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Rajmachi Fort (Killa) is one of the many historical forts in the rugged hills of Sahyadri mountains (Western Ghats). It consists of two twin fortresses Shrivardhan Ballekilla and Manaranjan Balekilla, with a wide machi (plateau) surrounding the two Balekillas. Udhewadi is a small village of about 22 houses situated on the machi, at the southern foot of Manaranjan Balekilla of Rajmachi Fort
Rajmachi Fort is located near Lonavala you can either drive or trek till here it is around 16 km from Lonavala Bus Depot. Camping is very popular with Mumbaikars it helps you reconnect with nature. We wanted to wish goodbye old year by watching the sunset and welcome new year by watching sunrise from Sahyadri. Event was posted last moment hardly few days before 31st December. Many friends and first time trekkers joined us and made this event successful.
Camping Activities New Year Plan was simple to reach Campsite at Udhewadi village near Rajmachi Fort before Sunset / Enjoy Dinner / DIY Barbeque, Campfire, Stargazing, Jungle Trail, watch Sunrise and return back to Mumbai after camping.
By Road: Lonavala is nearest railway station to reach Rajmachi fort. Lonavala is one of the busiest railway station as many outstation trains stops here. From Mumbai and Pune there are many trains available to reach Lonavala. Once you are at Lonavala station you can hire a taxi or private cab to reach Rajmachi fort.
By Air: Chhatrapati Shivaji International Aiprort is the nearest airport to reach Rajmachi fort. From the airport many private taxies and cabs are available to reach directly to Rajmachi fort.
Meeting point was Lonavala Railway Station we all met here and boarded our Jeep. It takes one hour to reach Campsite Rajmachi Fort. Dhara and Nandish had travelled overnight from Baroda to join us for Camping. Some shopping was pending for Barbeque and Snacks we bought them quickly at Lonavala which is much expensive than Mumbai. Lonavala is a very popular hill station easily accessible for Mumbaikar and Pune people you will always find a crowd here looking for a small break from these two cities.
It was nearly sunset we drove for a half hour and found our self a nice spot and sat down to enjoy our last sunset of the year. Capturing the sunset with a DSLR can be tricky since the camera is directly pointed at the sun and can lead to overexposure. Sunset from Rajmachi is always overlooking Khandala and Dukes Nose a popular Rappelling point.
We reached Rajmachi Camping Site soon after sunset our host had already cooked our dinner. Dinner was yummy and garlic chutney was a hit our tummy was full now it started getting cold now luckily breeze was pleasant. We went for a small walk to Rajmachi Lake it helped us settle dinner. Rajmachi Camp Site was ready Tent were pitched we all shared one tent on twin sharing basis. It was very cold now we started working on campfire we had collected some wood which was very dry it caught fire very easily. Fire is always a morale booster it keeps you going and provides energy and warmth.
It was Barbeque time now our marinated chicken paneer corn vegetables were getting grilled on charcoal fire the marination was just perfect. Everybody started preparing their sticks and enjoying the barbecue we all were suddenly hungry again. Star Gazing was difficult it was cloudy and only a few patches of sky visible. It was 11:55 pm, January 1st was a few minutes away we all started counting to New Year and greeted each other Happy New Year we could see fireworks all over Lonavala from Rajmachi Camp Site. We all enjoyed the barbeque and shared our past trekking and travel experiences and few stories about each other. Most of us were awake till 5.00 am in the morning.
We left for the sunrise at 6:15 am at Shrivardhan Fort the highest point at Rajmachi Fort. It took us 30 mins to reach the Summit. Sky was cloudy morning sun started to rise behind the clouds beautiful streaks of light were being emitted in various colour and patterns. New Year welcomed with beautiful and peaceful sunrise at Shrivardhan Fort perfectly as planned. Shrivardhan Fort has many caves and water tanks to explore you can stay in the cave water is available nearby from various water tank.
After a late breakfast we were relaxing at Rajmachi Camping Site we cooked some Maggi Noodles and Top Rehman Curry as snack it was a cloudy morning so we could just sleep in the shade weather was perfect for relaxing. It was lunchtime we enjoyed our delicious food. It was time to leave for Lonavala our jeeps were waiting. We took lot of new memories and made new friends and hoped new year would be a prosperous one.
Treks and Trails India has many camping sites in Lonavala, Rajmachi Fort near Lonavala is popular for camping around Mumbai many options are available with Treks and Trails India. Maharashtra is blessed with Mountains and Beaches which are ideal for Camping near Mumbai.