Date : 22 August 2009
Finally we have visited the Rajgad fort, the first capital of Maratha kingdom. You must be wondering why I have written like this because we have made a plan to visit it on 15th August 2009 but due to swine flu fear and resistance of the family member I have to shift it to next weekend.
So according to that I have dropped an email to all of my friends asking if they can join me. But surprisingly nobody was interested in joining me. What the gun!!!
This is happening since all of my friends got married. It sucks…
Then I asked some of the seasonal enthusiasts from my office, they also refused so the final list was me and Kaustubh.
Last night I went to bed at around 12:30 and woke up at around 4:30am and I realized I have to get fuel for my bike. And I ran to nearest petrol pump but the attainder was not there. The watchmen tried calling him but he was not there. Then I tried for some other petrol pump but bad luck, they all open at 6:00am.
So I directly reached to Kaustubh’s place at 5:30 am, I thought in another half an hour all the pumps will open. So from Kaustubh place we decided to go to nearest pump and wait till it gets open, but again my bike dried off. I have to walk with my bike till the pump. It is really nightmare to push 150kg bike.
Finally we managed to get my bike’s tank full and we headed towards Rajgad. Before telling you about the further journey, I would like to tell you about another thing I forgot and i.e. my camera batteries. :(
We have followed the following route for Rajgad:
Pune – Sinhgad Road – NH4 – Towards Nasarapur – Chamadi Phata – Baneshwar – Margasani – Sakhar – Gunjavane - Rajgad
View Larger Map
This was my first long trip on my new bike. I was enjoying the power to 150cc. J on National Highway 4. It was very refreshing morning. I don’t know why but being national highway there were not much traffic on the highway. I successfully crossed speed of 110 KM/hour. It was simply incredible experience.
And while enjoying this zeal of the speed we missed the turnJ. Thanks to Kaustubh for realizing that. We have to come back for 10km for the Chamadi turn. And we headed towards Baneshwar. Now it was a real rural India experience.
The way to Rajgad fort was a dream way, both sides were wrapped in lush green color. We reached at the base of the Rajgad fort by 7:30am. Since we started very early in the morning, so now we were as hungry as hunters. We took a tea and some snacks at the base and we started climbing the fort.
(Rajgad from the base of the Fort, you can see the nedha(hole in the rock clearly))
After sometime we heard a call from long, it was a voice of very old lady and she was telling “that is not the way, come from here.” This is the lesson I learnt in hiking and trekking that do not become over smart follow and respect the locals. They know about the local topology.
We followed the voice it was a very old lady. She offered us lime water, it was very early in the morning to drink it but since she has helped us we took it (off course it was not freeJ). She told us that the way you were going was cattle’s way to go to there daily places. And last week two guys lost in the woods. They came back in the evening but they could not make it to the fort. We thanked here and we headed in the direction she showed.
(Lush green roads makes the journey easier..)
We were walking in the mud for an half an hour and we realize that this is a real tough fort. Our friends who went there earlier told us that it will take 3 hours to reach so we already going very fast. After some time we reached a plateau from where we can see the Safire flag on the fort.
(Rajgad view before the final rock patch)
We were really feeling proud to see such a great monument. After some time we reached to the final rock patch where there are railings to climb. I was just imagining that even though there are railings it is dangerous, in the ancient days how those people use to fight and climb these difficult forts. Hats off!!!
(Rajgad Rockpatch View 1)
(Rajgad Rockpatch View 2)
(Chor Darwaja and Kaustubh)
After passing that rock patch we reached Padmavati machi. The way we followed to Rajgad is known as chor darwaja. When you reach the door it really very tiny and only one person can enter at a time. And you can not see that door while climbing the fort. You have to actually go till the door to see it.
And when you reach Padmavati Machi through the chor darwaja.. a water reservoir welcomes you. Its Padmavati lake.
And one thing immediately gets noticed...The Padmavati Lake is so clean, even the surroundings are so clean.
Just beside Padmavati lake there is a Padmavati Temple. Shivaji Maharaj constructed this temple. You can also see Saibai tomb in front of the temple.
(Her highness Rani Saibai Tomb)
When you think that at some time Shivaji Maharaj used to use this land, and you really feel honored that you are also on the same soil and you are visiting the capital of Shivaji Maharaj.
You can not see all the places on the Rajgad fort in one day. You at least need 2 days to visit all the places.
You can visit the fort in 4 parts.
