Capital of the Maratha king Shivaji, Raigad is a hill fort in Mahad, Maharashtra. Strategically located on a wedge-shaped mass of rock, the fort was the second capital of Shivaji. Built in 1030, it was earlier called Rairi. However Shivaji renamed the fort as ‘Raigad’ after it was captured from Chandrarao More in 1656 AD.
Raigad fort is accessible only from one side through a pathway, while the other three sides are surrounded by valleys. The gates of the fort — Nagarkhana Darwaja, Mena Darwaja, Maha Darwaja and the Palkhi Darwaja – still stand and are a pointer to its grandeur. While Maha Darwaja was the main entrance of the fort, the Palkhi Darwaja was the one Shivaji used.
Among the attractions inside the fort are the queen’s quarters, ruins of watch towers, the balekilla or the citadel and the durbar hall. Perhaps the biggest attraction inside the fort is Shivaji’s samadhi or tomb alongside which is a memorial to his pet dog Waghya, who is believed to have jumped into the king’s pyre.
There are limited accommodation options in the fort. Accommodation is available only for 50 tourists. One can also opt to stay at the MTDC-run lodge. It is advisable to book rooms in advance.
Raigad fort offers limited eating options. While you will find shacks selling typical Maharashtrian food it is advisable to carry your own food and water.
Listing image: By Gbaadkar/Wikimedia commons