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Old 20th November 2016, 12:09   #1
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Default Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

I had this plan since a long time to pay a tribute to the capital fort of Maratha Kingdom - Killey Raigad. It was only on 19th Nov 2016 that this dream could materialize.

We started from home at 09:05 am. From Chinchwad we went to Phase-1 (Hinjewadi IT Park), crossed the Wipro circle and via Mann village reached the Pirangut Square. Straight road from here goes to Lavasa, left towards Chandni chowk and the right towards Paud and Tamhini. We took the right turn. Crossed Paud village and then the Mulshi backwaters started. There is a Kamat joint newly opened near the backwaters. We took our first break here @ 11:00 am. Looks like the joint has recently opened and still under construction. Food quality was decent. Here are some pictures.

My Orange Tank parked in front of the Kamat joint
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-my-orange-tank-parked-front-kamat-joint.jpg

Another view of the tank with Mulshi backwaters in the backdrop
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-another-view-tank-mulshi-backwaters-backdrop.jpg

The greens the blues and the browns
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-greens-blues-nad-browns.jpg

I have had enough break and ready to go
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-i-have-had-enough-break-ready-go.jpg

Road passing between two hillocks
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-road-passing-between-two-hillocks.jpg

And then passing between some thick vegetation
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-then-passing-between-some-thick-vegetation.jpg

We initially mistook the hill in front as the Raigad Fort
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-we-initially-mistook-hill-front-raigad-fort.jpg

The Tamhini ghat road has many broken patches in between. After 2-3 kms smooth road, you hit a very bad batch of broken road for at least 50-100 metres. Road repair work is still going on, but looks like the road has taken a beating due to prolonged monsoon this season. The Pune section of the ghat road is in pretty bad shape, the Mumbai section is very decent, looks like it has been paved off recently. After descending the ghat you come across a big signboard indicating MIDC Kolad, we took a left turn from here. There is a 5 km 4 laned road, lined with huge trucks and trailers. The reason being the steel giant POSCO situated at the end of this road. At the end of this road you hit a "T" junction, Road towards left goes to Nizampur and the one on right towards Vila, Pali. We took the left turn. The road was narrow but good condition. After about 13 kms we reached Nizampur. From there we took a left turn towards Raigad. Now the road became very narrow and passed through the Raigad Forest Reserve, very thick jungle. The winding road, many ups and downs, gave everyone a roller-coaster ride. I was thoroughly enjoying the drive, but for others in the car, it was like a "heart in mouth" situation, when we would hit a hair pin curve or pass through the dark woods. After crossing various hills and ghats we finally reached our destination, fort Raigad. Near the fort there was a bifurcation, one road taking a sharp left and the other going straight. We took left and climbed the road till we reached the foothills of the fort. On asking there where is the rope-way, we were told that we had come to the other side, which had steps for climbing to the the top of the fort. I took a "U" turn, came to the junction and took the other road. Fortunately it was not that far off and withing 500 metres we reached the rope-way starting point.

So the onward journey was completed in 04:45 hours, with 45 mins break and we covered 135 kms.
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Old 20th November 2016, 12:26   #2
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Default re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

I parked the car in one of the open grounds and bought the rope-way tickets. Rope-way return ticket was a bit expensive at Rs 250/- per head (but worth it). It just takes 5 mins to reach the fort top, else you have to climb 1000 (one thousand) steps that may take between one to 2 hours (depending on your capacity). For senior citizens and children below 3 feet height, charges are Rs 170/-. However for senior citizens you have to produce identity proof (Aadhar card, PAN card etc). Unfortunately none of my parents had their id card with them. The ticket dispensing person was kind enough to issue discounted tickets without the id proofs. We then collected the tickets and took our seats in the cable car. Some pics while going up in cable car.

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Old 20th November 2016, 14:03   #3
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Default re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

Thanks for sharing. Refreshes the recent visit we did on 31 Oct.

Always feels really great to visit Raigad.

You got to take your cable car immediately after the ticketing? We had to wait 3 hours before we could get onto our cable car even on a Monday. Maybe the present economic situation has hit really badly to many prospective visitors and there was no queue up.
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Old 20th November 2016, 14:22   #4
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Default re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

Some History (Source: Wikipedia and the Guide that we hired)

Shivaji maharaj 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.

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 collapsed in bombarding.

