Rajdher-Koldher-Indrai-Chandwad - Trek of Exploration

Tripoto

The day before going to this trek I updated my FB status as "Going for a range trek after a long time....my sleeping bag sees the outer world after one year". Indeed it was a long time I did a 2 days trek, 2014 went doing 1 day treks or just no trek for a brief period of time. The reason I would not better explain here, coz that's a long story which I would like to pen down in my blog at some point in future. So I was really excited about this trek and more eager to go as there were some old faces to be seen after a long time. Shikarvedh arranged this trek in Nashik Region, it was almost a tradition of Jagdish Patil (group leader) to arrange Nashik range trek in January. All the old and regular guys of the group would assemble for this trek as newbies were generally not interested in such treks which were less of picnic and more of exploration. I would call this group more of explorers than trekkers, as all guys are interested more to see what's up their at the top of the fort and the trek just happens for that only reason.

Our group of 14 people started cruising on smooth Mum-Nashik Highway on Friday Night (16thJan) in a tempo traveller. Our driver was manoeuvring through the heavy vehicles traffic on highway with surgical ease. With a small tea and pee break we were in Nashik around 4 o clock were two more guys from Pune joined us. From Nashik we started moving towards Chandwad which is about 60 Kms on Mumbai Agra Highway. 4 kms ahead of Chandwad keeping your vehicle on the same highway we took a left when you see chandwad temple and fort at the right side (1 km after toll plaza). After 10 minutes, we reached Rajdherwadi which is base village for Rajdher and Koldher Forts. After a hearty &quotPoha" breakfast at Pundlik's house, everyone was ready to take on the challenges which were expected to come throughout the day. Pundlik was the young guy from Rajdherwadi village and our guide for two days. As SunGod threw light into the surroundings we could see Rajdher and Indrai Forts clearly from the village which were looking like big black figures in dark

Day 1

Indrai Fort from Rajdherwadi

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Rajdher Fort from Rajdherwadi

Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

After recharging our water bottles and energy, we hopped into our vehicle which left us 2 kms ahead of Rajderwadi. The advantage of having our own vehicle was we could keep our heavy rucksacks in the vehicle and trek freely with less burden on our backs. So, we started to walk behind Pundlik and our first destination was Koldher Fort, which is a long way back of the Rajdher Fort. After a flat walk of 30 minutes keeping Rajdher fort on right side, you can see Koldher Fort. Kodher fort is a triangle shaped mountain standing tall with attitude.

Koldher Fort from the Plateau

Photo of Koldher Fort, Kapashi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

After the plateau there is a long U Shaped Traverse across the mountain which is quite a long walk and again 45 mins down you come right below the Koldher fort

Photo of Rajdher-Koldher-Indrai-Chandwad - Trek of Exploration by Anurag Chivilkar

Walking ahead for 20 mins, you come under the huge wall of Koldher Fort, which is almost a 60 degree climb, the climb is short but it drains all of your energy. The route has lot of thorny shrubs and lot of them get stuck in your clothes.

Photo of Koldher Fort, Kapashi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Entrance of the Fort has Rock Cut Steps

Photo of Koldher Fort, Kapashi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

After reaching the Door of the fort, we 3 guys moved toward the left hand side and after walking for 5 mins in thorny shrubs, we discovered the most amazing view of Nashik Fort Range. We could see Dhodap, Kanchana and Saptashrungi. As the weather was foggy and dusty, we could manage some unclear pics of the range.

Kanchana-Dhodap-Saptashrungi, All in one view from Koldher Fort

Photo of Koldher Fort, Kapashi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Koldher Fort, Kapashi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

There is not much to see on the fort, except the amazing view of Nashik Fort Range, We immediately started to descend as our next target was Rajdher, which is a long walk from Koldher fort. Our group was struggling to save Water, as the steep climb of Koldher had tested the best of our stamina. Our guide Pundlink helped us to locate some clean water dripping from a stream, so we decided to have our lunch besides that water source. After a hearty lunch, we were determined to conquer Rajdher Fort, it was around 1 PM when we started to walk towards Rajdher.

Walk Towards the Huge Rajdher Fort

Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

After climbing and then walking through a huge traverse on the steep surface of Rajdher for almost an hour, we came across a 40 feet ladder which has been built by the villagers to reach on the rock cut steps of Rajdher. This iron ladder is replacing the first 10-15 steps which are missing, further there are rock cut steps to reach the top of the Fort. One has to climb the iron ladder very carefully, as after 12 feet, there is a bent in the ladder which comes very close to the body. You need to keep balance and not see downwards, which can make you dizzy. It is not very hard to climb the ladder, but need to be very alert, for safety you can put up a rope to have a extra support. After the ladder there are rock cut steps, one need to be little careful while ascending, as there is deep valley on right hand side and no support on left side. Getting down the ladder is again a different kind of experience, as you can't see the step below, so its more difficult than climbing up. Be careful that at a time only one person is climbing or descending on the ladder.

