Incredible, amazing, and glorious, these words are just the beginning of the greatness of the Raigad if you haven’t heard the royal and majestic capital of the mighty Maratha Empire. Accessible only by a steep pathway, a high vertical cliff marks the perfect fort. The fort will serve as the Capital of the Maratha Empire as long as the sunrise in the east.
You might wonder that the other hill forts in the great Sahyadri mountain range are bigger and ideal for the capital but believe me this fort has its own plus point over all of them. A strong and defending strategic location, an excellent hilltop make it a perfect place to lay the foundation of the ruling capital fort of the Maratha Empire.
The Raigad is surrounded by high hills. The river Kal flows on the Northern and Eastern sides while another river Gandhari flows on the western side. In the south, you will see the other forts like Makrandgad, Pratapgad, Vasota, and Kokandiva in the north. Trekking on Royal Raigad is not hard if you have climbed the Harihar and other forts of the Sahyadri Range. But riding in the history of the Raigad will always fascinate you with his wonders and glory.
In the modern-day, the fort is in the Raigad District of the Maharashtra state. 25 KM north of the Mahad city. Metrocity Mumbai, Pune, and Satara have the same distance from the Raigad fort. The fort measures about 2800 feet from the sea levels and has approximately 1800 steps if you count them personally. If you climb all the steps, you will be on the hilltops in one and a half hours or you can take Raigad Ropeway.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj rebuilt the Raigad fort with the chief engineer Hiroji Indulkar after they won this from the king of Jawali. Before the Raigad the fort is known by the name of Rairi built by the Chandraraoji More. not in history but in the present-day also the fort stands top for the inspiration of many people.
The Maratha Empire started its rule from this fort in 1656 AD up to 1818 AD. The fort is turned as the key to rule the whole Deccan plateau. Mughal Empire had this from 1689 AD to 1707 AD, then British East India Company from 1818 AD to 1858 AD. As the British Empire started its rule, the fort always faced destruction and they tried all they could to turn this into the ruins.
In the old days, the hill is known by the two names, “Tanas” and “Rasiwata” while the name “Nandadeep” is due to its high peak. There are also other names like Islamgad, Jambudweep, Badenur, Raigiri, Biivgad, Reddi, Shiv Lanka, and Rahir.
In the end, the month may in 1656, the fort is under control of the Maratha Empire. The fort is far better than the “Daulatabad Fort” from the central Deccan area for the capital. The villages of Pachad and Raigadwadi are closest to the Raigad Fort, both villages had their own part in the rule of the Maratha Empire like Village Pachad where the cavalry of 10,000 is always kept on standby.
In the year 1689, Mughal captured this fort and renamed it the Islamgad but in 1707 it is taken by the Siddi Fathekan. In 1733 the fort was again united with the Maratha Empire by the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj until 1818. From 1765 the fort is a target by the expansion of the British East India Company and they destroyed it by the cannons. As per the treaty on 9 May 1818, it is merged with the British East India Company.
In the republic of India, the Archaeological society took control to restore the fort and try to re-establish its former glory. The Chhatrapati of Kolhapur’s seat of the Maratha Empire works particularly in the lead to restore these historical monuments and their true heritage.
- Palace of Rajmata Jijau
- Nana Darwaja
- Maha Darwaja
- Hatti Talav
- Gangasagar Talav
- Stambha: Tawers
- Palkhi Darwaja
- Mena Darwaja
- Rajdarbar:Royal Court
- Bajarpeth:Fort Market
- Temple of Shirkai
- Temple of Jagadishwar
- Resting Place of Maharaj
- Wagh Darwaja
- Takmak Tok
- Hirakani Tok
An ideal trip for you, your friends, and your family. The availability of ropeway improves its access to senior citizens, disabled persons, and kids who can’t climb 1800 steps. The fort is well connected by road, by train.
Best days to visit.
The months from November to March are best to visit the Raigad Fort when the monsoon has already laid its beauty over Sahyadri ranges and winter is not much bothering you. The young lad can trek the summit easily.
How to reach
- By Air
Nearest International Airport: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai Airport, and Nearest Domestic Airport: Pune Airport
2. By Train
Nearest Railway Station: Vir Dasgaon Railway Station (Konkan Railway Route)
3. By Road
Mumbai to Raigad — 177 kilometers (By Road) Via NH17
Pune to Raigad — 137 Kilometers (By Road) Via SH60
Mahad to Raigad — 27 Kilometers
Satara to Raigad — 248 Kilometers
Accommodation At Raigad Fort
- MTDC cottage inside the fort.
- Local accommodations are available.
- INR 10 for Indians
- INR 100 for Foreign countries.
- The entry is free for kids under the age of 15.
- Ropeway Charges Additional
- Birth Anniversary of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Even though there are disputes about the date of celebration of the birth anniversary, you can enjoy the festive environment on both days on Raigad Fort.
19 February 1630 and Third day of Falgun Month of Hindu Calender.
2. Coronation Day of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Every year thousands and thousands of followers of the Maratha Emperor come to celebrate the annual event of coronation. The ceremony is held under the guidance of the royal family of the Maratha Empire. Particularly, the Yuvraj Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje himself guides all the followers. The people gather at the Capital Raigad for the two-day festival not only from Maharashtra but from all over the world.
Small activity for kids with big benefits
- Let your kids visit and learn about every monument.
- Ask kids to draw the map of the fort
- Ask the kids to measure the living quarters on the hilltops.
- Request the kids to complete their autograph book with other people.
- You can become friends with strangers.
- Paying homage to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his valor.
- Beware from the cliff and avoid selfies in dangerous positions.
- No scratching and writing names on the stones.
- No public misbehaving.
- No climbing on the statues.
- No footwear in the holy place.
- No alcohol or tobacco is permitted on the premises of the fort.
Indian history has witnessed many kings and their kingdoms but history is incomplete without the Maratha Kingdom and its glory. The capital who witnessed accession of great Maratha warriors as the Chatrapati of Deccan sovereign kingdom who will rule the Indian subcontinent in the future, alas this fort also seated as last days of Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje.
Come and witness the greatness of the Maratha Empire, pay your homage to the Chhatrapati, and take your heart towards freedom and closer to nature.
Image Attributions to respective owner.
- Walls of Palace in Raigad Fort by balram deokar
- Takmak Tok by vicky-munde-upq5LE9gASU-unsplash
- Shivrajyabhishek Sohala from Instagram page of Yuvraj Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati
- Samadhi of Chhatrapati Shivaji by Anand Bhoir