Raigad Fort – Capital of Swarajya

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Raigad Fort

Raigad Fort is known as the capital of Swarajya. This fort is located in Raigad district of Maharashtra. Raigad Fort was established in 1030. The coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took place here, the ancient name of Raigad was ‘Rairi’. Raigad Fort comes in Giridurg category. Let us now see the detailed information about Raigad Fort.

Important information about the fort   – Raigad Fort

POINTINFORMATION
NameRaigad Fort
TypeGiridurg
Height820 meters / 2700 feet
google mapslink/link
climbing rangeEasy
PlaceRaigad
nearest villageMahad
mountain rangeSahyadri
BuiltRaigad Fort – 1030
present situationproperly
head of constructionHeroji Indulkar

Shivrajyabhishek – Raigad Fort

Shivrajyabhishek is known as an unforgettable event in the history of Maharashtra and India.  This incident, which took place at Raigad Fort between 19 May and 6 June 1674,  was an important phase in the career of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Coronation preparations:

  • On May 19, 1674,   the Maharaja    prepared for his coronation by visiting Bhavani Devi of Pratapgarh . An umbrella worth three maunds   of gold (i.e. 56 thousand rupees) was offered to the goddess   .
  • The main coronation ceremony   was held  on Saturday   ,  June 6   , 1674,  Jyeshtha Shuddha Trayodashi .
  • Lalita Panchami was  technically   re    coronated   on   24 September 1674 .

Reason for second coronation:

  • Some people believed that the first coronation of Shivaji Maharaj happened at an inauspicious time.
  • The purpose behind this was to satisfy everyone by organizing the second coronation.

Importance:

  • The Maratha Empire   was officially established with the coronation of Shiva   .
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj    became an independent and sovereign king.
  • A new era was established which advocated Hinduism and Marathi culture.

Even today  Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahara coronation remains an inspiring moment for Maharashtra and India.

Raigad Fort – (Video)

Raigad Fort: Magnificent History and Heritage

Raigad Fort is a magnificent and historical fort situated at the height of the Sahyadri mountain range in the heart of India. It is an unforgettable monument standing firmly on the glorious history of the Maratha Empire and the legends of Shivaji Maharaj.

Early History (Prehistoric – 1646 AD):

Archaeological excavations reveal that Raigad Fort dates back to prehistoric times. Raigad Fort is mentioned during the Satavahana (230 BC – 220 AD) and Chalukya (550 AD – 753 AD) dynasties. Yadav dynasty (12th century AD) fortified the fort and renamed it as “Rairi”. Later in the 14th century, Raigad was under the rule of the Bahmani Sultans and in the 16th century, the Adilshahi.

Nizamshahi and Raigad (14th – 16th century AD):

Raigad Fort was used as a prison to keep prisoners during the Nizamshahi rule (14th – 16th century AD). During this period, famous Maratha chieftains Yashwantrao More and Prataprao More made a bold attempt to successfully escape from Raigad Fort. This incident showed people his bravery and strategy.

Period of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (1646 AD – 1680 AD):

This decisive moment came in the history of Raigad in 1646 AD. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj snatched Raigad Fort from Adilshahi. Conquering this fort was a major achievement in his early campaigns. After conquering the fort, he repaired it and renamed it “Raigad”. Keeping in mind the strong construction and strategic position of Raigad Fort, Shivaji Maharaj built it in 133 BC. Was built in. In 1674 this fort was made the capital of our Swarajya. It was in Raigad that the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj took place and Hindu Swarajya was established. It was in this fort that he lived, held court and planned many campaigns. Therefore, Raigad Fort became the center of administration of the Maratha Empire and the reign of Shivaji Maharaj.

After Maratha Empire (1680 AD – Present):

After the death of Shivaji Maharaj (1680 AD), Raigad Fort remained the capital of the Maratha Empire for some time. But later in 1818, due to defeat in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, the Maratha Empire came under the control of the British. Hence Raigad Fort came under British rule. The British captured Raigad Fort and used it as a prison. Due to this the fort got somewhat damaged.

After Independence (1947 AD – Present):

After India’s independence, Raigad Fort came under the control of the Archaeological Department of India. Today the fort is a protected monument and a popular tourist destination. Every year thousands of tourists visit Raigad Fort to pay homage to the glory of Shivaji Maharaj and the history of the Maratha Empire.