40 Feet Ladder at Entrance of the Rajdher Fort

Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Rock Cut Steps of Rajdher Fort

Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Rajdher fort is a paradise for explorers, there are lot of things to see on the fort. Immediately as you leave behind the steps you can see a well type structure. Ahead you can see a huge cave, where currently someone stays and has lot of goats inside the cave. There is a nice lake besides which stands a small Shiv Temple. There are potal water cisterns all over the fort, the cold water from those cisterns can't match any packaged drinking water. Drinking that water was so satisfying, we could hardly explain the experience, it re-energized us for the descend downwards towards Rajdherwadi.

Small Well Type Structure after the Entrance

Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Huge Cave with Lot of Goats

Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Rajdher Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

After a hour of exploration, we started our descend back to Rajderwadi. Got back to base village around 5 PM and stayed for the night in Village in and around Pundlik's home.

For the next day our target was Indrai Fort and Chandwad Fort. Completing our morning chores we got into our tempo traveller to move towards IndraiWadi which is 3-4 kms from Rajdherwadi. Instead of climbing directly on the face of Indrai, our guide Pundlik suggested us to start the walk from a plateau adjacent to Indrai. This approach starts from a point ahead of the Indrai Village. A local guide is necessary while doing this range, as without a guide you will be wasting time getting directions and wandering off track. 20 mins of steep climb we reached plateau from where we could see huge expanse of Indrai Fort clearly. The plateau was an excellent spot for photography with Indrai Fort in background.

Day 2
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

The Awesome Myself with Indrai Fort

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Huge Expanse of Indrai Fort

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Indrai on Left and Rajdher on Right

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

It takes one and half to two hours to get below the Indrai Fort. On the way you meet SatiMata Temple and a Hanumanji Statue inviting you to the fort. Also on the way, we saw lot of traps laid down by the villagers to catch rabbits. From Pundlik we learned that after Makar Sankranti, villagers have a tradition of hunting. Around SatiMata temple we found lot of holes which seemed to be dug by humans, the myth of the place is that there is huge treasure around that temple. So people come at night and dig the place surrounding it in hope of finding treasure

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Going ahead rock cut steps of Indrai Fort were clearly visible. The steps were so beautifully carved in the rock that it would have taken years to built them. Instead of going by the normal route, our guide suggested that there is a Gupt Darwaza, which is around 10-15 mins LEFT to the normal router of steps. Ascending by Gupt Darwaza was a good experience, as there was a small rock patch or you can sneak through a small hole below it.

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Approach through Gupt Darwaja

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Coming up from Gupt Darwaja, you can see the vast Indrai Fort. As I said for Rajdher Fort, Indrai is also a paradise for explorer. You can find all things on this fort which you want to see caves, fortifications, lakes, water cisterns, temple etc. Indrai Fort is a must visit for all trekking lovers. Caves on this fort are beautifully carved, nicely arranged in a line, they look like a 5 star hotel of ancient times. Indrai fort is a great place for camping, there are lot of places to stay especially the caves.

Koldher At Left and Rajdher at Right, View from Indrai

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Lake Atop Indrai Fort

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

5 Star hotel Rooms with AC Ducts :-P

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Don't Know why are these holes made at the edge of fort, if anybody knows let me know

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Beautiful Lake with Shiva Temple, One has to walk through the water and then only enter the Temple

Photo of Indrai Fort, Rajderwadi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

It took us around 2 hours to explore Indrai Fort and 1 hour descend back to our vehicle. After Indrai, we headed towards Renuka Devi Temple near the highway, which is a very old temple but well maintained. As all trekkers were hungry, we decided to have lunch at dhaba first before going to Chandwad Fort. It was already 2 PM and we feared that we would miss Chandwad. At 3:30 PM we started towards Chandwad fort and reached the temple high on mountain. Above we could see, Chandwad fort and as per our leader, it would take 2 hours to ascend and 1 hour to descend. Therefore, it was mutually decided that we will cancel to hike the chandwad fort as it will take lot of time and the journey back home will get late. Instead, we decided to do AhilyaBai Holkar Wada in Chandwad town. There was sadness of missing Chandwad fort, but it was all gone after seeing the Holkar Wada. The grandiose and magnificence of the palace was exceptional. The palace was under repairs and was getting ready to become a museum. We were lucky to see it without paying anything.

Renuka Devi Mandir, Chandwad

Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Holkar Wada, Chandwad

Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Holkar Wada (top view)

Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Ancient Well behind Holkar Wada

Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Our Wonderful Group at Holkar Wada

Photo of Chandwad, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar

Cruising on the Highway, we reached Mumbai around 10 PM. Overall it was an awesome trek with awesome people. Rajdher and Indrai were the limelight of this trek. Would love to explore these forts again in coming future.

Day 1

Our Awesome Group

Photo of Koldher Fort, Kapashi, Maharashtra, India by Anurag Chivilkar
2 Comment(s)
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Nice Article and useful info
Mon 07 30 18, 16:38 · Reply · Report
nice
Mon 07 24 17, 21:34 · Reply · Report