- ‘Rajmachi trek and Camping’- the name itself tells what this trek is most famous for in Maharashtra. One of the wonders you will witness on this trek is watching Fireflies at night. The environment here in Sahyadri hills is very favorable for fireflies to live and flourish. During Rajmachi camping at night, you can easily enjoy nature's light show by playing with them while the little creatures will amuse you, the whole night. Stargazing during the night while camping on this fort would nurture the astronomical interest in one. The Rajmachi trek will be a lifetime experience for you.
- Rajmachi fort is one of the many forts that has been cuddled by Sahyadri mountains with its rugged and lush green arms in western ghats which is the world biodiversity heritage site. The fort is 2700 ft. above the sea which promises the most scenic view of western ghats and their flora-fauna along with the backwaters of the Shirota dam. Rajmachi fortification comprises two forts- Shrivardhan fort and Manaranjan fort. Shrivardhan fort was used as a watchtower due to its height (3000 ft.) while Manaranjan fort is comparatively low in height but one can enjoy views of Karnala fort from here.
- From the roots of Indian history, it is found that the Rajmachi fort was built as a defensive fort to have a lookout on Bor Ghats since this is a significant route for traders to reach Mumbai, an important trade center in the west. Because of its significant importance, it has a very interesting history. This fort was built by Satavahana who established their kingdom after the decline of the Mourya Empire. The fort came to light when Shivaji became the king of Marathas. In the year 1657, Shivaji fought with Adilshaha and brought this fort under his control. In 1704, after the death of Sambhaji Maharaj (son of Shivaji Maharaj), the Mughals attacked the fort and took it under control only to lose it again to Marathas when they attacked it in the following year. In the 19th century, the Maratha dynasty started declining, and finally, in the year 1818, this fort was under British-India rule.
- After India’s independence, this fort was announced as an ancient heritage place and a protected monument in Maharashtra. Different Buddhist caves, manmade water storage tanks, temples, ruined complexes, and walls of forts attract a lot of archeological, architectural, and historical enthusiasts. Apart from the historical and architectural brilliance, one would surely fall in love with the beauty of nature and the surrounding in which this fort has perched. As Rajmachi fort is situated midway between Pune and Mumbai, and just a few km away from the all-time favorite Lonavala hill station, it’s one of the best trekking places in Mumbai. In short, the Rajmachi fort fireflies trek and Camping is the all-in-one package to get one step closer to nature and experience it thoroughly.
- With time, the fort has developed its identity and came up with the new identity as 'Rajmachi Trek’. It attracts trekkers from all around the world to enjoy the trails that are an indivisible part of the Western Ghats. It also excites the novice trekkers more because of its easy to moderate difficulty level but an exhausting trail at the same time. Generally, it takes two days to completely explore this trek as a result 'Rajmachi camping’ becomes a synergistic part of this trek. After getting exhausted by exploring the trek on day 1, camping at night encourages your energy level to explore unexplored parts of this trek on day 2. Rajmachi trek and Rajmachi camping together make a complete package which you are looking for to spend your valuable holidays in nature's surroundings.
- Witnessing the sunrise and the sunset from the fort during Rajmachi camping is a mesmerizing memory that can be preserved for the years to come. It also helps you to experience the fascinating night at Sahyadri hills by witnessing the fireflies during Rajmachi camping. The fort has witnessed a lot of mesmerizing treks and campings but still waiting for you to come and enjoy its glorious legacy.
Trek Details :
- Fort Elevation: Jungle trail
- Difficulty: Easy
- Endurance: Moderate
- Length: Approx. 17 km one way
- Height of fort: 2710 feet approx.
- Nearest City: Lonavala
- Stay: Tent stay
- Washrooms: Limited basic village toilets
- Sightseeings: Shrivardhan Fort Exploration
- Meals: Local village food
- Separate stay for females
Date Batches :
- January: 21st, 26th, 28th.
- February: 4th, 11th,18th, 25th
- Saturday Batch: Rs 1199/-
- Couple Tent : Rs 200/- per person
Tents will be sanitized. However, we request you to sanitize them before use.
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What is included in the tour
- Jeep Transportation Lonavla to Lonavala
- Breakfast & Tea
- Dinner( Veg Thali)
- Entry Charges.
- Expertise Charges.
- First Aid
LONAVALA TO LONAVALA:
(For Mumbai and Pune Participants)
- 07:00 PM: Reach Lonavala station and report to the trek leaders
- 08:00 PM: Reach Base village
- 09:30 PM: Have a delicious Dinner ( Authentic Maharashtrian Local Veg Thali)
- 10:30 PM: Enjoy the overnight camping stay with strangers turned into family, nearby the lake and under the sky full of stars, Have rest and reenergize yourself for the next morning's trek.