- Suvela Machi
- Padmavati Machi
- Sanjivani Machi
- Bale killa
When we reach the fort we were already on the Padmavati machi, so we decided to visit Suvela Machi and while returning we planned to visit Bale killa. It was not possible to visit Sanjivani Machi due to time constraints.
To understand the structure of the Rajgad, you can imagine a ceiling fan. Every blade is one machi and a center stator is bale killa. Sounds innovative huh!!! Actually this is originated from my dad.:)
So as per the plan we headed towards Suvela Machi, another reason to choose the Suvela machi was visiting the natural hole in the rock..Also known as a nedha (nedha means hole in the needle in Marathi).
We were really hungry after 2:30 hours of hiking to fort and Suvela machi was still a long way. We would wolf down our food but we decided to go to that hole in the rock and we will have our lunch there.
Kaustubh got his favorite food over there…butter milk…..
We headed towards Suvela machi, the climate was really awesome. It was like a stopping at every step to click a photograph.
(Gunajvane Buruj - Gunajavane Darvaja 1)
(Gunajvane Buruj - Gunajavane Darvaja 2)
From to Padmavati Machi to Suvela Machi you can see the remaining of Sadar (Please where all the influential people used to seat and make a decision, Palace etc.
After 15 minutes we reached Nedha (the hole in the rock), I was really amazed to see the nature’s wonder. We climbed to the Nedha and we sat down in that hole. The wind was going through that hole. what a amazing feeling it was. You can view the whole valley from the both sides of Suvela Machi.
(Nedha - Hole in the Rock)
(Ganpati Bappa Morya - This is just below the Nedha)
We had our lunch there and we discussed the history of the Rajgad fort. We made couple of calls to all our friends to make them jealous and feel guilty that they have not joined us :)
While I was having lunch and discussing the history with Kaustubh, I didn’t notice that a call was placed from my cell to my home; my parents listen to that conversation. When I reached home that day they told me that it was a nice session about Rajgad fort. I said “my goodness!!!” You can imagine what could have happen if I ……
After a heavy lunch of Shira and Policha chivda we reached Suvela machi and every time you look at the walls of fort you will realize what a master piece it was. At Suvela machi there were two layers of walls. So when enemy try to demolish the external wall, the inner wall will protect the fort. It will restrain enemy from entering the fort. Amazing!!! The walls are still the good shapes and condition.
(Suvela Machi 1)
(Suvela Machi 2)
After spending some time at the Suvela machi we started to Padmavati machi again. On the way we saw a road going down will railings to it. It was a Gunjavane darwaja. The most difficult way to Rajgad. We go to see the road and the structure of this door. It was really tough. We clicked some photographs and we came back towards Padmavati machi.
We were running out of the water. When we reached Padmavati Machi we asked local people where we can get the drinkable water. He showed us one small water tank besides the Padmavati temple. The water was really sweet and chilled.
We rested there for some time and we started climbing down the fort. We want to feel more of Rajgad. It is such beautiful fort. But we have to go back and still we have not visited Bale killa and Sanjivani Machi.
We again came to chor darwaja of the Padmavati machi and carefully we started climbing down. I was ahead and Kaustubh was following.
(Going back from Chor Darwaja 1)
(Going back from Chor Darwaja 2)
And I was about to finish the rock patch and I heard a huge noise. Holy shit it was sound of honey bees..One of the most dangerous thing in the world. I ran back shouting Kaustubh to hide. But there was very small place to run and to hide. We just sat down behind the rock patch. I didn’t understand what was the reason of the honey bees getting angry. It may be due to the sun or somebody could have throne a stone towards it. Those few minutes were really scary.
Then we decided to go ahead again and quickly we passed that patch and we were on track again.
Now while returning the climate was getting humid. We meet few people who were started climbing the fort in the evening we said that if you are planning to return today only then do not go. You can go but it is very risky to climb down in the night.
We also meet the same lady again, she greeted us and said that you did good job that you climbed early in the morning.
(Home - Sweet Home. Hey bugs can I stay here)
After reaching the base, we took some rest and we started towards Pune planning about the next journey to Rajgad.
Trust me you have to visit Rajgad at least once in a month….It is so beautiful.
Tips for Rajgad:
- When you reach Gunjavane village ask for way to Rajgad.
- For first 4 km always ask somebody if you are in confusion. If nobody is there then try the road on the right side.
- Carry you food and water.
- Do not take and alcohol or tobacco with you.
- Normally you need 3 hours to reach Rajgad fort from the base village.