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Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Rajgad Fort Pune | How to Reach, Entry Ticket, Food Availability

Rajgad Fort Pune

Rajgad Fort Pune | How to Reach, Entry Ticket, Food Availability

Rajgad, the fort which was ruled once upon a time. Yes, it was ruled because it was the only capital of Swarajya which was formed by the great leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It was the capital for almost 26 years before Raigad was selected as the capital. Rajgad is one of those forts where Shivaji Maharaj used to stay and that too for a longer period. The fort is located amidst the Sahyadri forest on Murumbadevi Mountain. Rajgad Fort is located around 60km of South West of Pune. There are three different routes to reach the Rajgad Fort summit. Gunjavne village, Pali village, and other ones are from Torna Fort. Rajgad Fort stood as an example of many historical events.

History of Rajgad Fort

The Rajgad Fort has witnessed many historical significant events. The fort was under the Adilshahi dynasty, Nijamshahi dynasty, Mughals, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj conquered the fort in 1647. Rajaram Maharaj (son of Shivaji Maharaj) was born in this fort. The death of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's wife Saibai was seen by Rajgad Fort. After conquering this fort from the Mughals Shivaji Maharaj started reconstruction work of this fort. Rajgad Fort is one of those forts when Shivaji Maharaj signed the treaty of Purandar then 23 forts write handed over to the Mughals and this was one of those. In the end, the fort was passed to the British Empire.

How to Reach Rajgad Fort Pune

Rajgad Fort is located in the Pune district and can be visited by Air, Road, and Train.

By Air

Pune International Airport is the nearest airport to reach Rajgad Fort. Once you land then hire a rental car or bike to reach the base village of Gunjavne. 

By Train

Pune is the only railhead that is closer to Rajgad Fort. From Pune you can get direct ST to Pali village or if you want to go via Gunjavne village then take ST towards Nisrapur phata and then a private cab to Rajgad Fort.

By Road

Traveling with your own car or bike is the ideal option to reach Rajgad Fort. While driving on Mumbai-Pune-Satara take the exit on the Katraj tunnel and head towards Gunjavne village. The distance from the main road is 30 km.

My Experience of Trekking to Rajgad Fort

It was my long-time wish to do a trek to Rajgad Fort in Pune but since I was from Mumbai so it was quite difficult for me to travel to Pune and then trek to the fort and that too in just one day. I along with my wife was craving to explore Rajgad Fort in Pune. This time we decided to a halt at Pune and then travel less and trek to Fort. So we left for Pune and stayed at Wagholi one of my friend's homes. The next day we packed our bags and started for the Rajgad Fort trek. We decided to start the trek from  Gunjavne village which was closer to Wagholi.  As soon as we reached the village Gunjavne, we parked our bikes at the base and started ascending towards the fort. By the time we started to trek, the rain started. On rainy days many enthusiastic trekkers start searching for the forts to explore so I could find some more trekkers on the route. The route to Rajgad was quite easy since there were other trekkers to accompany.

Rajgad Fort Pune
The initial trek route of Rajgad Fort

By the time we started the trek, the trail became muddy and we had to trek through that route. The villagers have put some stones on the route so that it will become easy to walk uphill. After a 10-minute walk, we reached the first point Visava Hotel. Going further the trek becomes quite ascending. Since it passes through dense forests and routes are quite narrow. We could see many people from the age group of 6 years to 60 years trekking to the Rajgad summit and you know what, this was so inspiring and motivating to us. Many of the youngsters are still running away from the fort so people pull up their socks and start exploring our historical places. Having said that many people started visiting the forts a year ago and this is what Maharashtra and Sahyadri are known for. These are all devotees of Shivaji Maharaj. I was overwhelmed after looking at small children. After a long climb of almost an hour, we came to one point where the climb became more dangerous. One person at a time is a thumb rule and one needs to take extra precautions while climbing here.
However, at some risky points, rallying has been installed for the safety of the trekkers. We came across one steep climb where for a second I felt my wife won't be able to climb this steep route but surprisingly she did it. This is just because of her desire to explore forts. The climb was the most dangerous route of the fort and I could see a few people returning back from this patch.