- 05:00 AM: Wake up call, Get freshen up
- 05:20 AM: Start trek to Rajmachi Fort
- 06:30 AM: Reach the peak and enjoy the beautiful view of sunrise and surrounding. Click photos.
- 08:00 AM: Start descending to the base village
- 09:00 AM: Reach Base Village, Wrap your tents, and have Breakfast
- 09:30 AM: Explore Shiv Temple and lake outside the Village
- 10:30 AM: Start return journey to Lonavala.
- 11:30 AM: Reach Lonavala. Goodbye until the next time!!!
(Due to the heavy rush of trekkers Return transportation service may get delayed, so we request you to be patient and cooperative)
- Jeep Transportation Lonavla to Lonavala
- Breakfast & Tea
- Dinner( Veg Thali)
- Entry Charges.
- Expertise Charges.
- First Aid
- Travel till pickup points
- 5% Gst
- Mineral water/lime water/ purchased for personal consumption
- All kinds of Extra Meals / soft drinks ordered
- Any kind of personal expenses
- Any kind of cost which is not mentioned in the cost including above
- All expenses incurred due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances like roadblocks, bad weather
- Any medical / Emergency evacuations if required
- The visibility of fireflies is an absolutely natural phenomenon depending upon climatic conditions and Atmosphere on that particular day.
- These events are happening in pre-monsoon time and thus it may rain on the day of the event during our camping stay. In such a situation, we will try to provide available homestay in the village but considering the huge rush of trekkers, there might be a shortage of the stay facility, so trekkers are expected to adjust accordingly.
- The village is very secluded and doesn't have proper washrooms, stays, networks, or hotels.
- Due to the huge amount of rush to watch fireflies, there might be a long queue for transportation from the base village to Lonavala.
- Similarly, due to rains, roads may not be accessible for vehicles till the base village. In these circumstances, trekkers may have to take a walk to the point from where the road is accessible for vehicles.
- Above mentioned circumstances absolutely depend upon climatic conditions and are not in our control hence the alterations that we have to make in our scheduled itinerary, camping stay, transport, etc. are not liable to claim for any sort of refund.
Reporting Point :
- 07:00 PM: Lonavala Railway Station
- 011:30 PM: Lonavala Station.
The return timings may vary from 12 PM to 4 PM, as there is limited transport from the base village. Kindly be patient and cooperative
Things to do at Rajmachi:
- Trekking up to Rajmachi point is the only way you are going to reach the top. Surrounded by lush tall grasses, with the flitting butterflies and the chirping birds, a trek to Rajmachi is what any urban trekker would ask for.
- If you have your bike then there is a patch of about 16 km from Lonavala to the base of the hill, full of pebbles and slippery mud, where you can enjoy off-roading.
- The Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary has several endemic and migratory birds that fly in for the winter. So if you go at right time, you will get a chance to watch different birds and enjoy their chirping while climbing the trek.
- Caves, Temples, westerns Ghats, Birds, and Flourished nature are some of the many reasons why one should carry a camera on the trek.
- If you want quality rich content and gain some subscribers to your channel, vlogging is the best option to do here.
- Camping is another favorite thing trekkers like to do here. Camping on the fort in caves with alike minded people and sharing experiences with each other would help you to lose all the trekking fatigue. There is another option of camping out in Udhewadi- the base village where you can get some good food and the best hospitality from the villagers.
- The most important thing to do while night camping is to watch fireflies. Come early monsoons and late summers, you will find a hoard of these little creatures, illuminating the night sky like millions of stars.
- Stargazing is yet another favorite thing people come to do. Due to the lack of any artificial light during the night, one can easily take the fun stargazing.
- Carrying a telescope will surely give a feast to your eyes as the view of Pune- Mumbai expressway, Karnala fort, Shirota dam backwater, and a lot more waterfalls is a way different experience.
Places to visit near Rajmachi:
- The trek to Rajmachi will make you exhausted. However, if you are willing to explore more places, there is a list of places you can explore nearby. Lonavala is the nearest city and Hill station where you can visit Bhushi dam, Ekvira temple, and Karla & Bhaja caves which are situated next to the Ekvira temple.
- If you are still not tired of the trek then there is a medium trek for you which is the Lohgad fort trek at an elevation of 1033 m. above sea level. One can enjoy the lakeside camping at Shirota dam backwaters which is east of the Rajmachi fort. Since the fort is surrounded by Sahyadri hills from almost all of its sides, different waterfalls are a very common thing that you will get to explore while on the route to the fort.
- Bhairavnath temple is one of the famous attractions that attracts lots of devotees on special occasions like Mahashivaratri. Kondana Buddhist caves are yet another famous attraction and piece of architecture which is in the way of trekking the fort from the Karjat side.
