Rajgad Fort Trek
Rajgad is an enormous fort. Rajgad means King of all forts. It located south-west 60 Kms from Pune. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj spent a great deal of his time on this fort close to 25 years. Rajgad is famous for its construction layout. The fort can be divided into four different parts based on geographical terrain and fortification. There are three sub-plateau Machi, namely Padmavati Machi, Suvela Machi, and Sanjevani Machi, and at the centre is the Ballekilla.
Take a step into history as you take this exciting trek from Pune, visit the Padmavati temple, and the Ancient Fort ruins. Rajgad Trek is a moderate level trek that begins at the Gunjavane Village in Pune District and ends at the Rajgad Fort. Rajgad is truly the King of all forts. It is famous for its structure. Rajgad is surrounded by Sinhagad, Torna, Mangalgad, and Purandar. Popular Maharashtra trekking and weekend destination from Pune; Rajgad, lies at a distance of about 65 Km from Pune. Rajgad fort to Torna fort trekking is famous amongst advanced trekkers.
Often in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we get so caught up with the monotony that we miss out on the little things that the world has to offer us. Ancient hill forts not only provide its visitors with ancient legends but also soothe their nerves. If you are keen to explore one of these beautiful hill forts, then it is advisable to plan a tour of Rajgad fort.
Rajgad Fort Trek Event Details
- Rajgad Fort Type: Hill Fort
- Rajgad Height: 4182 feet
- Grade: Medium
- Endurance: Medium
- Base Village: Gunjavne
- Stay at Padmavati Temple
- Cost - Rs. 1800
Rajgad Fort Trek Bus Route from Pune
Day 1 – Saturday
- 05:15 Meet at Bank of Maharashtra, Shivajinagar branch.
- 05:30 Departure for Rajgad Fort.
- 05:40 Pick up at McDonald’s, J.M. Road.
- 06:00 Pick up at P. L. Deshpande garden.
- 06:20 Pick up at Navale bridge.
- 07:30 Reach at base village and Breakfast.
Rajgad Kila Trek Short Itinerary
- 08:00 Start ascending the Rajgad Killa
- 11:00 Reach on top. Explore Padmavati Machi and Temple.
- 12:30 Lunch and Relax
- 14:00 Visit Balekilla
- 16:00 Move towards Sanjivani Machi
- Enjoy sunset at Sanjivani Machi.
- After sunset back to the Padmavati Temple.
- 21:00 Dinner.
- 05:00 Wake up and freshen up.
- 05:30 Move towards Suvela Machi for sunrise.
- Watch the sunrise from Suvela Machi.
- Back to the Padmavati Temple and Breakfast.
- 08:30 Start descending.
- 11:30 Reach at base village and Lunch.
- 12:30 Start return journey to Pune.
- 14:00 Approx. arrival at Pune.
What is included in the tour
- Pune to Pune travel by private non-AC vehicle
- Saturday – 1 veg Breakfast and 1 veg Dinner, Sunday - 1 veg Breakfast and 1 veg Lunch
- Treks and Trails expertise charges
What is NOT included in the tour
- Lunch for Saturday
- All kinds of Extra Meals / Drinks Ordered
- Insurance, tips, Porters, bottled mineral water, aerated drinks etc.
- Any kind of personal expenses. (Camera charges, etc.)
- Any kind of cost, which is not mentioned in the cost, includes above
- All expenses incurred due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances like roadblocks, bad weather
- Lunch for Saturday
- Trekking shoes are must
- 2/3 liters of water
- Good Torch must with extra batteries
- A haversack to put in all the things to be carried so that our hands free while trekking
- Sleeping material – sleeping mat and sleeping bag or 2 bedsheets
- Jacket, extra pair of clothes, towel
- Some Dry fruits / Dry Snacks / Energy Bars
- Glucon D / ORS / Tang / Gatorade sachets
- Sun Cap and Sunscreen
- Personal First aid and Personal Medicine
- Identity Proof
- Please wear Full sleeves and Full Track Pant this will protect from Summer Sun / Thorns / Insects / Prickles
The Rajgad Trek
As the name suggests, the Rajgad Trek is one of the most beautiful treks of Maharashtra. The western ghats are enriched with their presence because of the rich architecture that it embodies. It has mesmerized all the trekkers from eons and hence acts as an invitation for many more to take their trekking journey.
