The trail to the top passes through streams, villages and ultimately leads to a historic fort. Rajmachi Fort has two citadels within is premises: the Shrivardhan and Manaranjan Fort. From these forts, soak in stunning views of the Western Ghats and the Bhorghat Pass, a once flourishing route for the Maratha Empire. From the fort, one can also see waterfalls gushing into the valley from mountain tops. Those who love clicking pictures can do so at the fort; the backdrop of green and misty mountains is just perfect for a group snap or a selfie.
Image Credits: wikimedia.org
At some points of the Rajmachi mountain, trains entering and exiting tunnels on the way to Pune can be spotted. On the trek, hikers will get to walk on pathways, flanked on either side by meadows, and climb fort walls.
The guided trek to the Rajmachi Fort is an experience to remember. It is planned and prepared by experienced trekking guides. Apart from the trek, enjoy a homestay at the village and savour delicious local Maharashtrian cuisine. If you choose to, you can also join the fireflies night trek that is usually held in May and June. On the night trek, you can watch fireflies dancing and have fun at a specially curated outdoor camp.
An Overview of the Rajmachi Trek:
Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult
Distance from Mumbai: 311 kilometres
Famous for: Manaranjan & Shrivardhan forts, stunning views of the Western Ghats, an interesting trekking trail.
Trip Duration: One Day, One Night
Trek Distance & Duration: 15 Kilometres, approximately 7 hours to complete the trek. Timings and distances may differ due to multiple route options. Trekking time may be shorter if you choose to complete half the journey by jeep.
Difficulty Level of Rajmachi Trek:
The difficulty of a Rajmachi trek depends on the route you take. Trekking to the fort from Kondana takes around 6 hours to complete and is a difficult task, but if you hike from Lonavala, the trek takes 7 hours to complete and is moderately difficult to complete.
If you are not comfortable with walking for long distances, you can choose to do the short trek from Udhewadi to Rajmachi Fort. Book a SUV jeep ride from Lonavala to get to Udhewadi.
How to reach Rajmachi Fort:
1. You can get to Rajmachi from Mumbai by taking a train from Dadar railway station on the central line. The journey is a two and half hour ride. Form Lonavala, you can book an SUV to Udhewadi or trek straight to Rajmachi fort.
2. It is possible to drive down to Udhewadi from Mumbai, if you have an SUV vehicle. If you are driving down by any other vehicle, make a stop at Lonavala and the book an SUV to Udhewadi. The road towards Udhewadi is not conducive for driving a small or mid-sized vehicle.
3. A third and economical option is by bus, there are many private and MSRTC buses that ply between Mumbai and Lonavala.
Rajmachi Weather Conditions:
1. Summer that lasts from March to May is hot and it can get uncomfortable for trekking.
2. Monsoon sets in June and ends in August, the climate during the season is cooler than in summer.
3. Winters that last from October end to February are cold and cosy. It is the best season to enjoy a trek at Rajmachi.
The Rajmachi Trek Route:
Route 1: Lonavala to Rajmachi
1. There are two ways to do the trek, one is by walking straight from Lonavala to the fort. Another option is going by an SUV vehicle to Udhewadi and then begin trekking to the fort from the village. The latter is an easier route and it is less time consuming.
Route 2: Karjat to Rajmachi
2. The Kondivade village route from Karjat is popular with accomplished trekkers. This route is difficult to trail, so amateurs and trekkers who aren’t used to difficult treks should avoid taking this route to Rajmachi fort.
Best time for Rajmachi Trek:
The best time to trek to Rajmachi fort is between the months of September and November. The weather is cool and it is the best time for a trek to the fort. During the summer, the fireflies night trek is often held at Rajmachi.
Trip Itinerary for Rajmachi fort Trek:
1. Take the 8.30 pm superfast train from Dadar station to Lonavala.
2. Reach Lonavala at 10.30 pm.
3. Head to the homestay and spend the night there.
4. Wake up at 7 am have breakfast.
5. Start the Rajmachi trek at 8 am.
6. Reach Udhewadi village at 11 am.
7. Take a lunch break at the village and make the climb to the fort by 12.30 pm.
8. Reach the fort by 1pm, explore the fort and soak in stunning views of the Western Ghats.
9. Depart back to base at 2 pm to reach Lonavala by 5.30 pm.
10. Freshen up, have tea and snacks, depart back to Mumbai by the 6 pm express train. It reaches Dadar at 8.20 pm.
Trip Itinerary for Rajmachi Fireflies Trek
1. Reach Lonavala by 7pm.
2. Depart for Rajmachi village by jeep at 7.30 pm.
3. Reach the Udhewadi village at 8.30 pm.
4. Freshen up and enjoy some free time at the homestay.
4. Meet for dinner at 11 pm.
5. Sit down in an open area to watch the fireflies in Udhewadi from 11.30 pm.
6. Rest for the night.
7. Wake up early, have a breakfast and then head to the Rajmachi fort for a trek.
8. Trek begins at 8 am.
9. Return back to Lonavala by 5 pm.
10. Catch the 6 pm Express Train to Dadar in Mumbai to reach by 8.20 pm.
Things To Carry:
1. A strong backpack
2. Clothes for two days
3. Mosquito and insect repellent
4. Sunscreen and moisturizer (optional)
5. A cap and sunglasses (optional)
6. Camera and binoculars (optional)
7. A water bottle (at least two litres of water for the trek)
8. A powerful torch, batteries
9. sleeping bag (optional)
10. Jacket or windcheater (optional)
Inclusions & Exclusions:
The trek package includes the following:
1. Trek guide fees.
2. Camping facilities.
3. Transport from Lonavala to Udhewadi (for fireflies trek)
4. First-aid support
6. Meals at homestay
The trek package does not include the following:
1. Train fare to Lonavala
3. Meals on the journey from Mumbai to Lonavala
4. Any other item not mentioned in the inclusions
Disclaimer: The information about the trek here is general. We request that trekkers refer to the details on the specific Event / Trek Booking page for specific detail.
Rajmachi Trek Map:
Rajmachi fort is located at a distance of 95 kilometres from Mumbai. The journey from Mumbai to Rajmachi should take you about 2.5 hours to complete.
3 Amazing Things to Do on the Rajmachi Trek:
1. Camping: You can set up a tent or book one at a campsite at Udhewadi village. Camping is also possible at Rajmachi, but the fort closes post 6 pm.
2. Watch Fireflies: One of the highlights of the Rajmachi trek is watching the fireflies at Udhewadi village. The season for this is between the months of May and June.
3. Explore the Forts: The climb up from Udhewadi to Rajmachi leads you to the Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts. Explore these old forts and browse through its stunning architecture that dates back to more than 100 years ago.
1. Wear a pair of strong and sturdy trekking shoes.
2. Follow the instructions of the group leader.
3. In case you have to, carry all your prescribed medication for the trek
4. Wear comfortable clothing for the trek.