Rajmachi is a historic fort located in the Sahyadri mountain range of Maharashtra, India and offers picturesque views of the surrounding landscapes. It is situated in the Udhewadi/Rajmachi village, which lies between the Karjat and Lonavala regions. The fort is positioned at an elevation of about 2,710 ft. (827 m) above sea level.
Rajmachi Fort is comprised of two separate forts – Shrivardhan Fort and Manaranjan Fort. Shrivardhan Fort is the larger of the two and is situated at a slightly higher elevation. While Manaranjan Fort is smaller but equally captivating, with remnants of ancient structures.
The fort complex includes several ancient caves and temples that add to its historical and cultural significance. You can explore the Buddhist caves and the Kal Bhairav temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The ideal time to visit Rajmachi Fort is during the monsoon season (June to September) when the surroundings are lush green, and the waterfalls are at their peak. However, the fort can be visited throughout the year, except during extreme weather conditions.
Unparalleled and memorable, the Rajmachi Fort Trek is sure to prompt you to keep coming back!
Rajmachi Fort has great historical significance. It served as a strategic fortification for various rulers over the centuries, including the Marathas and the Mughals. The fort played a crucial role in defending the region and served as a trade route checkpoint between Mumbai and Pune.
Rajmachi Fort has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century. It was initially constructed by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha Empire, and later captured and rebuilt by the Marathas under the leadership of Sardar Dhamale.
Besides having a storied history, the twin forts of Rajmachi have earned recognition for their dazzling architecture. The fort complex has massive ramparts, strong ramparts, grand gateways, residential units, water reservoirs, administrative centres and secret exits. Rajmachi Fort has been declared a protected monument.
The Kondane Caves, are ancient Buddhist caves located near the village of Kondane in Maharashtra, India. These caves are situated in the Raigad district, approximately 33 kilometres from Karjat. The Kondane Caves are nestled amidst scenic surrounded by lush green hills and forests. The location offers a peaceful and serene atmosphere, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and history enthusiasts.
The Kondane Caves date back to the 1st century BCE to the 2nd century CE, belonging to the Hinayana Buddhist sect. These rock-cut caves served as Viharas (Monasteries) for Buddhist monks who sought solitude and practised meditation. The caves showcase simple architectural styles and consist of prayer halls and small cells for individual monks.
The caves at Kondane are relatively small in size compared to other Buddhist caves in the region. There are around 16 caves in total, carved out of the rock face. The caves are numbered, and some of them contain remnants of ancient Buddhist stupas (domed structures) and rock-cut sculptures. The interior walls of the caves also bear traces of ancient paintings, although most of them have faded over time.
The best time to visit the Kondane Caves is during the monsoon season (June to September) when the surroundings are lush green and the waterfalls are in full flow. The weather remains pleasant, but it is essential to check the local conditions and ensure the safety of the trekking route, as heavy rainfall can make the trails slippery.
Visiting the Kondane Caves offers an opportunity to explore ancient Buddhist architecture, enjoy a scenic trek, and immerse oneself in the tranquillity of the natural surroundings.
Day 1Pune > Rajmachi Fort Trek > Pune
06:00 Once you reach your pick-up point, mark your presence with the SG-Trekkers representative. Then we will travel by private bus to the starting point of the trek.
07:00 – 08:00 An hour of breakfast and tea break. Resume the rest of the journey.
08:00 – 09:00 Reach starting point of the trek; our field experts will provide pre-trek information and instructions to all participants. Starting the trek from ‘Fanasrai-wadi’, follow the route towards Rajmachi Fort.
09:00 – 11:00 Enjoy the scenic beauty and lush green surroundings as you trek through the picturesque Sahyadri mountains. The trail passes through dense forests, and small streams, and offers stunning views of the Western Ghats. As you ascend, take breaks at suitable spots to rest, hydrate, and enjoy the natural beauty around you. Capture memorable moments and photographs along the way.
11:00 – 13:00 Reach the top of Rajmachi Fort, where you can explore the ruins, and historical structures, and soak in the panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Spend some time at the fort, exploring its history and enjoying the serene atmosphere.
13:00 – 14:00 After exploring the fort, descend back to the base village for lunch. Refresh yourself. (Washrooms are available) Let’s have a meal together. Served hot and tasty vegetarian food.
14:00 – 18:00 Descend via the Karjat side route. Reach Kondane Caves, take a short break, explore the caves, and capture some photographs.
18:00 – 21:00 Start the journey back to Pune with very pleasant memories.
21:00 Reach Pune and it’s time to say goodbye to your travel companion. Let’s stay in touch via phone/social media and meet again for another memorable trip.
SEE YOU SOON! 🙂
Day 1: Highlights
• Altitude Gain / Loss: ⇑ 1,050 ft. / ⇓ 2,250 ft. • Walk (approx.): 7 hrs., 15 km. • Accommodation: N/A • Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Tea