- The most famous campsite near Rajmachi fort is Pawana lakeside camping. It is the most visited artificial lake in Maharashtra. If you are planning some more days then don’t forget to visit nearby adventure parks and resorts to enjoy different adventures and some rest that you deserve after trekking the marvelous Rajmachi fort.
How to reach Rajmachi:
- Rajmachi Fort is located midway between Pune and Mumbai so you can choose either to come from any of the cities. There are two ways one can take to reach the fort, one is from the Karjat side and the other is from the Lonavala side. If you are planning to visit Rajmachi on local transport then take any local train which travels between Pune- Mumbai. Get down at Karjat from where you can hire an auto to reach Kondhana village. It is the base of the Rajmachi trek from where you have to trek for around 3-4 hours to reach the top.
- Another way to reach Rajmachi is to take a local train from either of the city to reach Lonavala from where you can hire an auto to reach the Tungarli dam which is 4 km from Lonavala station. The rest 16 km from Tungarli to Udhewadi base village has to be covered on foot. It hardly takes 30 mins to reach the top from Udhewadi base village. If you are planning to drive by road, then the distance of the Rajmachi trek from Pune is 82 km and from Mumbai, it is 94 km. after reaching Lonavala which is about 75km from either of the cities you will have to reach Udhewadi- the base village of the trek. If it’s not the rainy season, you are lucky enough to get local transport to cover that 16 km phase from Lonavala to Udhewadi. If you have your transport you can directly reach the base in your car/bike but please make sure your vehicle has enough ground clearance to cover that off-road patch.
Things to carry:
- A photograph.
- Good grip shoes.
- Torch with extra batteries.
- Sleeping bag / Mat with blankets
- Extra Pair of clothes.
- Water bottles 2-3 liters.
- Ready to eat food, like plum cakes, chocolate bar, some snacks & biscuits, etc.
- Electoral or Glucon D powder.
- Personal medicines. Sun protection cap, goggles.
COVID Guidelines :
- Mask and maintaining social distance with others are mandatory throughout the trip.
- Buses will be fully sanitized before use.
- Carrying your own sanitizers, gloves, face shield and mask is compulsory.
- Food will be freshly cooked and packed as per WHO guidelines.
- 75% refund if notified via phone conversation 8 or more days before the event date.
- 50 % refund if notified via phone conversation 4 to 7 days before the event date.
- No refund if the cancellation requested is less than 3 days before the event date
- No show No Refund.
- Event Tickets cannot be transferred to another date against cancellation.
- Event Tickets cannot be transferred to another person against cancellation.
- If Trek gets canceled we will refund "Trek Amount" only.
- Seats will be reserved only after full payment.
- The detailed schedule of the trek will be given later to registered participants on the WhatsApp group.
- Organizers have all the right to modify or change the schedule if required.
- Organizers hold the right to cancel any event and refund with prior notice.
- We strictly follow a no alcohol, no drugs, and no litter policy.
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Can I travel solo for the Rajmachi trek?
Of course yes, even we encourage people to travel solo so that they can meet more like-minded people on trek and enjoy the trek in a whole different way. While coming to safety, safety is the first most priority of our community. So there are almost zero problems with doing a solo trek to Rajmachi.
Is the Rajmachi trek difficult?
It’s an ideal trek to start your trekking routine with as the difficulty level of this trek is easy to moderate. There are not many stiff climbs but one will get exhausted while walking the trail full of lush greenery and views to the fort. So even experienced trekkers won’t get bored while doing the trek.
What is the best time to visit Rajmachi trek?
The ideal time is in the monsoon as you can enjoy lush green vegetation all around the region along with a lot of waterfalls on the way to the trek. These scenic views and experiences would help you to feel fresh throughout the trek. In addition to the treat to your eyes, you can experience a lot of adventures like slippery trails and climbs, dense fog, rain, and windstorms that won’t let you stand steadily. Winter is also a good option to do this trek as the trek will keep you warm in the cool and pleasant weather of winters. The hidden peaks of forts above the clouds are yet another lifelong lasting experience one can take during winters. Summer is not a good time to visit this place as humid and hot weather in summer will trouble you trekking this fort and perhaps will not let you enjoy the real fun of trekking this fort.
What is the best time to visit Rajmachi fireflies?
Monsoon or pre-monsoon is an ideal time to visit Rajmachi fort to experience the view of fireflies at night. There is some chance where you can get to see fireflies in the winter but if you have to experience the real thrill of watching fireflies, visit the place in the monsoon.
When will Rajmachi fireflies season 2021 start?
Rajmachi fireflies season 2021 will arrive before the monsoon starts, the weather between summer and rainy season, a period where you can play with fireflies, the little creatures while they keep awaken you all night.
What is the Rajmachi trek distance from Mumbai?
It is approximately 94 km away from Mumbai if you are traveling by road from the Lonavala side. You will have to reach Lonavala which is 75 km away from Mumbai. Lonavala to Rajmachi is approximately 17 km.
