The Mesmerising Rajmachi Point
Around 30 kilo meters from the main Khopoli town, the Rajmachi Point is basically the place where the historical Rajmachi Fort stands. Along the side of the Sahyadri Mountains this point is a popular tourist destination of the Raigad district of Maharashtra. Just before the start of the Western Ghats Rajmachi is a small village. Also known as ‘Udhewadi’ this village has actually got its popularity due to the presence of the strategic fort built by Maharaja Shivaji to control the then Borghat.
During the Maratha rule, this area was one of the major trade routes of the Western India, where by traders from different parts of the world had ventured to the Indian inland. To control this trade route Rajmachi Fort was built, which is basically a combination of two fortifications namely, the ‘Shrivardhan Fort’ and ‘Manaranjan Fort’.
The view point is more than 2000 feet above the sea level and one can get a panoramic view of the underlying green undulating valley that stretches till one’s eyes can see. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has promoted this place as a popular eco-tourism area, which is completely plastic free zone. Rajmachi Point has also gained popularity over the years as a trekker’s paradise. There are two trekking trails present, among which one is for the hard core trekkers and other one for travellers who love to do plain walk amidst nature. One of the routes passes through the Kondivade village near Karjat.
From the village it is almost a 2000 feet climb by the side of the Sahyadri mountain to the viewpoint. One needs proper safety gear and months of training to go up this route. The other route is to take buses or rent a car from Khopoli to Lonavala and then start a 15 kilo meters walk through the green forest and open meadows to the top. For avid trekkers, the best time to go on a trek from Khopoli to Rajmachi Point is during monsoon, when the nature is at its best. The small silvery waterfalls inside the dense forest are a treat to the eyes.
Regular state transport buses are available between Khopoli and Lonavala, which can drop tourists at the starting point of the trek, just at the beginning of the Western Ghats between Mumbai – Pune Highway. From there one has to walk their way to the top. It is advisable to wear light cotton clothes as walking during daytime can be quite tiring. Proper all terrain boots should be worn to avoid any injury.
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