प्राचीन नाव ‘रायरी’ हे होते. युरोपचे लोक त्यास ‘पूर्वेकडील जिब्राल्टर’ असे म्हणत असत. जिब्राल्टरचे ठाणे जितके अजिंक्य तितकाच रायगड अजिंक्य व दुर्गम. पाचशे वर्षांपूर्वी त्यास गडाचे स्वरूप नव्हते व तो नुसता एक डोंगर होता, तेव्हा त्यास ‘रासिवटा’ व ‘तणस’ अशी दोन नावे होती. त्याचा आकार, उंची व सभोवतालच्या दऱ्या यावरून त्यास ‘नंदादीप’ असेही नाव पडले. निजामशाहीत रायगडाचा उपयोग कैदी ठेवण्यापुरता होई. मोऱ्यांचा प्रमुख यशवंतराव मोरे जावळीहून पळून रायगडावर जाऊन राहिला तर प्रतापराव मोरे विजापुरास पळाला. महाराजांनी एप्रिल १६५६ रोजी रायरीस म्हणजेच रायगडास वेढा घातला व मे महिन्यात रायरी महाराजांच्या ताब्यात आली. तेथे असताना, कल्याणचा सुभेदार मुल्ला अहमद खजिना घेऊन विजापूरकडे निघाल्याची बातमी महाराजांना समजली. त्यांनी तो खजिना लुटून रायगडावर आणला व त्या खजिन्याचा उपयोग गडाच्या बांधकामासाठी केला. रायगडाचा माथा राजधानी बनवण्यास सोयीचा व पुरेसा आहे. शत्रूला अवघड वाटणाऱ्या प्रदेशातले ते अधिक अवघड ठिकाण आहे. सागरी दळणवळणासही हे ठिकाण जवळ आहे. म्हणून महाराजांनी राजधानीसाठी या गडाची निवड केली. रायगड किल्याचे पूर्वीचे नाव जम्बुदीप असे होते.
सभासद बखर म्हणते -
|“||राजा खासा जाऊन पाहता गड बहुत चखोटा. चौतर्फा गडाचे कडे तासिल्याप्रमाणे दिड गांव उंच. पर्जन्यकाळी कडियावर गवत उगवत नाही आणि धोंडा तासीव एकच आहे. दौलताबाद पृथ्वीवर चखोट गड खरा, परंतु तो उंचीने थोडका. दौलताबादचे दशगुणी गड उंच असे देखोन बहुत संतुष्ट झाले आणि बोलिले, तक्तास जागा हाच गड करावा.||”|
याच दुर्गदुर्गेश्वराला १५ विविध नावांनी संबोधिले गेले आहे. :- १.रायगड २.रायरी ३.इस्लामगड ४.नंदादीप ५.जंबुद्वीप ६.तणस ७.राशिवटा ८.बदेनूर ९.रायगिरी १०.राजगिरी ११.भिवगड १२.रेड्डी १३.शिवलंका १४.राहीर आणि १५.पूर्वेकडील जिब्राल्टर.
Raigad Fort Trek: All You Need To Know
Raigad Fort is located at an altitude of about 820mtrs. And is located on Sahyadri mountain range that's situated in Mahad, Maharashtra. You can access the captivating fort from a single side via a pathway, and it has about 1737 steps, and the rest three sides are covered by deep valleys. And if you want to reach the fort in simple 4 minutes, you can go with the ropeway.
The fort is known to be of great significance and one of the pride things left by the Marathas. It's not just a tourist spot. It's a holy place of pilgrimage, and it holds the marks of Hindavi Swarajya that was cherished by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Most of the parts of the entire fort have turned into ruins, and it is known to be something that describes the brave history of the Marathas.
After Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj successfully captured the Raigad Fort, it was successfully renovated by him. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj named it as the capital of the entire Maratha Kingdom. It was named as Gibraltar Of The East by the British. The reason behind it being called Gibraltar Of The East is that it’s a well-built fortified structure that defied various attackers. Various beguiling gates such as Maha Darwaja, Nagarkhana Darwaja, Palkhi Darwaja and Mena Darwaja are known to exist in the fort. A statue in memory of Shivaji Maharaj was known to exist in the ruins of the main market.
Raigad Fort History
Chandrarao Mores built this fort in the year 1030. Previously, it was called as fort of Rairi. Afterwards, it was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the year 1656 from Chandrarao Mores’ royal house. The last of the Mores was known to be a feudatory Of Bijapur’s Sultan. This fort was renovated as well as expanded by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and was renamed as Raigad. The name “Raigad” means “The Fort Of The King.” And it was named as the capital of the entire Maratha Kingdom.
After Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj successfully captured the Raigad fort, he also built Lingana fort around it. Afterwards, in the year 1689, Raigad was captured by Zulfikhar Khan, and it was renamed as Islamgad by Aurangzeb. Later, the fort was captured by Siddi Fatehkhan in the year 1733. It was the year 1765 when the fort served as the target of the armed expedition of the British East India Company. British started ruling the fort on 9th May 1818.
When’s The Best Time To Trek to Raigad
The ideal time that people love to visit Raigad Fort is between November and March. Winters are not known to be harsh at this fort. You will enjoy the trekking adventures here as the weather is known to be pleasant around this place. However, if you visit this fort in the summers, it will be really hot as the temperature of the place reaches about 50 degree Celsius. Hence, you should avoid visiting this fort between March and June.
Structure & Features Of Raigad Fort
Most of the parts of the Raigad Fort are known to be left in ruins except for Shivaji's coronation site, his samadhi and a Shiva temple. The ruins mostly consist of the queen's quarters. These quarters consisted of a total of six chambers. Each of these chambers had a single restroom. Wood was used in order to construct the main palace. However, the only thing remaining out of the main palace is the bases of the pillar. You can observe ruins of citadel, watchtowers and durbar hall that will leave you stunned.
The Ganga Sagar Lake flows right in front of the magnificent fort. There's a famous wall called Hirkani Bastion and Hirkani Baruj that’s built on a cliff. You can observe a duplicate of the original throne facing the Nagarkhana Darwaja inside the fort. There was an entrance that was used as a private one for the ladies called Mena Darwaja. The door led to the queen's chambers. The king, as well as his convoy, made use of Palkhi Darwaja. You can observe a row of three chambers that are dark in right of Palkhi Darwaja. These are known to be the fort’s granaries.
There’s an execution point named Takmok Tok. Here the prisoners were sentenced to death and thrown right down. There's a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj that was erected right in the ruins, and that led to Jagdishwar Mandir. You can observe Jijabai Shahaji Bhosale’s samadhi at the village Pacha’s base. Other favourite tourist attractions include Nane Darwaja, Khubladha Buruj as well as Hatti Talav.
There was a protest held by the Sambhaji Brigade in the year 2012 that led to the removal of the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s dog. However, it was reinstated later.
Now that you know why you should go on a Raigad fort trek right now, it’s time for you to be done with your bookings for trekking. And that’s why we have built the perfect package for you that will make you feel comfortable and will leave you absolutely stunned with our quality services that will take your trekking adventure to the next level!