Raigad Fort – Places worth visiting

Samadhi of Shiv Chhatrapati – Raigad Fort

Tourists coming to Raigad must visit the Samadhi of Shri Shiv Chhatrapati. There is an octagonal quadrangle that is visible a short distance from the eastern door of the temple. According to member Bakhri, Shivaji Maharaj died in B.C. Happened in. This happened in 1680. The location of his grave is slightly different. The Samadhi was constructed outside the Jagadishvara temple near the Mahadwara in the southern part. This square made of black stone is chest high and solid. Below this footpath there is a cavity which contains the remains of Shiv Rai in the form of Rakshamishra clay.

Jijabai’s Pachad Palace:

History:

In her old age, Jijabai did not like the cold air and breeze of the fort, so the Maharaja built a palace for her near Pachad. That is the residence of Masaheb. The Maharaja also arranged for some officers and soldiers to maintain the order of the palace. A magnificent stepwell and the stone seat made for Jijabai to sit are also worth seeing. It is also known as ‘Takkaya Vehir’.

Strong  tower

Khubaldha  Buruj Tower is the first tower seen while climbing Raigad Fort. Earlier there was a gate next to the minaret which was called “Chitra Darwaza”. However, this door is now completely destroyed.

Nana Door:

Nane Darwaza, also known as “Little Gate”, is a historic gateway to Raigad Fort. Built to remain hidden until approached, it has two arched entrances and rooms inside called “Devdas” for the defenders. Interestingly, the British envoy Henry Oxenden entered through this gate during the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, making it an important part of Raigad’s historical heritage.

Mother Morcha (Masjid Morcha)

Entering Chit Dwar and moving forward on the winding path, we reach a flat place. Two dilapidated buildings can be seen at the end of this open space. One of these was a place for guards while the other was used for grain storage. There is a tomb of a saint named Madanshah at this place. A huge cannon can also be seen nearby. Going a little further, three caves dug in the rock are visible.

Great door

There are two beautiful lotuses on both sides on the outer wall of the Mahadarwaja. These two lotuses on the door mean that ‘Shri and Saraswati’ are sleeping inside the fort. ‘Shri and Saraswati’ means ‘Vidya and Lakshmi’. The Mahadarwaja has two huge minarets, one 75 feet and the other 65 feet high. The downward holes made in the embankment are called ‘Jangya’. These holes are kept to attack the enemy. The gate between the towers faces north-west. On entering through the main gate, the guard house and living quarters of the protectors are visible. Fortifications have been made from Mahadarwaja to Takmak end on the right side and to Hirkani end on the left side.

Chordindi:

 If you walk along the embankment running from Mahadarvaja to Takmak end, a little later, where the embankment ends, there is the Cordindi building in Buruj. There are stairs leading to the door from inside the tower.

Elephant Lake:

The elephants brought to the fort for the coronation were made available to take a dip because of this lake. This lake was used for bathing and drinking water of elephants coming from Gajshala. The length of Hathi Lake is 208 by 300 feet. Today, this lake is a great place for tourists to relax in the proximity of nature and uncover the lost memories of the history of the fort.

mena door

Mena Darwaza is a small but important gate of Raigad Fort. Finally, this door was used to access the residence of the king and queen. It is speculated that it got the name Mena Darwaza because of its golden colored decoration compared to other doors. This door still testifies to the prosperity and splendor of the fort.

Raj Bhavan

Raj Bhavan is a grand and historic structure at Raigad Fort. This Raj Bhavan was used as the residence of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his successor kings. There were many rooms, halls and places of entertainment in the Raj Bhavan. Despite being destroyed in the flow of time, the ruins of the palace tell us about its glorious history.

Ratnashala: Khalbatkhana

Raj Prasad has a cellar, Ratnashala, in the open space to the east of the pillars. It is also said that this Khalbatkhana means a room for secret negotiations.

Rajya Sabha: The center of power

Rajya Sabha was an important building at Raigad Fort. Here courts were held and important decisions were taken. The hall was large and grand and had seating arrangements for the king and his ministers. Even though this place is in ruins today, it gives a glimpse of the reign of Shivaji Maharaj.

Rani Mahal

Rani Mahal was part of the queens’ residence in Raigad Fort. The wives of the kings and women of the family lived in this palace located near the Raj Bhavan. Even today this place is in a dilapidated state.

Nagarkhana: A place for criminals

Nagarkhana was a prison in Raigad Fort. Criminals and prisoners were kept here. Nagarakhana is strongly built and it has become difficult to escape from outside. Today this place gives a glimpse of the law and order situation of the fort.