Situated at an altitude of 4514 feet near Pune, this fort was built on Murumb Devacha Dongar Hill with a diameter of about 40 km. Its colossal size seizes it from all around, which helped the Marathas strategize better when the enemies planned the attacks on the fort.
Built in the capital city of Rajgad, it was home to Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for 26 years. The fort was built very beautifully with an exotic layout.
The Trek to Rajgad:
The Trek to the Rajgad offers the beautiful scenic beauty of the Sahyadris. The famous Machis: Padmavati, Sanjivani, and Suvela Machi. All three of them are a beautiful portrayal of the architectural creativity the artisans had in those times. Nearby the fort is the ashrams, water cisterns, and temples rich in architecture and have been a center of attraction for many years. The Rajgad Fort offers a splendid view of many other forts in and around Sahyadris.
What all can I expect on the way to Rajgad Trek:
The Architecture: The temple's architecture was personally monitored by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Hence it stands out of all the forts that Sahyadris is home to. The Machis(watchpoints) stand out with their snake-like appearance. Built with double fortified walls, the impression is scenic and worth watching. There are also houses, small lakes, and temples that represent the rich history that the Marathas had.
The view from the fort: The view from the fort is soulful as nature offers itself in its best form and the view of the forts like Lingnan, Singagad, Torna, Raigadis as tempting as is the experience of witnessing the Sun God bestowing upon you the warmth that you desire early in the morning.
The Natural Hole at the Rajgad: At the Suvela Machi, there's a naturally created hole on the wall. Known as the Nedhe in the Marathi Language, its enormous size makes it visible from all around the Plateau and even distant forts like Sinhagad Fort.
The Elephant structure on the rock on Suvela Machi: A vast structure represents an Elephant on a huge rock and one of the best views to watch out for on the Trek.
The Rajgad Fort Trekking Routes:
Rajgad can be reached from various routes, but here we are discussing one of the famous routes that begin from Gunjavane Village and are exhaustive.
The Whole trail can be divided into three different sections:
Step 1: Gunjavane Village to the Plateau – 30 minutes
Step 2: The Plateau to the Chor Darwaza- 2 hours
Step 3: Historic Places on the Rajgad Fort- 3-4 hours
Step 1: Gunjavane Village to the Plateau
Trek Distance: Around 1 km.
Duration of the Trek: 30 minutes.
The Rajgad Trek starts from the Gunjavane Village behind Suvela Garden hotel. It's a small village with few hotels to serve you good food and resting options. Once you cross the Suvela Garden Hotel, you reach an entrance spot after a 5-minute walk from where the Trek starts.
A more straightforward, the short trail will lead you to some fantastic spots on the earth that are mesmerizing and view to live for. The initial course starts through a wide muddy field for about 15-20 minutes.
The trail is a gradual climb, where you constantly come across the open area and the forest area on an alternate basis. The path is full of loose rocks and mud. After a few minutes of the climb, you will trek parallel to Suvela Machi, and then you reach a plateau, where you can witness Rajgad Fort and Nedhe. Here you can take a break and grab some snacks before continuing the Trek further.
Step 2: The Plateau to Chor Darwaza
The Trek Distance: 3 km
Duration of the Trek: 2.30 hours
After the snack, you can continue your journey ahead to the fort. It starts with a gradual ascent and a simple proper trail to Chor Darwaza. It's a beautiful trail filled with various flowers, especially during the monsoon season. This trail of 30-40 minutes takes you to a ridge that leads you to the fort through a rocky patch.
Being the steepest section, there are no proper-cut steps; the only support you have are the railings that go till the entrance of the Chor Darwaza.
While you enter the Chor Darwaza, be mindful of your head. Once you exit the Chor Darwaza, you climb up to Sahyadris and head towards Padmavati Machi; the majestic view of the Sahyadris calls for your attention.
