Raigad-Fort

Raigad was the capital of the Marathas under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Britishers named it ‘Gibralter of the East’ as the well-fortified structure atop a hill that had repeatedly defied attackers. Shivaji built the fort in the 14th century. Chit Darwaja, also known as Jit Darwaja is at the foothills near village Pachad.Khoob Ladha Buruj is a strategically located tower, from where any attacker from both the side could be defended. Maha Darwaja is at a distance of nearly a mile ahead after a difficult climb. This 350 years-old main entrance to the fort stands so majestically. Mena Darwaja is a special entrance for the royal ladies and the queens.

Rani Vasa or Queens’ Chambers is to the left of Mena Darwaja. The royal ladies were using these six rooms. In front of the Rani Vasa is the Palkhi Darwaja, special entrance for the convoy of Shivaji Maharaj. There is a row of three dark chambers to the right of Palkhi Darwaja. There is the palace of Shivaji Maharaj to the right of the granaries.

The fort was built by Chandrarao More in 1030. Its ruins today consist of the queen’s quarters: six chambers, with each chamber having its own private restroom. The main palace was constructed using wood, of which only the bases of pillars remain. Ruins of three watch towers can be seen directly in front of the palace grounds overlooking an artificial lake called Ganga Sagar Lake created next to the fort.Now only two are visible.Third watchtower collapesd in bombarding.It also has a view of the execution point called Takmak Tok, a cliff from which the sentenced prisoners were thrown to their death (in marathi: kadelot). The area is now fenced off.[3] The fort also has ruins of the market, and it has such structure that one can shop even while riding on a horse.

Shivaji had seized the fort in 1656, then the fort of Rairi, from Chandrarrao More, a feudatory of the Sultan of Bijapur. Shivaji renovated and expanded the fort of Rairi and renamed it Raigad (the King’s Fort). It became the capital of Shivaji’s kingdom.Pachad and Raigadwadi villages are located at the base of the Raigad. These two were very important villages during the Maratha rule. Actual climb on the top of Raigad starts from Pachad. In Maratha rule 10000 cavalry was always kept as a standby in Pachad village.
After capturing Rairi from Chandrarao More, Shivaji also built another fort Lingana which is around 2 miles away from Raigad. where he used to keep prisoners.In 1689 Zulfikhar Khan captured Raigad and Aurangzeb renamed it as ‘Islamgad’In 1765 the Raigad Fort, along with Malwan in present Sindhudurg District, the southernmost district of Maharashtra, was the target of an armed expedition by the British East India Company, which considered it a pratical stronghold.In 1818 the fort was bombarded and destroyed by using cannons from the hill of Kalkai. and as per treaty on 9 May 1818, it been handed over to British East India Company

A statue of Shivaji is erected in front of the ruins of the main market avenue that eventually leads to the Jagdishwar Mandir and his own Samadhi (tomb) and that of his loyal dog Waghya. The statue was removed by alleged members of the Sambhaji Brigade in July 2012 as a protest but was re-instated by Shri Shivaji Raigad Smarak Samiti