Rajgad Fort Pune
This small kid won my heart and it inspired me

Rajgad Fort Pune
The only patch of the trek where you need to take extra care

After this hardest climb, we reach the first gate of the Rajgad Fort Trek and it's nonetheless Chor Darwaza (Hidden Gate) which has been used to keep watch on the people. Besides that, there is Pali Darwaza (Pali Gate). There were a few other things too like Horse tale which was used to feed water to horses, Rajwada can still be seen, and the tomb of Saibai (wife of Shivaji Maharaj) next to it there were a few temples like Padmavati Temple and Mahadev temple. The fortification of Rajgad Fort had Suvela Machi, Sanjivni Machi, and Maha Darwaza (main door). This was used to keep watch on enemies coming from different routes. Sometimes when you trek to such historical places and take pause and then start thinking how they would have lived their life and how they fought to protect the people of Swarajya, it gives goosebumps and you start melting, no matter how strong you are, isn't it? Another 10 min and we reached the top of the Rajgad Fort Trek. On top, we witnessed some ruined parts of the forts. Since it was a foggy climate we could hardly see anything around the fort. The Rajgad Fort is also a viewpoint of Torna Fort, Raigad Fort, and the surroundings of Sahyadri. As per local if you are a first-time trekker then better to come here through the Pali route since it is very easy.

Rajgad Fort Pune
Padmavati Temple of Rajgad where people stay at the night

Rajgad Fort Pune
A place where water is fed to Horses

Rajgad Fort Pune
The summit of the fort is in ruined condition

Rajgad Fort Pune
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's wife Saibais Samadhii place

Rajgad Fort Pune
Rajgad Bale Killa

Rajgad Fort Pune
Rameshwar Temple of Rajgad Fort

Ideal Time to Visit Rajgad Fort Pune

Since the Rajgad is located amidst the Sahyadri Mountain range, it can be visited throughout the year. You may find many trekkers visiting here in monsoon time. Sahyadri is heaven in monsoon. Foggy weather, cool Breeze, and shivering waterfall make this destination more approachable. If you are visiting in heavy monsoon then you might not get to explore the entire fort due to dense Fogg. The best time to visit Rajgad Fort is winter between October and February. The climate is pleasant and one can enjoy the ideal beauty of Rajgad Fort. If you are a group of people then you can also put up a tent for your stay.

Food and Stay Availability Around Rajgad Fort

Let me tell you all while we were descending down in the evening, I could see some of the trekkers climbing around 5pm in the evening, and guess what they all had the plan to stay in the Padmavati Temple at the summit of the Fort. Rajgad is one of those safety forts where you can plan your stay inside the temple or in dry weather you can plan to stay in a tent. If you are planning to stay on the fort you should get in touch with the locals from Gunjavne village. The contact is mentioned below
Mr. Vilas Chorge-7350633490

For those who are not comfortable with an adventure kind of stay then let me tell you all there are few resorts and hotels for a stay but it is a few kilometers before Rajgad so one can plan to stay there.
Few restaurants serve homemade food to the trekkers. You can not expect Italian cuisine but sometimes the food cooked in the village makes your day, isn't it? There are few Hut on the trek route to energize yourself.

Things to Know Before You Go to Rajgad Fort Trek

  • Start your trek early in the morning as it takes a maximum of 3 hours if you are a newcomer.
  • A washroom facility is available at the base of the fort.
  • There are entry fees of 5 INR per person and for parking 20 INR for bikes and 50 INR for four-wheelers.
  • Do take extra precautions while climbing the last steep patch.
  • Be aware of Monkey on the fort, don't keep any foodstuff in hand.
  • Do carry some energy bars and water to make your energetic
  • Do carry rubber sole shoes for the trek otherwise, you will regret it in monsoon time
  • Do not litter the area around the fort. 

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