RAIGAD FORT

Statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Raigad Fort
Statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
This is the very heart of Maratha kingdom - Raigad, the capital of Shivaji's kingdom, which was earlier known as Rairi Fort. It was here in 1674 that Shivaji crowned himself as Chhatrapati and it was here that he breathed his last. The approach to Raigad was impossible for foes. Being the capital, a small town was set up there provided with essential facilities and stronghold defense.

Raigad, 29 kilometers north to Mahad, is situated in the Sahyadri ranges, strategically perched, covered with jungles and surrounded by high peaks and deep valleys.  Since it was impregnable the Britishers called it 'Gibraltar of the East'. The most prominent among the remains are, Ganga Sagar reservoir, Bale Killa (the citadel), Raj Darbar (King's Court), Jagdishwar Temple. The low mound in the centre, at which now stands the bronze canopy, is the site of Shivaji's throne. Also there is a tomb-temple (samadhi) under which Shivaji is taking eternal rest, after being cremated.

Raigad hill, slightly detached part of north-south running karkai range, is a huge irregular wedged-shaped mass of rock, cut from the main body of the Sahyadris, by a deep valley carved by river Kal. The hill top has three main points, Hirkani in the west, Takmak in the north and Bhavani in the east. On three sides, west, south and east, the hill faces are so sheer, practically inaccessible, and needed no artificial fortification. Lying to the west of the Sahyadris, Raigad is entirely surrounded on all sides by a sea of lofty hills and innumerable spurs intercepted by ravines of varying steepness. Thus the fort's effectiveness is tremendously enhanced by its position.

The establishment of a major new fort with its well equipped defenses, including a fortified town at the base, was a massive undertaking but Shivaji's architects and engineers served him well, by converting the lofty hill selected by Shivaji into impregnable stronghold.

Today a moderate road goes about a mile above Pachad, the base village for Raigad. The path starts from Pachad, 23 kilometers away from Mahad. On the way stand Maha Darwaza, Hirkani Bastion, Takmak Point.

Nearest Railway Station
Vir Dasgaon Railway Station (Konkan Railway Route)

Distance
Mumbai to Raigad - 177 kilometers (By Road) Via NH17
Pune to Raigad - 137 Kilometers (By Road) Via SH60

Photo Gallery

Raigad Fort
Raigad
Raigad Fort
Ganga Sagar Lake

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