Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Raigad Fort

Along the Mumbai-Goa highway comes this dilapidated fort of Raigad. Chatrapathi Shivaji's fort still stands till this day on the hills of Raigad. The western ghats stands tall and looks gigantic. It is around 1500 steps to reach the top of the hill. Shivaji and his army must have been really fit to reach that almost everyday.

An Overview of the Rope-way we took to reach the top.

Taken from the Rope-car. It was an amazing site: The ride took 4 mins at a slow pace.

Up the hill near the fort now.

An overview of the Upper Station:

After you reach the top, the entrance to the fort is from the back side, which the queens used to use before. The steps to reach the top is on the other side of the hill, from which you can enter the direct darbar. A story of British general goes like this. He climbed the hill to reach the top almost 1500 steps. He was totally exhausted. When he came to the gates of the darbar, he was amazed to see two elephants throwing flowers at him. For a guy with 2 feet it is so difficult to reach the top. How did Shivaji manage to bring these hefty elephants so far up the hill.
The trick was, Shivaji brought these elephants when they were just calf. They grew here in the top of the hill for the rest of their life. 7 queens, 7 rooms....Shivaji's bath tub, his Chathrapathi Simhasana, His samadhi and the samadhi of his faithful dog, had a lot of historic importance.

Shivaji's Bath Tub:

The place where he was crowned Chatrapathi Shivaji

Samadhi of Chatrapathi Shivaji:

The samadhi of his faithful dog.

Just adjacent to his samadhi is the Temple. It looks like a mosque from a distance. It was a camouflage so that the Muslim rulers thought it was a Muslim place and never came to attack it. Being at the top of the hill it looks like mosque for sure from a distance.

The lady who made lunch for us and her house below. Jowar roti was really tasty for a tiring tour. Take lots of water if you are travelling in the summer. The winds on the top are good.
I also happen to see the shiv jothi. The person who lites this jothi will take it to his village on his legs. He walks all the way to his home. May it be 400-500 kms. The hard thing is he will wear no shoes. Amazing these people have so much faith and dedication even in the 20th century.

Shiv jothi:

The motor that moves the rope way car. I tired some photography tricks, here the wheel seems like it is moving. Slow shutter speed. :) :)


NIM said...

looks like a great place to visit...lots of history... nice pictures...

LAN said...

true; lot of history.... but it was very hot!! damn hot!! :(

Anonymous said...

"The Samadhi of his dog..." Now that I did not know!

PS: lovely snaps! Good to see you back and blogging! :)

LAN said...

Thanks Choco :) :) thanks for reading :)