Rajgad Fort, no doubt India is a country blessed with a diverse and rich history. The spectacular monuments can be taken as a reminder that just how glorious that heritage it. India has notorious temples and phenomenal infrastructures which are just soaked in mysteries. There are numerous historical architectures i.e. India has about 2 million or more beautiful temples and about 1000 forts.
India is known as the land of forts. Spread over the entire country these forts today are a popular tourist attraction. These forts are of a great significance and you could find their names mentioned in important history chapters as well.
If you’re a history lover and just love to soak in all that history like me then the Rajagd Fort should really be on your bucket list. The Fort is nearly 450 years old. This was the first fort built by a great Indian warrior-king Chhatrapati Shivaji
Maharaj Bhosale and was the capital of the Maratha Empire for almost 26 years. This fort is located in Pune, district Maharashtra on the hill-top offering an eye-dropping panoramic view of the city above.
The King of Forts:
The great Rajgad Fort (literal meaning Ruling Fort). It was formerly known as Murumdev until 1654 when its name changed to “Rajgad”. This fort is one of the 17 forts that Shivaji Maharaj kept when he signed the Treaty of Purandar.
The Fort is built on a hill called Marumbadevi Dongar (The Mountain of the Goddess Murumba) close to the border Bhor-Velhe Taluka. The fort is about 60km away from the south-west of Pune. And it is located at the west of Nasrapur in the Sahyadris range. The fort lies about 4,514 ft above sea level. You also get an overview of nearby forts such as Sinhagad, Lingana, Pratapgad, Vajragad, Purandar and Raigad.
Historical Value of Rajgad Fort:
The fort has stood witness to many significant history events. Some of them are:
Death of Maharani Saibai:
Saibai was Shivaji’s first wife who died here in this fort in 1659. Both married at the ripe age of 15 years. She was Shivaji’s wife and also the chief consort of Shivaji. Her samadhi (the place where a person takes his/her last breath) is situated is situated at Rajgad Fort.
The Burial of Afzal Khan’s Head:
Afzal Khan was decapitated by Shivaji and his head was sent to Rajgad to be presented to Shivaji’s mother Jijabai. Later on, his head was buried in the walls of Bale Killa (Bastion) in Rajgad.
- The Great Escape from Agra:
The great warrior-king Shivaji with his son Sambhaji was held prisoner by Aurangzeb in Agra in 1665. He made a great escape from Agra and returned to Rajgad.
- Birth of Rajram I:
Shivaji’s second son was born in 1670 in this fort. He was the son of Soyarabai, who was one of the eight wives of Shivaji.
- Surrender of Fort to Aurangzeb:
The fort was handed over to Aurangzeb in 1704. He changed the name of the fort to Sar Senapati Sidojirao Thopte.
“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother
of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and instructive materials in the history of of man are treasured up in India only”
― Mark Twain.
The Great Rajgad Architecture:
The Fort is an excellent example of great craftsmanship. It is magnificently designed and constructed into four parts based on their geographical terrain and fortification. There is a 40km diameter base which made it difficult to lay siege on it which added to its strategic values.
There are three sub-plateau (Machee):
- Padmavati Machee
- Suvela Machee
- Sanjevani Machee
At the centre of the fort is the Balle killa. There is also an escape route Chor Marg which was built in case when the fort was under attack.
The Padmavati Machee is the vastest maachee on Rajgad. This place was previously a military station. This place is named after the Padmavati Devi who’s temple is also found on this side. And right in front of the Padmavati Devi’s temple is Saibai samadhi. The Padmavati lake is also a hot point for tourists.
This sub-plateau is on the west side of the fort. It comes right after Padmavati Machee and leads to the Citadel.
This machee is on the west side of the fort. Sanjevani Machee also has an “Aalu Darwaza” which is the only way that leads to Rajgad from Torna. At the end of this machee there is a strong bastion tower which was used to keep an eye out for the enemies and attack in defense when needed.
You May like to visit Jhansi Fort
Balle Killa – The Citadel:
Balle Killa is the highest point of Rajgad Fort. The path leading to the Citadel is narrow. The Citadel has a Mahadarwaza that still stands in a good condition even today! There is a Janani Mandi and Chandratale (moon lake). You can get a clear view of the Padmavati Machee and Sanjeevani Machee from the northern bastion which stands tall in front of the moon lake.
Things to See at Rajgad Fort:
The places to be and the things to see when visiting the fort are:
- Padmavati Machee
- Suvela Machee
- Sanjevani Machee
- Bella Killa
- The Chandratale
- The Chor Darwaza
If you are looking for places other than Rajgad to visit or if you are in an adventurous spree then some well-known places include:
- Khanderi Fort
- Mandangad Fort
- Pratapgad Fort
- The Mahabaleshwar Temple
Best time to visit Rajgad Fort:
Just pick any day and Rajgad turns out to be the best hike trek ever. It’s got it all, nice nature trails, forests, rock face scampering, adventure. A trip to the Rajgad Fort is a great way of combining heritage with adventure. It is one of the best places to admire the beautiful sunsets and the cityscape. Rajgad is a significant tourist place and most commonly sought after during the monsoons. The whole Rajgad cannot be explored in a single day so the tourists are recommended to stay overnight. Its best to visit in the monsoon days but apart from the monsoon you could also visit the fort comfortably from October until the end of March.
Places to Stay When Visiting Rajgad Fort:
If you are planning to stay for a day or two so that you can soak in all the history properly then you would definitely need a cozy place to stay in. Following are a few hotels where you would feel at ease:
- Amanora the Fern:
Amanora is located 25.4 miles from the Rajgad Fort. It is known for its great and excellent staff and beautiful hotel. If you are looking to pay any type of amount to live in a cozy place, then this place is for you.
- Capital O 11207 Gharonda Residency:
Need something that isn’t way out of your budget? The capital residency is 27.7 miles away from the fort and offers nice cozy and well-lit wonderful rooms which you could easily afford for a day or two. It also has a free wife so how can you say no to that!
- Sorina Hillside Resort:
If you need a place closest to the fort, then Sorina Hillside is just 11.5 miles away from the Rajgad Fort. It has a great view of the dam and also has three swimming pools.
I guess that’s the wind up of the complete guide of Rajgad Fort. Rajgad Fort is like a paradise for trekkers. Many adventurous trekkers are seen making their way to the fort on foot. And if you’re one of them then don’t forget to keep a huge bottle of water and some suntan lotion with you!