Rajmachi is a small village situated in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Rajmachi is famous for the historical fortress which has two fortified peaks – Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts, located near two famous hills of Lonavala and Khandala.
At the base of the fort is the village Udhewadi which is another name for Rajmachi. Rajmachi has seen many change of hands from Shivaji Maharaj, Emperor Aurangzeb, Shahu Maharaj and eventually the British reign. The fort of Rajmachi is famous among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts. If you want to experience a full-fledged trek, you can start from the Kondhane caves side which will take 3-4 hours of climbing, but otherwise you can drive right upto Udhewadi village (from the Lonavala side) and then trek for hardly 20-30 minutes to the top of the fort. The simple and clearly marked trail on both the paths make Rajmachi a very popular beginner’s trek.
Trek to Rajmachi Fort from Mumbai
Pro tip: You can put these coordinates on Google Maps as the starting point of the trek – this is where you can park your car, so you can navigate to here (18.8418316,73.3764473)
Trek to Rajmachi Fort from Pune
Pro tip: Just type “Rajmachi Fort Udhewadi” on Google maps and you will be able to navigate till here.
History of Rajmachi Fort
After the Marathas, the fort was taken over by the British when the Maratha Kingdom declined in the 19th century. Soon after independence, Rajmachi Fort was declared an ancient and protected monument in Maharashtra. The Buddhist caves dedicated to the local deity are situated on the Western side of the Rajmachi plateau and were carved during 200 BC.
Architecture of Fort Rajmachi
- The Rajmachi Fort has a brilliant architecture and comprises of vast and robust walls, gigantic gateways, residential units, administrative centres, water reservoirs and some secret gateways which were used for exiting purpose at that time.
- The fort is built upon two hill stretches namely Shrivardhan Hill and Manaranjan Hill. Shrivardhan Fort and Manaranjan Fort inside the Rajmachi Fort have been constructed in a traditional Indian style.
- Inside the forts are a few ruined complexes. Since the area is considered as a heavy monsoon area, it has a number of man-made as well as natural water catchment areas. Some manmade lakes have been built in the area for the summers.
- A famous temple known as Kal Bhairavi Temple too has been established here which is decorated beautifully on auspicious occasions.
- The various functionaries and officers in the military and administrative set-up for Rajmachi region under the Maratha rule resided at Rajmachi till the British defeated the Peshwa in the year 1818. Ruins of their big residential houses are found in the forest on the south side of the hamlet Udhewadi.
- A big water reservoir constructed about 200 years ago is situated further down from the forest mentioned above. A carved stone plate in the wall of the water reservoir indicates that it was built by Ramrav Narayanrav Deshmukh, Mamlatdar of Danda Rajpuri (near Murud Janjira in Raigad District).
- An ancient Shiva temple, built in Hemdpanti style, is situated on the western side of the water reservoir. A fountain in the shape of cow-head and a water tank in the front of the temple has been discovered.
Restaurants and Local Food in Rajmachi
However, for the trek, we recommend that you carry some snacks (dry fruits, apple, biscuits, etc) and plentiful of liquids and glucose because you won’t be able to find any food while trekking.