forts at raigad
Raigad has a quite a few renowned forts of which many have become an attraction for visitors. Most of these forts have been constructed by the Marathas. The forts are remarkable constructions, mostly built of stone:
Balekilla Korlai Fort -Situated among the Raigad Fort is the Balekilla with three angular bastions. A steep and risky climb leads to this spot. The main entrance is through Nagarkhana which leads to the Janani temple, the Chandratale a water tank and the remains of the houses of the chiefs, the Ambarkhana (a granary), and the market place. The views of captivating Sahyadris and the auspicious Bhatghar Lake from this place are really incredible. The top of the Balekilla offers a panoramic view of the forts of Purandar, Vichitragad, Rayreshwar, Lohgad, Visapur, Tikona and Sinhagad. It takes about two hours to complete the visit of Balekilla.
Prabalgad Fort -Situated on the Pune-Mumbai highway near Panvel is the Prabalgad fort which was used as a temporary residence by Umaji Naik, a freedom fighter, in 1823. Broken ramparts and protective walls, water tank and a Ganesh temple can be found here.
Birwadi Fort -Located 11 km east of Mahad in Raigad is the Birwadi fort on the way to Bhor. It was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji along with the Lingana fort to improve the protection of Raigad fort.
Raigad Fort- Raigad Fort is situated 30 km east of Mahad in Raigad. Known to be Shivaji s impregnable capital, this was the place where he was crowned and died. The Raigad Fort was also called as the Gibraltar of the east . Placed at an altitude of 2700 feet on an irregular wedge-shaped mass of rock, the fort is inaccessible from three sides. A massive fort, nested on a steep vertical rock face, appears defiant and insurmountable. This Fort presents a terrifying look and it is very difficult to get into the fort through the rocky path. All sides appear as if it fell down from a huge mass of solid rock. A ropeway was inaugurated recently, which makes the ascent to the fort very easy. Now the fort features certain new structures like the Samadhi of Shivaji and his loyal dog along with the ruins of the old structures. The most stunning site on Raigad Fort is the Balekilla, from where one can see the implausible views of the enchanting Sahyadris and the propitious Bhatghar Lake.
Kothligad Fort-Kothligad is a hill fort, situated at an altitude of 1550 feet. The base village is Ambivali and the fort is in the eastern part of Karjat region in Raigad. Kothligad has a large cave, good enough for overnight stay. Another interesting feature here is the pinnacle which is carved from the inside, made into a staircase to reach the top. Because of its vicinity to Peth village at its base, it is also called the Fort of Peth. The Ancient carved den, darwaja and rock cut steps are famous sites worth visiting here.
Revdanda Fort- Revdanda Fort was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji and is located at Revdanda in Raigad District. It rests on the shores of Arabian Sea and during high tide waves thrash into the old weak ramparts of the fort. One can get magnificent views of the creek and the beach from the fort. The fort is now in ruins.
- The Dronagiri fort is a small hill fort, is located in Raigad District of Maharashtra. It lies near Karanja.
Lingana fort is another hill fort in Raigad which lies on the main ridge of Sahyadri range. The fort, at a distance of 3 km from Pachad, was used as a prison by Shivaji Maharaj.
Ghoshalgad Fort- The Ghoshalgad fort is a small fort on the Konkan plains which is positioned near Ghoshale village of Roha taluk in Raigad district. The fort is situated on a hill between the Revdanda and the Salva creeks, was used to protect the welfare of the Siddis of Janjira.
- TheMangalgad Fort is also called the Kangori Fort that lies 6 km south of Varandha. It was built by Daulatrao Chandrarao Morya of Jawal. The temple of Kangori Devi is an attraction here. The place can be accessed from Dudhanewadi village, which is at the foothills.
- The Sankshi fort is also known as the Badruddin fort. It is a small fort in Raigad District which can be accessed from Ghote Village.
