Friday, September 25, 2015

harihar fort | हरिहर गड

Harihar fort appears to be rectangular in shape from its base village. It is built on a triangular prism of rock. Its three faces and two edges are absolutely vertical (90 degrees). The third edge towards the west is inclined at an angle of 75 degrees. A one metre wide rocky staircase with niches in it is carved out for ascending & descending the fort. There are 117 steps in all. After you climb the first rocky staircase (main entrance) we walk thru below a overhang with a sheer drop. Again one has to climb a set of steep stairs (with niches), then pass thru a staircase inside the rock (like Peth-kothligad fort) and then reach the top of the fort. The view from the top is excellent. After climbing these steps, we get up to the entrance door. The fort has got a tapering plateau with a raised level in the middle. There is a small temple of Lord Hanuman and Lord Shiva on the plateau. A small pond is there in front of this temple. Water from this pond can be used for drinking. Making headway from here we come across a palace having two rooms in it. 10 to 12 persons can be accommodated in this palace. One of the vertical drops of the fort facing the Nirgudpada village is called 'Scottish kada', perhaps because it was climbed for the first time in November 1986 by Doug Scott, the legendary Himalayan mountaineer & took him two days to do the climb. This cliff is about 170 meters in height.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Raigad | रायगड

Raigad is a hill fort situated in the Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. The Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj built this fort and made his capital in 1674 when he was crowned King of a Maratha Kingdom which later developed into the Maratha Empire eventually covering majority of modern-day India.[1][2]
The fort, which rises 820 metres (2,700 ft) above sea level, is located in the Sahyadri mountain range. There are approximately 1737 steps leading to the fort, though today Raigad Ropeway, an aerial tramway, exists to reach the top of the fort in 10 minutes. The fort was looted and destroyed by the British after its capture in 1818.

Shivaji had seized the fort in 1656, then the fort of Rairi, from the royal house of Chandrarrao Mores, a junior or Cadet dynasty to descended from the ancient Maurya imperial dynasty. The last More king (or raja) was a feudatory of the Sultan of Bijapur. Shivaji renovated and expanded the fort of Rairi and renamed it Raigad (the King's Fort). It became the capital of Shivaji's kingdom.

Pachad and Raigadwadi villages are located at the base of the Raigad. These two were very important villages during the Maratha rule. Actual climb on the top of Raigad starts from Pachad. In Maratha rule 10000 cavalry was always kept as a standby in Pachad village.
After capturing Rairi from Chandrarao More, Shivaji also built another fort Lingana which is around 2 miles away from Raigad. where he used to keep prisoners.
In 1689 Zulfikhar Khan captured Raigad and Aurangzeb renamed it as 'Islamgad'
In 1765 the Raigad Fort, along with Malwan in present Sindhudurg District, the southernmost district of Maharashtra, was the target of an armed expedition by the British East India Company, which considered it a piratical stronghold.[citation needed]
In 1818 the fort was bombarded and destroyed by using cannons from the hill of Kalkai. and as per treaty on 9 May 1818, it been handed over to British East India Company

Major features

The fort was built by Chandrarao More in 1030. Its ruins today consist of the queen's quarters: six chambers, with each chamber having its own private restroom. The main palace was constructed using wood, of which only the bases of pillars remain. Ruins of three watch towers can be seen directly in front of the palace grounds overlooking an artificial lake called Ganga Sagar Lake created next to the fort.Now only two are visible.Third watchtower collapesd in bombarding.It also has a view of the execution point called Takmak Tok, a cliff from which the sentenced prisoners were thrown to their death (in marathi: kadelot). The area is now fenced off.[3] The fort also has ruins of the market, and it has such structure that one can shop even while riding on a horse.

