Altitude: 2670 ft
Rajmachi is a small village of the Sahyadri Mountain ranges in Maharashtra which is nestled in the midst of two popular hill stations i.e. Lonavala and Karjat. It is famous for the historical fortress which has two fortified peaks-Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts, famous among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts.
At the base of the fort is the Udhewadi village which is another name for Rajmachi. From Shivaji Maharaj to Emperor Aurangzeb to Shahu Maharaj and finally to the British, Rajmachi has seen many changes of hands.The monsoon and winter season are preferable to get the best view in the Rajmachi hills. When you ascend upwards, you get to see the shimmering bubbling waterfalls, green roofed undulating spinning misty filled hills including thatched cottages and small streams that scamper the way through rocky clumps.
About Weather and best time to visit
Rajmachi has charming weather throughout the year. But the best time to visit is the months of monsoon.
Summer (March – June) is warm and far better than the humid plains. This season is ideal for trekking and photography. Though the month of May turns up a bit hotter than the other months.
Pre monsoon months of May and June are ideal for sightings of fireflies. Monsoon(July – September) turns a picturesque and luxuriant place.
The trek turns cooler by November. However, winter (October – February) is good for trekking and camping up here on the hills. It is also great for watching birds and traveling to the nearby touristy destinations.
Things to do
Camping on the hill for stargazing and sunrise views
It is one of the best treks to camp and witness stars twinkling in the sky. Since the trek is on the outskirts of Mumbai and Pune so you get to witness clear night skies and the sunrise.
Camping out in a tent under the stars ,warmth of campfire and swapping stories with friends, is a delightful experience to carry home.
Witnessing the marvels of nature in monsoon
The sweet songs of the birds, the aroma of the wet earth ,the raindrops clattering on the leaves and the silver cascades of the hills makes the trip worthy.
During the Pre-Monsoon season, the trek is also popular for sightings of fireflies. You will find yourself in a magical world with these fireflies, which brighten up the sky in the night.
Views from the Manaranjan and Shrivardhan fort
You see the Madan point, Dhak Bahiri, and Bhimashankar in the north, the views of Kataldhar, Lonavala, Karjat in the south and Valvan Dam, Tungarli Dam and the Duke’s nose at the end. From Shrivardhan fort and the valley that passes through the Hill stations, you can also see the Monkey hill on the right.
Trekking through the rich flora and fauna
The trail involves trekking through deep forests like Karjat and Khandala forests. The forest land is covered with trees on both sides. These forests are home to many birds, lizards, and insects.
Visiting Parks and Sanctuaries:
Do pay a visit to the Chandoli National Park, Dandoba Wildlife Sanctuary or Sagareshwar Deer Park, if you love to visit wildlife.
Trek up to Lonavala Hills:
Just a few kilometers away from Rajmachi, there is Lonavala hills.Trek up to the bounteously green slope of the peaks and to the ancient fortresses and temples.
Rajmachi has more hill stations dotted around the countryside to visit. But a must visit place is Mahabaleshwar with its rustic setting and strawberry farms where you could indulge in dollops of strawberry and cream.
Audumbar Datta Temple:
You can take a boat ride across the Krishna River to visit this renowned temple of Audumber Dattatreya and Goddess Bhuvaneshwari. It is located at Audumbar, near Sangli. It is a charming place to visit which is filled with audumbar trees and a gently flowing river nearby.
Staying and fooding
Tourists typically stay in modest homestays or houses in the village of Udhewadi here at night. For lunch or dinner, they often rest here. They receive home-cooked Maharashtrian food such as pithla bhakri or thandul bhakri, or Matki chi bhaji etc. There are small hotels where traditional Maharashtrian food can be purchased.
On the way, there are a multitude of stalls where you can find localites on hot summer days selling lemonade. On a monsoon day, you also get hot tea, vada pav or pakoras, which are fantastic.