Market

The market was the trading center of Raigad Fort. There were many shops here to cater to the needs of the residents and soldiers of the fort. Clothes, grains, spices, weapons and other goods were sold at this place. Today this place gives information about the self-sufficient economy of the fort.

Holi Playground: Place of Celebration

The playground of Holi was a big ground of Raigad Fort. Festivals like Holi were celebrated here. The grounds were also used as a place for soldiers’ exercise and recreation. Today the place provides information about the social life of the fort.

Shirakai Temple: Devotional Place of the Goddess

Shirkai Temple is an ancient temple at Raigad Fort. There is a statue of Shivaji Maharaj in this temple. This temple is still functional today and is a center of pilgrimage for devotees.

Jagadishwar Temple: A Spiritual Place

Jagadishwar Temple is another ancient temple in Raigad Fort. It is a Shiva temple and a great place to experience peace. This temple is a witness to the religious and spiritual side of the fort.

Wagh Darwaza: Main entrance of the fort

Wagh Darwaza is the main entrance gate of the fort located at the base part of Raigad Fort. There is a grand image of a tiger on this door, hence it was named Tiger Door. Strong and grandly constructed, this door is a symbol of the security of the fort. Even today the Wagh Darwaza welcomes the tourists visiting the fort.

Tiger Dog Tomb: Symbol of Loyalty

Waghya (meaning tiger in Marathi) was a mixed breed pet dog of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, known as a symbol of loyalty and eternal devotion. It is said that after the death of Shivaji Maharaj, he committed suicide by jumping on the funeral pyre of his guru.

Kushavarta Lake: Lake of Tranquility

Kushavart Lake is a beautiful lake at the base of Raigad Fort. This lake was used for drinking water and irrigation. The lake is still a great place to experience peace and nature.

Pavilion: resting place

The Pavilion was a rest house in the Raigad Fort. Soldiers and officers used this place to rest and enjoy nature. Although most of these pavilions have been destroyed over time, some remains still testify to the prosperity of the fort.

Gangasagar Lake

There is a small but sacred place called Gangasagar Lake near Jijabai’s palace at Raigad Fort. Since it is associated with the sanctity of the river Ganges, devotees believe that bathing in this lake is as fruitful as bathing in the Ganges. The fort is estimated to have been constructed during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj, the residents of the fort used the lake for bathing and religious rituals. The square-shaped lake is made of bricks, has a ghat and a small temple. Many tourists visiting Raigad Fort take bath in this lake, visit the temple and enjoy the peaceful environment. Gangasagar Lake is a historically and religiously important part of Raigad and has a special place in the religious and cultural life of the fort.

column  /column

Two huge pillars stand on the southern bank of Gangasagar Lake, which testify to the glory of Raigad Fort. Mentioned as “Vijay Stambh” in the Jagadishvara inscription, these pillars were constructed during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj. It is said that earlier there were five floors here, but today only two remain. It has twelve corners and has beautiful carvings. These pillars, which are important from historical and architectural point of view, testify to the era of Shivaji Maharaj. The artwork on the pillars is a reflection of the culture of that time. Even today tourists visit these grand pillars and enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding area. These pillars are monuments reminding us of the rich history and culture of Raigad.

palanquin gate

The main entrance of Raigad Fort is Palkhi Darwaza. This grand and decorative gate was built to bring the palanquin of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj into the fort on the occasion of his coronation. Built in royal style, this gate gives the first glimpse of the grandeur of the fort.

Waghdarwaja  :

Maharaj had built this door without the main door. Although it is almost impossible to go up through this door, you can go down with the help of a rope. Later, Rajaram Maharaj and his group broke the siege of Zulfir Khan and escaped through this door.

Confrontation:

To reach Takamak Toka one has to go down the tape in front of the market. The remains of an old wine cellar can be seen there. The road gradually becomes narrower towards the end. On the right is a terrifying valley of broken rock 2,600 feet deep. The wind blows faster at the tip and since space is limited, care must be taken to avoid confusion. Since the time of Shivrajya, criminals were punished by pushing them down from here.

Hirkarni tok:

Hirkani Tok is the highest part of Raigad Fort. This tip was named after Hirakani. There is a slight climb to reach this bastion located at the eastern end of the fort. From here a panoramic view of the entire fort area and Panshet area can be seen. Guards were posted to keep an eye on the enemy at this strategically important point.

