A palace constructed with a wood, breath-taking landscape and mountain peaks. Raigad Fort from one side is surrounded by the Sahyadri mountain range, while the other side by deep valleys draped in green and river. Most loved spot for trekkers with roughly 1400+ steps leading to the fort likewise you can even pick adventure ride through rope-way to reach the top of the fort.
Raigad Fort has situated 25 km to the north of the Mahad town of Maharashtra, India. It has served as the capital of the exalted Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji. There are many gateways in the fort namely, the Nagarkhana Darwaja, the Mena Darwaja, and the Palkhi Darwaja, along with the Maha Darwaja which is the main entrance to the fort and has a majestic ambience. Probably the best time to visit the Raigad Fort is in the Monsoons or post-monsoon month. It’s a 1-2 day trip. The fresh monsoon makes the walk even more perfect in woods and mountains.
How to reach Raigad Fort?
One can reach Raigad either from Mumbai or Pune. You could enjoy an amazing scenic view of travelling by road. The best route to follow would be via Mahad. It is a slightly longer route but through the highway.
Favourable route for Mumbai: – Panvel – Pen – Nagothane Fata – Indapur – Mangaon – Mahad and then Pachad (Base village Raigad fort Maharashtra).
Favourable route for Pune: – Kamshet – Khopoli – Sajgoan and then Raigad.
- The convenient railheads to reach Raigad fort Maharashtra are Mangoan station or Vir-Dasgaon stations on the Konkan railway. It is recommended to alight at Veer Railway Station which lies about 40 km from Raigad town. Moreover, you could easily find buses and other private vehicles from stations to the fort.
- Pune airport is the nearest and about 126 km away from the fort.
- People from Mumbai can also reach this fort by Boat available from Gateway of India till Alibaug. They hardly take 45-50 minutes to reach Alibaug. From there you can find private vehicles till Raigad.
Long-time back there was only one route to reach to the top and as a result, people were awarded for climbing the fort via mountain ridges and unconventional methods.
Raigad Fort Ropeway:
There is a ropeway built-in 1996 at the base village which takes you to the top in about 15-20 minutes. This is a good facility for senior people or physically challenged persons to reach fort through a ropeway. In the monsoon season, it feels like moving around Sahyadri Mountain Range amidst clouds, mist, and lush green surroundings. Ropeway ride costs INR 300 for adults and INR 200 for senior citizens.
You may have to wait for about an hour to board the ropeway on a busy day. The ropeway is open from 8 AM to 5 PM. It is a rather picturesque climb that lands at the Mena Darwaja of the fort.
Trek to Raigarh Fort:
Raigad is among the most famous trekking destinations in Maharashtra. Trek to Raigad takes about 2 hours to reach the fort. Best way to experience the splendid natural beauty of Raigad. June to October is said to be the best season to enjoy the eye-pleasing views of surrounding Sahyadri Mountain Range.
Overall it is an exciting trek that can be finished in one day from Pune. The general trek starts at Pachad, which is roughly 24 kilometres away from Mahad; a shallow seaport on the banks of the Savitri River. Also, some other places like Fort Torana, Fort Lingana, Fort Mangad, and Birwadi, located in and around the Raigad Fort, provides some beautiful trek routes. Therefore the trek is fascinating but maybe a little difficult for beginners.
Places to visit inside the Raigad Fort:
We went by roads on two-wheelers and it was a completely adventurous journey. A pretty long ride and the road are average but the beautiful view and crossing by Tamini ghat are worth a shot. We decided to trek till top as the weather was a wonderful cloudy and cool breeze. At the central door, we halted to get tickets for each one. INR 15 was for a ticket per person. We started from Mahadarwaza then to Rajwada Parisar(where the king used to reside) and other places around in fort.
Mahadarwaja is the main gate of the fort. This huge door has a strong fortification on its both sides. The construction is amazing, you can also expect echo voice in some part of the palace. There is a watchtower next to Gangasagar lake. In the monsoon season, local people set food stalls in between the trekking route of Raigad to serve well and attract travellers giving them a good reason to visit the place again.
Mena Darwaja used to be the special door made for the entrance of royal queens and ladies living with them. Rani Vasa or Queens’ Chambers is to the left side of Mena Darwaja. The royal ladies were utilizing these six rooms. In front of the Rani Vasa is the Palkhi Darwaja, a special passage for the entrance of Shivaji Maharaj.
The convoy of the king used to pass from the Palkhi Darwaja. There are three dark and deep chambers to the right of Palkhi Darwaja. These were the granaries for the fort.
There is a deep valley down this point of the fort and single rock starting from the top and ending straight at the base. They used to push the criminals into the valley from Takmak Tok for the death sentence. However, the present view talks completely different about the place that is fascinating in a way you can look up for some great pictures.
Other Key Attractions:
Bazar building is situated next to the Nagarkhana. Earlier it used to have 22 old style Stores. Today this building is in ruins but good to have look at the unusual place arrangements.
Bajarpeth Market & Shivaji Maharaj Samadhi:
We walked down to reach to the market Bajarpeth there is a big statue of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj sitting on sinhasan. You could sense the aura of Chatrapati Shivaji would use to have by looking at the statue. Moving ahead is the Lord Shiva Jagdishwar Temple where you can stay for while taking rest and experience great peace within.
Accommodation near Raigarh Fort:
You can find many hotels nearby the surrounding district of Raigad fort Maharashtra. Even now MTDC resort is available in Raigad with good accommodation facilities. There are many other closed shelters too where you can stay. If you are with your family, we’d recommend that you stay in the MTDC resorts and it requires to do an advance booking.
Raigad fort is ideal for camping, we had a great photo session at every place. Remember to carry cash and change to buy snacks and beverages from the canteens or local vendors. They are located at the base or maybe around the fort and at the top. Even in restaurants snacks served are kanda bhaji, pitla bhakhri, and a full-meal Maharashtrian thali.
The Raigad Fort certainly refreshes you in a way with a wonderful landscape. Such a historical place makes you almost recall the era of kings and their captivating empire build at that time. You simply adore it and above all salute to Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj samadhi for it. We head back to regular life with a never-ending experience and for Pune/ Mumbai people it’s an every year story.
It’s said in Latin “Veni. Vidi. Amavi.”– We go, We see, We love.
Images Courtesy: Sanket Khultale
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