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India >> West >> Maharashtra >> Raigad
Raigad Maharashtra, West
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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Nestled in the Western Ghats of Sahyadri range encompassed in dense forests, lies Raigad, the capital of Maratha kingdom, when Shivaji ruled supreme. It is located at an altitude of 2,851ft above sea level, in the Konkan region in Raigad district of Maharashtra. This place is absolutely amazing with breathtaking views of the splendid natural surroundings and the awesome canyons making it far more discerning than the rest of mountains nearby. The rivers Gandhar and Kal flow through this beautiful valley, adding to its profound serenity and immense beauty.

 

Tales of ambiguous valour and heroic deeds are engraved in every stone of the citadel, built atop the unscalable rock-face of the Rairi hills. Shivaji made this very place his capital, renamed it Raigad and crowned himself Chhatrapati. He remained unconquered during his lifetime and was finally laid to rest here after his demise. The British called the Raigad Fort the 'Gibraltar of the East', eventually scaled up its formidable rock-face and blew up quite a bit of this invincible structure. What remains today is largely ruins, with addition of some new structures, the most important of which is the Samadhi of Shivaji.

 

Raigad’s surreal landscape and past glorious history gained her a prominent place in the tourism map. It's topography with undulating green valleys and meandering streams and rivers are a pleasure to behold, certainly a solace to weary urban dwellers and delightful for nature enthusiasts and ardent trekkers.

 

 Orientation

There are umpteen places which one can visit, explore and enjoy, but the place which one cannot give a miss is the Raigad Fort. This magnificent fort of historical importance is immensely appreciated by the visitors, even though there are no grandiose remains. It's an incredible experience to be up there at the fort with views so spectacular. Balekilla, is the most splendid site on the fort that holds one in awe, offering panoramic views of the alluring Sahyadris and the propitious Bhatghar Lake, and the forts of Purandar, Vichitragad, Rayreshwar, Lohgad, Visapur, Tikona and Sinhagad.

 

Raigad Museum at the Lower Station of Raigad Fort is a journey back in time. Here among various artifacts one can see the heavy firearms, weapons and swords of that era. A film is also shown to the visitors which entices one to explore more of the fort, making the trip meaningful and unforgettable.

 

The Raigad Fort itself is hiker's paradise. The ropeway up the fort, no way whatsoever acts as a deterrent, to lure trekkers away from the charm of trekking through the scenic landscape leading up to the fort. Raigad trek is an easy- medium difficulty trek. It takes approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours to reach to the top, while an experienced trekker can make it within an hour. (The Raigad ropeway will get you to the top of the fort in 4 minutes!) The base village for the Raigad trek up is at Pachad. Raigad night trek is particularly popular during the summers.

 

Lingmala Mountain at an elevation of 4,514 ft, is one of the interesting trekking points in Raigad. It's a favourite hot spot for adventure seekers, apart from treks the mountain range holds the panoramic view of the Borhatyachi Naal, a valley lying ensconed between the Lingana and Raylingi mountains.

 

Raigad is also famed for its varied and rich cultural heritage, folk-arts like Keertan, Koli Dance, Bhajan, and Bharud are very popular among the people.

 

Around

Gangasagar Lake is a small artificial lake constructed adjacent to the Raigad, till date it supplies drinking water to the resort and villages around. It is believed to be built just before Shivaji’s coronation and water from the holy river Ganges had been bought to this lake for this auspicious occasion. The all-embracing Palace and the Queen’s Chamber were built adjacent to this lake. Standing by the lakeside one can see the remains of the watchtowers of the fort.

 

Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary near Raigad has a wide variety of flora and fauna. Leopard is the major predator. The other animals include Hyena, Jungle cat, Palm civet, Sambhar, Barking deer, Bonnet Macaque, Wild boar and Malabar giant squirrel. There are around 150 types of birds (including the interesting Pied hornbill, Three toed Kingfisher, Malkoha, Pitta), 90 species of butterflies (including Common Map, Black Prince, Nawab, Blue Mormon) and a number of poisonous and non poisonous snakes. About 710 species of plants have been identified here.

 

The entire forest and sanctuary was earlier a private hunting ground of the erstwhile Siddhi Nawab of the Janjira state. The Nawab constructed roads, water bodies, and evacuated several villages from the sanctuary.

 

There are 4 major nature trails (approx 12 km each) in the sanctuary, passing through various habitats, providing an opportunity to experience the wildlife.

 

Kashid Beach is located south of Alibaug and north of Murud-Janjira Road near Raigad. It is wedged between two rocky outcrops with a huge sea fort and lighthouse on the Konkan Coast overlooking the Arabain Sea.

 

Lying NW of Raigad's coastline are three small villages of Elephanta (The Gharapuri Island). The seventh-century rock-cut temples with famous cave paintings of Elephanta, a Fortress City with caves, are now designated as a World Heritage Site, is must on every traveller's itinerary.

 

 Getting there

Location and Distance

205 km south of Mumbai.

 Fast Facts
Name Raigad Best Time To Visit June to February; Best in monsoon
Location Maharashtra   West   India   Destination  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type Beach Destination
Temperature Summar   30-35°C      Winter   12-15°C      Rainy   28-34°C
 Map
 
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