Another day in the month, another random decision, trying to soak nature’s beauty we head out to Rajmachi Fort- located in the rugged Sahyadri.
On the move
We prefer one-day trips to places located nearby hence start our days quite early. Met at Kurla station at 5 am and headed over to Dadar to catch the 5:54 am, 22105 Indrayani express to reach Lonavala. We had booked the tickets the night before so it turned out to be a decently comfortable journey. After a little over 2 hours of watching greenery on both the sides, we reached Lonavala around 8 am.
Road to Rajmachi
After fueling with some tea and having some snacks for the long journey, we started walking. A normal person would have taken an auto to Tungarli village/dam, but we’re crazy and we end up doing random stuff. On our way, we halted at this beautiful dam.
After a brief halt of about 15-20 minutes, we started again. Had to cover a good 16-18 km after-all!
The roads up to Upper deck resort were well defined and you could easily reach this place in a rick. The journey starts becoming a bit difficult after this point. There are steep inclines, rocky uneven roads, mucky roads, etc. There were few stalls after intervals of few kilometers, but they were shut(probably because of Ganesh Chaturthi). So make sure you carry enough water and snacks in case they are shut generally.
There’s not much to talk about this entire walk/trek beside the fact it being too long, with lots of steep inclines, mucky, uneven, rocky roads and lack of stalls for foods/water.
Finally, after an insane 16-18 km walk/trek, we reached Udehwadi that is the base village where you’d get food, water, etc. You could ask the locals to cook food for you. You’ll get your regular fair of snacks like Poha, Upma, Kanda Bhajiya or some home cooked local food. Since we were short on time, we just relaxed for some time and headed for the climb to the fort.
The initial part of the climb involves a lot of stairs- the ones with the old vibe-made of huge stones. They were quite exhausting, to say the least. After resting for a few minutes we headed towards the final quest- the fort. The climb was a scary, difficult one. With a path, not more than 18 inches in width and a steep valley at one end with wet rocks, we were definitely in for some adventure. We were proud of ourselves because we completed the entire climb with such a path in less than an hour.
Reaching the top of the fort was rewarding. I’m not sure how to describe it in words, but it just was. The calmness takes you in some another zone. When you have a view like the one you get to see there, every picture looks like a fake candid.
Having read in some article and with our interactions with the locals, we started our descent from the fort to Udhewadi at 3:45 and to our surprise, reached in about 30 mins.
A chat with the local tea stall owner helped us come to the conclusion that we should head towards Karjat. Walking back another 16-18 km was something we were not so keen about. The descent to Kondhane is about 7kms.
As directed, we headed towards without realizing what we have got ourselves into.
I think it would be safe to call this a jungle descent, with loads of very steep slopes, very mucky and extremely slippery paths, and few small waterfalls to cross, this turned out to be a horror show for us. We weren’t mentally prepared for such a grueling task. All three of us slipped at least once. We just had each other for company and very limited resources in terms of food and water. We had to take halts every 20 minutes because it was too exhausting mentally and physically.
However, with limited time on our hands(the sun was setting), there was no way we could make it with all these halts. So without wasting any time, we started motivating each other to go on for a few more kilometers despite our legs trembling in pain. With some instinct and a lot of determination, we ended up reaching civilization just about sunset and before it became pitch black.
After about walking for 3-4 more km on flat land, we finally saw a shop, whose owner helped us get an auto to Karjat and within 20 mins we were headed on our way to Karjat.
We managed to take the 9:15 pm local from Karjat and reached home around 11:30pm.
Despite it being extremely exhausting, it was a very rewarding experience. Something I’ll never forget for the longest of times. It was a walk to remember!!
Total damage: 500/person.
- Don’t bother following this whole trip if walking isn’t your strong point.
- Make sure you carry lots of water and snacks.
- Ensure it isn’t raining heavily on the day. Will make the trip very difficult.
- The cost might vary based on your location and preferences.
Have a safe and happy trip!