We planned our Raigad Fort Trip on 1st May of 2016. We chose this day as you get a holiday on 1st May and the second reason is the Dhol Tasha celebration on Raigarh fort top. Everyone was excited to explore the massive fort and the additional dhamal, masti during the Raigad fort trek. Before visiting any place, I collect information about the place and here is the snapshot of the same.
Raigad Fort Information
Raigad fort is a type of best hill fort situated 2720 ft. Above sea level near Mahad in Konkan region. Raigad fort was the capital of the Maratha Empire which stood after great efforts of Shivaji Maharaj. Fort was constructed by Shivaji by appointing Hiroji Indulkar as Chief Architect/Engineer. There are 15 different names during different times – Raigad, Rairi, Islamgad, Nandadeep, Jambudweep, Tanas, Rashivata, Badenur, Raigiri, Rajgiri, Bhivgad, Reddi, Shivlanka, Rahir and Gibraltar of the east.
Raigad fort history
Fort was captured by Shivaji Maharaj in 1656 from Chandraraoji More who was the king of Jawali region. It was then known as Rairi but Shivaji Maharaj changed the named to Raigad i.e. King’s fort.
- 1656-1689 – Ruled by Maratha Empire
- 1689-1707 – Ruled by Mughal Empire
- 1707-1818 – Ruled by Maratha Empire
- 1818-1947 – East India Company & British Rulers
Location of Raigad Fort
- Here is the GMAP location of the fort – https://goo.gl/maps/BYuRZunKzeymFHmY8
Raigad Fort Map
Journey – Mumbai to Raigad Fort
Finally, we started our journey Saturday night from Mumbai by private mini Bus. Slowly, picking up everyone on our way, Panvel was the last pick up spot. Around 1:30 AM, we took a halt at a restaurant near Karnala Bird Sanctuary. There was regular normal traffic after Pen but we managed to reach before time i.e. around 4 AM.
Parking at Raigarh fort base
There is a lot of paid parking space available. Bikes, four wheelers, and Volvo buses can be parked easily. But, we got free parking. How? I will tell you ..keep reading.
Raigad fort Stay
There are many options for the stay but we preferred to stay at Pachad i.e base village of Raigad fort. Many people were excited to stay on top of the fort but the call was declined as there were fewer options on top of the fort for stay. In fact, there are only two options, one is MTDC resort and other is Raigad ropeway rooms. Unfortunately, both are not in good conditions and not recommended.
However, best stay options are homestay in Pachad village, which is cheaper, cleaner and with the good toilet facility as well.
We got two big halls at Yashwant’s place. One was for girls and other was for boys. Immediately, our trekking army went for sleep for 2-3 hours. There was enough open place in front of the home where we parked our bus without taking paid parking facility. We saved almost Rs. 250-300 bill of two days of bus parking. 🙂
Wake up call for Raigad Fort Trek
Around 7 AM, everyone woke up to the beautiful morning of Sunday. It is always pleasant to wake up somewhere in a countryside village. This was more refreshing than any morning in the city.
Quickly, everyone was ready and had Kande- Pohe in the breakfast along with Tea-Coffee biscuits. Around 8 AM, we started our trek from Pachad village. While everyone was rushing up to the Raigad ropeway, we were rushing to the stairs as we don’t want to miss the Dhol Tasha Salami by Jagdamb band.
We saw huge Black rock patch standing tall on our right side from where Hirkani descended. Few non-Maharashtrian from our group eagerly asked questions like How? & why?
Hirkani Buruj & Hirkani Story
During the Shivaji Maharaj reign, the gates were closed at sunset and would not open until the next morning due to the strict orders. Hirkani was a poor milkmaid. Daily, she used to supply milk on the fort. One day, she was late to return from the fort before sunset. But, Hirkani was desperate to reach home to feed her baby.
With no option left, she descended through the western cliff and reached home successfully. The courageous story spread across the region and Shivaji Maharaj recognized the efforts and bravery by felicitating her. Shivaji Maharaj built a wall at the unprotected vertical drop of Raigad fort and named it “Hirkani Buruj”.
Raigad Fort Trek
With the inspiring Hirkani Buruj story, we almost covered our first lap of the trek. It is said that there are more than 1500 steps to reach the top. Raigad fort trek difficulty level is EASY. Raigad Trek is good options for beginners, family, and kids as well.
After half an hour we reached Maha Darwaja. We were happy to climb so fast to the top of the fort. But later, we came to know that it’s not top and still there is a hike of half an hour more.
The scorching heat of summer was trying to slow down us but we kept moving slowly. Step by step with frequent halts at regular intervals we clicked pictures.
And finally, we reached the top around 10 AM. Everyone was asked to keep oneself hydrated as the whole plateau will take more than an hour or two to explore.
Jagadamb Dhol Tasha Pathak
As soon as we reached we went to open area searching for Dhol Tasha Pathak. Around 40-50 people were in the Jagadamb Team. It was an amazing performance by the whole group. Due to the time crunch, we moved to explore the Raigad fort.
