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Old 17th July 2011, 17:52   #1
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Default Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

Did a one day trip to Fort Raigad (it was supposed to be over-night, but thanks to MTDC, we had to cut it short - see below). I searched forums, but very less information about the route exists. We had booked a "Deluxe Room" at MTDC resort on top of the fort, so were all excited. Interestingly, no data on the quality of the MTDC resorts exists, except for a couple of photos of the external cottages.

(1) Pune to Raigad
We started around 7.30am from Chandani Chowk, and took the Tamhini ghat road. The route taken was: Chandani Chowk - Pirangut - Paud - Mulshi - Tamhini Ghat - Nizampur - left to Paachad road (shortcut to the fort, 23 kms, see description below) - Fort Raigad. We reached the fort around 12.30pm

As expected, Mulshi, and Tamhini ghat were at its best - lovely green foliage all around, and absolute breath-taking views. Here are some shots taken around those areas:




After Tamhini, you take the Vile-Nizampur MIDC road (take left), and continue towards Nizampur. At Nizampur, you have two options: take a left to Pachad, or continue straight to Mangaon/NH17. We took the left, and passed through some of the most beautiful territory. The road to Pachad it single-lane, covered throughout with thick green foliage, and passes through paddy fields. The route is ~25 kms to Raigad, but the last few kms are a lot of trouble - not at all for the weak of the heart. Road simply does not exist, and there are hairpin bends all around. One mistake, and you are out in the ditch. As a result, the progress is slow, and it takes a long time to reach Raigad. But, you will be the only car on this road! We passed through heaven - clouds all around, and visibility at 10 ft. Some photos are due here:



This road meets the road coming from Mahad/NH17 about 2 km away from the fort. Once can climb the steps to the fort, or take the cable car - the later is a easy and fantastic option. Rates are Rs. 170 per adult and Rs. 110 per child return fare. It takes about 20-30 minutes of waiting time, since only 8 people can be accommodated in the 2 cable cars (two cars to go up and two to come down). The ride takes about 4 minutes, but it is simply amazing - word cannot describe the feeling, one has to experience it. Here are some shots:



Reaching the top, you can proceed to the fort, or to the MTDC. It is about 50 steps to climb, and you are at the fort or MTDC.

(2) MTDC Resort (horror!)
We had an over-night reservation for which Rs. 900 were charged per cottage/room. We collected the keys, and proceeded to the cottage. Upon opening the door, we were welcomed by murky, dusty smell, and the cottage had fungus growth (mold?) on all walls, including the doors.

Fresh fungus on the left near the window


The cottage was not cleaned in a long time, and had dust, and dead insects all around. The roof was leaking in the bathroom, and at a window. All that remained of the curtains was the broken rods, and a very dirty curtain thrown around. Also was visible a broken AC electrical outlet, and a phone connection. There was dirt on the floor, and a lot of dead insects. A lot of cobwebs were hanging all over as well.




The windows were very difficult to open - I finally managed to open one and was greeted by weeds, and dirt. Notice there is no protective mesh, so it is likely for a serpent to visit you once a while.


Oh, and if you thought this if fine, here is a shot of the "drinking" water:

The photo actually does not do justice to the unclean state it was in.

Ah, and everywhere on the internet, you find this photo of the cottage, but no one knows what treasure is hidden inside *sarcastic*


Instead of bed-sheets, the beds had solapuri chaddar, and the pillow covers were filthy with a blob of dark spot in the center. I leave this to your imagination.

I wonder why this sheer neglect when they charge. Is it difficult for MTDC to maintain clean and hygienic cottages? No one expects Taj like luxury at this place, but isn't a clean and neatly kept room our right, especially when we pay?

We checked-out immediately and decided to return back. It was raining cats and dogs, and were were exhausted, and frustrated, so decided to return back without touring the fort. So sorry, there are not shots of the majestic fort.

(3) Raigad to Pune
While returning, we took the Mahad road, that takes you for 23 km, and joins the NH17 (Mumbai-Goa highway). At the junction, you have two large pillars with lions on them, and ample of sign boards indicating the route to the fort. At NH17, you take a right towards Lonere. One the way back, we passed some Buddhist caves on our right.