The story of Hirkani

A woman named Hirakani from a nearby village   used to come every day to sell milk to the people of the fort. One day while returning after selling milk she could not reach outside the fort before sunset. As per the orders of the Maharaja, the doors of the fort were closed after sunset. Thus, Hirkani was trapped inside the fort.
Hearing the cries of her newborn son from the village late at night, worried mother Hirkani could not control herself. Inspired by her motherly love, she decides to descend the fort through the dark and dangerous rocky path. When dawn broke, she successfully reached the bottom of the fort and ran to her son.
Recognition of Hirkani’s courage:
Inspired by Hirkani’s courage and motherly love,  Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj  ordered the construction of “Hirkani Burj” on this climb. This tower is a monument to the courage and sacrifice of Hirkani. Even today it holds an important place in the history of Raigad Fort and Marathi culture.
Importance of Hirkani Burj:
Hirkani Burj was important for the defense of Raigad Fort.
It was built at the eastern end of the fort and was strategically important.
The higher part of the tower provides a panoramic view of the surroundings of the fort.
Today, Hirkani Buruj is a popular attraction for tourists visiting Raigad Fort.
Hirkani Buruj is not only a historical monument but also a symbol of maternal love and courage. Hirkani’s story teaches us that we can do anything for our loved ones and fight bravely for our goals.

The Marathi film ‘ Hirkani ‘ based on this Hirkani   was released in 2019.

Famous Gates of Raigad Fort:

Raigad Fort is adorned with several imposing gates, each of which has its own historical and strategic significance. The fort could be accessed through these gates and they played an important role in the defense of the fort. Some of the major gates of Raigad Fort are as follows:

Grand Door::

  • This is the main entrance of Raigad Fort.
  • The grand and ornate gate shows the grandeur of the fort.
  • The door has two beautiful lotus figures carved on either side, meaning “Sri and Saraswati rejoice”.
  • The Mahadarwaja has two huge minarets, one 75 feet and the other 65 feet high.

Palkhi Door:

  • This door was constructed to bring the palanquin of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to the fort on the occasion of his coronation.
  • This grand and elaborately designed door testifies to the historical importance of the fort.

Tiger Door:

  • Another entrance is on the north side of the fort.
  • This gate, which looked like a tiger’s mouth, was important from a strategic point of view.
  • It is believed that this gate was built to create fear among the enemies and hinder entry into the fort.

Nana Gate:

  • This is a small but historic entrance.
  • This gate on the western side of the fort was usually used for secret entry.

Maina Door:

  • This door is named after Queen Mainabai.
  • Located on the eastern side of the fort, this door was used for the entry of queens.

access hatch:

  • This secret route was used to escape from the fort in case of emergency.
  • This door, located at the opposite end, was generally not visible to the enemies.

Additionally, Raigad Fort has several small gates which were used for access and movement to different parts of the fort. These gates not only add to the grandeur of the fort but also testify to its rich history and strategic importance.

Tourism

Raigad Fort – How to reach there

by rail:

  • The nearest railway station to Raigad Fort    is Mangaon Railway Station .
  • You can travel to Mangaon station by train from major cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Delhi.
  • From the station you can take a bus or taxi to Raigad Fort.

By air:

  • There is no direct airport near Raigad Fort    .
  • The nearest airport    is Pune Airport .
  • From Pune airport you can take a bus or taxi to Raigad Fort.
  • It usually takes 2 hours to reach Raigad from Pune.

by road:

  • You can reach Raigad Fort by road using bus or your own vehicle.
  • You can take bus services to Raigad Fort from cities like Pune or Mumbai.
  • If you have your own vehicle then you can reach Raigad Fort using NH48 and NH60 routes.

Food and water facilities

Food is available at the fort but you should carry your own food as per your convenience. There are shops selling food and various items at the fort. There is a very good supply of water here. You get pure water and filtered water.

Accommodation

Accommodation may be available in hotels or lodges in villages near Raigad Fort.

