Rajgad is a fort which is quiet close to Pune and we all just got free from our semester exams so we all decided to go to Rajgad for a one day trek.
Sushant Bhosale (Me),
Date : 4th December 2011
Place : Gunjavane, Velhe, Pune
Route : Swargate(vis ST) -> Gunjavane
Time from base village : 2 hours.
Difficulty : Easy
This fort is built on the hill called “Murumb Devacha Dongar” Rajgad boasts the highest number of days stayed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on any fort.
This fort has witnessed lots of historic events, including the birth of Rajaram Chhatrapati, the death of Shivaji’s Queen Saibai, the return of Shivaji from Agra, the antyayatra of Tanaji Malusare to his Konkan village, the burial of Afzal Khan’s head in the Mahadarwaja walls of Ballekilla, the strict words of Sonopant Dabir to Shivaji, and the Khandoji Khopade episode. The diameter of the fort at the base is 40 km making it difficult for anybody to lay siege to it.
So here goes . . .
We started off at 7:30am in the morning. We were supposed to meet at swargate at 7:30am, me and Prashant were in time, Rahul followed after about 10 mins, Tushar was late and joined us at 8am. We inquired about the bus to Gunjavane, it was at 9am so we had time to kill. We all went had a light breakfast, boarded the bus at 9am and we were at Gunjavane by 11am. And we started the climb by 11.30.
Way to reach the top of Rajgad is an easy one, one doesn’t have to take a lot of efforts to reach the top but just walk. Just 2 hours of walking takes you to Padmavati Machi through Chor Darwaja. While climbing you can see the Fort Torna on right hand side.
On the way to the fort, just before the Chor Darwaja, there’s a small rock patch, but it has railings on the side so it is fairly easy to climb this one.
As soon as we entered into the fort we were welcomed by the beautiful view of Padmavati Lake.
On Padmavati machi there’s a Temple of Padmavati devi, a cannon, samadhi of Saibai (Mother of Sambhaji Raje and first wife of Shivaji Maharaj), two water tanks with edible water, and there’s the Rajwada.
Rajgad is a very big fort. We had to see the whole fort in just one day because we weren’t ready for an overnight stay, but Rajgad is a fort which needs complete two days to explore. Since we had to get back home in one day only we decided to skip Sanjivani Machi and Pali Darwaja.
The way to Bale Killa is a little difficult one, but again there are railings on the side of the rack patch making it easy to climb.
On Bale Killa also there’s a Rajwada, Sadar and Daru Kothar. There’s a water cistern called Chandrakor Talav, named so because of its crescent shape.
There are quite a few Beehives on the way to Bale Killa, so everyone must maintain there distance from those. When we started to climb down the Bale Killa some fool had disturbed a beehive and there were bees all around us. We had to literally run down the rock patch to avoid being bitten by bees.
There’s a spot at the Suvela Machi called Wagha Cha Dola(Eye Of The Tiger) also known as Nedhe. Its a natural hole in the mountain. One can cross over from one side to the other.
After seeing the Suvela Machi we returned back to the Padmavati Machi and started our climb down. We started our descend at 5:30 and we were at Gunjavane by 6:15. Last bus from Gunjavane to Pune is at 4:00 in the evening and we missed that bus so we had to face some problems getting back to Pune. But we managed to get a Trax back to Shivapur from where we took a ST to swargate.
This was my second time climbing the Rajgad and I enjoyed it alot. But I was a little disappointed cause I was not able to see the whole fort, but we are planning another trip to Rajgad, this time a stay over trek, may be in next few months.