If you are traveling from the Karjat side, you will have to reach Karjat by local train. There are auto transport services from Karjat to Kondhana village- the base village.
What is the Rajmachi trek distance from Pune?
Rajmachi is approximately 82 km away from Pune if you are traveling by road through Lonavala. You will have to reach Lonavala which is 65 km away from Pune. Lonavala to Rajmachi is approximately 17 km.
Are toilets available on the Rajmachi trek?
No, but if it’s urgent you can attend nature's call in open. Toilets are available in the base village so you can freshen up there too.
What is the condition of the mobile network at Rajmachi fort?
While climbing up the trek, you can get poor network connectivity but when you reach the top there is less possibility of not getting a network. If you are lucky enough then you can get a good network to send some messages and to make some calls but again possibility is close to zero.
Is smoking and drinking alcohol allowed during the Rajmachi fort trek?
Smoking and drinking alcohol are strictly prohibited on this trek. One found doing this is not allowed to join the expedition and will be told to leave the place immediately. This place comes under the world biodiversity heritage site so it's our national duty to not spoil this place with such notorious activities.
Is Rajmachi fort trek safe?
Yes, it is completely safe. You will be guided by professional trekkers and your safety is their first most priority. While trekking you will be provided with safety equipment where there is a need. Also, you will be told to bring personal safety-related things e.g. First aid kits, insect repellant, and other such things to ensure your safety. You will need to be more cautious if you are visiting trek in the monsoon as there will be many slippery places.
Is there an ATM nearby?
There are ATMs of union bank, IDBI Bank, Vijaya bank, state bank of India, Bank of India, and several other banks near Rajmachi.
How can we get food during camping?
You can ask locals from the base village to cater your food as per your requirement. They will provide you food at your preferred time at the campsite. You can also camp at the base village and get food from them. As a part of camping activities, You can also carry some easy-to-make food packages with you on camping like Maggi, Eggs, etc. to have it while enjoying bonfire but don't spoil the beauty of the premises by throwing empty packets in open. Keep them with you and take them down the fort to the dustbins.
How many days will be required for this Event?
Two days and one night are enough to enjoy trekking, night camping, and other activities at this fort. If you are short of time then you can also do one day trek. Again it’s as per your convenience.
Can we drive to the base of this trek?
You can drive from Lonavala to the base village of this trek but you should check that your car has enough ground clearance to tackle that 16km of the off-road patch. It will be more dangerous if you are planning to drive in the monsoon as the complete off-road patch would be full of pebbles and slippery mud. So it’s good to avoid driving here in the monsoon.
Where can we park our cars?
Lonavala. But if you are planning to cover the Rajmachi trek distance from Lonavala to base village Udhewadi then you can park your car at the village. You can ask nearby local people to take care of your car but again it’s at your own risk. There is no commercial car parking at all.
Are kids allowed on the trek?
Kids below the age of 9 are not allowed on the trek hence you will need to carry an I card so that age of the kid can be identified. Moreover, kids under the age of 17 should be accompanied by the parents to enjoy the camping activities more safely.
How can I get drinking water on the trek?
You can carry water with you on the trek. If it gets over then there is no chance of getting filtered water throughout the trail to the fort. But you can get normal well water which can be refilled in the reusable water bottles that are carried by you. At the top, you can get water from the old manmade water tanks which will quench your thirst with some real natural flavor, which is also a camping activity.
Can I charge my phone?
Udhewadi village doesn’t receive electricity so carrying a Power bank would be a great option to look for.
Can we listen to music on a Bluetooth speaker?
Listening to music on a speaker or earphones is not allowed while trekking the fort for safety purposes. You can listen to music at the campsite on speaker unless and until no one is getting disturbed. Again using speakers at homestays is not permitted.
Can we complete the trek in one day?
Yes, you can complete the trek in one day but it is advisable to give it two days to explore the complete fort and the caves.
Which trekking route is most preferable?
If you want to enjoy the trek in a full-fledged adventurous way then you should go from the side of Kondhane caves which will take up to 4 hours to climb. This is considered one of the best treks in Maharashtra. You can also drive right up to Udhewadi village and climb up the trek in 30-40 min to the top. You can choose one of these two routes at your convenience.
Can we do an overnight trek to Rajmachi?
Overnight trek to Rajmachi is one of the things in camping activities which is possible and an adventurous thing to do in full moonlight. Also, make sure you carry torches and wear full shoes during the night trek and night camping.
What are the permissions and charges for the Rajmachi trek?
You don’t need any permission to trek this fort however a fee of rupees 5 is collected at the base village by the local committee for the wellness of the trekkers. If you are traveling in your own vehicle from Lonavala and Rajmachi then Rs 100 needs to be paid for a 4 wheeler and Rs 20 needs to be paid for 2 wheeler