Raigad Fort is a popular tourist destination. Both ropeway and stairs are available to reach the fort. The fort contains several historical monuments, including:

Some tips for Raigad tourism:

  • Raigad Fort is open throughout the year, but the best time to visit is October to March.
  • Both ropeway and stairs are available to reach the fort. The ropeway is a quick and easy option, while the stairs are a more challenging option.
  • There are many stalls and shops in the fort from where you can buy souvenirs and other items.
  • Food and drinks are available at several places in the fort.
  • You can take cameras and other personal belongings to the fort.
  • Don’t forget to carry water and other essential items to the fort.
  • Wear durable shoes with good grip, especially if you’re climbing stairs. There is a bit of climbing and good grip is important to reduce the chance of slipping.
  • Choose your clothes according to the weather. Wear sun-protective clothing and a hat for summer. Take a jacket or sweater to deal with the cold in winter. Carry waterproof clothes and raincoat for rainy days.
  • Raigad Fort is a historical and cultural heritage. Please take care of the area and avoid littering. Protect the beauty of nature by using dustbins.
  • Consider a local guide to learn about the rich history of the fort. They can tell you more about the architecture and past of the fort.
  • Visit early in the morning or evening to escape the heat and enjoy the breathtaking views of the fort.
  • It is better to carry a refillable water bottle. You are likely to feel thirsty while climbing or roaming around the fort.
  • Don’t forget to take your camera to take pictures of the amazing views of Raigad Fort and the Sahyadri mountain range. Also take pictures of the architecture and sculptures of the fort.
  • (Optional) If you are taking a lot of photos and videos on your mobile phone, chances are that your phone’s battery will drain. Therefore, it would be convenient to carry a power bank for additional charges.
  • If you have elderly people or small children with you, preferably use the ropeway.

Raigad Fort – FAQs

How to book Raigad Ropeway?

Some websites provide this facility, but we have not been able to confirm its authenticity yet.

What was the old name of Raigad?

The old name of Raigad was ‘Rairi’.

When is Raigad Fort open?

Raigad Fort is open from 8 am to 6 pm.

How much time does it take to reach Raigad Fort?

The time taken to reach Raigad Fort depends on the route chosen.
If you use Raigad ropeway, it takes 10-15 minutes to go up.
If you are walking to the fort, it may take around 3 hours.

How much is the entry fee of Raigad Fort?

Entry fee for Indian citizens is Rs. This is 10.
Entry fee for foreign tourists is Rs. This is 100.

What are not allowed in Raigad Fort?

Smoking and drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited in the fort.
Sitting or standing on the ramparts of the fort can be dangerous. please be careful.
Do not damage historical structures

What is the best time to visit Raigad Fort?

Winter (October to February) is considered the best time to visit Raigad Fort. In this season the weather is pleasant and trekking becomes easy.

Which trains go to Raigad Fort?

Vehicles do not go directly to Raigad Fort. You can take your car or jeep to reach the base of the fort. But, to reach the fort you will have to walk (either by stairs or using the ropeway).

Are cameras allowed in Raigad Fort?

Yes, cameras are allowed in Raigad Fort. Carry a camera to take pictures of the beautiful views of the fort and to take pictures of the historical buildings.

Which festivals are celebrated around Raigad Fort?

Some major festivals are celebrated around Raigad Fort. Such as:
Shiv Jayanti (February)
Gudhi Padwa (March/April)
Shivneri Fort Festival (July)

What shopping options are available around Raigad Fort?

Some small shops and handicraft vendors can be found on the grounds of Raigad Fort. There you can find local souvenirs and handicrafts.

What can I do to conserve Raigad Fort?

Keep the fort clean and do not litter.
Preserve historic structures and do not damage them.
Smoking and drinking is prohibited in the fort premises.
You can thoughtfully suggest the efforts being made for the conservation of Raigad Fort to the local organizations.

Is it possible to stay overnight at Raigad Fort?

There is no provision for direct overnight stay in Raigad Fort. The fort closes at sunset. There are many hotels and lodges available in nearby Mangaon city or nearby villages. You can spend the night there.

Is mobile network working at Raigad Fort?

All mobile networks will not work at Raigad Fort. The networks of some companies may work in a limited manner. There is a possibility of getting signal only in certain areas of the fort.

Are guides available at Raigad Fort?

Yes, local guides are available at Raigad Fort. They can tell you more about the history and architecture of the fort. Guides can be arranged at the Fort Ticket Center or locally.

Which organizations work for the conservation of Raigad Fort?

The responsibility of conservation of Raigad Fort lies with the Department of Archeology and Tourism of the Government of Maharashtra. These organizations are striving for the conservation and maintenance of the fort.

Which animals are found in Raigad Fort?

Monkeys, rabbits and various birds can be seen in Raigad Fort.

Photos – Raigad Fort

While writing this article,  Raigad (fort)  has also been mentioned.

For more information about forts  please  click here.

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