It will take around two and half hours to reach the top of the Village Gunjavane.
Step 3: Places that left their mark in the history
You can witness all the small temples, lakes, and houses on the top of the entrance. Trek there for about 10 minutes. The next destination is Padmavati Temple and the lake. It's a spot where camping is permitted, and you can lay under the stars to experience nature at its best.
You will witness some Old Canons, Daru-Gola, Sadar, Saibai's Tomb, and a water cistern that has some potable water in it.
Post this experience, and your trail splits into three sections. The one in front is the path to Balekilla, to the left is Suvela Machi and to the right is Sanjivani Machi.
Out of all three, Sanjivani Machi is the longest, with about a 2.5 km long route and a fortified wall. Architecture is one of the best to witness. While you approach the Sanjivani Machi, you experience a descent towards Alu Darwaza, it's an exit, and from here, you connect to the Torna Fort Ridge.
The next trail to Balekilla is quite steep. The trekkers' best support is the ropes tied on the rocky patches, and they support you while you climb up to your final destination.
After about 25 minutes, moments before you reach Balekilla, Maha Darwaza is 6 meters high. This beautiful door leads you to the Chandrakor Pond, that's in the shape of half crescent moon.
This is the spot where you witness the Pratapgad, Tung, Lingana, Visapur, Sinhagad and Torna, and all the Shayadris based forts. The most enchanting view is the Sahyadris, Raireshwar Plateau, and Mahabaleshwar Range.
While you start descending from the Balekilla, you can find a trail that goes towards the right through thick bushes and shrubs and leads you to Suvela Machi.
After about 15 minutes to Suvela Machi, there's one small Hanuman temple that falls just left of you as you continue on the trail and you find yourself at the underground hidden door. It's an underground passage that's an entry and exit point and acted as security checkpoints in the historical times when the fort was abode to the royal family.
The more you trek ahead, the more you come across a trail leading to Chilkat Buruj. The word Chilkat indicates "shield", and Buruj means "bastion". These were constructed here where bastions could bear the cannon firings.
The Trek further heads to a rock that resembles an Elephant and hence is named "Hathi Praster". As mentioned before, the natural round hole in the wall "the Nedhe" can be seen from up-close here and can be conquered to witness some marvelous natural views. As you proceed ahead to the end of the Machi, you get the opinions of the Bhatghar Dam and the entire valley below. As you soak into the natural beauty all around, return to the temple and move ahead in your journey towards Padmavati Machi through the little door as mentioned before.
Explore the fort for a bit and then move to Gunjavane, there's also a route that ends at Pali Village, and you may choose to take that route too.
If you feel more adventurous and want to cover Torna Fort, proceed towards Sanjivani Machi and trek towards the small ridge connecting to the fort.
When should you go for the Rajgad Trek:
This beautiful Trek isn't seasoned bound. There are some pros and cons with every season, where pros are more than cons. You are offered a variety of breath-taking views with every season.
The monsoons offer the best experience with the lush green of the Sayadris at its best and the small streams you get to cross while you witness the wildflowers bloom to their glory. Trekking during summers or winters has its advantage. You experience the clear skies and some mesmerizing view of the various first all around, probably best times to click some pictures where the weather doesn't play a spoilsport.
How to reach the Trek with ease:
As mentioned before, the fort can be conquered through various routes. The famous ones ate :
- Gunjacane Village route through the Chor Darwaza
- Pali Village route through Pali Darwaza
- Torna Fort to Rajgad (Velle Village) through the Alu Darwaza.
These village bases are easily accessible through Mumbai and Pune by public and private vehicles.
How do you reach the base village :
The start point :
All the villages have wide roads to allow cars and can easily navigate on google maps.
The Gunjavane Village: Being closer to Pune than to Mumbai, it's easy to reach via Pune and less mentally taxing. Refer the google maps.
The Pali Village: From Pune and Mumbai, the route can be navigated with total ease.
The Vehicles can be parked at all the base villages as they hold enough space for them.