Manikgad Fort is a small hill fort in Raigad District which lies in the north Konkan region near Chowk village. Karnala pinnacle can be seen from here.
Siddhagad or Sidgad Fort is situated 16 km southeast of Murbad near Raigad. The Fort is divided into lower fort which is about 1,400 ft above sea level and the upper fort which is about 3235 ft above sea level. The fort is hard to climb and it takes at least three hours of hard walking to reach the principal Darwaza (door).
Within the fort, there is an ancient temple of Goddess Shri Namrata Devi and a dilapidated shrine of Lord Shiva. A memorial dedicated to the freedom fighter Bhai Kotwal is located at the opposite end of the fort. A few natural water springs are near the fort.
Karnala Fort- Karnala Fort is situated at Karnala near Panvel, along the Pune-Mumbai highway. It was constructed around the 13th century and was managed by the families of the Mudhan, Angres, and Peshwas until 1818. After that it came under the British. A sharp peak rises centrally within the fort. Carved images of tigers and elephants are found on the principal doorway. There is a water reservoir dug out from rock near the fort.
Sudhagad Fort is one of the rarely visited forts in Konkan region, located near Pali, about 80 km from Pune, in Raigad district. This 2,000 ft high fort has strong walls with three doors and one of them is known as the Maha Darwaja which is a very huge door.
A big plateau on the fort houses temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Ambar Khana (where the elephants were kept). The main temple of the fort is dedicated to Devi Bhorai .
Kawla Fort is located in Raigad District of Maharashtra. It is a small fort and is difficult to climb. It lies near Parmachi village and can be accessed through the Bhor - Mahad road.
Palasdari Fort is a hill fort near Karjat in Raigad District which stands on the edge of the Karjat range. Palasdari Lake is situated nearby.
Jijamata Palace -
Talgad Fort- Talgad Fort is located in Raigad and is about 15 km from Indapur. Ruins of a tunnel, water tanks and watch posts are found here. The main tower is in a dilapidated condition and nearby lies a temple of Goddess Chandika.
Jijamata Palace at Pachad holds significant place in the history of Maratha kingdom. Jijabai, the mother of Shivaji is credited for the greatness of Shivaji. The Jijamata palace is the place where Jijabai, a lady of high values lived till her death. Unfortunately, this monument was destroyed by the British during their rule in India. What remain are only the ruins of the grand mansion.
The Samadhi of Jijabai situates near to the ruins of the palace. The magnificence of the entire fort can be seen from this palace.
Nestled within the Raigad fort is the Queen s Palace and its quarters which consists of six chambers with each chamber having its own private commode with plumbing. The royal ladies were using these six rooms.
The Queen s palace was constructed using wood. The Queen s royal chamber is called Rani Vasa, with plenty of rooms and passages show the obvious privilege of the Queen. Some of the minarets in the Queen s palace are in good shape and the entire structure generates an elegant look. Placed between the Gangasagar and Kushwatra Talavs, the Queen s Chamber stands as a fabulous site to visit.
Raj Bhawan is the palace of Shivaji Maharaj from where he administered and managed his kingdom. The palace rests on a dual podium and had wooden columns to carry the grand structure. A palatial citadel, the Raj Bhawan witnessed so many glorious moments in the life of the great king.
The structure is a marvelous creation that highlights the structural design of the Maratha era. It holds two large water tanks by its side, which is believed to be the place for Royal Bath. Excellent toilet and drainage system and underground cellar is a special feature of the fabulous palace.
Takmak Tok- Takmak Tok is one of the unique attractions of Raigad. Takmak Tok or the punishment point is the place from where Shivaji s enemies were brusquely chucked down into the valley. The rock face inclines down over 1200 feet and presents a tremendous vision of the Sahyadri hills and its dropping crevasses and over-folding edges. Takmak Tok is amazing viewpoint for the visitor. The feeble at heart should abstain from tweeting into the valley from Takmak Tok, because it presents frightening slope of the valley.