Winter Trip To The Raigad Fort!!!

किल्ले रायगड आणि आम्ही अलमोस्ट ३० 


Type: Hill Fort 

Height: 1356 meters / 4400 ft

Difficulty: Medium

Endurance Level: Basic Endurance Level

Base Village: Pachad, Mahad, Raigad, Maharashtra, India

Built By: Hiroji Indulkar

Materials: Stone, Lead


History

Raigad is a hill fort situated in the Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj built this fort and made it his capital in 1674 when he was crowned as the King of a Maratha Kingdom which later developed into the Maratha Empire, eventually covering much of western and central India.

The fort rises 820 metres (2,700 ft) above the sea level and is located in the Sahyadri mountain range. There are approximately 1737 steps leading to the fort. The Raigad Ropeway, an aerial tramway exists to reach the top of the fort in 10 minutes. The fort was looted and destroyed by the British after it was captured in 1818.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj seized the fort in 1656, then known as the fort of Rairi from Chandrarao More, a feudatory of the Sultan of Bijapur. Shivaji Maharaj renovated and expanded the fort of Rairi and renamed it as Raigad (King's Fort). It became the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja's maratha kingdom.

The villages of Pachad and Raigadwadi are located at the base of the Raigad fort. These two villages were considered very important during the Maratha rule in Raigad. The actual climb to the top of the Raigad fort starts from Pachad. During Chhatrapati Shivaji's rule, A cavalry of 10,000 was always kept on standby in Pachad village.

After capturing Rairi from Chandrarao More, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj also built another fort Lingana around 2 miles away from Raigad. The Lingana fort was used to keep prisoners.

In 1689, Zulfiqar Khan captured Raigad and Aurangzeb renamed it as Islamgarh. In 1707, Siddi Fathekan captured the fort and held it until 1733.

In 1765, The fort of Raigad along with Malwan in present Sindhudurg District, the southernmost district of Maharashtra, was the target of an armed expedition by the British East India Company, which considered it a practical stronghold.

In 1818, the fort was bombarded and destroyed by cannons from the hill of Kalkai. And on 9 May 1818, as per the treaty, it was handed over to the British East India Company.

Major features

The Raigad Fort was built by "Chandrarao More" of Jawali and the chief architect/engineer was "Hiroji Indulkar". The main palace was constructed using wood, of which only the base pillars remain. The main fort ruins consist of the queen's quarters, six chambers, with each chamber having its own private restroom. In addition, Ruins of three watch towers can be seen directly in front of the palace grounds out of which only two remain as the third one was destroyed during a bombarding. The Raigad Fort also has ruins of a market which was accessible to riders sitting on horses. The fort also overlooks an artificial lake known as the Ganga Sagar Lake.

The Maha Darwaja
The only main pathway to the Fort passes through the "Maha Darwaja" (Huge Door). The Maha Darwaja has two huge bastions on both sides of the door which are approximately 65–70 feet in height. The top of the fort is 600 ft higher from the location of this door.

The fort has a famous wall called "Hirakani Buruj" (Hirkani Bastion) constructed over a huge steep cliff. The legend goes "that a woman by the name of Hirakani from a nearby village had come to sell milk to the people living at the fort. She happened to be inside the fort when the gates got closed and locked past sunset. Hearing the cries of her infant son back at the village echo after nightfall, The anxious mother couldn't wait till dawn and courageously climbed down the steep cliff in pitch dark all due to the love for her little one. She later repeated this extraordinary feat in front of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and was bravely rewarded for it." In appreciation of her courage and bravery, Shivaji Maharaj built the Hirkani Bastion over this cliff.

The King's (Durbar) inside the Raigad Fort has a replica of the original throne that faces the main doorway called the Nagarkhana Darwaja. This enclosure had been acoustically designed to aid hearing from the doorway to the throne. A secondary entrance, called the Mena Darwaja, was supposedly the private entrance for the royal ladies of the fort that lead to the queen's quarters. The convoy of the king and the king himself used the Palkhi Darwaja. To the right of Palkhi Darwaja, is a row of three dark and deep chambers. Historians believe that these were the granaries for the fort.

The Takmak Tok
From the fort, one can view the execution point called Takmak Tok, a cliff from which sentenced prisoners were thrown to their death. This area has been fenced off.

The statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is erected in front of the ruins of the main market avenue that leads to the Jagdishwar Mandir and his own Samadhi and that of his loyal dog named Waghya. The Samadhi of Jijabai Shahaji Bhosale, Shivaji's mother, can be seen at base village of Pachad.

Additional famous attractions
Additional famous attractions of the fort include the Samadhi of Jijabai, the Khubladha Buruj, Nane Darwaja and the Hatti Talav (Elephant Lake).

Trek Experience - Raigad 

A perfect trekking experience with buddies.

As we chosen to go by stairs that was around 1500 as per localites. There are some other alternative trails through the jungle which includes around 600 stairs. As we were almost 30 people, we were divided depending on speed or individual. At the central door we halted till all people comes in where we needed to get tickets for each one. INR 15 was ticket per person.

We had a great photo session there and then we moved together furthermore. It was a great walk to the top. After crossing Elephant Lake we started to have our breakfast which was carried by trek mates which included Bhel, Chapati Mirchi, etc etc. After refreshment, we moved ahead doing photo shoot and chilling wheather adn chit-chatting.

We reached to Samadhi of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at around 10am. Then after some time we started to trek down of fort as we needed to move to Dapoli. We again splitted depending on speed and someone picked other route via jungle to get to bus.

Though we were trekking separately, it was a very memorable trek of the life as we were more in numbers and it was started early morning.




























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How to Reach Raigad
  1. Pune to Raigad fort By Road
    • From Pune head southwards on NH 4 for about 48 kms and then you have to turn left from the highway after passing Kivki Village to get to Bhor…..from Bhor continue your journey westwards on the same road till you reach Mahad, which is about approx 100 kms from Bhor. Once you reach Mahad you have to turn north towards Pachad village which is the base village of Raigad fort.
    • OR
    • From Pune head westwards on Paud road to reach Mangaon, which is town on NH 17 and 120 kms from Pune. After reaching Mangaon move southwards on NH 17 to reach Mahad. From Mahad reach Pachad Village by the same route described in 1. 
    • OR
    • Pune -Mulshi- Nizampur - Pachad - Raigad
  2. Mumbai to Raigad fort By Road  
      • Route of Mumbai to Ratangad fort - Mumbai - NH 17 - Mangaon - Nizampur - Pachad - Raigad

      Time to reach the top
      1-3 hours from the base village Pachad.

      Minimum Duration
      1-2 days.

      Best time to visit the fort
      June to February, Better to go post-monsoons if you want to concentrate on photography.

      Water Availability
      Yes there are many cisterns on the fort which have water till the end of the winter season and starting of summer season. Also there is a pipeline of water on the fort, so no issues of water availability.

      Accommodation Availability
      Raigad fort is ideal for camping. There are many closed shelters where you can stay. If you are with your family, we'd recommend that you stay in the MTDC resorts available on the fort which require advance booking. 

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