Reaching Base Village through Public Transport:
The Gunjavane Village: Trains and buses are running to and fro from Mumbai and Pune. For the bus, get down at Swargate Bus Station, Pune. From here you can catch a bus that goes to Gunjavane Village. The three options are:
- Take a bus that goes to the Velhe, and you get down at the Margasani and can easily get shared taxis to the base village.
- Others are Swargate bus stand Pune; there are also direct buses to Gunjavane Village, where the frequency of buses varies.
- The third option is to get into the bus that goes to Kolhapur/Satara or Bangalore and drop down as NasraPur. From here, you have many choices of local taxis/autos that head to Gunjavane Village.
The Pali Village: If this is your starting point, take a bus to Nasrapur or Margasani and then a taxi from either place. Get dropped at the base of the Pali Village, the starting point of the Rajgad Trek.
Options for Return: You have to follow the same route to return, post 4 pm, there are very few buses running from the Village Bus Stand make sure you reach on time to get back home.
Pro-Tip: If you are a group of 4-5, preferably book a cab for the whole trip, it's economically cheaper and saves you from the stress of finding a vehicle to return in the evening.
Options to stay: You can stay at the fort, where the arrangements are made at the Padmavati Temple, or choose to camp by pitching the tents near the temple or any of the flat surfaces near the fort.
The Nearest Railway Station to the Rajgad Trek: Pune Junction Railway Station (About 59 km)
The Nearest Airport to the Rajgad Trek: Pune International Airport (About 68 km)
The Sections at Rajgad that can pose difficulty for the trekkers:
The Rajgad Trek comes under the Medium Difficulty level. There are a few sections that require careful navigation:
· The final Trek to the Chor Darwaza from the Gunjave Village is tricky as it's pretty steep, even though a railing helps the trekkers navigate the path with ease. However, it's recommended to wear nice trekking shoes and place your foot carefully while climbing up.
· The Trail that leads to Balekilla is about 500 feet. Some patches are steep and have no proper step to negotiate. There are ropes available to help you navigate the path quickly, and every trekker, even though he may be seasoned one should make use of it.
Frequently Asked Questions :
Q1.) Is there any permission required to go for Rajgad Trek?
A1.) The Rajgad Trek doesn't require any permission from any authority, and it can be done individually, or you may choose to go with a group.
Q2.) Can you camp at Rajgad Trek?
A2.) Yes, you can camp at Rajgad Trek; the camping site is the Padmavati Temple. If you don't have a proper tent, you can even stay inside the temple. The place can accommodate about a maximum of 50 people.
Q3.) How is the availability of the food and water resources on the trek trail?
A3.) Many eating outlets are available that serve some lip-smacking food as the Trek is full of outlets set up by the locals there. You may also carry your food if you want, which shall serve the purpose. You may also locate some hotels that provide excellent food and rent you some tents for camping overnight. Few hotels can provide food as well as tents for rent.
At Gunjavane Village, there are few places where you can fill in your water bottles. The natural streams and a well near the Padmavati Temple are equipped enough to quench your thirst while you trek on the trail that's on the wish list of many seasoned trekkers. Also, make sure you have at least 2 liters of water along with you all the time to avoid getting dehydrated.
If you are skeptical of the purity of the water on the way, make sure you carry purification tablets and or life straws with you.
Q4.) Who can all do the Rajgad Trek?
A4.) The Trek has multiple routes to the epitome. The varying difficulty levels are observed as the trail from Pali Village is easy to adopt that route. The Gunjavane village is comparatively difficult; hence a trekker who has a great fitness level can go for it without a second thought as no technical sections on the route are involved where you need to be a "Pro".
Q5.) What is an ideal time to cover the full Trek of Rajgad?
The Trek can be spread over to two days or done in one day. To cover half the fort, you need to invest about three hours.
If you take this as a one-day trek, you need to start late at night from Mumbai/Pune a day before the actual trek day. Reach either base village before sunrise and rest for a few minutes to immediately hit the path. You will be at the fort by 10 AM. Have Lunch at the outlets of the fort or if you had carried one from home. Post Lunch heads back to the base village to mark an end to this beautiful Trek.