Three storeyed watch tower - Used to be lit up using torches (mashals) and diyas during evenings
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-three-storeyed-watch-tower-used-lit-up-using-torches-mashals-diyas-during-evenings.jpg

The Gangasagar lake - One of the eleven lakes adorning the fort
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-gangasagar-lake-one-eleven-lakes-adorning-fort.jpg

One of the towers overlooking the Gangasagar lake
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-one-towers-overlooking-gangasagar-lake.jpg

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. The fort also has ruins of the market, and it has such structure that one can shop even while riding on a horse.

Way to Takmak Tok
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-way-takmak-tok.jpg

The execution point called Takmak Tok (Guilty people would be pushed off from this cliff)
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-execution-point-called-takmak-tok.jpg

The market having 22 galas (stalls) on each side where shopping could be done even while riding on a horse
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-market-having-22-galas.jpg

Maha Darwaja (literary Huge Door) having two very huge bastion on both sides of the door which are approximately 65–70 feet height. the top of the fort is 600 ft higher from the location of this door. Fort was having only once access route which goes through this Maha Darwaja.

Khubladha Buruj, Nane Darwaja, Hatti Talav (Elephant Lake), Gangasagar are the famous attractions of the fort.

A memorial (Samadhi) to Jijabai, Shivaji's mother. can be seen at base village of Pachad

The fort has a famous wall called "Hirakani Buruj" (Hirkani Bastion) constructed over a huge cliff. Its story is that a woman by the name of Hirakani from a nearby village Walsure at the foothills of Raigad had come to sell milk to the people living in the fort. She was inside the fort when the gates were locked by sunset. The love for her infant son back at her village gave her the courage to climb down the cliff in the dark. She repeated the feat in front of King Shivaji, and was rewarded for it. In appreciation of her courage, Shivaji arranged for a wall built at this location. Even today we can see it standing.

Unfortunately we could not view that as it was accessible from the other side of the fort.
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Old 20th November 2016, 16:03   #5
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Default re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsh View Post
Thanks for sharing. Refreshes the recent visit we did on 31 Oct.

Always feels really great to visit Raigad.

You got to take your cable car immediately after the ticketing? We had to wait 3 hours before we could get onto our cable car even on a Monday. Maybe the present economic situation has hit really badly to many prospective visitors and there was no queue up.
You are absolutely right Parsh. Even I was told by the ticketing person that usually there are long queues for the cable car. However the whole place looked deserted even on a Saturday. After getting the tickets we could immediately sit in the cable car. The demonetization phenomenon has had a huge impact on the tourism industry besides others.

Coming back to the fort. The king's public court (Durbar) has a replica of the original throne that faces the main doorway called the Nagarkhana Darwaja. This enclosure had been acoustically designed to aid hearing from the doorway to the throne. A secondary entrance, called the Mena Darwaja, was supposedly the private entrance of the royal ladies of the fort; it leads to the queen's quarters. The erstwhile main entrance to the fort is the imposing Maha Darwaja. The convoy of the king and the king himself used the Palkhi Darwaja. To the right of Palkhi Darwaja, is a row of three dark and deep chambers. Historians believe that these were the granaries for the fort.

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, the Archaeological Survey of India, sculptor Rambhau Parkhi and the District Administration

The king's public court (Durbar)
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-kings-public-court-durbar.jpg

The Nagarkhana Darwaja.
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-nagarkhana-darwaja..jpg

A closer look at the Nagarkhana Darwaja - Resembles India gate, isn't it
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-closer-look-nagarkhana-darwaja-resembles-india-gate-isnt-.jpg

Board showing map of the fort area
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-board-showing-map-fort-area.jpg

Stone Water containers for horses to drink water en-route
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-stone-water-containers-horses-drink-wter-enroute.jpg

Throne of Chattrapati Shivaji. The actual stone on which Shivali Maharaj sat during his coronation is still present at this place
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-throne-chattrapati-shivaji.jpg

Throne as seen from a distance

Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-throne-distance.jpg

The Granaries - Used to store food grains. These are three chambers, each 11 feet deep. They even had a weighing scale to measure the exact quantity required.
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-granaries.jpg

Offices of the Staff (Ashtapradhananche Vade)
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-offices-staff.jpg

Chamber for secret discussion.
Anything being discussed here could not be heard outside the room, such were the acoustics
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-chamber-secret-discussion.jpg

