Chhatrapati Shivaji Jayanti: What's the warrior's connection with Raigad Fort in Mumbai?

Raigad Fort's strategic location played a major role in the Maratha empire's history and today, the fortress is a major tourist attraction for visitors from all over the world. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Revered for his administrative skills, military prowess and battles, Chhatrapati Shivaji is a revered figure of the Marathas. The legendary warrior king, who was the founder of the Maratha Empire, is considered a hero who fought against foreign domination in the 17th century. Shivaji ruled from his capital Raigad, specifically from the majestic Raigad Fort in the southeast of Mumbai. Its strategic location played a major role in the empire's history and today, the fortress is a major tourist attraction for visitors from all over the world. 

Do you know the fort witnessed many important events throughout the rein, including his death? From his historic coronation in 1647, the launch of military expeditions like the capture of Kondona Fort, the siege of Purandar Fort and the conquest of Javali Fort to many raids and counterattacks, Raigad was instrumental in shaping his empire-building efforts. Let's learn more about it on Chhatrapati Shivaji's jayanti. 

What to see in Raigad Fort?
If you ever visit Mumbai and have some time to spare, you can take the Mumbai - Pune Expressway (NH48) to visit the Raigad Fort. You can also take trains from Mumbai to Panvel, Roha, or Mangaon railway stations and hire taxis or take a bus to reach Raigad Fort. Once at the monument, the key attractions to see at the fort are its main entrance called the 'Maha Darwaja,' the royal pathway called the 'Rajya Rohan' carved out of rock to allow horses to climb up to Raigad, its highest point called 'Balekilla' and 'Takmak Tok,' a cliff-edge where Shivaji used to dispense justice. Now, this point offers some great views of the Western Ghats and the nearby valleys.

Believers can also visit the Jagidhswar Temple near Balekilla, which was constructed during Shivaji's reign. A museum that displays the weapons, artifacts and historical facts about the Maratha Empire are also part of the site. 

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