Raigad is one of the few districts in Maharashtra which are blessed with the grandeur of the Western Ghats. Hence, one can find hundreds of natural wonders within its boundaries. From thick rich forests to towering hills and lush vegetation to diverse wildlife, it has everything that can allure tourists all over the country. As it is also of great historical significance, one can find hundreds of historical sites in the form of forts, temples and palaces here. So, how about taking up the expedition of exploring the nature and history of Raigad? If you are in to do so, then you must consider visiting the following hill forts in the district. These beautiful forts located atop hills and overlooking the natural beauty and human settlements of Raigad certainly deserve to be framed on your camera. So, read on and learn more about them.
1) Karnala Fort
Located at a distance of about 40 km from Mumbai, Karnala Fort is assuredly a beauty to treasure. It is located at an elevation of more than 1400 ft and is a popular tourist attraction for trekkers and hikers. As per historical records, it was constructed around the 13th century when the region was under the control of the Yadavas.
However, later on, it was ruled by several other dynasties including the Marathas, the Tughlaqs and the Gujarat Sultanate. Today, the fort is lying in ruins and is a weekend destination for adventure lovers and history enthusiasts. You can also visit the beautiful Bhavani Temple, which is located at the base of the hill. The total time taken to reach the top of the fort is about 1 h.
2) Raigad Fort
One cannot afford to miss visiting this ancient marvel while in and around Raigad. Did you know this beautiful hill fort was once the capital of the Maratha kingdom under the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj? Located at an altitude of about 2700 ft in the lap of the Western Ghats, Raigad Fort is a popular tourist attraction in Maharashtra. Every year, it is visited by thousands of trekkers and history lovers.
Even though the fort is mainly recognised for its relation to the Maratha Empire, it has a history dating back to several centuries before the Maratha kingdom was established. You can still find the ruins of the fort which include palaces, towers and gates. Ganga Sagar Lake located within the boundaries of the fort is a prime attraction.
3) Kothaligad Fort
Also known as Fort of Peth on account of its location in the close proximity of the Peth village, Kothaligad Fort is one of the oldest forts in the region and is said to have been established in the early Medieval Period of time. As per historical records, the temple and caves present within the fort date back to the 13th century.
It is located at an elevation of more than 300 ft, and hence it is an idyllic stoppage for trekkers and hikers. From the top of the fort, one can capture the lush green beauty of the Western Ghats. If you are looking forward to spending a few relaxing hours on your weekend, then you must plan a tour of this beautiful hill fort.
4) Sudhagad Fort
Located within Sudhagad Wildlife Sanctuary at a distance of about 110 km from Mumbai and 65 km from Lonavala, Sudhagad Fort is one of those few hill forts which are only visited by offbeat travellers. As it is unknown to common tourists, one can literally feel the beauty of calmness and composure within its boundaries.
Surrounded by thick forests and blessed with the charm of lush greenery, the region in and around Sudhagad Fort is a perfect getaway for nature lovers to soothe their mind, body and soul. Did you know that the fort is said to have been established in the 2nd century BCE? Yes, if you are a history lover, you must not miss visiting this age-old marvel.
5) Manikgad Fort
Another hill fort that can provide you with the best of nature and history, Manikgad Fort is located at an elevation of about 1900 ft and is a perfect destination for trekkers. The base village from where one needs to start the trek is Washivali. You need to pass through forests and rugged terrains to reach the top of the fort.