A Maratha Stronghold
I always wanted to do a solo trip long before I did Pune Raigad tour. Solo treks to nearby hills around Bangalore didn’t happen nor the multi day cycling trip that I kept planning for ages. Perhaps everything happens for a reason, I got to do my first solo trek outside Karnataka.
Travel was completely by public transport. Bangalore-Pune buses are plenty, both Govt and Private luxury buses operate on the route whereas buses from Pune to Raigad aren’t good. The journey took anywhere between 4-5 hours though ETA on map is just 2:50 hours. Swargate bus station in Pune isn’t tourist friendly either, Help-desk, conductors and boards all in Marathi. Since I started late from Pune I reached Mahad late and decided to stay in a guest house and start early to Pachad village where the trail-head is located for Raigad Trek. Food was delicious & I tried Maharashtrian cuisine throughout the tour. People were surprised to see someone from Bangalore doing solo trek to Raigad and enquired whether I’m researching on Shivaji’s history. Everything here is influenced by Shivaji’s memory, be it Dhol Tasha or a political rally. I had thought of doing Raigad and Torna treks in one and half days but bus delays and breakdown in Koyna wildlife sanctuary on the way to Mahad town hurt the plans. And so I had to wait till morning for the trek. Gave me an opportunity to visit Savitri river that once fed Chhatrapati Shivaji’s horses and his army.
The cliffs are intimidating & no wonder why Shivaji chose these places for his forts. Suits guerrilla warfare perfectly. Trek distance is 5km from Pachad village, difficulty is moderate. An impregnable fort perched on top of a hill with cliffs on all sides. Shivaji was coronated here and commanded an empire covering entire western and central India. It was bombarded with cannons by the East India Company and now the fort is in ruins. I went with expectations of seeing what we generally see on google. Its anyone’s guess that the landscape becomes lush green during monsoons with many streams and waterfalls springing back to life. MTDC isn’t doing a great job in maintaining the heritage site.
Check out our gallery for the pictures of the landscape and rope-way video.