Last edited by AutoIndian : 20th November 2016 at 16:26.
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Old 20th November 2016, 16:24   #6
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Default re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

Jagadeeshwar Tremple. The sanctum sactorum is designed in such a way that if you utter the word "Om" it reverberates
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-jagadeeshwar-tremple.jpg

The dilapidated Nandi in front of the Shiva temple
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-dilapidated-nandi-.jpg

Samadhi of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This is the place where Shivaji Maharaj breathed his last
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-samadhi-if-chattrapati-maharaj.jpg

Samadhi seen from other angle
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-samadhi-seen-other-angle.jpg

Statue of Shivaji's dog named Waghya
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-statue-shivajis-dog-named-waghya.jpg

The step with architect's name engraved on it
, so that each time Shivali Maharaj would step in for Darshan of Lord Shiva, dust of his feet would touch him
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-step-architects-name-engraved-.jpg
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Old 20th November 2016, 20:10   #7
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Default re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

Some minor corrections:

Quote:
Samadhi of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This is the place where Shivaji Maharaj breathed his last
The Samadhi was built on the place where his mortal remains were cremated. He most probably breathed his last, in his own palace.

Quote:
The step with architect's name engraved on it, so that each time Shivali Maharaj would step in for Darshan of Lord Shiva, dust of his feet would touch him
The inscription reads सेवेचे ठायी तत्पर हिरोजी इंदलकर
Translation: Prompt at service Hiroji Indalkar.

Lovely travelogue. Since my childhood I must have been to Raigad 7-8 times. But I am still thrilled to even see the photos. Imagine, Maharaj Himself stayed here. Oh what Glory it must have been.
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Old 20th November 2016, 20:29   #8
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Default re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

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Originally Posted by RedTerrano View Post
Some minor corrections:


The Samadhi was built on the place where his mortal remains were cremated. He most probably breathed his last, in his own palace.


The inscription reads सेवेचे ठायी तत्पर हिरोजी इंदलकर
Translation: Prompt at service Hiroji Indalkar.

Lovely travelogue. Since my childhood I must have been to Raigad 7-8 times. But I am still thrilled to even see the photos. Imagine, Maharaj Himself stayed here. Oh what Glory it must have been.
Thanks for those inputs RedTerrano. I shared the above tid-bits as was told to us by the local guide. I really loved the way of his narration and his passion for the fort's history.
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Old 21st November 2016, 10:42   #9
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Default Re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

Awesome log @AutoIndian. Last year during Christmas, we drove to Raigad from Bangalore only to see the fort including quick pit stop @ Janjira. I remember we were the first to line up for ropeway trip in the morning. The excitement to see the fort says it all. We spent full day in and around Raigad. We visited the Jijau garden/ Smadhi place too. Took tons of pictures on the roadside stops, on the fort. The guide explained every bit of history in his own style. We had hired a young lad as our guide. He was so smart - throwing some nice two liners at every instance, location and his way of narrating the history was entertaining to say the least. The curiosity in my kids mind was the best satisfied by this lad. Our objective of visiting the fort had been achieved. As a family, we would like to go back there again! This time may be on our foot, climb up and book MTDC rooms at hilltop!

The cool buttermilk and nimbu-pani drink on the fort after wandering all over the places definitely compares with heavenly feeling!

You just brought back our memories. Thanks for writing this travelogue!
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Old 21st November 2016, 17:38   #10
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Default Re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

Great travelogue @ AutoIndian and thanks for the virtual tour of Kille Raigad. It is in my To Visit list for long time. Hopefully will plan very soon.
Are there any options of food at the fort? or we need to have it at the base.
How much time it takes for complete round of the fort?

Regards
Nilesh
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Old 21st November 2016, 20:23   #11
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Originally Posted by abirnale View Post
Awesome log @AutoIndian. Last year during Christmas, we drove to Raigad from Bangalore only to see the fort including quick pit stop @ Janjira. I remember we were the first to line up for ropeway trip in the morning. The excitement to see the fort says it all. We spent full day in and around Raigad. We visited the Jijau garden/ Smadhi place too. Took tons of pictures on the roadside stops, on the fort. The guide explained every bit of history in his own style. We had hired a young lad as our guide. He was so smart - throwing some nice two liners at every instance, location and his way of narrating the history was entertaining to say the least. The curiosity in my kids mind was the best satisfied by this lad. Our objective of visiting the fort had been achieved. As a family, we would like to go back there again! This time may be on our foot, climb up and book MTDC rooms at hilltop!

