Raigad Fort was once the capital of the Maratha King Chatarpati Shivaji and is now popular as an ancient monument and the rocky terrain that it offers to trekkers. Raigad means the Kings Fort and is located at an altitude of 2851 feet above sea level.
The Fort rests in the Sahayadri Ranges and offers breathtaking views from the top. At the entrance of the Fort are large cannons which belonged to Shivaji’s era. The Raigad Fort can be easily distinguished by the deep gorges which have rich vegetation. The River Kal and River Gandhar flow through the beautiful valley.
The gallant Fort was built to commemorate the victory of Shivaji over Chandra Rao. Unfortunately only Fort ruins remain now. The Fort was called Gibraltar of the East by the British because of its well-fortified structure atop the hill which was frequently attacked.
The Fort can be entered through the Chit Darwaza which is located at the foothills. The Tower from which attacks could be defended was known as Khub Ladha Buruj. After the difficult tiring climb one reaches the 350 year old Fort entrance (Maha Darwaza). Another Gate called The Mena Darwaza was a special entrance only for use by the royal ladies. The six Queens Chambers (Rani Vaasa) are located to the left of the Mena Darwaza.
Other places close to the Raigad Fort are Gangasagar Lake, Jagadishwara Temple, memorial of Maratha Kings, and Pachad a small village at the foot hills. Raigad is easily accessible from Mumbai or Pune. Trekking to the Raigad Fort is very popular in the months of September to December when the narrow way up is laden with wild flowers of all textures and sizes.