Amidst the Maratha County lies the capital of Shivaji’s
kingdom. Tales of implausible gallantry and heroic deeds
are engraved on every nugget of this strategic empire,
Raigad. This is the very place were Shivaji built his
capital city and crowned himself Chhatrapati on June
6, 1674. It was here that he died on April 3, 1680.
Its strategic and historical importance makes it a
hit among revelers. There are umpteen places which one
can visit and enjoy, but the place which one cannot
give a miss is the Raigad fort.
Raigad which is situated 869 metres above sea level
is spread over a distance of 12 km from east to west
and one kilometer from north to south. The fort which
is also known as Durgadeshwar was originally named Raigiri.
It was given the name of Raigad by Shivaji. This very
fort was Shivajis capital.
The citadel is floating on an isolated hill of the
Sahyadri range. Pachchad village was initially the doorway
to the fort. There are around 1400-1450 steps that one
has to climb to make his way to the fort. But to reduce
the hurdles of the tourists, government has created
a short cut to the top of the fort. From 1996 a ropeway
has been started so that one can visit the place without
Though parts of Raigad are in ruins, yet they inspire
an atmosphere of magnificence. Once one enters the realm,
the world of Chhatrapati is an open book. Among the
other things one can enjoy seeing the weapons and swords
of those times. A film is also shown to the visitors
which entice one to explore more of the fort.
Attractions in the Fort:
Chit Darwaja also known as Jit Darwaja at the foothills
near Pachchad is much appreciated by the visitors. After
this one reaches the Khoob Ladha Buruj, a tower known
for its strategic importance.
After a complex climb, nearly a mile ahead stands the
awe inspiring Maha Darwaja which was built around 350
The darbar where the throne was placed is supposed
to be so acoustically designed that even now one can
hear a whisper from the Maha Darwaja. There are
loose ends of foundations of the Queen's Stambh, chieftains'
and ministers' wadas (bungalows).
A special entrance for the royal ladies and queens,
the Mena Darwaja is located at a higher posting. To
its left is the Rani Vasa or Queen’s Chambers.
These six chambers were known to be used by the royal
Another site to see in front of the Rani Vasa is the
Palkhi Darwaja. This was a special entrance for the
fleet of Shivaji Maharaj. Right to the Mena Darwaja
stands the office complex of Shivaji’s eight chief
Other places of interest:
The Ammunition Depot, Bara tanki(which is more than
a dozen of gigantic water reservoirs), Wagh Darwaja,
Rameshwar Mandir, Takmak Tok – an execution place
for criminals are some of the many places which are
worth a visit. A trip to Shivaji's honored tomb and
his faithful dog Waghya ought not to be missed by his
These caves which belong to the Buddhist period are
situated near Mahad, which is close to Raigad fort
There is an ancient temple of Lord Ganesh positioned
on a beautiful beach side refreshes ones senses
The well-known temple of Lord Shiva, built by the great
Peshwas is located on the seashore here. The beach is
plainly superb and should not be missed
The celebrated hill station of Maharashtra-Western
Ghats is situated only 75-km from the fort site.
This place is known as the sacrosanct abode of Swami
Ramdas, the Guru of Maharaja Shivaji.
For its immense beauty Raigad essentially remains
a hiker’s paradise. Admirable trekking places
exist all around Fort Raigad.
The fort lies on the east at a distance of 30-km and
is clearly visible from Raigad.
This fort is 3-km in the western Sahyadri range. At
a height of 2,969 feet from the sea level the place
was used to house prisoners by Shivaji Maharaj.
Birwadi - Raigad Trek:
Village Birwadi is 24-km away from Raigad. The trek
is along the river Kal which makes the journey refreshing
Nijampur - Fort Mangad - Raigad Trek:
Nijampur is on the northwest at a distance of 16-km
from Raigad. This is a stunning trek that one can enjoy
by foot. But be sure that you lots of water with you.
The trek is of 21-km down the river Gandhari up to
Konzar, then via Pachad to Raigad.
How to get there:
Air: Nearest airport is Pune, 126 kms.
Rail: On the Konkan railway the nearest station is
Veer-Dasgaon. From here the tourists have to take a
bus or taxi to Raigad.
Road: There are many exciting courses to Raigad, varying
from the relatively easy to the challenging. It can
be an adventure-filled day excursion from the hill station
of Mahabaleshwar or from Pune . Raigad is at a distance
of 140-km from Mumbai, 75-km from Mahabaleshwar, 150-km
State Transport buses work from Mumbai, Mahad and Pune
Rope-way is available from foot-hills to the top of
the fort (seasonal). On foot, one has to climb about
1450 steps from foot-hill to the top of the Fort.
Sea: From the Gateway of India to Alibaug by motor
launch one can reach in just 45 minutes. From there
the rest of the distance can be covered by road up to
The place which is a frequented tourist area is highly
hospitable. Various resorts and hotels are present throughout
some of which are:
The Byke A Hotel Retreat
Apart from these many self-contained rooms (6 blocks)
and Dormitories (2 blocks without beds which can home
100 tourists are also available. However they are mostly
closed in monsoons. Hence a check should be made before