Nestled on the Sahyadri mountain range in Maharashtra, India, Rajmachi Fort is a delight to visit with a breathtaking lush green surrounding and natureâ€™s unbound beauty. It is situated at a height of 2,710 feet above sea level and offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. The fort was originally built by the Satavahanas and later ruled by several dynasties such as the Marathas, Mughals, and the British. The fort played a strategic role in guarding the trade routes in the Western Ghats. Today, the fort is a popular trekking destination, and visitors can enjoy a scenic trek through the lush forests and rocky terrain to reach the fort. The trek is moderately challenging, and it takes around 2-3 hours to reach the fort from the base village of Udhewadi. The fort has two main entrances - the Kal Bhairav Temple and the Shrivardhan Fort. The fortifications of the fort include ramparts, bastions, and a large gatehouse. Inside the fort, visitors can see the remains of several buildings, including a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, a watchtower, and a water tank. The trekking trail to Rajmachi Fort abounds several waterfalls, deep gorges, valleys, pristine villages, waterways, and much more, which are a treat to the vision. A visit here on the weekend is a great way to escape the hustle-bustle of life.
Fort Rajmachi has a long and rich history dating back to the Satavahana dynasty, which ruled the region from the 1st century BCE to the 3rd century CE. The fort was strategically located on the trade routes between the Konkan coast and the hinterland regions of Maharashtra. During the medieval period, the fort came under the control of various dynasties, including the Rashtrakutas, the Yadavas of Deogiri, and the Bahmani Sultanate. In the 17th century, the fort was captured by the Maratha Empire under the leadership of Shivaji Maharaj, who used it as a strategic military outpost. In the 18th century, the fort was briefly captured by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, but it was later recaptured by the Marathas. During the British Raj, the fort was used as a military post to keep watch over the surrounding regions. Today, Rajmachi Fort is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can see the ruins of various structures that were once used for military purposes, including watchtowers, bastions, and ramparts. The fort is also home to two temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Kal Bhairav. Over the years, Fort Rajmachi has played an important role in the history of Maharashtra and remains a testament to the region's rich cultural heritage.
The architecture of Rajmachi Fort consists of two main fortified peaks: Shrivardhan and Manaranjan. The fort was built during the 17th century by the Maratha Empire and was strategically located on a hilltop to provide a vantage point for keeping watch over the surrounding area. It is constructed primarily of stone and brick and has a complex network of walls, bastions, gates, and ramparts. The walls and bastions were designed to provide protection against enemy attacks, and the gates were strategically placed to control access to the fort. The ramparts were built to provide a vantage point for archers and other defenders to defend the fort.
The fort has two main entrances, known as the Kondhane Darwaja and the Udhewadi Darwaja. The Kondhane Darwaja is situated on the eastern side of the fort and requires a steep climb of around 200 steps. The Udhewadi Darwaja is located on the western side and is relatively easier to climb. One of the most notable features of the fort is the temple of Lord Shiva, which is situated on the Shrivardhan peak. The temple is a small stone structure that houses a Shivling and a Nandi statue. The temple has intricate carvings and sculptures, and it is a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists alike.
The fort also has a large water storage tank that was used to provide drinking water to the inhabitants of the fort. This water tank is still in good condition and is a testament to the engineering skills of the Maratha architects who built the fort. No doubt, the architecture of the Rajmachi Fort is a fine example of the Maratha style of fortification, which is characterized by its sturdy construction, strategic location, and intricate design. The fort has been well-preserved over the years and remains a popular destination for history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, and tourists.
Rajmcahi Fort trek offers you a unique experience with some of the most pristine and unspoiled trails of Maharashtra. The fort is situated at an altitude of about 2,710 feet and offers stunning views of the surrounding valleys and hills. The trek to Rajmachi Fort can be done from two starting points - one is from the village of Karjat and the other is from the village of Lonavala. The Karjat route is slightly longer and more challenging, while the Lonavala route is shorter and easier. Both routes take approximately 2-3 hours to reach the fort. During the trek, you will come across lush green forests, streams, and waterfalls. The trail is well-marked and well-maintained, but it can get steep and rocky in some places, so it's important to wear comfortable and sturdy footwear. Once you reach the fort, you can explore the various ruins and structures, including the two citadels, the temples, and the water reservoirs. The fort also offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Trekking at Rajmachi Fort is a rewarding experience for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. It's best to plan your trek during the monsoon season (June-September) when the surrounding forests are at their greenest and the waterfalls are at their fullest
The fort can be visited throughout the year but to have the breathtaking view of the valley with flowing streams, lush green meadows, and misty clouds, months from June to September are the best time to visit. You can also visit the fort during the winter months when the weather is pleasant and not too humid, unlike in summer.
The trek to Rajmachi Fort takes about 2-3 hours, depending on your starting point and your pace.
The best time to visit Rajmachi Fort is during the monsoon season (June-September) when the surrounding forests are lush green, and the waterfalls are at their fullest. However, the fort can be visited throughout the year.
It's not necessary to hire a guide for the trek as the trail is well-marked and well-maintained. However, if you're a first-time trekker or unfamiliar with the area, it's recommended to hire a guide for safety purposes.
There are no accommodation options available at Rajmachi Fort, but there are a few homestays and guesthouses available in the nearby villages of Karjat and Lonavala.
There are no food and water facilities available at the fort, so it's recommended to carry your own food and sufficient water for the trek. There are a few small shops and restaurants available in the nearby villages where you can purchase food and drinks.