Rajmachi Fort Trek is one of the most famous treks in Sahyadris near Mumbai. The trek takes you through some very beautiful landscapes in the Sahyadris. You can make it a one day trek or a 2-day trek – depending on the route you plan to take and the time that you want to spend. We would suggest a 2-day itinerary.
Rajmachi Fort Trek – 2 Trek Routes available
Since we travelled from Navi Mumbai all the distances will be in that respect.
There are 2 base points for Rajmachi Fort Trek – one from Lonavala and the other from Kondhane near Karjat in Mumbai.
One from Lonavala is an easier option comparatively and it is more of a trail. This route gives you an option to take your vehicle all the way up to Udhewadi village; but refrain from doing so in the monsoons. It takes around 3 hrs to reach the village from the start point – Kataldhaar check post. The checkpost is about a km ahead of Della Adventures.
While the walk to Udhewadi is a trail that suits even the beginners, the route from Kondhane is a steep climb all the way up to Udhewadi. This route challenges you and takes anywhere between 3.5 to 4 hrs to reach the village. Overall time taken for the Rajmachi Fort Trek is 5 hrs.
How to reach the base of Rajmachi Fort Trek?
By Private Car/Bike
You can take your vehicle all the way to the base village Udhewadi, in case you do not want to hike this distance. If you are interested in the hike then park your vehicle at Kataldhaar check post.
You can take your vehicle to the start point of the Rajmachi Fort trek and park your vehicle anywhere you find some open space. There are couple of tea shops around there.
Catch a train from either Mumbai or Pune to Lonavala. Hire a taxi which will drop you at the Kataldhaar base point from where you can start your hike all the way up to Udhewadi. To and Fro Taxi from Lonavala station can cost around 2000 Rs. You can also choose to hire the taxi for Udhewadi which will cost you more – but in monsoons it might be tough to find one.
Catch a train to reach Karjat and from there take an auto to drop you at the Kondhane village, from where you need to start your Rajmachi Fort trek.
Difficulty level for Rajmachi Fort Trek
Easy to Moderate grade
Moderate to Difficult grade
Detailed account of Rajmachi Fort Trek from Lonavala Route
We started from Belapur at around 11AM in the morning for Rajmachi trek and reached the base point around 2PM. The road after Della is not that great and it’s more of an off-road experience. So if you have taken your own vehicle, please drive carefully. At the Kataldhaar checkpost, you need to pay an entry fee of 100 INR. Please do not forget to take the receipt, you will need to show it when you reach Udhewadi village. Once you cross the checkpost, you can start the trek. You can also take your vehicle further 1 km from the check post. Since we travelled in our car, we parked it at this point and started our hike.
Rajmachi Fort Trek from the checkpost is a 8km long trail. The walk through the jungle is pretty easy, it is more or less a straight walk. During monsoons it might get muddy and hence a little slippery at places. But overall it’s a pretty easy trail. Fanasrai is one of the villages that you find enroute. It is till here that you can take your vehicles if you want to. There is a small bridge to cross.
Jungle walk is beautiful and you can enjoy the bliss and solitude and hear the birds chirping. After about an hour you will reach a point where you will find 2 ways. There is a board which mentions the distance to Rajmachi Fort and Udhewadi village. Road to the right is the route to the village and on the left is a trail that takes you directly to the Rajmachi Fort. From this point it is a 5 km trail to Rajmachi Fort.
The route is pretty well paved and you wont face any issues finding your way ahead. Just keep walking. You might find a few furry friends along the way. You will also find a couple of small and basic chai points enroute.
After almost a 2.5 hour walk, you come to a view point. There is big chai point at that location where you can get chai, maggi, biscuit, nimbu paani. This is the point from where you can see the Kataldhaar waterfall at the other end of the valley. From here Udhewadi village is a 15-20 min walk while Rajmachi fort is almost 1 hour hike. This is good place to take a quick break.
