Shivaji is the pride of Maharashtra. Growing up, reading stories of his valor, so many great battles, and life during our history classes in school is still a good memory. Ever since then, history became my favorite subject.
I still remember my favorite chapter on the killing of Afzal Khan, I was in 3rd grade back then..it was such a great story of this man who fought for his empire.
In this blog post, you’ll find out about my Raigad Ford experience and some FAQs at the end.
I was on a family vacation. We started our trip from Pune. Firstly, we visited Mahabaleshwar. Resting among the Sahyadris or western ghats, it’s a beautiful hill station.
After our Mahabaleshwar trip, we left for Raigad Fort. We were traveling in a rented cab from Pune and so in that, we went to Raigad as well.
I stepped out of the car as we reached there. Looking around at the fort in that sunny weather, I was mesmerized by its magnificence. Those huge rocks and that structure built almost 400 years ago are enough to remind one of their amazing history.
Ropeway To Reach Top
It was a weather change for us after being in the chilly Mahabaleshwar. In the month of November, Raigad was very sunny. We took our stuff and headed to the ticket counter to buy tickets for Ropeway.
After some waiting, our chance finally came. We 4 people, were allotted a ropeway trolley. We went inside and the people in charge closed the doors. As the trolley started moving upwards, I felt something in my stomach. Haha, that excitement and fear was mixed feeling. I kept looking around and the view was sheer beauty. Being in between the Raigad fort area, surrounded by mountains all around was such a great feeling. I took a video of it and my brother said that I should take the phone out of the window to get a better view, I was scared it’d fall as we were at a great height.
Nevertheless, I did take the phone out to get a quick view but quickly took my hand back inside as well haha height is scary.
Hiring a guide to explore
We reached the top in about 4 minutes. It was quick and fun. As we entered the first gate, my eyes met the 50 stairs. We walked all the way up and hired a guide. As the fort is huge, and we had to leave for Alibaug, exploring it on our own would be very time-consuming. The guide took us toward many particular points like:
- Secret chamber of shivaji maharaj
- Quarters of his wives
- The bathing place of that time
- Shivaji’s Samadhi [graveyard]
- A small pond – the bathing place of the two elephants
- Shivaji’s throne
As we were exploring each point, the view of the surroundings was beautiful every time. Each point had its significance which was explained to us by the guide.
For instance, his throne area had been designed in such a way that you can hear things from the doorway while being near the throne. And we experienced that. The guides would tear a paper and we heard the sound while being near the throne.
Lesser known facts – The sacrifice of his dog, the secret chamber, and the nameplate
We saw the secret chamber from outside where political discussions of that time would take place.
As we walked towards the Samadhi, we saw a nameplate at the entrance. It was the name of ‘ Hiroji Indulkar’ the guy who planned and built the Raigad Fort. The legend says that Shivaji Maharaj was impressed with his work and asked what he’d want in return for that. Hiroji had so much respect for Chhatrapati that all he asked was a nameplate at the entrance there because he said ‘When you the mighty king walk here, your footstep would touch my name and it’ll feel like it’s my forehead. That alone is enough for me’.
We moved forward, there we saw the samadhi of the mighty king and on the right side samadhi of his dog. The story here is that when Shivaji’s body was cremated, his dog ‘Waghya’ jumped into the fire and gave up on his life. It’s crazy how much respect and dignity Shivaji built throughout his life. A true example of strength, valor, sacrifice, and bravery, his life is truly inspirational.
As we were coming back from the samadhi, we took some snacks from the stalls on the fort. I saw a little girl in one shop. She told me that she & her mom daily come to the fort with all the snacks to sell and make a living out of it. Seeing her working so hard at that age I felt gratitude within. We all complain about our problems but knowing that there’s someone out there going through worse and fighting with all their might is what makes one feel privileged and lucky. It’s motivating to see people do so much hard work. I couldn’t help but feel ashamed of myself knowing that I have a better life and I still complain.
Leaving Raigad Fort
After some snacking, whilst enjoying the beautiful view from the top of Raigad Fort, we went to the ropeway area. Some more snacks and we went for the ropeway ride back down. This was scarier than the one we took while going to the fort. Descending down gave us more palpitations and the trolley even stopped midway in the air for 5 minutes I thought we might die if this is some error. In that pause, our family talks, and looking around is all that happened.
My dad was so scared, he didn’t even wanna look out of the trolley lol. After some time, it started again and we safely reached down. We then left in the early morning for Alibaug.
Overall, it’s safe to say that my Raigad Ford experience was a good one and I definitely recommend it to history geeks.
How to go to Raigad Fort?
– You can take a flight to Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport (112 km away) which is in Mumbai and then hire a cab. Or, if you prefer to travel by train, the closest station to the Raigad Fort is the Mangaon Railway Station (28 km away).
How to reach Raigad Fort from Pune?
– There is no direct public transport but you can hire a private taxi or you can take the Line 52 bus to Khanapur from Pune and then take the taxi to Raigad Fort.
How to go to Raigad Fort from Mumbai by train?
– Go to Mangaon Railway Station, then hire a taxi.
How many steps are in Raigad Fort?
– 1,450 steps approximately
How much time does it takes to see Raigad Fort?
– The fort is huge. If you hire a guide, he’ll take you toward some important points & some exploring by yourself can take up to 2.5 – 3 hours. But it can take longer if you decide to explore the entire fort yourself.
Who built Raigad Fort?
– Hiroji Indulkar
Who won Raigad Fort?
– Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured the fort in 1656, which was then known as the Fort of Rairi, he then got it renovated and refurbished the fort and renamed it the Raigad Fort. It also became the capital of the Chatrapati Shivaji’s Maratha Empire.
Who destroyed Raigad’s fort?
– In 1765, the fort was the location of an armed campaign by the British East India Company and was looted and destroyed by the British on May 9, 1818.