The pages in India’s history bear witness to the courage and resilience of Indian warriors. However, the visible manifestation of events in history pages on remarkable monuments complements the stories we have heard about our ancestors. Most of you would be familiar with the greatness of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a celebrated ruler of the Maratha Empire.
As Shivaji Jayanti, the birthday of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, approaches closer, you might want to visit the Historic Raigad fort. It was the place from where Shivaji Maharaj ruled the Maratha Empire. Located at Mahad in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, the Raigad Fort is a testament to the valour of Shivaji Maharaj.
The birthday of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj falls on February 19, 2023. You can plan a trip to Raigad Fort to celebrate his birthday with the vibes of patriotism. The fort was constructed in early 1030 AD and was known as the Fort of Rairi. Shivaji Maharaj conquered it in 1656. He seized the fort from Chandraraoji More, a descendant of Chandragupta Maurya and King of Jawali. Shivaji Maharaj developed the fort as one of the strongest ones in the Deccan Plateau. Interestingly, the fort has earned the popular nickname of the ‘Gibraltar of the East’ worldwide.
Upon his coronation as the king of the whole Maratha Empire, Shivaji Maharaj named the Raigad Fort as his capital. The Maratha Empire occupied a vast expanse of central and western India at that time. Another important name in the history of Raigad Fort is Hirojee Indulkar, the architect behind the renovations of the fort.
Pachad and Raigadwadi villages at the base of the fort served a vital role during the Maratha reign at Raigad. The climb to the top of the fort starts from Pachad village. During the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Pachad village stationed cavalry with a strength of 10,000 people.
The Raigad Fort is one of the popular destinations for top sightseeing spots in Maharashtra. Under the reign of Shivaji Maharaj, the Raigad Fort evolved as a prominent landmark with architectural excellence. However, invasions by the Mughals and the British ended up destroying the fort while leaving the base structure intact. Situated at almost 2700 feet above sea level, the fort is accessible through a single path with 1700 stairs. You can also reach the top of the fort through a ropeway ride.
The Raigad Fort has many small gateways, such as Maha Darwaja, Mena Darwaja, Nagarkhana Darwaja and Palkhi Darwaja. The fort also harboured many other structures, such as a massive kitchen, a large granary and a marketplace. You could also find secret doorways alongside water storage tanks and a meeting room. The Raigad Fort also has a
specific place that was used for sentencing criminals to capital punishment.
If you want to book family hotels in Maharashtra for visiting Raigad Fort, you must know about popular attractions near the fort. The majestic gateways are the most striking highlights of Raigad Fort. In addition, you can explore the following notable attractions during your visit to the monument.
The Raj Bhavan was the residence of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Raigad Fort. It stands as a witness to the victories, sorrows and great deeds of Shivaji Maharaj.
The Rani Vasa was the residence of Shivaji Maharaj’s mother, Shri Rani Jijabai. Rani Vasa had six chambers, which were used by other royal ladies in the Maratha Kingdom. It is the only structure that has remained intact after the vandalising acts of the British.
You can explore another site for top sightseeing in Raigad Fort: The Royal Bath. The Royal Bath presents an example of brilliance in the architectural vision of people from the 17th century. The most striking detail of the Royal Bath is the effective drainage system without using any modern technologies.
The Raigad Fort had three watchtowers, which offered a view of the surroundings from the top of the fort. However, the fort has two watchtowers now, as the third one was destroyed in bombardment by the British.
The Raigad Fort has many other sightseeing destinations nearby, such as Gangasagar Lake and Jijamata Palace. You might also take some time to visit the Raigad Museum for a glimpse of the fort’s heritage.
Are You Ready for a Trip to Raigad Fort?
The top attractions in Raigad Fort and its history make it a must-visit place on the birthday of Shivaji Maharaj. Raigad Fort is more than just a tourist destination, owing to its role in shaping the Maratha Empire. Most important of all, the fort was constructed by the Great Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Uncover the magic of our country’s history with a memorable trip here.
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