Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rajgad fort to Torna fort -- An Awe-Inspiring Chronicle


I, Shridhar Purandare, am back with one more trekking and admiring journey for travelers i.e. Rajgad to Torna trek. My brother Aditya joined me for this trek. When we completed Rajgad descend to Pali road he quit as it was getting tougher. Then it was time to show trekking experience as I alone had to complete it. Most exciting thing was I was doing this trek for first time and I was alone with a dog who followed us from Rajgad. But that's made this trek special for me. Patience, Endurance, Toughness and Courage was tested on each curve and rock patch.

History about Rajgad :

This fort is built on the hill called "Murumb Devacha Dongar" Rajgad boasts the highest number of days stayed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on any fort.
This fort has witnessed lots of historic events, including the birth of Rajaram Chhatrapati, the death of Shivaji's Queen Saibai, the return of Shivaji from Agra, the antyayatra of Tanaji Malusare to his Konkan village, the burial of Afzal Khan's head in the Mahadarwaja walls of Ballekilla, the strict words of Sonopant Dabir to Shivaji, and the Khandoji Khopade episode. The diameter of the fort at the base is 40 km making it difficult for anybody to lay siege to it.
History about Torna Fort:

This fort is believed to have been constructed by the Shaiva Panth, followers of the Hindu god Shiva, in the 13th century. A Menghai Devi temple, also referred to as the Tornaji temple, is situated near the entrance of the fort.
In 1643, Shivaji, son of a local jagirdar with royal ambitions, captured this fort at the age of sixteen, thus making it one of the first forts in what would become the Maratha empire. Shivaji renamed the fort Prachandagad, and constructed several monuments and towers within it.
In the 1700s, the Mughal empire gained control of this fort after assassination of Shivaji's son Sambhaji. Aurangzeb, then Mughal emperor, renamed this fort Futulgaib (Language unknown: Divine victory), in recognition of the difficult defense the Mughals had to overcome to capture this fort. It was restored to the Maratha confederacy by the Treaty of Purandar.
(Source: Wikipedia)
Trek details:
Days: 2
Start and end point: Swargate
Start time: Sunday 20th Sept 6.30am
End time : Monday 21st Sept 7pm
Route: Pune -(ST) - Gunjavane - (chor Darwaja) - Rajgad -(Sanjivani machi and Alu darwaja)- ( Budhala MAchi) - Torna - (Zunjar machi ) - Velhe - (Any transport) - Pune
Money spent: Rs 300 per head (includes everything)
Food: Hotels at Gunjavane deliver food on Rajgad and Hotels are there at Torna base i.e Velhe
Difficulty level: Tough and Tiring
Best season: Sept -Oct
Things taken: 1 liter water, Sleeping bag, extra clothing, 1 lunch, Fort and region maps
Team members: Shridhar Purandare (completed full trek), Aditya Joshi ( completed Rajgad)

Accommodation: Bring your own tent or sleeping bag. Temple on Rajgad available for 20 people.
Food: Available at base of rajgad and torna. Nothing on the fort. 
How to reach: Bus from swargate to base of Rajgad and Torna.

Tips after completing this trek: Carry at least 3 liters of water per head, Medical kit is compulsory, BSNL phone for emergency, Don't go alone until and unless you are experienced trekker, Leave as early as possible because Sun shine will make it tougher for you, in the late noon it rains heavily so reach at destination or cover as much distance as you can before 3-4pm, if you have acrophobia do not do this trek, avoid traverses of hills on Rajgad -Torna route at the budhala machi end
From here on you will get stunned by the beauty of Sahyadri.

Rajgad view from Gunajavane road. Right to left peaks are Balekilla, Duba, Chilkhati Buruj, Suvela Machi. We reached Gunjavane by 8.30am and started trek by 9.20 am. We also told hotel owner to bring our dinner on the fort. Menu was simple ( Pithale, Bhakari, Kanda ani Thecha).

Mother nature will mesmerise you time and again on this journey. So do not hesitate to say "Wow !!!!" "Aai Shappath!!!" "Ek number !!!" "Lai bhari lai best !!!" "Fantastic !!!" " Nadkhula !!"

We climbed up 30 percent and Sun light slowed us down a bit. From this point real climb starts.

Climb to Chor darwaja is easy if you know how to take support of rocks and railings.

We reached Rajgad top by 11pm. This door belongs to Padmavati machi. Wind on the top cooled us down.

