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How To Reach Rajmachi
Rajmachi is a perfect tourist destination and a trekkers’ delight. The tiny hamlet of Udhewadi or Rajmachi lies on a plateau between the twin forts of Shrivardhan and Manaranjan in the Sahyadri Mountains. The forts can be reached through a long trek past Kondhane caves on the western side or with a drive to Udhewadi hamlet and a shorter trek up the hills towards the forts.
Rajmachi lies in Pune district, about 82 km from Mumbai and Pune and about 15 km from the touristy hill stations of Lonavala-Khandala. An easy access from both Mumbai and Pune and proximity to picturesque hill stations make Rajmachi one of the most charming holiday getaways of Maharashtra. The easiest way to reach Rajmachi would be by air.
The nearest airport is the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at Mumbai. There are a good choice of international flights to cities like Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Zurich, Dubai and Kuala Lampur, as well as domestic flights to cities that include Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Raipur, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Belgaum, Bhopal, New Delhi and Jammu.
Once in the city, you could either board a train or a bus from Mumbai to Lonavala and from thereon hire an auto rickshaw or a cab to take you to the base village near Rajmachi. The next nearest airport is the Lohegaon International Airport at Pune. The city has flights to most Indian cities as well as international flights to Frankfurt, Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. You could book a cab from the Pune airport to Rajmachi.
The nearest railway station is Lonavala that has plenty of trains chugging in on the Mumbai and Pune route. There are trains from cities including Mumbai, Pune, Chidambaram, Katpadi, Vellore, Cuddapah, Renigunta, Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Bhopal.
There are auto rickshaws as well as private cabs on hire outside the Lonavala railway station. You can hire a vehicle to drive you to the base village near Rajmachi. There are a number of trains that halt at Karjat as well, like the Ind Pune Express (Indore – Pune) and Nagerkoil Express (Mumbai CST – Nagerkoil). You could hire an auto rickshaw from Karjat Railway Station to Kondhane village and begin your trek.
One of the most interesting and most lovely options would be driving to Udhewadi from Mumbai or Pune on the Mumbai – Pune Expressway and begin your trek to Rajmachi. A drive to Rajmachi is quite a pleasing one, for you’d get to drive past a lush countryside and there are a number of highway restaurants for those much needed breaks.
There are a sufficient number of state transport buses from cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Thane that could be used to reach Lonavala. Auto rickshaws or taxis could be hired from Lonavala to Udhewadi which is the base for your trek. You could also hire a cab to drive you to Rajmachi from Mumbai, Pune or Lonavala.
Rajmachi Fort can be reached from Lonavala on the Udhewadi side that can either be trekked to from Lonavala, or you could hire large utility vehicles like an SUV to drive you upto Rajmachi village and continue a short trek uphill. The other route which is a longer and harder one goes along the town of Karjat in Raigad district, then through Kondhane village and the trek begins from near the Kondane Buddhist caves. The second route takes about 3-4 hours of trekking time.
From Karjat railway station get an auto rickshaw to drop you off at Khondane village or board a bus to the same. Since Rajmachi is all about trekking uphill and the ancient forts, getting up and about the town would probably be more by foot. Biking enthusiasts would love biking up the rough trodden paths that leads uphill to Rajmachi.