Rajgad Fort Trek | Steering solo to the capital of the Maratha Empire.

Tripoto
8th Jul 2018

The turn from the NH4 leading to the base village Gunjavane to trek to Rajgad Fort

Photo of Rajgad Fort Trek | Steering solo to the capital of the Maratha Empire. by Bhunesh Bhaskar

Planning to have some fun coming weekend or planned so much that you eventually end up staying home. Every now and then you think to yourself what should I be doing this weekend. Let me give you one adventurous way to spend at-least one of the day of the weekend. So much so, that you might need the next day to relax and sooth your sore legs.

Scared just yet, fret not the above statement was only meant to let you know the amount of thrill & adventure you're getting yourself into.

Day 1

Located approximately 60 km southwest of Pune lies the royal fort or better known as Rajgad Fort. This was the capital of the Maratha Empire during the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for almost 26 years. It is said that Shivaji Maharaj stayed in this fort for the longest tenure during his reign. Like most of the other Maratha Forts, Rajgad is also built over the pinnacle of the hill called Murumbdevi Dongar at the height of 4600ft. The sheer climb to the top of the fort is a task in itself which added to it's strategic value during Maratha's reign.

Ruins of Rajgad Fort after the monsoon

Photo of Pune, Maharashtra, India by Bhunesh Bhaskar

Now that you're all caught up with the history let's get there. The way to Rajgad is via NASRAPUR Phata which is approximately 15 - 20 Kms from Katraj Tunnel and just 5kms from the Mcdonalds/Dominos outlet after the first toll on NH4. I would recommend using your personal vehicle to reach the base village Gunjavane which is the trickiest side to climb the fort. It leads to the secret entry to this fort known as the Chor Darwaja. The other fairly easier routes are from Pali village leading to the main door of the fort and from Bhotunde village leading to the Alu Darwaja of Rajgad. But what's fun in simply walking upto someone's front door so I obviously chose the tricky and very slippery route from the Gunjavane village up to the chor darwaja to steal some beautiful moments and a little cold up there. My choice of ride for this trip Royal Enfield Desert Storm.

I knew the destination would be great, the ride in monsoon made the journey even better.

Photo of Gunjavane, Maharashtra, India by Bhunesh Bhaskar

It took me about 2.5 hours to reach to the base village from where I had to start the trek. At the base you will find a couple of local food joints serving you tea, eggs, poha, misal pav etc also providing space to park your vehicles safely. A nominal fee of Rs 5 is charged by the local village to start the ascent.

If you're doing the trek in monsoon make sure to carry a raincoat or something to cover yourself (If you want to) as it will rain definitely rain and rain throughout the trek. So it did for me, which is kind of relaxing when you're trekking however as you ascend the cool wind blows and sends a chill through a spine as you're already all drenched. Anyways here's how the start would look like in monsoons.

Gateway to Rajgad

Photo of Rajgad Fort Trek | Steering solo to the capital of the Maratha Empire. by Bhunesh Bhaskar

Rains bring colorful flowers and performing birds

Photo of Rajgad Fort Trek | Steering solo to the capital of the Maratha Empire. by Bhunesh Bhaskar

The vast patches of green serve as a soothing treatment to your eyes, on top of which you can clearly listen to the birds singing while you make your way up to the fort. In general it would take about 1.5 hours to reach the top though it completely depends on your pace and number of stops you take along the way. Carry a minimum of 2ltrs of water to keep yourself hydrated.

The true beauty unfolds once you reach the top, you can see the clouds at your level. Some of them literally passing by you and sopping you in the process.

A walk in the Garden of Clouds

Photo of Rajgad Fort, Pune, Maharashtra, India by Bhunesh Bhaskar

Padmavati Temple can easily accommodate 50 people at any given time now serving as a local snack joint while travelers, trekkers aboard.

Photo of Rajgad Fort, Pune, Maharashtra, India by Bhunesh Bhaskar

The grandeur view wants you to just stop and feel the calm in the wind

Photo of Rajgad Fort, Pune, Maharashtra, India by Bhunesh Bhaskar

The location is quite photogenic and lets you have some good selfies too ;)

With that content you can start your descend where you'll have to be extremely cautious as it is very slippery during monsoons. More so the rocks are really steep at certain points though you have rails available to hold on too. The water gushing over the rocks makes it even difficult for your shoes to keep the traction, so please be very careful while descending. Most of the people rush while climbing down and often make mistakes which you should definitely not do. Make your footings strong and take your own time to descend, no rush there.

Align your foot parallel to the hill to get maximum footing and lean backwards while climbing down

Photo of Rajgad Fort, Pune, Maharashtra, India by Bhunesh Bhaskar

Once you are back in the village have some tea or snacks and head back home with some fond memories. The whole trip would not cost you more than Rs 500 so including the costs of snacks, travel (If your using your own vehicle) etc. A budget friendly adventure getaway, what more could you expect from a weekend, isn't it ?

Till we meet again !

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