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Rajmachi, Kondana Trek

31st Dec. 2001

After our Gangotri Badrinath Trekking Expedition via Kalindi in May 2001, I had attended this enjoyable trek to Rajmachi as a celebration of year 2001 also to welcome year 2002. One of our trekking colleague Mr. Vinay asked me regarding my plans for 31st Dec. Since I was not having any plans except going out for trek we mutually decided to go for Rajmachi trek.

Our Journey
We started from Dadar at 9:00am by ashiad to lonavala. After reaching lonavala & having lunch we started our journey to Rajmachi at 2:00pm. Another group from pune was supposed to join us after one hr.. Initially we thought it will be very hot day but in reality the day was cool. Almost after five years I was traveling on the same route. The big difference I found here is construction of proper tar road. Construction is currently going on, may be within 2 months the road will be ready & motorable till the village Rajmachi. The route near this village is having little forest which is while passing gives a good natural fresh flowering fragerance. Which one can breath in the span of almost around 200ft. The route is completely covered with the tree. We reached the destination by 5:00pm, had two cup of tea while resting & waiting for the other group. We were three out of our total seven members. Rest were accompanying to the other group. They came at around 7:00pm. Now the total members were 16. After considerable rest. We all started enjoying by sharing our trekking experiences latter by singing and all till the dinner. We had our dinner at round 9:00pm. We were staying at one of the villagers hut. He prepared a nice food for all of us. Might be because of the trek all were enjoying the food. It was a very good day since in the night also a bright moon light made everybody glorious. One of our member caught a nice glimpse of the moon rising from behind the fort wall of sreevardhan. Almost all have waited till 12:00pm to say bye for the year 2001 & to welcome new year 2002. Everybody wished each other & we closed the nice day for bed. Few members sleep inside the hut & all male members were out below the hut shade. The night was not that cold. In the morning wind started blowing too child us.

At 5:30am myself & one of our sr. member Mr. Anil started to the Sreevardhan fort to see & catch the new year sunrise in the camera. We reached on the top at 6:00am. We were there more than one hr.. We returned back to the village by 7:30am. Got freshnup had breakfast & tea & ready for the descending down to Karjat via Kondana caves.
We left the village at 9:15am & reached Kodana caves by 11:30am. We were there for a photography session of the caves. Then we reached Kondivade village by 12:00 noon. We had lunch & little rest in the village then marched to Karjat station by auto. Then from Karjat to Mumbai by 5:00pm.

The journey was very enjoyfull & relaxed. I was expecting this kind of trek which morally boosted my new year plans towards more trekking & mountaineering this year. This I was evaluating on the Srivardhan fort.

About this area
The fort is one of the Shivaji's fort. These fort was made in those days mainly aiming for the trade. From the base village one can see two adjacent fort. Facing from the village towards those forts, The one which is at right side is Sreevardhan & one at Left is Manaranjan. While ascending to Sreevardhan from Rajmachi one can see a Temple. In front of the temple one can find an old small canon(Tof). From the top of Sreevardhan fort, facing to the east one can see Shirota lake, Sangshi village at north which is a base for Dhak fort. On the south one can see Duke Nose. On the west one can see the Lonavala Khandala & the grate train route as well the newly build Express Highway also Ulhas river. Descending down from Rajmachi to Karjat side one can visit Kondana caves where you can find grate peace of architecture. These are of 3-4 Buddha caves. In side the main cave you can find remains of wooden art work still this date. In the rainy season this place will be more crowded due to a prominent waterfall from the top of the Caves. In the rainy season one can approach this place from Kondivade a small trek.

 
Kondana Caves Trek & Waterfall Rappelling
21st Sept. 2003
This time we had a small trek of Kondana from Kondana village. Total Participants were 13. It was a rekey operation to find the options available for Waterfall Rappelling in the Kondana Caves Vicinity. As usual like most of the frequently visited place this place too became dirty specially plastic garbage. The Archiology dept. guard were not seen this time. Though we were lucky to find the cave was crowdless. We spent some time in the caves & latter our 3 member team comprises Deepak, Harshal & Kiran went for fixing a rappelling rope in the nearby waterfall patch of around 70 ft. Excellent work done by Harshal by preparing a good rope work. Kiran was the demonstrator & the manager Deepak had completed the task in one hr. & rest of the participant experienced the rappelling in next 2 hrs. After winding up we took Lunch break & left the cave by 3:00pm. Then from Kondana village by Auto till Karjat & then by Local Train to Mumbai. It was rainy day. Overall it was enjoyable trek for beginers.
 
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