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Things To Do In Rajmachi
If you are looking for a relaxing, ideal getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life in the cities, then a trip to the hill forts of Rajmachi is the in thing. The roughhewn mountain paths bordered by greenery as far as the eyes can see are what you could expect on a visit to Rajmachi.
The bounteous landscape promises treks up the hill where you could indulge in bird watching or photography, for the ancient forts uphill provide a bird’s eye view of the Bor Ghat, the waterfalls and the wild mountain streams and the hamlets scattered at the base. Go for a drive to the little touristy towns and hill stations close by or visit the dams.
There are many a number of things you can do while in Rajmachi and we will give you a list of some of them.
Trekking up the Rajmachi hills is the only way you are going to reach the top. There are stony paths uphill where to a level bikes can be ridden up, and trekked the rest of the way. Surrounded by lush tall grasses, with the flitting butterflies and the chirping birds, a trek to Rajmachi is what any urban trekker would ask for.
You have the option of choosing the longer and rather hard trek up the hill from Kondewadi village or the shorter trek up from Lonavala. Check out the small mountain streams that gush along the pathways, especially if you choose to visit during the monsoons. Keep your camera and water bottles handy. You could get delicious home cooked meals at the base villages, so you need not carry food along.
Camping out in the Rajmachi hills is yet another favorite getaway for trekkers. There are organized group treks which you could contact for a trekking and camping arrangement, or just gather a group of likeminded friends or family to plan a trek up the hills and camp out in the caves on Rajmachi hills.
There are the additional options of camping out in Udhewadi village that lies at the base of the Rajmachi hills, in case you descent before sundown. The villagers offer simple homestays with home cooked food, where you could put up for the night or go in for an outdoor camping out under the stars.
Birds and Fireflies
The Rajmachi Wildlife Sanctuary has a number of endemic and migratory birds that fly in for the winter. If there are more bird watching opportunities you would love to have, get to places like Pawna Lake near Lonavala where you could spot more species of birds roundabout October to March.
Watching the fireflies is yet another favorite pursuit of nature lovers that trek up Rajmachi hills, that is one of the most significant places where the fireflies seem to thrive in. Come early monsoons and late summers, you find hoards of these little creatures flitting over the horizon, illuminating the night sky like millions of stars.
The monsoons are some of the best times of the year when you would get to see the waterfalls near Rajmachi and get some good photo shoots. The Kataldhar waterfalls, which does ask for some strenuous trekking amongst the rocks and slippery pathways is an amazing place, with smaller caves that are said to exist behind the rapids.
If there are more waterfalls that you would want to visit, check out the Vajrai Waterfalls (84 km) in Satara, a three tiered waterfalls cascading down from a height of 260m and the Marleshwar Waterfalls and ancient cave temple for Shiva at about 59 km from Rajmachi.
There are quite a number of National Parks and Sanctuaries just a few kilometers away from Rajmachi. Wild life enthusiasts and nature lovers would appreciate a drive to these sanctuaries. The Chandoli National Park which is the southern point of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve is located over the districts of Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur.
The Park which is also a Tiger Reserve has beyond several species of carnivores including tigers and leopards, sambar and barking deer, a number of bird species and reptiles as well as within its precincts, the ancient forts of Bhairavgad and Prachitgad. Chandoli National Park is about 63 km from Rajmachi.
Drive to Lonavala
Go for a drive to Lonavala, a popular hill station about 15 km from Rajmachi fort. Filled with a luxuriant greenery and topped with mist capped mountain peaks, Lonavala is ideal for a weekend getaway. Check out the numerous viewpoints like the Duke’s Nose and the sheer precipice of Tiger’s Leap, the ancient dams and monsoon filled lakes that are ideal for boating and bird watching.
Shop for strawberries and chikkies and indulge in steaming hot corn on the cobs and vada pav on the banks of the lakes. Visit the Karla Buddhist Caves or trek up the hills to the ancient Lohagad Fort and Visapur Fort of the Maratha period.
About 6.5 km from Lonavala is a peak that is one of the best places in Rajmachi that offers a view of the adjoining peaks and valleys. Best seen in the monsoon months when the landscape is dotted with the emerald green of the vegetation and the myriad colors of the wild flowers, the Rajmachi Point should be visited with a camera in hand.
The Rajmachi forts are visible from the Point that is surrounded by valleys with waterfalls and a dense forest. One of the best things you can do is trek to the Rajmachi Point and after exploring the place, continue your trek to the Rajmachi forts.
Trip to Khandala
Khandala is yet another charming hill station not far away from Rajmachi and could ideally be visited while on a trip to Lonavala. You could visit the Bhairavnath and Waghjai devi temples while in Khandala, as well as the Laxmi Mata Mandir on the Mumbai Pune highway.
Khandala is yet another apt place for tourists who are interested in trekking or camping out under the stars. There are a number of undulating hilly ranges that can be hiked up to, or long boating trips on the pristine rivers of Lonavala Khandala that are equally delightful.
Sri Datta Mandir
Go on a pilgrimage to Datta Mandir at Audumber that was built with reverence to the saint Narsinha Sarasvathi who is believed to be a reincarnation of Dattatreya. It is said that the Saint had lived for a while in Audumber while he performed the Chaturmasya anushtan and had left his padukas under the audumber tree where a shrine was built over it.
Sri Datta Mandir stands on the banks of the Krishna River with a ghat where people could take a dip in the waters. The Gurucharitra of Swami Gangadhar Saraswathi eulogizes the saintliness of Saint Narsinha Sarasvathi. Audumber Datta Mandir is about 63 km from Rajmachi. The temple provides accommodation to pilgrims.
About 121 km from Rajmachi, the hill station of Mahabaleshwar would be a lovely place to visit, if you are planning a long holiday. Mahabaleshwar is renowned for the most exotic tourist experience, abundant with the mountain peaks of the Sahyadri, amazing view points and charming lakes.
Go on a picnic to the river banks or pick strawberries in the farms, saunter off to watch the birds or explore the caves and remnants of the fortresses on the hill tops. Visit the amusements parks and indulge in exciting adventure sports like rappelling and paragliding under trained instructors.