High up on the hill of Raigad in which the sturdy winds will buffet you and the valleys around will mesmerize you with their scenic splendour is the citadel of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the remarkable king of the Maratha Empire. This became the capital during his rule, additionally important for the fact that Shivaji’s coronation occurred here on June 6, 1674. It was also here that he breathed his ultimate. The fortress these days is a fave vacationer vacation spot, additionally high up on the popularity chart with avid trekkers due to its tough terrain.
Raigad is located in the taluka of Mahad and the castle rises 820 meters above sea level. As ancient information show, the citadel turned into recognized by means of special names at one-of-a-kind times, which includes Tanas, Rasivata, Nandadeep and Rayari. It was to begin with underneath the manager of Chandrarao greater of Jawali and captured via Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj whilst he defeated extra in a fierce warfare in 1656 CE, following which he re-named it Raigad. It changed into around this time that the bounds of the Maratha Empire i.e. Swarajya have been increasing and Shivaji felt the need to shift the capital from Rajgad. He therefore set his attractions on Raigad, a fort he appreciated because of its steepness and as an alternative ordinary structure which would dissuade his enemies or make it too hard for them to attack it.
Shivaji then deployed Hiroji Indulkar, an architect and engineer, to carry out the important changes in addition to upload new structures to accommodate his military. The terrific bastions, ramparts, wells, water reservoirs, residences both for commoners and dignitaries, gardens, pathways, pillars, and the palatial structures for the king and his own family for this reason came into being. a number of the opposite attractions of the fortress have been the massive temple of Wadeshwar (also called Jagadishwar), different smaller temples, Mahadarwaja, huge storage rooms for food grains, Ratnashala, Nagar Peth that consisted of 43 structures in a row, and lots extra.
Hiroji also carved a stone inscription near the Wadeshwar Temple and listed there the things that had been constructed at the fortress. This inscription is in Sanskrit and Devnagari script. However at the same time as those had been all guy-made systems, Raigad additionally offered one of the maximum ‘natural’ protections via its Bhavani Tok and Takmak Tok with vertigo-inducing drops of four hundred meters on both aspects. A well-known structure at the fort is regionally referred to as as the Hirkani Buruj. A totally popular legend is associated with it. Its miles concerning a woman referred to as as Hirkani, who used to promote milk at the citadel. Generally she used to go to the village at the bottom of the citadel, right now after promoting the milk as her infant son turned into saved at domestic. one day she become locked in the castle because the gates were given closed after sunset and she did no longer have any way to go to her village. But the issue for her infant made her descend a precarious cliff in the dark. Learning this Chhatrapati Shivaji additionally instructed her to repeat this feat. On doing this once more she was offered by way of him.in a while Chhatrapati Shivaji were given a wall constructed in that place and due to the fact that then it's miles referred to as the Hirkani Buruj. The cave at the lowest, referred to as Vaghbil, has an instantaneous reference to the Palaeolithic duration, hooked up from the findings of the stone tools belonging to that era. After the loss of life of Shivaji, Raigad become seized through Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and the call becomes changed to Islamgad for a short spell.
To attain Raigad, you may take a state delivery bus from Pune or Mumbai and get down at Mahad that is on countrywide dual carriageway 17. From Mahad this citadel is just about 26 kilometers, handy with the assist of neighborhood transportation. For accommodation, you could strive the MTDC inn that's at the hill top. There is also a motel at the bottom of the fort. Unlike some of the alternative hill forts, there is no scarcity of water supply at Raigad or of food.
Best Time to Visit Raigad:
Summers are extremely hot and thus winters, from November to March, are the ideal time to visit Raigad. Also, winters happen to be the time of many festivals in Raigad.
Route from Mumbai: Take NH17 from Mumbai - Panvel- Mahad via Lonera Phata and Dasagon - Raigad. Ropeway is available from foot hills to the top of the fort. Fee: Rs.140/-.
Train : Vir Dasgaon railway station (40kms) is the nearest railhead which is connected to Mumbai and Pune with regular trains. Taxis are available from Vir Dasgaon to Raigad.
Bus : State transport offer ply from Mumbai and Pune to Raigad. Raigad is well connected to all neighboring cities by the public transport buses, including Kolhapur (250 km), Pune (150 km), Mumbai (140 km) and Mahabaleshwar (75 km).
What To See:
Raigad Fort: Raigad Fort, also called as 'the Gibralter of the east' was the invincible capital of the legendary king Sivaji. Placed at an altitude of 2700 feet on an irregular wedge-shaped mass of rock, Raigad fort is inaccessible from three sides. A massive fort, nested on a steep vertical rock face, appears defiant and insurmountable. This Fort presents a terrifying look and it is very difficult to get into the fort through the rocky path. All sides appear as if it fell down from a huge mass of solid rock. Raigad ropeway that is inaugurated recently, makes the ascent to the fort very easy.
Alibag Town: Alibag or Alibaug is a coastal town and a municipal council in Raigad District of Maharashtra, India. It is headquarters of the Raigad district. It The town and its surrounding villages are the historic hinterland of Bene Israeli Jews. It is famous for various beaches some of them are Alibag beach, Varsoli beach, Akshi beach etc.
Ballaleshwar Ganapati: Named after Ballal, son of Kalyan Shreshthi, from whose `tapasya', Ganesh appeared at pali. The deity is known as Ballaleshwar. Erlier the deity was placed in a wooden temple. The wooden temple was so constructed that the rays of the sun would fall directly on the deity from the two equinoxes of the temple. The temple was reconstructed in 1770 by Morobadada Phadanvis. The Ganesh idol in the temple is 3 ft. high. Behind the temple, another temple of Ganesh, known as Dhundi Vinayak is situated. The Peshwas had installed the big bell, in the temple which is of Portuguese make. Nearby Pali is Sudhagad which is famous for its hot springs.
Ganga Sagar Lake: An artificial lake constructed adjacent to the Raigad fort, Gangasagar Lake is a wonder. The popular belief is that this pond was built in the time of Sivaji's coronation and water from the holy river Ganges had been brought to this lake for Sivaji's crowning ceremony. The villages and the resort on the top is getting drinking water all-round the year from this magnificent lake. The all-embracing Palace and Queen's Chamber are located adjacent this lake. The remains of the watchtowers of the fort can be seen from this Lake.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary: Karnala Bird Sanctuary is two hour drive from Thane creek and Panvel. The sanctuary is open all through the year but the best time to visit the place is from October to April. Resident birds can be seen in any season of the year but the Migratory birds come between October and April. MTDC offers tents and Forest Departments has a rest house and cottages on the highway. In monsoon the still forest ruffled by the melodies of songbirds. Racket tailed drongo mimic the call of all other birds.
Queen’s Palace: Raigad fort is a blend of numerous amazing structures, and the Queens Palace is one among them. The Queen's quarters in the fort consists of six chambers with each chamber having its own private commode with plumbing. The royal ladies were using these six rooms.
Kolad: White water river rafting is a well-known adventure water recreation for population residing in Mumbai and Pune. The Kundalika River in Kolad is the exceptional choice for white water rafting in Maharastra. The big quantity of water launched from a neighborhood dam each morning creates good opportunities for rafting. The Maharastra government promotes Kundalika river rafting through its official tourism website.River rafting at Kundalika starts offevolved at around 8 a.m. each day simply after the water is released from the dam.