A marketplace on top of the fort was both sided one mile long. It is said that one can shop by sitting on a horse. Market place used to serve approximately 2500 people who used to stay on the fort.
The Takmak Tok is a famous point of Raigad Fort from where a punished person used to be executed. If you overlook, one can observe the steepness and depth of the valley due to which it was very much dangerous. Nowadays, there are railings on both sides for the safety of visitors.
Nagarkhana Darwaja & Rajdarbar
As per the tale, King can hear the voice of the person standing on the door of Rajdarbar by sitting on the throne. Such technology and architecture were built on top of a fort.
Statue & Throne of Shivaji Maharaj
There is a beautiful statue of Shivaji Maharaj with throne which inspires every visitor like me. I sat down and watched the statue for a long time. It took me back into the pages of History. Undoubtedly, he was the only king loved by each and everyone even today. Amount of time spent on Raigad is always less if you compared history.
Hiroji Indulkar Step
By stepping inside from the front gate, you can see letters carved on the second step. The meaning of these words is “Hiroji Inlkar is at the service of” (Shivaji Maharaj).
Tombstone of Shivaji Maharaj
Shivaji Maharaj Samadhi is built near Temple. He passed away on 3rd April 1680. This Samadhi is octagonal and built with black stones. The base is hollow and said that ashes are kept inside. We salute the brave King Shivaji Maharaj and went ahead to Dog Statue.
Behind the Samadhi of King Shivaji, one can spot the statue of Dog on a square-shaped plinth. Waghya was the name of a dog who committed suicide by jumping into funeral pyre when Shivaji was cremated. There is a controversy among archaeologist that there is no evidence of the dog in history whereas few believe it and share strongly.
Ganga Sagar lake
Lake was named after the water from seven rivers was poured into it. Water was brought for the coronation ceremony of King Shivaji. This is one of the main sources of drinking water on fort even today.
There were ruins of 6 chambers of 6 queens of King Shivaji. It said that it was built intelligently with toilets inside. Only the floor with black stones marks the graph of a Palace structure. Most of the parts were destroyed by Britishers. Shivaji had total 8 queens out of which one used to stay at Pachad base village with Jijamata (Mother of Shivaji), Queen Saibai died at Rajgad and remaining 6 queens used to stay on Raigad Fort.
As we opt for the trek, we missed the Ropeway fun. Raigad Ropeway is the service started by Government for those who can’t trek till top but still want to explore the massive fort. With the help of Ropeway, within 15 minutes you reach the top of the fort.
Jagdishwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Temple is in very good condition and one can spot small Bull before the entrance. Temple is beside Shivaji Maharaj Memorial i.e. Samadhi
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Raigad Fort Images
Best time to visit Raigarh fort
Inspirational fort doesn’t need the best time to visit, whenever you need capsule of inspiration, get up and trek to Raigarh Fort. However, winter (Nov-Feb) is the best season for full day fort exploration. The rainy season (July – Sept) is also good but there is low visibility at times. Summer (Mar-June) is not that much recommended but with the help of Raigad Ropeway services you can plan out the day.
How to Reach Raigad Fort
Raigad fort ropeway
Special service available if you are running short of time or can’t trek the fort then go for amazing Raigad fort ropeway services. Raigad ropeway ticket is Rs. 400 (Return Ticket). Raigad Ropeway timings are from morning to evening. Mostly, people go on top by ropeway and return by steps.
Raigad Ropeway office
Telephone number: (02145) 202122
Pune airport i.e. Lohegaon Airport is the nearest airport to Raigad fort. It is just 140 km from Raigad Killa. Once you landed in Pune, you can reach by road or rail to the Raigad Killa. From the base village, opt for Raigad ropeway services available in Pachad village.
Mumbai to Raigad Fort
By Road: It is 170 Km. One can easily drive down with the help of GPS location.
By Rail: It is the cheapest way to Raigad fort from Mumbai. The nearest station to Raigad fort is Vir Dasgaon. From the station, you can hire share autos/Jeep till Mahad and from Mahad to Pachad i.e. base village of Raigad fort there are many options available.
Pune to Raigad Fort
By Road: It is 130 Km. One can easily drive down with the help of GPS location.
By Rail: As there are no direct trains available, one has to opt by road else visit Mumbai by train and then again by train to Raigad Killa.
Raigad fort Stay Options
There are few options on top of Raigarh Fort. Mostly, you will see MTDC resort but that’s not in such good condition and I’ll not recommend the same. Another is Raigad Ropeway Hotel near Ropeway services but again that is also not in a condition to recommend.
Hotels near Raigad Fort
There are many Raigad homestay with good hospitality options available at the base of the fort. If you are looking for good luxury resorts then check out Kolad Resort.
Here is my Raigad Fort Trek blog which I have tried to write it down in detailed to serve most of you as a Raigad Travel Guide. Do share you Raigad Trek experience with me. I will be more happy to hear from you if any changes needed in the above article in all manner.