Monday, 26 June 2017

Sanjeevani Machi (Rajgad)

sanjeevani-machi
Sanjeevani Machi seen from the Vyaghramukh Bastion
The strategic importance, the well-planned architecture and the fact that it took me 5 visits to Rajgad to visit Sanjeevani machi, merits it its own blog post.

Sanjeevani machi (fortified part of a mountain ridge) is one of the most heavily fortified areas of the Rajgad fort. The fort has two other such ridges, namely, Suvela machi and Padmavati machi. The balekilla (citadel) of the fort is nested at the meeting point of these machis. The Sanjeevani machi hosts a gateway named Alu Darwaja (door). Through this ‘darwaja’ one can access the route which meets up with the Budhla machi on the neighbouring Torna fort.

Sanjeevani machi can be divided into 3 parts for better explanation. The first part is the length from the Balekilla to the Tehalni (observation) Buruj (bastion); the second part is from the Tehalni Buruj to Vyaghramukh bastion; and the third part is from the Vyaghramukh to the last bastion of the machi.

Pali Darwaja
To get to the machi, one has to start walking towards the balekilla from Padmavati machi. Right below the balekilla, there is a fork in the path. The left path goes up to the balekilla while the right path goes to Sanjeevani machi. Taking the left path, one has to cross through a small doorway. On crossing the doorway, you’ll see the path sloping downwards for some distance. On the left, you can see the Pali Darwaja, which guards what used to be the primary route up the fort.

Tehalni buruj and the path that goes down to the machi
Tehalni Buruj and the path
to the machi
The path, traverses the length of the balekilla and reaches the first part of the machi. AS you walk towards the Tehalni Buruj, you can see the remains of a Sadar (office). As you move ahead, you come upon the remains of the Tehalni buruj. Unfortunately, there is no place to climb the buruj as most of the structure has crumbled away. On the right of the buruj, through a gateway you can descend to the second part of the machi.
As you climb down the ruined stairway, you can see the part of machi till the Vyaghramukh. This is another thing I noticed about the machi. The machi is at three levels and at the end of each level you have a bastion and a gateway.


Vyaghramukh and the doorway
The second part of the machi hosts a number of large water tanks, but little else. At the end of this part is the Vyaghramukh bastion. You can get an amazing view of Sanjeevani machi’s dual fortifications from this place. Just before this bastion, on the left, is another gateway which goes down to the third and final part of the machi.

Water tanks on the machi
Once you descend through the gateway, you’ll be able to see a small doorway in the left wall. This gateway is known as Alu Darwaja. Moving forward, you’ll be able to see the final bastion of the machi. You’ll notice that only this part of the machi has two layered fortification. The path towards the bastion goes along the inner wall.

The two walls have a small gap between them. This space is around 2 feet wide and about 8-10 feet deep.

Another interesting thing about the machi’s architecture is that it has multiple additional bastions at regular intervals. These bastions form the first part of the machi’s defence and are located at a lower level than battlements. These bastions have been made accessible with the use of small tunnels through the walls.
Some of these doorways allow entrance to the gap between the walls, while others have small tunnels which pass underneath the walls. Besides these, there is also one place with stairs to descend into the gap.

On the left side, just before the doorway, you can enter the gap between the two walls. From this point it’ll take you around 3-5 minutes to reach the stairs mentioned earlier.
There are a few odd things you might notice if you choose to enter. One is that there are some gaps in the wall which seem like murder holes, sloping downwards into the gap. In another part of the fortifications, there is a small stone carving which looks to be completely out of place.

At the end of the of the machi, you have the final bastion. This bastion is quite large and has some ruins which seem to be mounting points for cannons. We saw three of these mounting points on the bastion. The bastion also has its battlements made to enable cannon fire. Right next to the bastion, you have a small doorway which leads down to an additional outer bastion.

If you visit the machi in winter or summer, you’ll have a greater chance of getting an amazing view of the balekilla from this bastion. Finally, It takes around one to two hours to explore this machi end-to-end.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Sarasgad

Sarasgad in winter. Seen from Pali

Fort Facts

Name: Sarasgad
Type: Hill Fort
Height: 490 metres
District: Raigad
Base Village: Pali
Route: Pune-Lonavala-Khopoli-Pali

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Tung Fort

Tung Fort as seen from Tikona Fort.
Tung is a small fort located in the Maval region of the Pune district. This fort can be accessed from Lonavala, as well as from Pune. The Google map links for both routes are given in the footnotes. The route from Lonavala is via INS Shivaji and Amby Valley, while the route from Pune is via Paud.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Tikona

Tikona is a small outpost fort located in the Maval region of the Pune district in Maharashtra, India. This fort is famous with first timers in trekking as it has a simple climb and is quite close to Pune city. This fort is usually scaled with Tung another outpost for located nearby. In fact, Tung and Tikona are separated just by the backwaters of the Pavana dam.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Rajgad - The King of Forts

I was just going through all my blog posts today, and I was surprised to find that there were no posts about Rajgad, a fort which I have visited at least 4-5 times! I figured that this oversight must be remedied at once, and I set to work!