Rajgad – The first kingdom of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Rajgad – the beautiful fort is located to the south-west of Pune about 60 KM from Pune city center.  Rajgad is situated on a hill which was formerly called as Murumdev Hill ( मुरुंबदेवाचा डोंगर ). Rajgad fort was established as the first kingdom of Maratha Empire by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.  This fort has tremendous importance in Maratha empire history as it was the active center of Maratha empire establishment for the first 26 years.  Shivaji Maharaj stayed here for the highest number of days of his life. 

I have visited this fort many times for trekking. Click here to view the last post which has photos from summer.  This time I visited the fort with my friend Arvind and we created a documentary video about the fort. This video is published on IndiaTravelVids YouTube channel. You can see beautiful greenery and flowers after the monsoon season in this video. 

 

Historical Events on Rajgad 

The fort has stood witness to many significant historical events including the birth of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s son “Rajaram Chhatrapati”, the death of Shivaji’s Queen Saibai, the return of Shivaji from Agra, the burial of Afzal Khan’s head in the Mahadarwaja walls of Balle Killa.

The Rajgad Fort was also one of the 17 forts that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj kept when he signed the Treaty of Purandar in 1665, with the Mughal general Jai Singh I, leader of the Mughal forces. Under this treaty, 23 forts were handed over to the Mughals.

– Source Wikipedia 

– More historical information about the fort can be found on Marathi  Wiki  ( राजगड ) 

Trekking and hiking 

Rajgad is the destination for every trekker in Maharashtra because of its beautiful view and historical importance. There are various places to see on the fort. Suvela Machi, Padmavati tank, Rajwada ( remains of the palace ), Padmavati temple, Sanjivanee machi, balekilla. 

Nowadays there are two main paths which can be used to climb the fort. One starts at Gunjawane Village. From the highway, at Nasarapur take road towards Velhe. From Sakhar village take the route to Gunjavane.   At Gunjawane village vehicles can be parked by paying small fees. 

Another main route is from Pali Daravaja  .From Kharive village – after crossing Kanand river we can take this route. This route is relatively simple and has steps in good condition. 

On weekends, some villagers sell food and water bottles however in lean seasons it’s difficult to get food and trekkers should carry their own food. 

Please enjoy the video above for more information. I would love to know your feedback. 

 

Rajgad Fort Pictures

We have done multiple treks of Rajgad fort . These photos are taken in Dec 2013. This season is also good for trekking. There will not be that beautiful greenery like Jul , Aug , Sep but good weather make climbs  easier.

View from Balekilla remains of structure

Nedhe is Marathi word of eye of the needle. This hole created by wind erosion of rock.
Nedhe is Marathi word for eye of the needle. This hole generated by wind erosion of rock.
Beautiful orange tint due to rising sun.
Beautiful orange tint due to rising sun.

View on the way IMG_1619

View of SInhgad fort from Rajgad fort
View of SInhgad fort from Rajgad fort

Flag Post Gate of Balekilla Machi View from BaleKilla IMG_1645 View of Machi from BaleKilla

View of Raigad fort from Rajgad fort .
View of Raigad fort from Rajgad fort .

Rajgad fort View of Balekilla from Machi 20131221_092423 Rajgad Steps View from Rajgad Balekilla 20131221_104052

 

Rajgad Trek Video

Happy days are here again. Its monsoon and good time for trekkers.   Last year ( Aug-2012) we had fantastic trek of Rajgad fort.   I have posted a video 16 minute video of this trek on you tube. This is HD video of trek from Chor Darwaja way- Gunjawane Village. We also visited Balekilla , Suvela Machi.

URL of Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uCu_iJYhmk


P.S. There are more details about Rajgad trek from year 2011 on post http://www.iphotic.com/2011/09/rajgad-fort-trekking/

Rajgad Fort Trekking – A elated experience

Trek: Rajgad Fort, Gunjavane Village.

Participants : Rahul Bagal , Subhash Darade , Vishwas Lacca & Sandip Daware.

Route: From Pune drive towards Satara on Pune Bangalore highway. Take right turn near Nasarapur Village. This turn is about 20-25 Kms from Pune. Ask for Gunjavane Village or Rajgad fort “Chor Daravaja” path.

difficulty level: Medium to Hard  – Bale Killa & Last 100 meters to  “Chor Daravaja” is hard to climb. Rest trek is moderate.

On the way to Rajgad
Subhash, Sandip & Rahul

As per plan  we started from Pune at 6:15 AM in the morning on two bikes. We took a quick breakfast at  Nasarapure.  Roads are in quite good conditions. We took a couple of breaks on the way. From Pune it is about 45 KMs of drive & takes 1.5 – 2 hrs to reach the base village of Rajgad [Gunjavane]. Reached base village Gunjavane at 8:30 AM.

Whenever we go for the trek we always start the travel early in the morning. This saves you from traffic & you have plenty of time at your disposal.  When we were planning for treck; we were really not sure how much time this fort would take to climb. There are many informative blogs on Internet but the time required to climb the fort depends on that particular day’s conditions & your group’s energy level.

When we reached base village Gunjavane, we talked with local villagers to get more information about the village. As per them, there is no hotel/household food provision so one has to carry the food. But if there is a bigger group you can order food at base village & they supply you the dinner/lunch at the top of the fort. You have to pay a premium for this service 🙂

I decided to track the route using GPS on my Android phone ( Google Nexus ).  I used Offline logger app to track the route. This app allows logging your GPS location with latitude-longitude & altitude. Later I exported GPX file & created a trail on everytrail.  Every trail shows your GPS locations on a Map & photos can be geolocated based on timestamps.

We started hiking at 8:35 AM. There are many small ways to go to the fort.  Better we ask local people to choose one. It was slippery & muddy for first few hundred meters. Then the way was good.

Below are some photos of this trek.

The road to Chor Darawaja is a long way but not very difficult initially. My GPS trail shows it is about 4 KM of a walk to reach the Chor Darawaja.  Last 100 meters of climbing is 75 degree & you have to hold railing  & climb carefully.

We reached at the fort at 10:25 AM.  We saw a villager & couple of groups from Mumbai on the fort. The Villager was selling curd. We had a chat with him. Few villagers come to the fort to sell curd, food for breakfast on weekends. Generally, no one comes on the fort on weekdays. [ Imp point to note if you are planning to go on weekdays].

We spent time near old broken palace, temple, “Sadar”. We reached BaleKilla . But the way was too tough to climb & it was all cloudy. So we decided to skip “Bale Killa”  for this time due to slippery way.

We had lunch in the “Padmavati Mandir”. That time it was raining heavily.  We started return journey to the base village at 1:30 PM.  We did a careful & slow walk to avoid any slippage & injury.

Reached base village at 3:30 PM. A clean water river was flowing at Gunjavane.  Reached Pune safely. It was very rainy, cold & windy while driving back to Pune on bikes.  After such cold & shivering travel, the warmth of home feels invaluable !!

More Photos @ Picasa album: https://picasaweb.google.com/112408778094002998694/RajgadFort#

As per my GPS logs: Minimum height for this trek was 2339 ft  &  Maximum Height: 4240 ft.

 

Update :

Aug-2012- Again we had fantastic trek of Rajgad fort. I have posted a video 16-minute video of this trek on youtube. This is HD video of a trek from Chor Darwaja way- Gunjawane Village. We also visited Balekilla, Suvela Machi.

URL of Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uCu_iJYhmk