Forts in Raigad District
Raigad Fort :
Raigad is a hill fort situated at about 25 Km from Mahad in the Raigad district. Chhatrapati Shivaji renovated this fort and made it his capital in 1674 AD. The rope-way facility is available at Raigad Fort, to reach at the fort from ground in few minutes.
The fort also overlooks an artificial lake known as the ‘Ganga Sagar Lake’. The only main pathway to the fort passes through the “Maha Darwaja” (Huge Door). The King’s durbar inside the Raigad Fort 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. The fort has a famous bastion called “Hirakani Buruj” (Hirkani Bastion) constructed over a huge steep cliff.
Murud-Janjira Fort :
Murud-Janjira Fort is situated at Arabian Sea coast near the port town of Murud. Janjira is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India. The fort is approached by sailboats from Rajapuri jetty. The main gate of the fort faces Rajapuri on the shore. It has a small postern gate towards the open sea for escape. There are many cannons of native and European make on the bastions of the fort. Now in ruins, the fort in its heyday was a full-fledged living fort with all the necessary facilities, e.g., palaces, quarters for officers, mosque, two small natural fresh water lakes, etc. The palace of the Nawabs of Janjira at Murud is still in good shape.
A special attraction of this fort are 3 gigantic cannons named Kalalbangdi, Chavri and Landa Kasam. These cannons were said to be feared for their shooting range. Another gate to the west is sea-facing, called ‘Darya Darwaza’.
Kolaba Fort was one of the chief naval stations of Maratha empire. Kolaba Fort has two main entrances, one on the sea side and the other towards Alibag. An interesting feature of this fort is that it has freshwater wells in its premises even though it is a seaside fort. In 1713, under a treaty with Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, Kolaba along with several other forts was given over to Kanhoji Angre. He used it as his main base from which to launch raids on British ships.
Sudhagad Fort :
Sudhagad / Bhorapgad is a hill fort situated in Maharashtra, India. It lies about 50 kilometres west of Pune, 25 kilometres south of Lonavla and 10 kilometres east of Pali in Raigad District. Sudhagad Fort is also known as Bhorapgad Fort. Shivaji Maharaj changed the name of Bhorapgad to Sudhagad. Near Sudhagad there are Thaanale and Khadsambale caves.
Sudhagad Fort’s plateau has three parts. First part is western plateau in front of old palace. Ruins of buildings can be seen here as the terrain is flat and there is also a pond and a big tank. Second part consists of temple of Bhorai Devi and area upto Takmak Tok point. There are ruins of four big warehouses. And the third part is eastern area. Here, there is big bastion and one can find the ruins in nearby sprawling jungle.
How to Reach:
Nearest Airport is Lohegaon Airport, Pune and Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The nearest railway stations for most of the tourist places are Mumbai (CST), LTT, Kurla Terminus, Pune Railway station and Panvel Railway station (in Raigad district) for main lines of Indian Railway. The nearest Railway stations of Konkan Railway in Raigad district are Pen, Roha, Veer etc. Tourists can choose nearest local railway station on Konkan Railway as per their convenience.
All major towns and tourist places in Raigad district are connected by roads through Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses. Raigad District is connected to Mumbai by Sion Panvel Expressway. The Mumbai-Pune expressway and NH4 passes through Panvel, Khalapur and Khopoli. NH 17, which starts at Panvel, traverses till Poladpur.