First to do was to chill in the cold water on the top. Swimming in natural pools is my favorite hobby. It re-energised me to cover up Suvela Machi and Balekilla. There is temple and tomb of Saibai on Padmvati machi. Ample space for residence is available.

Finest swimming pool on earth !! On 4,200 ft !!

When we were moving towards Suvela machi clouds started poring water. Which made road bit slippery. But rain changed our mood completely.

Clouds moved away and we were able to grab complete view of Suvela machi. Bhatghar dam can also be seen from here.

We were transfixed by the scenery around it.

We slowly climbed to nedhe (natural hole inside mountain). It provides finest scenery around. In clear weather you can see Sinhgad, Purandar fort, Rayreshwar pathar, Bhatgahr dam easily. We were able to spot them too.

Monsoon clouds kept making sure that our eyes were busy watching nature play.

Views of Rajgad from end of Suvela machi are marvelous. Covering every single Machi on these forts is very important or else you will miss true beauty of fort.

After Sevela Machi we climbed Balekilla in half an hour. There was cluud cover on whole fort so we were not able to gaze beauty from the top. Fortunately clouds disappeared in few minutes and we got never seen before views of all the surrounding.

Suvela Machi

Sanjivani Machi and Alu Darwaja

Bale killa Top

Duba and Bhatghar dam backwater

Tired and Outwore we took an hours rest from 5pm to 6pm. Our dinner arrived by 6pm.We pounced on the food asap. We gazed around and enjoyed echos till 8.30pm and then went to bed.

Next day without wasting time we moved towards Sanjivani machi. You can see complete route to Rajgad. This is complete small hill range called connecting these two forts. You can see Torna at the end.

Below Sanjivani machi through Alu darwaja.

Reviewing our accomplishments and thanking those who built this miracle.

King of Forts Rajgad

Pointing to infinity. The peak at the end is Budhala machi i.e. our destination.

Pointing to Sanjivani machi.

Crossing one more hill ... You can spot the doggy behind Aditya ..!!! He was too faithful .. Followed me till Velhe ... !!!

This is where Pali road turns up. This is just 25 percent of route as we descend down from Rajgad. I and Aditya parted our ways. I continued to march down to Torna while he continued along the road.

On the way to Torna there are few homes of localites. You can have stay and food over there.

Path was difficult at some places and impossible at few. But difficult was easy for me and impossible took little time.

I could stare the my itinerary all the way from Rajgad.

Finally at the base of Budhala machi. I was ready to give 100% but nature took 150% out of me. Only with help of my never give up attitude I was climed to top.

Even doggy was not able to believe what we achieved.

After strenous trek and difficult climbs it was time for most dangerous but beautiful walk of my life. All my trekking experience helped passing through it.

I passed Konkan darwaja reviewing awesome beauty behind.

There is small shed where you can get lime juice. Water tank with drinkable water is also there.

By now I was almost half dead due to 5 hours tough trek. Climate was hot and I was in desparate need of water. But when I saw Zunjarmachi which is recognised as most difficult to conquere I forgot baout everything else.

There were few youngsters who were willing to go to Machi but waiting for someone who can guide them. I told them its easy and I have done it many times. I just boosted there confidense.
We all moved towards Zunjarmachi. There are few rock patches which are risky. As few thousand feet valley is on other side. With extra precaution we covered it easily.

Views of Torna fort from Zhunjarmachi were awesome and I was proud to complete it sucessfully. Those youngsters were high in confidense now and on way back they led the route.


I will always remember the moment and that group who accompanied me.

I relaxed a bit .. enjoying and reviewing fantastic job done. Its pretty difficult to cover both forts in 36 hours covering all points ;). I celebrated with 3 glasses of lime juice.

On the descend of Torna towards Velhe village we can see amazing views. It was rained heavily just after I completed Zunjarmachi. So waether was pleasent but route became more difficult.

Prachandgad a.k.a. Torna fort

As I came close to Velhe it rained heavily. I literally carried 4-5 liters of water on my body for almost 1 km. With wet mind I arrrived at Torna vihar and ended my one of the best journey with tea and misal.

As always you can contact me for queries and information. Comments/Suggestions are expected. :)

Shridhar Purandare


  1. Sahi snaps aale aahet....
    too gud climate.
    no wonder, it's awesome...

  2. Hi,all pics are excellent thks for those.I wanted to do this treak this winter can u tell me some imp. things those are- 1st Is it necessary to take a rope while doing rajgad-torna i mean @ last where u climb budhala.2nd Is it good to have exp.person with u while doing this treak.3rd around what time u left rajgad in morning heading towards torna bez in winter sunset gets early.so kindly give suggestions for all three questions.Is it ok if I call u day before doing this treak.

