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Rajmachi, a small village amidst the rugged hills of Sahyadri, is a popular trekking point. It has two forts – Shrivardhan and Manoranjan with roaring waterfalls, enchanting meadows, bloomy forests and streams around it forming a vibrant landscape. Rajmachi is 15km from Lonavala and Khandala and serves as an ideal place to relax amidst tranquility. One can pitch camps at Kalbhairavnath Temple to spend a night. The Shrivardhan Fort is worth exploring if the thought of finding secret tunnels excites the explorer inside you. For the more adventurous, head from Kondivade village near Karjat for an exhilarating climb of 2,000 feet. Keep your camera ready, because the trek offers great opportunities for photography. You can also relish some authentic Maharashtrian cuisine in the few restaurants serving food.
Neeti Chopra
“I would go to Pune for a vada pao with the stunning views of the Rajmachi trek on the side. I can also relive my college days this way.. all the fun, my friends, chai breaks, bunks, fights, night outs...all while munching on my favourite vada pav.” - Ankur (Analytics Manager)Home is where the heart is
Ginny Bansal
12 AM: Now its time for us to sleep in one big single room4 AM: Next morning, we trekked to the Rajmachi Shriwardhan Peak .Time for the capturing the magical moments of everyone, While heading back, we walked on the wall of the fort and that was fun! We got back down. Packed our bags. Poha was the breakfast. After breakfast we started towards Lonavla. we took a Van which was roller coaster ride.Reached lonavla Station had my bath settled at waiting hallOur train to Hyderabad was at 3pm. Later on we found out that the train would be delayed by 2 hours. Catch up Hyderabad Express from Lonavala Station.With that our Journey CompletedTwo Ways to reach:How to Reach from LonvalaTrain – Bus till LonvalaRickshaw till Tungarli DamFollow the Trail which is easy landmark on the way (Upperdeck Hotel – Half way through the trek you will reach a diversion which has a board installed with direction you need to take left – Right is to reach Dhak Bahiri)Descending is medium grade via Karjat Route in Monsoon it becomes tricky there are many waterfall on the way which will hide the path.Tum Tum Rickshaw are available from Kondivane village till Karjat Station you can ask villagers to arrange one if not available they normally have their numbersHow to Reach from KarjatYou can take sharing Rickshaw or State Transport bus till base villageRickshaw will stop one village before Kondivane Village you need to inform them and negotiate rate till kondivane caves route.You can either descend back from same route or walk till lonvala 16 kmYou can also hire sumo till Lonavala village or Pune or Mumbai.Places of Interest:Kondana CavesBhairavnath TempleMahadev TempleRajmachi DamShirvardhan FortManoranjan Fort
Ajinkya Pandharkar
I am born and brought up in the mountains, in the Sahyadris to be precise. My hometown, Nashik, is like a bowl affixed in two ranges of the Western Ghats. With me, the fascination for the hills gradually grew. Every thought of gigantic creations took me back to my childhood, when climbing the nearest mountain around my town was a weekend activity with my grandfather. Even after moving to Mumbai, my heart still longs to go back to where it belongs. Such cravings sometimes result in experiences that leave you awe-struck. One such experience was Rajmachi.Rajmachi is a small village on a hillock, few miles away from Lonavala, on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. It has been blessed with a touch of history, with two forts from the Shivaji Era still guarding the valley. There is food for history buffs, information for me, and a proud feeling of being a part of the Maratha Kingdom. The information on internet about Rajmachi ends here. But one thing a lot of people are unaware of is in late summers, just before the monsoon, this place converts itself into a glowing paradise of fireflies. The moment we learnt about this from a friend, we just answered the desires of our heart and started our journey towards Rajmachi.Rajmachi is just a couple of hour’s journey. We started off on one Saturday on a late May’16 afternoon. We reached a camping area near the village where we were supposed to stay for the night. The area was a bit barren, with some bushes around and a dense jungle a few hundred meters away. We were unsure about the authenticity of the claims about fireflies. But as one of the villagers said, “You got to have some luck to witness the show”. They also said that there have been no significant sightings till date this season. We were almost in for a disappointment. It had slightly rained earlier in the day. This was claimed to be a positive sign towards seeing the fireflies. Despite these stories going around, we opted to stay optimistic, while sipping our chai and feasting on some extraordinary kanda bhajias. One of our companions was carrying a guitar. As it grew darker, he created a musical atmosphere. Song on our mind was Nick Cave’s ‘Darker with the day’. Literally it was, our anxiety increased with the darkness.We were too engrossed in singing ‘Greenday’, when someone screeched pointing towards the jungle. Our heads turned and we saw a tiny firefly coming out of the bushes. Fully excited now, we followed it into the dense jungle. What followed later will stay with us for a long long time!Millions of fireflies just flashing all around us as if they were following the music. They were doing a Mexican wave around us, taking turns to show their glow. Our eyes were wide open and jaws dropped. It was as if they were dancing on some song, and on the count of five, taking out their flash to show the glow. The forest had lit up. We were delighted. This continued for a while. We just sat and watched the excellence of nature’s marvel. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep that night. It seemed like the forest was on fire that night. If the locals are to be believed, on that night, even they saw something they hadn’t witnessed in a decade.Somebody has said – Optimism can bring luck… Well, we witnessed this that night!