Rajmachi Trek is one of a kind with two forts offering a 360-degree view of the two famous hill stations- Lonavala and Karjat. If you are looking for a thrilling weekend then Rajmachi is definitely worth a visit with Manaranjan Fort offering a view of the west and Shrivardhan Fort offering a view of the east. These forts have seen the history of Marathas, Mughals and British. Once a trade route between Mumbai and Pune now provides a trekking trail to open up to a beautiful view.
Rajmachi with a trekking distance of 16 km from the base of the trek, Udhewadi is located strategically to give a vantage point of the routes. The vast list of noticeable places from these forts are Dhak Bahiri, Bhimshankar, Lonavala, Karjat, Kataldhar, Valvan Dam, Tungarli Dam, Monkey hill and others. The beautiful valleys along with many rivers like Ulhas river feed the beauty of this trek.
Trek Distance: 16 Km
Trek Altitude: 2,710 ft
Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Best Season: All around the year.
Distance from Mumbai: 125 km
How to Reach
By Air: Pune international Airport at a distance of 90 km is the nearest airport to reach Rajmachi Trek base. From there you can hire a private cab or even take a bus to Udhewadi, the trek base.
By Road: Lonavala is the nearest city to Rajmachi and it is well connected to all the other cities.
From Mumbai you can head towards Panvel and then drive through Mumbai-Pune Expressway up till Khandala and then it’s just one hour drive to Udhewadi.
From Pune using Mumbai-Pune Expressway, reach Lonavala and head to Valvand and then Udhewadi.
By Train: Lonavala Railway station is the nearest one to Rajmachi.
From Mumbai you can take an express train to Lonavala and then a public or private transport to reach Udhewadi.
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Udhewadi is the starting point of the Rajmachi Trek which is accessible via two routes- From Lonavala or Karjat. After you reach the base of the trek the entire trail can be divided into 3 parts.
- Udhewadi base to Bhairavnath Temple
- Hike to Manaranjan Fort and back to Temple
- Temple to Shrivardhan Fort
Udhewadi base to Bhairavnath Temple
From base you will start your trek toward the forest section of 20 mins to reach the Bhairavnath Temple. This Temple further bifurcates to make the two forts, Manaranjan and Shriwardhan, accessible. You need to make your ascent from Bhairavnath in either direction to reach these forts.
Manaranjan Fort and back to Temple
This hike to the Manranjan fort is straightforward with sign boards providing all the information and map of the trek on route. The muddy trail will take you to the top of the fort where you can enjoy the view.
Temple to Shrivardhan Fort
Once you get back to the Bhairavnath Temple from Manaranjan Fort, you need to climb the well-defined steps to reach Shrivardhan. From here you can see many noticeable highlights like Dhak Bahiri caves and Madan point.
Highlights of the Trek
- View from the Manaranjan Fort and Shrivardhan Fort
- Shrivardhan Fort exploration with Temples and water reservoir
- Kataldhar Waterfall
- Shirota Lake view
- Udaysagar Lake view
- Kondhane Caves
- Mesmerising Sunset
- Abundant Flora and Fauna
- View of famous Valleys and Dam
- Luminous fireflies in May and June
- Camping under stars
- Rappelling in Kataldhar in monsoon
Things to carry
Clothing: your regular wears plus light thermal wear, windproof jacket, scarf, raincoat or poncho and plastic bag.
Trekking: Trekking poles, hiking shoes.
Accessories: Sunglasses, Sunscreen, lip balm and toiletries like paper soap, sanitizer, toothpaste, brush, comb.
Document: carry your photocopy, Adhar card/Driver’s license.
Electronics: Camera with extra batteries, power bank.
Medicines: Your prescription if any, First-Aid, Crocin.
Eatables: Energy bar, Glucose/ORS, dry fruits, water bottles (2 litres), chocolates and snacks.
When to visit
Rajmachi is one of the few treks that offers different experiences in different seasons, all worth experiencing. The monsoon seasons are best to witness the splendid Kataldhar waterfall and dazzling Shirota Lake in its glory. Along these attractions unique to monsoon seasons you will come across rich flora and fauna of the trek. The post monsoon season on the other hand is worth visiting to witness the change in charm of the autumn colours. The views are crystal clear with no fog hindering the sight. May and June are especially reserved for watching the luminous fireflies in the dark at night. It will be enough for you to get transferred to fairyland.