The trek is filled with rich flora and fauna. The forests are home to many birds, lizards, and insects. There are instances of the sighting of the mighty leopards in this forest belt.
● Rajmachi trek is famous for the sightings of fireflies. It takes us into a magical world with these beetles glowing post-sunset.
● Time your trek well. You will see this beautiful spectacle of bioluminescence in abundance just before the monsoon season.
Nearest tourist places
Tourists can visit following places which are located near Rajmachi fort:
● Dhak Bahiri Caves (54 KM)– Dhak Bahiri is a cave in the Sahyadri hill range, situated near the village Jambhivli off village-Malavalli in the Pune district.
● Udaysagar Lake(1 KM) – You can visit a water reservoir, ‘Udaysagar Lake’ which was built approx. 200 years ago. This lake is very close to Udhewadi Base village, just 1.5 KM in fact and beneath the forest section.
● Shirota Lake Camping (5.3 KM)– The campsite is located 11 KM from Lonavala. The lake crosses its banks during the monsoon. This lake is close to the Valvand Fork when one starts from the Lonavala side.
● Kataldhar Waterfall Rappelling (6.1 KM)– after the arrival of the monsoon, within a few days doors open for an amazing place, Kataldhar Waterfall. The name means waterfall from a rock cliff. This 350-foot waterfall doesn’t only check your physical fitness but it tests your mental strength also.
Special food speciality and hotel
In Udhewadi, the village at the base camp, some villagers can make delicious home-cooked food for you - mostly egg/chicken curry or Usal, dal along with Bhakri and rice. You can also opt for snacking options like Pohe, bhajis and Maggi. Also available are refreshing drinks like Kokam sharbat and Nimbu paani. You might be able to get Misal pav and Vada pav as well. The food is simple but has an extremely authentic Marathi flavour - a great pit-stop after a tiring trek.
Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station
Various local hotels and resorts are available near Rajmachi fort.
Yash Hospital in Lonavala is 18 KM away from Base Camp Udhewadi.
The nearest post office is 16 KM away in Lonavala.
Lonavala Gramin Police Station is again 18 KM from Rajmachi fort base camp
Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit
The months from June to September are the best time to visit Rajmachi since the monsoon season here greets you with water springs and greenery all over as you keep climbing the fort. Although it is a beautiful place which can be enjoyed throughout the year. Noon to evening is considered to be an ideal time to visit the fort with full visibility. It becomes comparatively difficult to drive during the night.
Language spoken in area
English, Hindi and Marathi.