Just before entering the village there is check post where you will need to either show your receipt OR you will have to pay the entry fee. Right after this entry point, you need to take a trail on your right hand side to walk for the Rajmachi Fort Trek. Go straight ahead if you want to go to the village first.
Trail to follow for Rajmachi Fort
The route to the Rajmachi Fort is well paved and well marked. The initial 5 min walk is through a well defined pavement which ends at a huge open ground. This is the point from where you would see 2 trails – one on the right which takes you to the Shrivardhan fort and the other one on your left which takes you to the Manoranjan fort.
Shrivardhan is a bigger fort and the more renowned than the other one. If you have less time at hand then we would recommend you Shrivardhan Fort. However we would definitely suggest you to cover both the forts which takes roughly 3 hours of time. To explore just the Shrivardhan fort, you need around 1.5 hr.
The hike to the Shrivardhan fort from the base point takes you around 45min. You witness some of the best valley views along the way. With cool breeze blowing, you will feel enchanted and happy.
Sunset View during Rajmachi Fort Trek
Especially if you are hiking during the evening hours – after 5PM, you are in for a treat. We started our hike to the fort at 5:30 PM and we were greeted with red cheeked dusk kissing the sky. One of the best times to be there.
The route till the fort entrance is well marked. You will find a mix of rocky route and the stairs carved out of stones. Pretty decent hike. Just after the fort entrance, keep walking on your right and you will reach a view point from where you get the feeling as if you are on the edge of the valley.
You find a flag hoisted and fluttering in its full glory. There is also a small Shivling nearby. You can pay your respects there and continue exploring the fort. If you go further ahead and downhill, you will come to a great viewpoint from where you get to see Kataldhaar waterfall right in-front of you at the other end of the mountain.
In the solitude there, you can here the sounds of the waterfall even from such a huge distance. It is just so magnificent. Just sit there and soak in the experience listening to the sounds of the nature.
Exploring Udhewadi Village during Rajmachi Fort Trek
We went for a 2 day trek and hence we had ample time at our hands to explore in and around the village. Rajmachi is a very famous trek in the Sahyadris and Udhewadi is well-known as the base village of the Rajmachi fort trek. Villagers here rely quite heavily on the tourism that this place has to offer. Hence you will find almost every house in the village providing you with the homestay facilities (which are as basic as an empty room). During the peak season it even gets hard to find a place to stay.
Luckily for us we went here after the monsoons and we were the only 2 trekkers out there that day. So we enjoyed the complete solitude and the best hospitality. We encountered a few trekkers during the day but none of them stayed back. We stayed in Aryan Homestay which is right at the main junction of the village. There is a new house that they have built which is not yet complete. They gave us the complete room to ourselves for 500Rs.
For a veg thali they charged us 180 INR per person which had 2 sabzi, 1 daal, roti, rice, papad, salad, pickle and 2 gulab jamun. It was a decent supper and with no restriction on quantity.
Owners of the place are really nice people and we had a great time staying there. Since the rooms did not have any doors or anything, they provided us with the mosquito repellant to keep the insects at bay. They provided us with the mattress, pillows and bedsheets for the night. Since we were carrying our sleeping bags, we didn’t need any of those.
In the morning we walked around the village and went up to the meadows around. It takes around 10-15 min to reach the meadows. It is here that you find a serene and tranquil lake – Uday Sagar Lake.
Right opposite the lake is a centuries old rock temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
A very beautiful locale with lush green fields all around and cattle grazing lazily and happily around. You get to see the Kataldhaar waterfall even from here.
Again we were the only 2 souls out there and had a great time soaking in the beauty that surrounded us. So if you are an adventure seeker who love to have some alone time or who want to be away from the hub-bub and the crowd, then we would suggest you visit the place during the end of monsoons. We will definitely recommend you to stay in the village and enjoy the place to the fullest.
Hope that you liked our account of Rajmachi Fort Trek. In case you are interested in exploring more treks, please check our recommended treks in Sahyadri ranges.
We will be happy to assist you in any way forward. Till our next adventure…..