The cool buttermilk and nimbu-pani drink on the fort after wandering all over the places definitely compares with heavenly feeling!

You just brought back our memories. Thanks for writing this travelogue!
Hey abirnale, thanks for your compliments and good to know that you liked it. We missed visiting the Jijau garden/ Smadhi, I believe it is in Pachad village. Next time will visit that for sure. Hiring a guide is a must on this fort. The passion with which these guides narrate the history and the glory of the fort is simply awesome. Most importantly they don’t demand or negotiate the fees. It is upto you to decide how much you want to pay them. Yes me too planning to visit again (with my friends this time and trek it instead of ropeway). The buttermilk and nimbu-pani, are no doubt very refreshing, but all these hawkers give a very commercial feeling to the fort. I understand they are there to earn their livelihood, but they nag you like anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyToDrive View Post
Great travelogue @ AutoIndian and thanks for the virtual tour of Kille Raigad. It is in my To Visit list for long time. Hopefully will plan very soon.
Are there any options of food at the fort? or we need to have it at the base.
How much time it takes for complete round of the fort?

Regards
Nilesh
Hey Nilesh, good to know that you liked it. Yes there are small restaurants at the ropeway starting point and ending point. Besides that there are local households serving zhunka-bhakar, Rs 60/- per plate, includes 2 rice bhakris, besan zhunka, chutney and onion pieces. You can also carry your own tiffin/eatables. On the fort we could visit the major points within 2 hours, but if you really want to cover everything then 4-5 hours would be sufficient.
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Old 21st November 2016, 22:28   #12
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Default Re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

There is also MTDC Resort with cottages at the top near the ropeway landing. It sure makes for an enjoyable night stay and morning to return next day at leisure. The same can be booked through MTDC online portal.

Also to note, the hotels at the bottom are averse to letting you enjoy your tiffins alongwith their menus at their restaurants. One can easily carry own tiffin and plan so that you can enjoy your tiffin while waiting for the ropeway turn. Usually, except now as in present economic times as it seems, there are long queues and waiting times to get your turn on the ropeway. So be ready for that.

Last edited by parsh : 21st November 2016 at 22:32.
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Old 21st November 2016, 23:32   #13
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Some tid-bits told by our guide, which I could recollect only now.
  • If you stand inside the Nagarkhana Darwaja and whisper something it can be heard near the Shivaji Maharaj's throne, which is more than 100 feet away. Someone inside the Nagarkhana was giving slogans, "Jai Shivaji, Jai Bhavani" and we could clearly hear them in the Jagadishwar Temple, which is at least 500 feet away.
  • A huge holi (wood fire) is lit up on the Holi ground on the day of Holi. A similar holi is lit up on Rajgad as well as Torna and those two holi fires are visible from Raigad
  • The Raigad fort is at such a strategic location that it is not visible till you come at the foothill of the fort, whereas if you are atop the fort you can get a complete 360 degree panoramic view of all the surroundings.
  • Shivali's throne was made up of 32 mana gold (1 mana = 40 kilos). That translates to 1280 kilos gold.
  • The below picture is that of the royal bathroom and has a bath tub in which Maharaj used to take snaan.
Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom-img_20161119_145216.jpg
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Old 22nd November 2016, 10:52   #14
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Default Re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

Quote:
Hiring a guide is a must on this fort. The passion with which these guides narrate the history and the glory of the fort is simply awesome.
Hiring a guide is a must at most historical places. Even if there is some embellishment, its better than trying to fly solo.

On the subject of embellishment, what immediately comes to mind is our visit to Arthur's Point in Mahabaleshwar. Without batting a eyelid, a guide was telling a group of tourists that the legendary King Arthur hunted tigers in the area.
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Old 25th November 2016, 15:50   #15
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Default Re: Kille Raigad: A tribute to the Capital Fort of the Maratha Kingdom

Nice pics AutoIndian.

Early of this year I went to Pune for some office work. On a weekend I took a bike on hire and went to the fort for a ride. It was very dry that time. Feeling nostalgia. If you allow me I will share some pics from my ride.
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