Continue towards Lonere, and then onto Mangaon (8 kms from Lonere) on NH17. In Mangaon, take a right towards Pune. So while returning the route was: Raigad - take road to Mahad and join NH17 - Lonere on NH17 - Mangaon on NH17 - right towards Pune - Nizampur - Tamhini Ghat - Mulshi - Paud - Pirangut - Pune. We started at 3.30pm and reached Pune by 8pm.

Just before Tamhini starts, stop at Orchard Cafe. This is a very nice place, and they have tea/coffee, and other snacks. Very neatly kept, and has a fantastic ambiance, and very clean washrooms (think an upscale hotel in Pune).

Road condition
Overall good. Sections of Tamhini ghat, and the NH17 to fort Raigad have potholes, but nothing bad. Road through Pachad (shortcut) should NOT be taken, as it is in bad/no shape for the last couple of kms, and is very, very lonely.

All in all, a good weekend spent, and a few lessons learnt.

-Amarendra
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Old 17th July 2011, 19:52   #2
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

Lovely travelogue and photos Amarendra! I've been going on 1 day trips every alternate weekend since the rains started, and you've made my choice of destination easier for the coming weekend.

Are there any places on the fort where you can have food, or does one have to do a full tank at the base of the fort?

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 17th July 2011, 20:01   #3
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

Hey, really nice travelogue there.

We'd done this trip way back in the 20th century! The MTDC cottage was just about decent then; knew it wouldn't hold out to MTDC's apathy.

Sad you couldn't roam around the fort; the place where the coronation took place, the samadhi of his pet etc. are quite nice places to visit; though I doubt their condition now!

Bet the wonderful weather made worth the while.

PS : How's the ropeway maintained. When we'd gone, it was still under construction. We wanted to trek anyway.
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Old 17th July 2011, 22:44   #4
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

@comfortablynumb: On the fort, you can have food at the MTDC reception (its basically a huge hall). They have a standard menu, including veg and non-veg thali and snacks.

@libranof1987: The ropeway is reasonable, and very convenient in monsoons when climbing the stairs is difficult. Plus it has now made the fort available to elders as well. They lock the door, and it has a roof - so reasonably secure as well.
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Old 17th July 2011, 23:28   #5
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

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Originally Posted by choombak View Post
Did a one day trip to Fort Raigad (it was supposed to be .................spent, and a few lessons learnt.

-Amarendra
Thank you so much ! for not posting pics of the bathroom.

Lovely shots though !!
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Old 18th July 2011, 09:20   #6
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

Thanks Amarendra, I had been thinking of visiting Fort Raigad and stay at MTDC, but now decided against it. Sad, to see the apathy of the officials at the historic sites, time and again.
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Old 18th July 2011, 10:41   #7
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

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Originally Posted by choombak View Post
Upon opening the door, we were welcomed by murky, dusty smell, and the cottage had fungus growth (mold?) on all walls, including the doors.
Fresh fungus on the left near the window
The cottage was not cleaned in a long time, and had dust, and dead insects all around. The roof was leaking in the bathroom, and at a window. All that remained of the curtains was the broken rods, and a very dirty curtain thrown around. Also was visible a broken AC electrical outlet, and a phone connection. There was dirt on the floor, and a lot of dead insects. A lot of cobwebs were hanging all over as well.
The windows were very difficult to open - I finally managed to open one and was greeted by weeds, and dirt. Notice there is no protective mesh, so it is likely for a serpent to visit you once a while.

We checked-out immediately and decided to return back.
Oh boy,
you had taken very good decision and checked out immediately.

I already mentioned about the condition of mtdc raigad and warned not to take this resort.

It seems that you had not read my post about raigad mtdc.

I faced same situation,
found poisonous snake in my cottage at the night at raigad mtdc,
could not sleep whole night,
it was really scary.

Guys, there is no need to take risk and stay at raigad,
the area is full of snakes,

please, do not stay at raigad at any cost,
i repeat,
for the sake of safety of you and your family, do not stay at raigad fort.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 18th July 2011 at 10:44.
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Old 19th July 2011, 17:27   #8
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

@choombak - Thank you for the directions and wonderful snaps. So it would have to be a one-day trip and not an overnighter.

