Rajgad was the first capital of Hindavi Swaraja and literary means the ‘King of the Forts’. Key factors of this fort are as follows:
Height: 1394 meters
Type of Fort: Mountain Fort
Mountain Range: Sahyadri
Blessed with rich history, the fort of Rajgad is one of the mesmerizing tourist attractions in Pune. Believed to be more than 2000 years old, this fort was once the capital of Hindavi Swaraja under the kingship of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Located around 42 kilometers to the south-west of Pune, Rajgad can be reached by four different routes.
How to reach Rajgad?
There are four different routes that take you to this magnificent fort.
- Via Bhor: This route takes you to the Alu Darwaja of Rajgad and is one of the most frequent routes taken by the trekkers and tourists. To reach Alu Darwaja one needs to heed toward Bhor and from Bhor to Bhutonde, a small village at the foothills of Rajgad. From here a 3 hours of climb can take you to the Alu Darwaja.
- Via Gunjavane: Another route is via Gunjavane, a small village on the foothills of Rajgad. To reach this village, you need to take the Pune-Velha route. On this route you come across a village named Margasani from where you reach Gunjavane via Sakhargaon. A climb from this village takes you to the Gunjavane Darwaja.
- Via Vazeghar: This is one of the easiest routes and takes you to the well-known Pali Darwaja. To reach this village you need to take the Pune-Pali road.
- Via Vinzar: To reach to Vinzar village you need to take the Pune-Velha route and cross the Kanandi River and climb up via Sakhargaon. This route takes you to the Chor Darwaja of Rajgad.
Places to See on Rajgad
There are several interesting points to see on this fort. One needs to spend at least two days to see each and every destination on this fort. Following are some of the worth seeing points on Rajgad:
- Padmavati Tank: People taking the Chor Darwaja route first come across the tranquilizing Padmavati Tank. The walls built to construct this fort are still firm and worth seeing.
- Padmavati Temple: Further to the Padmavati Tank lies the Padmavati Temple dedicated to goddess Padmavati. This temple is one of the prime destinations where you can stay overnight. This temple can occupy around 50 people at a time.
- Rameshwaram Temple: Right in the front of Padmavati Temple lays the Rameshwaram Temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. One also gets to see a beautiful sculptor of Lord Hanuman in this very temple.
- Palace Ruins: Climbing steps ahead of Rameshwaram Temple, one gets to see the ruins of palace on their right. One still gets to see a tank, sadar (meeting room) and amberkhana (room dedicated to queens) in this palace, but all in ruins. Further to this palace lays the armory.
- Pali Darwaja: This was the king’s route to enter the fort. This route is huge with proper steps to climb. One gets to see a huge fortified door which takes you inside the fort to the Padmavati Machi.
- Gunjavane Darwaja: This door is a series of three well-fortified doors with worth seeing sculptures carved on its walls.
- Padmavati Machi: Padmavati Machi is one of the three major areas on Rajgad and the biggest of all. This area was not just used as a military point but was also a residential junction during olden days. One gets to see several ruins of age old palaces here.
- Sanjivani Machi: Another important destination on Rajgad. This area is around 2.5 kilometers long and consists of around 19 firm bastions. Along with this one gets to see several water tanks, ruin residential places and smart military engineering in this area. One can reach this machi through Alu Darwaja.
- Alu Darwaja: This door was used to travel from the adjoining Torna Fort during the olden times. Today, Alu Darwaja lay in ruins but one still get to see some fortification and carved sculptors here.
- Suvela Machi: This area is another important destination on Rajgad. One gets to see the residential ruins of Yasaji Kank, Tanaji Malusare and Shilimkar, prominent military personnel during those times. You can also get to see several water tanks and a secret door named Medhe Darwaja.
Ample potable water is available on the fort throughout the year near the Padmavati Temple. If you are planning to stay on this fort, make sure you carry your own meal as many a time no proper service is available here. Happy Trekking!