Location : Raigad District of Maharashtra.
Distance : Approximately 125 km from the city of Pune.
Raigad Fort is one of the magnificent forts of India, and is considered as one of the most beautiful hill fortresses situated in India. It is placed in the Raigad district of beautiful Maharashtra. Situated at a distance of about 125 km apart from the city of Pune, it happens to be one of the most favoured excursion spots for the city people as well as the tourists, who love its absolute grandeur.
The Raigad Fort served as the capital of the great Maratha King Chatrapatti Shivaji, around 1674, when the prince was termed as king. The magnificent fortress, as its splendour ruler, was built at an exceeding altitude of 1350 m that is about 4530 feet above the level of the sea. The proud Raigad Fort falls under the mountains ranges of the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges.
The fortress was initially known as Rairi fort, built by the Chandarrao Mores - an offshoot dynasty of the Mauryans’ imperial Dynasty. After the capture of this fort the great king Shivaji renamed it as the Raigad Fort which also translates into the king’s fort. In order to reach this great fort one has to climb an approximate of 1400-1500 steps. It is believed that the Maratha king renovated the entire fort before moving in. In case people do not want to climb those many stairs, one can get to the top by a rope system, solely built for the convenience of the visitors.
Some of the main structures within the Raigad Fort comprises of the elegant Queens’ Quarters, consisting of six magnificent chambers, mainly for the use of the queen and her female attendants. Other structures include the public durbar, the watch towers and the Darwazas. Most of the fort was made out of wood and now it lies in ruins, but yet the splendour of the fort still remains, the base made out of solid rock stands for all to see, a special gate known as the Mena Darwaja provided entrance to the court ladies, leading to the queen’s quarters. The Nagarkhana Darwaja faces the Rulers throne.
From the grounds of the palace one can see the Takmak Tok - a steep cliff that served as the point of execution for the prisoners, who were thrown into its steep ravines. The house of the king still houses a similar replica of the throne. The main entrance of the Raigad Fort comprises of the splendid Maha Darwaja, which is supposed to provide adequate protection from its enemies. But the King’s convoy was supposed to move through the Palkhi Darwaja. Other specifications include the three dark chambers which were supposed to be the granaries of the court. Another main attraction of the fort premises happens to be the huge statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji, placed adjacent to the market place of the market avenue. The tomb of the great King along with his favourite and faithful dog is situated near this very avenue.