MTDC in general is not this bad. Infact i think at some of the places the properties are really well maintained. But this cottage is fit to be part of Ramsay brothers movie.
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Old 19th July 2011, 17:40   #9
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

A nice travelogue there marred only by the horrid state of the MTDC resort. I think they should stop calling their property as "resort" since it hardly qualifies as one. Having used MTDC at Harihareshwar about a year back, I can see its the same almost everywhere. The one exception was Ganapatipule which we had visited in 2006. It is sad to see the stark neglect shown by state Govt. towards these so-called tourism promotion initiatives.

I have been more critical than praiseworthy in my post. Must say that the nature pictures look breathtaking. Monsoon visuals at their very best.
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Old 19th July 2011, 19:50   #10
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

But i did not understand, why you did not visit the fort ? You can cover entire fort in maximum 2 hours and can very well come back to pune via pen-khopali-expressway at night . If you leave raigad fort by 6 pm also then via pen-khopali you can come to pune by 11:30 pm . I did the vist some 3 yrs back and came to pune on same day and that too via tahmani , left fort by 6 pm and reached via tahmani to pune by 11:30 pm but better avoid tahmani at nignt during monsoon and use expressway.
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Old 19th July 2011, 20:24   #11
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

Even I don't get it. What stopped you from touring the fort? Besides, there are fair number of local accomodation right at the base of the fort, which are bit better than the pathetic MTDC ones. You were anyways planned for an overnight stay, so how did it matter if you stayed on the gadh or anywhere else?

The other lodge on the fort: the rope way one, is equally pathetic. I stayed there on solo trip, but can't even think of keeping my loved ones there. The best bet, if at all staying near Raigad is compulsory due to time constraint, is the local option at the base of the fort. You can even eat non veg there, as it is not allowed on fort!

You missed a good sight friend :( Hope next time you visit again, and don't get put off by the pathetic government hotel. Raigad is not just about staying, it is an experience worth taking.
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Old 25th July 2011, 12:18   #12
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Default Re: Pune to Fort Raigad, and MTDC resort on top of the fort

@sandee_joshi, ani_meher: I had a 4 yr. old with me, it was raining heavily, and visibility was at 10 ft.. Our earlier idea was to take some rest at the resort, and then do the tour. Given the state of the room, there was hardly any chance of taking rest, especially for the kid, so decided to return. Too much fatigue, and you waste the coming week as well. We intend to do this again as a one-day trip post-monsoon. We missed seeing the fort, but immensely enjoyed the Pachad route that we took, Tamhini Ghat, and the return journey.
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Old 30th July 2011, 06:13   #13
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[UPDATE] I was contacted by a senior person in Maharashtra Times (the Marathi newspaper from Times of India), and after verifying the facts, and talking with MTDC, they reported this news in yesterday's Maharashtra Times (29 jul, fri) on page 5. It will appear in Pune, and Nashik editions in a couple of days as well.

MTDC contacted me immediately and has offered a refund via cheque, and have closed the Raigad fort resort for renovations. I hope this is not a one-off and reactive response, but rather we do get clean and neat rooms in the future always.

Here is the link: http://maharashtratimes.indiatimes.c...ow/9398317.cms

-Amarendra
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Old 30th July 2011, 07:15   #14
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Originally Posted by choombak View Post
[UPDATE] I was contacted by a senior person in Maharashtra Times (the Marathi newspaper from Times of India), and after verifying the facts, and talking with MTDC, they reported this news in yesterday's Maharashtra Times (29 jul, fri) on page 5. It will appear in Pune, and Nashik editions in a couple of days as well.
This is good news to see some action taken by MTDC. Hope they do a cleanliness audit of all their properties.

By the way just curious to know why did MaTa contact you? Was it because of this report on T-BHP?
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Old 1st August 2011, 10:16   #15
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This is good news to see some action taken by MTDC. Hope they do a cleanliness audit of all their properties.

By the way just curious to know why did MaTa contact you? Was it because of this report on T-BHP?
I had this posted at several places, including indiamike, and some other newsgroups. This MaTa person happened to be on a particular group.
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