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Old 15th October 2008, 19:57   #1
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Default Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad

Place: Raigad
Dist from Pune: 155KM - 180KM Depending on route.

It was a lazy night on 1st Oct being the next day a holiday, I was watching movies when suddenly my phone started ringing. After 5 min of discussion with maximum “kind words” from the other end, I came to know that I am going to Raigad the next day. I was not willing to travel as I wanted to take rest (Read as bored of daily activities as work, bath n all) but then more than me my friends were interested in a driver that too driver with his own car. So finally I okayed the plan. According to plan I should be ready with tank full at sharp 7. I reached the location at sharp 8. Again after exchanging few “kind words”, we started to Raigad. After a brief debate, we decided to go ahead with Pune – Bhor – Varandha ghat – Mahad – Raigad route. According to few chaps it was 150 KM drive. We were in all 13 in 3 cars. Mine Palio, one light blue Santro and one Indica.

So after much drama, we started at 8 on NH 4. We took the Katraj bypass on NH4 which is super cool. We were cruising at 100 easily on that 4 lane well laid road.

So after almost 25-30 min drive, we reached one dam called “Bhatghar”. It is on way to Bhor. You have to take right turn on NH4 to go to Bhor. So not wasting much time, we reached Bhor. We decided to visit the local temple called “Bhoreshwar”. It’s a shiva temple. Few of my North Indian friends were unable to understand why there is no idol of shiva in shiva temple. I had hard time explaining them that here in Maharashtra all shiva temples sport “Linga” instead of idol. So we spent half an hour in the temple and then headed to Varandha ghat.

This Varandha ghat is probably one of the longest ghats connecting interiors of Maharashtra to Konkan (Costal Maharastra). This ghat is laid around a dam called “Nira – Deoghar”. Some portion of the road sucks but the portion which runs around the dam is fabulous. It is lovely to drive along the backwaters. The road is a typical state highway which is ignored child of the road dept. At peak you travel 2500 ft above sea level easily. Amazing ghat with very less traffic. This ghat is a biker’s heaven as you can enjoy the backwaters and scenery.

So after completing the ghat we were at the Mumbai-Goa highway known as NH17. From here you have to take right and travel towards Mumbai. After 5-10 KM you will find Raigad Ropeway written on your right. Take a right turn at this junction and continue. This is a small double lane road without a divider which goes straight to the Raigad ropeway. Most of the portion of this road is good but at places broken like anything. From the place where we take right, the raigad ropeway is almost 25KM. Finally at 2 (Yes, we took 6 hrs to reach mere 150KM distance) we were at the base station of the ropeway. The distance according to my car’s odo is 155 KM. So after having a cup of team and snacks, we sat in the cable car.

The cable car takes 4 mins to reach the Raigad fort from base station. For a first time visitor this cable car experience can cause skipping your heartbeat. It takes you almost 2500 ft up in the air that too hanging on a cable. The moment you see around, you will find your car getting smaller every second. Surprisingly all evil thoughts like slipping of the cable car crosses your mind once you are hanging in the air. I was praying that these guys maintain the system regularly. I was tensed because this is run by govt company. So finally after clicking few snaps and all we reached the fort. Undoubtedly this is one of the biggest forts in India. It is huge. Raigad was the capital of Maratha empire during the Shivaji era. Of course initially the capital was Rajgad but after Shivaji’s coronation Raigad was declared capital.

This fort could accommodate 5K people easily. It is huge and has a well built market which could easily accommodate 120 small shops according to its remnants left behind. This fort has few queen quarters, one huge well, few underground rooms and Shivaji’s Samadhi. There is an old Shiva temple on this fort as well. It is a beautiful temple built in a black stone. On one side of this fort you will find a splendid valley. Few of other Shivaji forts can be seen from this fort. Due to the surrounding this fort truly looks less threatening to the outside attack. We had been on the fort for 3 long hours exploring it. By 5:30 we boarded the cable car and reached the base station in 4 mins. Then we had tea and snacks and decided to take alternate route as Varandha route is not good for night driving.

We took the Mahad – Mangaon – Nizampur – Tahmini – Pune route. We had dinner on Goa highway near Mahad and then started to Pune at 8 PM. Being night there was not any traffic on our way back to Pune via Tahmini. The road condition is much better than Varandha ghat. Tamhini had few waterfalls running but being night we were least bothered about them. Finally by 11:30 PM we reached Pune. Raigad to Pune via Tahmini ghat is 180 KM. it’s a bit more than Varandha but better roads make up on that front.

It was a nice one day outing and felt nice at the end of the day. Original plan was to cover Raigad and stay at Diveagar (Konkan town – known for its superb beach) but somehow many of us could not get off on 3rd Oct ie Friday. Following are few snaps taken at different places. I have tried covering snaps of all said places.

FIAT Palio 1.2 nv Sport/Pune/13K

1. On our way to Bhor
2. Bhatghar dam
3. My Italian beauty
4. Neera - Deoghar dam
5. Waterfall in Varandha ghat
6. Backwaters of Neera - Deoghar dam. Pic taken from Varandha ghat
7. Varandha ghat. Some nice portion of tarmac
8. Varandha ghat
9. View from cable car - Raigad ropeway

Pics to be continued..
Attached Thumbnails
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Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-2.jpg  

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Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-8.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-9.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-10.jpg  

Last edited by neoonwheels : 15th October 2008 at 19:59.
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Old 15th October 2008, 20:16   #2
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pics continued...

10. Entrance of the fort
11. Few remnants on the fort
12. Huge well
13. Main gate on the fort
14. Some pole - Must be used for flag hosting
15. Maratha empire flag
16. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj idol
17. Samadhi of Shivaji maharaj
18. Flower bed on the fort
19. Other cable car approaching the fort station - While we were going to base station
20. Sunset on our way to Pune
Attached Thumbnails
Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-12.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-14.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-15.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-16.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-17.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-18.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-19.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-20.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-21.jpg  

Capital fort of Maratha Empire - Raigad-22.jpg  

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Old 22nd October 2008, 13:58   #3
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Thanks Neo. THe pictures are great.
I grew up in Pune and trekked to all (I think) forts reachable in 3-4 day trips. Your travelogue brought back a lot of old memories.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 15:13   #4
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Wow great.
We did this stuff more than half a year ago.
Almost exact.

We started from Katraj - took Bhor, reached Mahad, Raigad, and back via Mangaon - Tamini. Unfotunately all our driving was during the night hours.

Thanks for the pix, I realized what we missed
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Old 22nd October 2008, 15:46   #5
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Nice write up and pics. BTW what was the FE returned by your vehicle and how many kms did you travel in total?
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