Raigad Fort (Mahad)
Here’s how I will like to describe our trip to Raigad Fort of June 2012…
“A group of 4 MBA Friends, A Chocolate-Coloured Maruti Ritz Car, Cool & Breezy Rainy Season with splendid mist along the way and loads of fun”
The boys on the road included Kunal, Prasad, Saroj & myself, all self-proclaimed mature, sober & rational gentlemen 🙂
This was the time every married boy yearns for. Just look at this co-incidence:
- Kunal’s wife Pradnya was in Canada on her official deputation for 3 months & she wasn’t going to be back anytime soon
- Prasad’s wife Supriya was a house-wife, had just delivered a cute baby boy & was resting in her hometown in Coastal Karnataka, with no immediate plans of returning
- My wife, because of a leg-fracture, had taken a sabbatical from work and was in her hometown Jabalpur, with no plans of returning for another 5 months
- And Saroj was still a bachelor
Today when we talk of this, we call this period as HALLEY’S COMET, that appears & passes Earth only once in 76 years 😉
All these ladies had gone, around the same time and we had never been more happy, honestly. So, from the time they went, around a month back, we all boys (friends since 2004) looked forward to every Friday evening. Prasad & I had normal office working hours 9.00 am to 6.00 pm whereas Kunal & Saroj from 5.00 pm to 1.00 am. So, Prasad & I had voluntarily taken up a part-time employment of picking Kunal & Saroj from their office at 1.00 am every Friday, although they had their own cars 😉
After 3 such weekends of roaming Pune streets at night, having beer & sleeping during the day, this Raigad plan was made on 4th such Friday night of the month, in June 2012, after picking Kunal & Saroj up at 1.30 am, near Pune Railway Station, whilst we all were savouring Anda Bhurji. “Kab jayenge ? Kal subeh nikalte hai ! Kya problem hai ?”
Our Travel Itinerary decided for this one-way 180 odd kms journey was as follows:
7.00 am: Leave from Pune
8.30 am – 9.30 am: Breakfast @ Paradise Cafe in Mulshi (around 60 kms from Pune)
9.30 am to 12.30 pm: Drive via Mangaon
12.30 pm: Reach Raigad Fort
12.30 pm to 5.30 pm: See & Explore the Fort
5.30 pm: Leave from Raigad
9.00 pm: Arrive at Pune
For all tourists coming over from Mumbai, take the Mumbai Goa Highway NH 17. If you are coming over from Pune, you can opt for the Tamhini Ghat Road, via Paud – Mulshi – Mangaon. This road shall merge with NH 17 at Mangaon. Just before you are about to reach Mahad town (3-4 kms prior to Mahad), you will find a one-lane road on the left-hand side of NH 17, this leads you to the Raigad Fort.
All tourists coming over from Pune, you may choose Paradise Resort for breakfast, it’s good. Owned by a Punjabi Sardar Couple. So, hot Parathas & Tea is the best option here. The resort has dam alongside, very cool, quiet and serene. On your way and before reaching Paradise Resort, you will find it amazing to drive on this road just alongside Mulshi Dam. The dam is so huge, as if you are driving @ say 50 kms / per hour and taking a semi-circle for full 15 minutes. Imagine the size of the dam ! And beautiful waterfalls too !
(Many such waterfalls you shall cross, over & over again)
A little bit on Raigad Fort
Raigad is a hill fort situated near Mahad, that is a small town in Raigad District, off the Mumbai – Goa Highway, in Maharashtra, India.
The Maratha King Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj made this fort his capital in 1674, when he was crowned King of the Maratha Kingdom, which later developed into the Maratha Empire eventually covering majority of modern day India. The fort rises 820 metres (2700 feet) above sea level & is located in the Sahyadri mountain range. There are around 1,700 steps that lead to the fort, though today a Ropeway exists to reach the top. There are several chambers inside the fort, a statue of Shivaji Maharaj is erected in front of the main market avenue that eventually leads to one Jagdishwar Temple and his own tomb & that of this dog Waghya.
Captured some pics below of the Raigad Fort & surrounding region:
(Off the Cliff)
(Raigad Ropeway, little scary but amazing experience in rainy season)
The history is daunting in itself, just to imagine that the Raigad Fort’s Ropeway has been built only recently. Not in 1700s. How during those times around 1700 AD, people must be going through, how this huge fort got built in the first place, how must they be climbing the fort, what excruciating hard-work is involved in coming up & down every day (the ropeway got built only recently… may be some 10 years back… not in 1700 AD !), how the King’s army must be keeping a close watch on the enemy’s movements. Besides, even when you are inside, it takes long time to diagonally cross from one point to the other. No phones – so how was the co-ordination done ??? Daunting !
None-the-less, boys being boys, captured some more of our pics:
(Finally, some credit to the Car that didn’t trouble us anytime & this belongs to Kunal !)
Enjoyed the fog too much while returning back. Pity that we were so engrossed in actually finding our way in that fog, that we couldn’t even think of taking pictures.
Last Visited in June 2012