  3. Hey .. You are always welcome to call me at any time ...

    1. Rope is not necessary if you have some experience.
    2. If you have company and exp then its not necessary to take anyone with you .. but if not then its recommended to have one exp trekker with you ...
    3. We left Rajgad by 6 am .. But if you have torch then you can leave much early .. doing so you will avoid sun torcher at the end ...

  4. Hi,Thks shridhar for replying to my queries I will surely call you.But one more thing few of my friend those u had done this treak said to me the last stage I mean climbing budhala was require skill{I.e one small mistake &.....}plz clarify that thing.

  5. Hey ,

    Its true on most of the places on this trek.
    There are many places like zunjar machi,budhala machi,sanjivani machi where one mistake can cost you life.

    But we are trekkers and we should be that careful.


  6. Hi Shridhar,
    Nice information. We have already done Rajgad, now we are planning to do the same trek but in reverse way i.e. from Torna to Rajgad in end of December. 1) How difficult it is to descend from Budhla Machi? 2)Drinking water is available on top? 3)Is it advisable to trek after 3 pm from Torna to Rajgad.4)How much time it will take from Velhe to reach top? 5) Can I call you in December?
    My Email Id is gadgilyoga@gmail.com


  8. Hi Shailesh,

    You can call me anytime at 9423872319.
    It is not advisable to start trek at 3pm.

    It takes 3 hours to reach top of Torna fort from Velhe. It also depends on stamina. Water is available on top of Torna and Top of Budhala machi. Do take water cleaning tablets.


  9. Hi Sridhar,

    me nagesh..aajach rajgad chi trek karun aalo...mazhe mitr (all youngesters) torna paryant gele...pan me rajgad cha sanjivani machi varun utartana ghasarlo ani pathi la thoda mukka maar basleya mule pudhe jau shaklo nanhi..(mazhe vay pan 58 varsh aahe)tuzha blog zhakkass aahe...mast herve gaar season chi pichures bagun dolyaala far thand aani sakoon vatla...keep up ur blogs alive..aani naveen mahiti det jaa...have a nice day / time....nagesh

  10. hey Shridhar

    Well compiled report. I have paid my respects to rajgad ..thru chor darwaja(from Gunjawne) .Plan to do the Rajgad to torna route this winter..This itinery of yours is quite helpful. A Map or a rough sketch with landmarks and directions would be extremely helpful though

  11. To view pics of Sahyadri forts, old temples & caves which I have clicked in Maharashtra, Goa & Karnataka, please visit the link http://picasaweb.google.com/sudarshan.multimedia

  12. amezing photos, Shridhar
    i want some information about the route,road condition etc., about purandar fort.If possible mail me on rahulkulkarnir@gmail.com

  13. Mujra Marathi Matila, Maharajanna, Mujara Aai chya ya sundar hirvyagar roopala.

  14. Terrific pics... Thanks for sharing information in very detailed manner.

  15. Excellent photographs !
    All the best .

  16. Hi Shridhar,

    The snaps are really mind blowing.

    We three friends are planning for the trek of Rajgad and Torna this December for celebration of New Year. Please advice me on the following queries.
    1. Visiting Rajgad and Torna in December is good or not.
    2. Can we stay on Torna fort for night?
    3. We don't have much trekking experience. So is it OK to complete this trek?
    4. Things necessary for trekkingto avoide difficulties in trekking.
    5. Finally, which mobile network supports at Rajgad and Torna.

    I will be very much thankful to you for the information.

  17. 1. ( Good in all seasons)
    2. (Yes off course if you have head torch )
    3. (yes. Stamina and Little bit carefulness required)
    4. (http://shridharattrekking.blogspot.com/2009/11/trekking-with-safety-makes-adventure.html)
    5. (BSNL works )

  18. Thanks for the information and valuable safety guide.
    Dose only BSNL network work there or any other also?

  19. Are 2 days sufficient for complete site seeing of both the forts?

  20. hey Shridhar whatever u hav done is srsly difficult......
    v(me n my trekking gr0up) had enjoyeddis trek..v cm frm d rajgad n torna trek yesterday..as it's winter the surface was nt dat slippery bt den also v find few areas wer difficult...and u did it in rainy season..
    srsly it ws amazing and full on dhamaal and full of adventurous experience 4 us to climb both prachand gad(torna) n bigest gad(rajgad)..

