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Raigad Fort - Mahad - Raigad Killa
Raigad district, Maharashtra, India
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj won this fort in 1656 in a battle with Chandrarao More, a feudal lord ruling a part of the Western Ghats. Due to the fort's massive size, steep slopes and easy communication with the mainland and the sea, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj chose this fort as his capital in 1662.
After which he asked the governor of Kalyan, Abaji Sondev and architect Hiroji Indulkar to embellish the fort with royal and public buildings. There were about a total of 300 stone houses, mansions, palaces, offices, a coin mint, garrisons accommodating 2000 men and a market which
was one mile long on the fort. The fort was well decorated with gardens, pathways, pillars, bastions, water reservoirs and residences of commoners and dignitaries!
The fort's fortifications and defence were created in such a way that it was accessible to family and friends but was impossible for foes to penetrate. One such bastion built to make the fort impenetrable was the Hirkani Buruj. The Buruj has an interesting story behind its origin. A milk selling woman named Hirkani used to visit the fort to sell milk every day. Her home was at the base of the fort. One day she got late, and the gates of the fort closed after sunset She persuaded the guard to let her go as her infant child was alone at home waiting for her. However, the guard refused, and Hirkai thought of another way to reach her child. She started descending the steep slope and made her way back home. In the morning, when the gates opened and the guard came to look for Hirkani, she was gone and this issue reached Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He was impressed by her willpower and rewarded her while constructing a bastion from the point she descended named ‘Hirkani Buruj’
There are numerous structural remains on the fort. Hundreds of plinths evince the residential structure. The main complex of Royal houses can still be seen on the fort. The main court of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj known as Darbar and the royal housing complex are adjacent to each other. Darbar is the place where the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took place.
This is considered an architectural marvel. Not far from this is a residential complex of nobles. There are some of the structures identified as storehouses.There is a large water reservoir known as Gangasagar. Not far from this is a marketplace also can be seen.
Among the structural complexes on the fort, another important one is of Jagadishwar Temple and the Samadhi of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Raigad is a hill fort situated in the Sahyadri Mountain ranges or the Western Ghats. It has steep slopes and rises 2851 ft above sea level. The top of the fort stretches about 2.5 KM from the East to the West and 1.6 KM from North to South
Air: The closest airport to Raigad is the Mumbai International Airport. (169 KM)
Railways: The closest railway station is the Veer Railway station which is 30 KM from the fort and is connected to Mumbai.
One may take the Mumbai-Goa highway (NH 17) up to a town called Mahad, Mahad is 28 KM from the fort, ST buses and private vehicles are available for transportation