Maha Darwaja (literary Huge Door) having two very huge bastion on both sides of the door which are approximately 65–70 feet height. the top of the fort is 600 ft higher from the location of this door. Fort was having only once access route which goes through this Maha Darwaja.
Khubladha Buruj, Nane Darwaja, Hatti Talav (Elephant Lake), Gangasagar are the famous attractions of the fort.
Tomb of Jijabai, Shivaji's mother. can be seen at base village Pachad
The fort has a famous wall called "Hirakani Buruj" (Hirkani Bastion) constructed over a huge cliff. Its story is that a woman by the name of Hirakani from a nearby village at the foothills of Raigad had come to sell milk to the people living in the fort. She was inside the fort when the gates were locked by sunset. The love for her infant son back at her village gave her the courage to climb down the cliff in the dark. She repeated the feat in front of King Shivaji, and was rewarded for it. In appreciation of her courage, Shivaji arranged for a wall built at this location. Even today[when?] we can see it standing.

The king's public court (Durbar) has a replica of the original throne that faces the main doorway called the Nagarkhana Darwaja. This enclosure had been acoustically designed to aid hearing from the doorway to the throne. A secondary entrance, called the Mena Darwaja, was supposedly the private entrance of the royal ladies of the fort; it leads to the queen's quarters. The erstwhile main entrance to the fort is the imposing Maha Darwaja. The convoy of the king and the king himself used the Palkhi Darwaja. To the right of Palkhi Darwaja, is a row of three dark and deep chambers. Historians believe that these were the granaries for the fort.

A statue of Shivaji is erected in front of the ruins of the main market avenue that eventually leads to the Jagdishwar Mandir and his own Samadhi (tomb) and that of his loyal dog Waghya. The statue was removed by alleged members of the Sambhaji Brigade[5] in July 2012 as a protest but was re-instated by Shri Shivaji Raigad Smarak Samiti, the Archaeological Survey of India, sculptor Rambhau Parkhi and the District Administration

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Korigad | कोरीगड

Korigad (also called Koraigad, Koarigad or Kumwarigad) is a hill fort located about 20 km (12 mi) south of Lonavla in Pune district, Maharashtra, India. Its date of construction is not known but likely predates 1500. It is about 923 m above sea level.[1] The planned township of Aamby Valley is built over the fort's southern and eastern foothills. The closest village is Peth Shahpur, about 1 km (0.62 mi) north of the fort.


This fort was forcibly taken over into his kingdom by Chhatrapati Shivaji along with the forts of Lohagad, Visapur, Tung and Tikona in 1657. On March 11, 1818, Colonel Prother tried to take over this fort but even after a prolonged siege could not make any headway. Finally on 14 March, by igniting the stored ammunition by means of a loose cannonball he succeeded and this fort went to the British.


The fort is located about 923 m (3,028 ft) above sea level, rising over 200 m (660 ft) higher than the neighboring valleys. To the east, there lie two artificial lakes part of the Aamby Valley project which later drain into the Mulshi reservoir.[3] There are two lakes on the top of the fort.


A temple to its patron goddess Koraidevi[4] also exists along with several smaller temples to dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. The former has been recently renovated and has a 3 foot high Deepmala(tower of lamps).[2] The interesting part of the fort is that its wall is completely intact and one can walk along its entire perimeter(about 2 km).[2] Its massive gate is also intact. Several ruins of older structures within the fort still exist. It has six cannons - the largest of which called the Laxmi Toph is located near the Korai devi temple.

How to reach

To reach Korigad you should have your own vehicle as there are very few transportation options available from Lonavla. Take the Aamby Vally road from Lonavla, keep driving till Peth Shahpur village. Parking is provided near the bus stop on the road. A 5 feet wide earthen road leads to the foot steps of the Korigad fort. it is an easy climb upto the fort.You can also hire cabs from Lonavala. The Aamby Vally buses from Lonavala bus station are also available.This fort can be visited in any time of the year. Even a night trek during summer gives nice experience. There are lot of camping sites on the fort. There are three temples on the fort which provide ample cover. The Korai Devi temple can accommodate 25 persons.

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