If you decide to spread the Trek to cover it in two days, then reach the base village by 4 PM. Post a proper rest get on the track to start your Trek. In about 2-3 hours, you reach the top of the fort, depending on your pace. Carry your camping gear with you and pitch a tent near the Padmavati Temple.
As you lay under the stars with the chilling breeze sweeping past your ears, plan to explore the fort early in the morning before the sun rays become harsh to bear.
If you are dependent on public transport, make sure you return to the base village by 4 PM.
The Nearby Emergency Spots:
The Hospital: 20 km from the Gunjavane and 14 km from Pali Village, this Primary Health Centre, Velhe, is the nearest Medical Centre.
The Police Station: The Gunjavane Village and Pali both fall under the Khed Shivapur Police Station.
The Other: If nothing works, the Pan-India Emergency Response Support System is 112.
The Network and the ATMs:
The Network could be a challenge on the Trek; you still may get lucky with JIO and AirTel as service providers.
You should withdraw money either at Pune or before leaving home as the nearest ATM is Nasrapur in Gunjavane Village which is about 22 km away.
What next post the Trek?
Though the Trek is exhaustive in itself, you still have a lot to cover in and around the area.
The Torna Fort can be a continuous one ahead of the Rajgad fort, and the Torna Fort can act as the endpoint of the Rajgad Trek. It is a trek with few steep patches in-between and is a longer trail, hence make sure you have a great fitness level both physically and mentally to conquer it.
The Sinhagad Fort is one of the closest ones near the Rajgad Fort. You can start it from Torna, reach the Rajgad fort, and end the Trek at Sinhagad Fort. It is a two-day trek with ample opportunities to rest in-between.
The Raigad Fort: Raigad was the capital under the Chatrapat Shivaji Maharaj after he moved from the Rajgad district. Boasting of a Rich History, the place is also home to statues of Shivaji's pet dogs, who were an integral part of his life.
More related questions to Rajgad Fort
1. How long does it take to climb Rajgad fort?
The difficulty level is moderate. It takes approximately 2 1/2 hours to reach the top via Pali and 3 1/2 hours via Gunjawane. The highest point of Rajgad is Balekilla, which is a fort on Rajgad.
2. How can I go to Rajgad fort? How To Reach Rajgad Fort?
- By Air: The nearest airport to the fort is located in Pune at around 75 km.
- Rail: You can catch a direct train to Pune railway station and then from there, you can either hire a direct cab or public transport to reach Pali.
Rajgad Fort is truly the King of all forts, and It is famous for its structure. Rajgad is surrounded by Sinhagad, Torna, Mangalgad, and Purandar. Rajgad Fort is a formidable fort near Pune. A trekking and weekend destination from Pune; Rajgad, lies at a distance of about 65 Km from Pune.
3. Who built Rajgad fort?
Formerly known as Murumdev, Rajgad Fort was the Maratha Empire's capital during the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for 25 years, before moving the capital to Raigad Fort. The Rajgad Fort was built with the treasure found on the adjacent Torna Fort.
4. Where was Rajgad Fort built?
Rajgad is a hill fort situated in the Pune district of Maharashtra, India. Formerly known as Murumdev, the fort was the capital of the Maratha Empire under the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for almost 26 years, after which the capital was moved to the Raigad Fort. Rajgad fort was built on a hill called Murumbadevi Dongar or Mountain of the Goddess Murumba.
5. Why should you visit Rajgad Fort?
Today the fort is an attraction for trekkers because of its enormous size, skyrocketing height, challenging route, and historical importance of the fort. Rajgad Fort is a popular trekking destination located at 51 KM via Sinhagad road from Pune in Maharashtra.
6. How long did Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj stay at Rajgad Fort?
The Rajgad Pune Maharashtra is one of the many military fortresses that have been camp for the Maratha dynasty during their reign. A fort that served as a home to the legendary Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for 25 years, it lies safely tucked in the Pune district of Maharashtra. Rajgad Fort was home to the warrior king.
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