‘Raigad’, a fort situated in the Raigad district of the Konkan division of Maharashtra needs no introduction to any person in Maharashtra. Raigad built on a hill called Rairi served as the capital of Marathas from 1674 AD to 1689 AD. Rairi was captured by Shivaji Maharaj in 1656 AD. From then on, it required 14 years to build a fort on it. Raigad was built by Hirojee Indalkar. In 1674 AD, coronation of Shivaji Maharaj took place on Raigad and since then it became the capital of Swarajya. Raigad stayed capital of Marathas until 1689 AD. A siege was put on Raigad by Emperor Aurangzeb in the year 1689 AD. The fort was surrendered by Marathas after Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was treacherously captured by Moghuls at Sangameshwar. The fort was then recaptured by Marathas in 1707 AD.
Raigad which is situated in the beautiful Konkan region has scenic landscapes around it. As one climbs the mountains, the scenic view which can be seen is simply mind blowing. The view is absolutely overwhelming during monsoons when the clouds perch themselves on the majestic Sahyadri mountains surrounding the fort.
Equal to the surrounding beauty, there are some iconic or perhaps legendary places of great historical importance on the fort. The royal court (it is recreated), Entrance of the Royal court, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Samadhi, Jagdishwar temple, Bajarpeth, Hirkani buruj, Takmak Tok etc.
Recreated Royal court
Entrance of the royal court
Samadhi of Shivaji Maharaj
सेवेसी तत्पर हिरोजी इंदाळकर
(Always) ready to serve (The Chhatrapati) Hiroji Indalkar
To reach the fort, one has to climb the steps from the foothill. There are around 1500 steps to reach the fort. It takes around 2 hours to climb the fort. The trek is not difficult but it is quite tiring. If one wishes to avoid the climb, he/she can opt for cable car which runs throughout the day from foothill to the top of the fort. While climbing one comes across 2 wells, the first one is hatti talav and the other one is called Ganga Sagar talav. The Ganga Sagar talav is just before the palace walls due to which a reflection of palace falls in it. The view of palace getting nearer and its reflection in the talav will give Goosebumps even to a person with little affection to history.
Gangasagar Talav and Rajmahal
Mahad is the closest city to Raigad. It is around 25 kilometers from foothill (Pachad Village) of Raigad. ST bus service runs from Mahad to foothill of Raigad frequently throughout the day. Mahad is well connected by ST bus services to major cities of Maharashtra. From Mumbai, first bus to Mahad is from Lower Parel at 6 AM in the morning and the last is at 11:30 PM in the night. There are restaurants as well as places to stay near the foothill and on the fort. Hotel Sarja provides food and room facilities on the fort and the foothills. MTDC has its units on the fort.
Other attractions on the fort includes the coronation ceremony which takes place every year on 6th June on account of anniversary of coronation of Shivaji Maharaj.
Raigad, a symbol of greatness inspires anybody looking for inspiration to overcome difficulties in life. Youth must visit the fort and understand its history and the history of Maharashtra and realize that to build a great empire a lot of sacrifices and tremendous will power to overcome difficulties was needed. We will require the same to make our country great again.
The view seen from Takmak Tok. The wind flows at very high speed here. Sitting here and looking at the scenic landscapes around refreshes our stressed minds.