|View of Rajgad Fort from the base of the mountain.|
There is no direct access to the fort except trekking trails, and the trek can only be described as strenuous. It is definitely not recommended unless you are physically fit. Also, due to the steep and dangerous trails, it is also not recommended for children.
I decided to do the challenge along with my 12-year old son Shawn. Initially, I had some misgivings taking Shawn along with me as I had read about the treacherous trail, but he insisted he is up for the challenge. I thought this would be a great opportunity for some father son bonding and I kept the option of turning back, if I felt that the trail was getting dangerous.
We started off early in the morning from our house in Kondhwa. We wanted to catch the first bus from Swaraj Gate. When we reached the bus station, I had a tough time figuring out which bus to take - and more importantly, when the bus would leave. My lack of knowledge of the local language (Marathi) was not helping me here.
I decided not to waste my time and looked around for other options. There was this guy who was inquiring about people travelling to Rajgad and I figured that he had a private vehicle. He was looking for 10 passengers to cram into his 4x4. I told him that I will pay the cost of all the 10 passengers - and we were off.
|Our ride from Pune City to Rajgad Village.|
I carried only water and some energy bars in order to keep the weight of the bag down. I also packed only one lens (the superlative Nikkor 17-55 f2.8).
|The peak of the fort looks very very distant.|
|Shawn looks determined to complete the trek.|
|Local elderly woman selling Limbu Sherbat.|
|About half-way point to the fort.|
|The majestic Sayadri Mountains.|
|At 1000 meters above sea level.|
|The dangerous part of the trek.|
This was the point I had to make a decision whether to carry on with Shawn or return back. Shawn insisted that he could do it. The only catch was that I had to carry his backpack!. So for the remainder of the trek, I was carrying both my camera backpack as well as Shawn's backpack.
|Chor Darwaza at Padmavati Machee.|
|Ghod Tale (Horse Lake) at Padmavati Machee.|
I again asked Shawn whether we should turn back or climb the remaining (almost vertical) 200 meters to reach the top of the fort. He wanted to complete the challenge.
|Shawn surveying the vast Sayadris from the top of the Rajgad Fort.|
|The altitude at the top of the Rajgad Fort.|
|View of Suvela Machi|
|Water Cistern at the top of the fort - Balle Killa (Center)|
|Beautiful wild grass at the top of the fort.|
|Honey bee doing its thing at the top of the Rajgad fort.|
This was definitely a trek worth remembering.