Range trek from Rajgad to Torna
Rajgad – The name describes the place itself. The king of all the forts.
It is to the south-west 40 Kms from Pune. It boasts the highest number of days stayed by Chhatrapati Shivaji on any fort. He spent almost 25/30 yrs here. Rajgad is famou
s for its construction. The fort can be divided into four different parts based on geographical terrain and fortification. These are the three sub-plateaux (Machee) namely Padmavati Machee, Suvela Machee and Sanjevani Machee, and at the centre is the Ballekilla. Padmavati Machee (north end) : This machee is the site of Padmavati Temple, Padmavati Lake, Chor Darwaja, Pali Darwaja, Gunjavane Darwaja, Daru Kothar (storage of arms and ammunition), Diwankhana, Rajwada (ruins), Ghod Tale (Horse Lake), Sadar (office) and Dhalkathi (flag hoisting place). Suvela Machee (south east) : This is another grand machee facing east with lots of secret routes and doorways. This one is a double-stepped fortified machee with the steps separated by a beautiful bastioned doorway. At the end of first step a hole cuts across the rock; one can sit in this hole (nedhe). The final (lowest) step like Sanjeevani Machee has a double curtain wall. To the south side of this machee one can see a beautiful triangular bastion called Kaleswari buruz having an escape door near it. The home of the renowned military leader Tanaji Malusare was in this machee.
Sanjeevani Machee (southwest/west end) : This huge, beautiful and royally constructed machee faces west and has a three-stepped (layered) fortified structure. Each of the lower levels is separated from the higher one by a fortified bastion with a gate that could be defended independently. The lowest level is beautifully fortified by double curtain walls (chilkhathi) separated by a deep trench, on average 12 feet across. One can walk between these walls. The outer wall has openings to let soldiers out for sudden attack. Bale Killa (centre) : This is the highest part of the fort which has remains of palaces, water cisterns and caves. It has a beautiful entrance door called Mahadarwaja. One can view the whole fort and the vast surrounding expanse.
Type: Hill Fort
Heigh Rajgad Fort: 4182 feet
Height Torna Fort: 4200 feet
Base Village: Gunjavne - Velhe
Min Participants: 7
Max Participants: 24
Trek Leader: Mahadevo
About Torna fort:
Torna: the fort is also known as prachandagad (huge fort), due to its massive size. In 1646, when Shivaji was 16, he launched his first military attack by capturing Torna fort, paving the way for the great empire. Many battles have been fought on this fort.
The fort is truly grand and stretches for couple of kilometers.
Fascinating points on Torna fort:
Goddess Toranjai: it is a simple temple where goddesses Somjai and Toranjai are worshiped. Ahead we can see the lakes toran and mhasoba.
Maal and Safeli Bastions: On the west of Kothji Darwaja are the bastion maal, and the latter one is to the south of the former. Near Safeli is the construction called lakadkhaana, where wood was stored. Here is the way to Kokan Darwaja and Budhla Machi.
Budhla Machi: In Marathi ‘budhla’ means vessel, and budhla machi looks like a vessel kept upside down. This cliff is a breathtaking spot on the fort.
Bini Darwaja: This is the main entrance to the fort from velhe and is situated to the northwest of the fort. The bastion on the left side has collapsed. The path ahead leads to the Kothi Darwaja.
Kothi Darwaja: Ascending the steps carved in the rock, we enter the Kothi Darwaja facing east. Here we come across some guard rooms. Way along the wall towards east takes us to the temple of goddess Toranjai.
Hanuman Bastion: This bastion is situated to the east of Kothi Darwaja. Here we can see the idol of hanuman facing south and a flag post. The way ahead leads to the bastion Bhel. Further eastwards we come to Zunjar Machi.
Temple of goddess Mengai: this is the only place on the fort where one can stay. It has two doors and the roof is still there but needs of repairs. In front of the temple is a Deepmala.
Zunjar Machi: It is situated on the western side and is beautiful.