  21. owsome pics n d information is too helpful for new visitors, "photos khoop chan aani ekdum superb quality madhe kadhlet.

    glad 2 c!!!!


  22. I am speechless after reading your blog ! am an avid traveler too and the pictures in your blog are simply mind blowing. I live in Bangalore and have been wanting to do this trek for a long time .. finally i've decided to go in Oct 1st week. It is ok if i contact you on your cell for more info ?

    Keep up the good stuff!

  23. I've used 2 pics of yours for a not-for-profit web page at GHAC as we are planning to trek there this Nov. I've given your name against the pic. If there is any objection, let me know.

  24. Hi Shridhar,

    That's a wonderful blog and your notes will help many people who want to trek this region. I have one question. Are there any leeches on Rajgad Torna region. We are planning this one next week and two of my friends are afraid of leeches very much so want to know are there any on the route to Rajgad/torna and entire Trek.

    Thanks in advance.

  25. Hi Dinesh,

    Leeches are problematic only in Heavy Monsoon season. Currently no worry.

  26. Keep up with good work Sridhar. I have enjoyed Rajgad and Torana treks couple of times but not the one you did.
    Your narration is definately inspiring!

    Prasanna Tamhankar

  27. Hi,
    I Like all Pictures and information,
    This is a treaking book for new trekers.
    Keep it Up!

  28. hey, how would the trek be this around this 22-24 of june? will rains be a problem? please reply soon.

  29. The pictures are just awesome. I would love to do Rajgad & Torna Trek. I have done Jeevdhangad & Gorakshnathgad Before.

    Beautiful picturs.....


  30. Can we do this trek again in this or Next Month.

  31. Hi Shreedhar
    We have planned same trek on 12th and 13th of september.
    We found your post very useful and interesting. The pictures taken by u are simply outstanding.It has excited us much more than before.


    1. Hi Shrikant,

      Thanks a lot.
      Do let me know how your trek went?


  32. Hi Shridhar ...

    Can you please share your experience about the rock patches on Budhla Machi ...especially the third rock patch ...

  33. Ekdum Chabuk...amazing photos & good work dude... keep it up!!!

  34. i have never been to trek so far except one to kothaligad which not not so dangerous , i have no experience and my friends are palnning trek from rajgad to torna would i able do it??

  35. Hi shridhar mi shreyas mali sangli hun ami 9 boys trekking la chal loy frm torana to rajgad mala thoda far experience ahe mala thodya tips hauya hotya difficulties baddal ami 4 january 2014 la janar ahot. Mi ghabarto faar plz help me .

    1. You can ask your questions here .. I will try to answer.

    2. Torana to rajgad trek karta yeil ka sir

  36. Torana to rajgad trek karta yeil ka sir

  37. How to reach gunjavane darwaja of rajgad from gunjavane village?
    Not chor darawaja of padmavati machi

  38. Mitra tu jithe swim kele tyatle pani pinyas vaparle jaate.

  39. Amazing article! Three of us friends are going for it in the next week. Any ropes / harnesses we need to carry?
    Also, how would the weather be?

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. I and 3 of my friends followed your blog and then executed Gunjwane - Rajghad - Torna - Velhe successfuly. The blog has all the details!

    Vinay MP

  42. Hi,

    Excelant Journy Pic!!

    We are planing n this decenmber, please let me know which fort should we target first and last & where should we stay?

    Thanks in advance,

    Girish Modak

  43. And also Route to complete Rajgad-Torna

  44. Nice post. Once the capital of Maratha King, Shivaji, Raigad is a hill fortress situated near Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra. The fort can be accessed both by a cable car or by climbing around 1,500 steps. Click here to know more about Rajgad fort.

  45. Nice photos :) Not very informative on trek route though. Having done both the forts twice individually I am planning to do torna to rajgad. I had some ques..
    Is there another traverse instead of doing the rock patches of budhla machi? (not comfortable with descending rock patches)
    Do u have any info on stay at Velhe village?

  46. Is it safe for solo trekker to go torna fort from rajgad?

  47. I want to do it right now in April..yes summer is here but would start early in the day..and are ropes really required ?

  48. Is it possible to complete rajghad to torna in one day if u dont go to ballekilla coz i have seen it.



If you would have some suggestions and comments please express them here ....


Trekking Search Engine

Custom Search

Get notified of my adventures .....