Raigad is a hill fort and palace situated in Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra , India. It is one of the strongest fortresses on the Deccan Plateau.
The Raigad Fort was established by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj – a Maratha ruler in the region of Maharashtra in India, by developing and renovating a fort (which was earlier known as the fort of Rairi) he seized from Chandraraoji More, the king of Jawali in 1656. After seizing it, Shivaji renovated and expanded the fort of Rairi and renamed it as Raigad (meaning King's Fort), and made it the capital of his Maratha kingdom.
In 1689, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb renamed it as Islamgad, after it was captured by Zulfikhar Khan, who was appointed as the Nawab of the (then) Tamil Carnatic State. In 1707, the fort was again captured by Siddi Fathekan, who held it until 1733. After 1733 chiefs of the Maratha kingdom re-captured Raigad and held it until 1818.
In 1818, the fort was bombarded by cannons from the hill of Kalkai and destroyed; and a few months later, it was handed over to the British East India Company according to their treaty. Post India’s independence from the British, since 1947 the fort has been in possession of the Central Government- of India.
The chief architect/engineer was Hiroji Indulkar. The main palace building was constructed using wood – and currently only the base pillars of these remain. The ruins of the main fort consist of a queen's quarters, having six chambers. Besides these, the ruins of three other watch towers exist, in front of the palace grounds.
The fort’s main pathway is called the "Maha Darwaja" (Huge Door) which has two huge bastions approximately 65–70 feet in height each - on both sides of the door. The roof/top of the fort is 600 feet above this door.
The Raigad Fort also consists of ruins of a marketplace which existed during its early days.
Raigad Fort can be reached from Mumbai city (in the west Indian state of Maharashtra) by train or by road. Mumbai can be reached by flight or train – the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport in Mumbai is well connected with various cities across India and the world, and is easy to reach.
The nearest railway station to get down at to reach the fort is Mangaon. So, from Mumbai (Chatrapati Shivaji Rail Terminus), a train can be boarded to Mangaon to reach the fort.
The road route is a great choice, though - as it has some extremely scenic views! There are a couple of routes to choose from but the route going through Mahad, although a bit longer, is a highway and therefore, a much more comfortable and recommended drive to choose.
The entry to Raigad Fort costs INR 10 per head.