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India: Ajanta Ellora, Alibaug, Bhandardhara with Ajanta and Ellora, Diveagar, Ganpatipule, Kodaikanal with Madurai & Rameshwaram, Koyna Nagar, Panchmarhi, Raigadh
Raigadh, Maharashtra, India
by Dr Abhijit Choudhary, India
Raigadh Fort was built by Shivaji Maharaj, the great Maratha king. It was the capital of his empire. Thanks to the Raigadh ropeway, one can reach at the top of the fort from the base in under 5 minutes.
Raigadh being in Kokan area receives a lot of rainfall throughout monsoon. Therefore, we went after the monsoon was over. That ensured lush greenery all around - a rare site for urban people like us.
The distance between Pune and Raigadh is about 160 kms via Tamhini ghat. Though the distance seems to be less, it takes more time than normal because of the hilly terrain. We started at 7 in the morning. Enroute we took a short break at ‘Quikbite’ a small but decent restaurant and after reaching Mangaon turned left towards Goa on the Mumbai Goa National Highway. 20 kms further down, just before Mahad city limits we turned towards Raigadh. There is a lake before the turn on right side of the highway.
From the highway, Raigadh is about 30 kms. We headed straight towards the ropeway site and parked our car in their premises. There is a restaurant which can provide good food and snacks. Before going up the fort, we had our lunch and made sure to carry as much water as possible because of the typical hot and humid Kokan weather. The view from the ropeway trolley was breathtaking. The 5 minutes it took to reach the top were certainly one of the best times of my life!
I always make sure to hire a professional guide at any historic place. Otherwise it is useless to just wander about without proper information. The cost of guide is included in the ropeway ticket and so there was no problem for us. In about an hour the guide showed us around the various historic sites. We turned back using the ropeway. Since it’s risky to cross the Tamhini ghat after dark, we headed straight home and reached, fully charged, at 9PM. Raigadh is indeed a good day trip with family.
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