Raigad is a historical fort and was the capital of the Maratha Empire where the great Maratha Warrior Shivaji Maharaj had a coronation ceremony in 1674. Raigad Fort in monsoon looks best and flaunts off a far greener side to the coming tourists. It is also famous for its beautiful surroundings engulfed in the Western Ghats and the fort rises above 2,700 ft from sea level.
Mumbai to Raigad distance
in the Raigad district of Maharashtra and sits amidst the gigantic Sahyadri Ghats and is at a distance of 170 km from Mumbai and is accessible via Bengaluru-Mumbai Highway. This makes it one of the closest monsoon gateways from Mumbai city.
However, we traveled in our personal vehicle from Pune which is at a 131 km distance from Raigad and also has the nearest airport from the fort.
Best time to visit Raigad Fort
Raigad is accessible throughout the year however the rainy season is the preferable time of the year to visit the mighty fort as the local flora comes to life and gives quite a view to the eye. Monsoon in India spans from June to September so at this time of the year the fort facilitates an enchanting view of the Western Ghats Peninsula which is enormous.
Raigad Fort History
The then engineer Hiroji built the fort under the reign of king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj They declared it the capital of the Maratha Empire in 1674 AD with the coronation ceremony happening at the same place. Because of the steep hill, the built it on, the fort was of strategic importance to the Marathas in defying enemies.
Raigad Fort structure
Raigad Fort has around 1800 steps which lead to the fort and with its steep inclination, it takes about 3.5 hours to trek and 1.5 hours to descend depending on the individual stamina. The fort provides a Rope-way service at the foot of the hill for those who want to see the glorious fort in its entirety and also want to avoid the hard work obviously. The Raigad ropeway charges for a round trip are Rs.300.
More information on Raigad ropeway
Tip: I would recommend a middle option which is to take a one-way trip to the top via ropeway where you enjoy the amazing scenery and descend at your own pace one rocky step at a time.
A Homosapien's journey
I visited in August because of Indian Monsoon was at its peak, preferring to watch the fort in its full glory. Even before ascending to the fort, when I was at the foothills, I could see fog covering the upper half of the hill. This made the fort more mysterious and tempting to conquer.
As soon as I got off the ropeway at the top and went inside the fort premises, I could see the fort's misty interior as it had recently witnessed a minor rain shower. Nature has taken over most of the fort structures and the dewdrop fed grass is at every nook and corner proving us how medieval structures and nature still coexist. The king's Darbarcourt) is still intact where I could see a sitting statue of Chhatrapati's and the main entrance located to its opposite side.
The king had a loyal dog named 'Waghya' who jumped in the King's pyre after his death and has earned a statue of his own on the Raigad Fort.
There are many vendors selling fruits and snacks to tourists. They trek to the fort daily from the villages below. We had enquired about the dinner near the ropeway arena and got to know that we could order dinner beforehand at the foothills and when you return to the hot and delicious homemade local cuisines are waiting for you. After my descend from the steep and mighty hill I gorged on the tasty Maharashtrian delicacy of ' ' getting the homely feel all the while.
Check out our other posts on forts and hill stations.
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