10 Forts in Raigad To Experience Its Rich Heritage In 2024

Raigad Forts

Raigad Fort, Karnala Fort, Korlai Fort, Revdanda Fort, Murud- Janjira Fort, Kolaba Fort, Sudhagad Fort, Sagargad Fort, Kothaligad Fort, Manikgad Fort.

The perfect way to catch up on India’s empirical history amidst the scenic surroundings of the lofty Sahyadris is by visiting the
forts in Raigad district. Raigad and the areas around it are dotted with these magnificent symbols of the grandeur of some of the most important dynasties that ruled India.

Each fort in the region has its own unique charm. While some were built as outposts on hilltops to attack the enemy forces and some built in the midst of the Arabian Sea as garrisons. The forts standing tall since centuries give a glimpse into the high level of engineering and architectural intelligence that the erstwhile rulers used while building these.

You will find forts that get cut off from the mainland during high tide. Due to their scenic surroundings, most of the forts are now popular trekking locations. Scores of people visit them to see the still-intact canons, sculptures, magazines, temples, and shrines located inside the forts.

Read on to plan your next offbeat travel to the intriguing landscape of Raigad and explore these wondrous fortresses.

Here is a list of forts in Raigad:

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Raigad Fort

Dating back to the 13th-century, this is amongst the most majestic of forts in Raigad district. This is where Shivaji ruled from and the splendour, albeit in ruins, is still visible for all to see. You can see massive walls snaking up to the fort located on a hillock along with the tombs dedicated to Shivaji and his pet dog.

It’s easy to make out the shapes of what used to be rooms, a water tank, and a temple. You can either climb up 1700 stairs to reach the fort or take a short but exciting ropeway.

Best Time To Visit: Winter months (October- March).

Distance from Raigad: 65.6 kilometres.


Karnala Fort

This fort’s importance in Indian history is evident from the numerous times that it has changed hands between the empires of Devadiris, Tughlaqs, Gujarat Sultanate, Nizams, the Portuguese, Marathas, and finally the British.

Located amidst the beautiful Karnala Bird Sanctuary, it is a great place to rejuvenate amidst nature. Reachable after a short steep trek, one can see two mid-sized forts, Pandu’s watchtower, a water cistern, and an ancient Bhawani Temple inside.

Best Time To Visit: Monsoon months (July-August), which is when the surroundings are the most scenic and you can spot migratory birds as well.

Distance from Raigad: 68.5 kilometres.


Revdanda Fort

Dating back to the 15th-century, this is one of the few beach-facing forts in Raigad district which was built by the Portuguese to protect their sea shipments. Initially known as Santa Maria de Castelo, it was captured by the Marathas and finally ceded to the British.

This is where St. Francis Xavier, a 15th-century Catholic missionary, delivered his first sermon in the Indian subcontinent. Don’t miss to see the huge north and south gates connected by a long causeway and cannons still existing amidst the magnificent ruins.

Best Time To Visit: Winter months (October- March).

Distance from Raigad: 53.1 kilometres.


Murud- Janjira Fort

This massive fort, built on an island on the Murud coastline, the Murud-Janjira Fort is one of the most majestic forts in Raigad district. The importance of this fort can be assumed from the fact that the Maratha, Portuguese, and the British constantly tried to capture it.

It had over 570 cannons, out of which three exist now. It has humongous arched gateways; animal sculptures, a Durbar hall, ‘Darya Darwaza’ an erstwhile sea escape route, and enormous walls that drop down into the crashing waters of the Arabian Sea. The fort can be reached by a short ferry ride from Rajapuri Village.

Best Time To Visit: Winter months (October- March).

Distance from Raigad: 55.3 kilometres.


Kothaligad Fort

Also known as Peth Fort, the Kothaligad Fort is nestled amidst the charming surroundings of the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary. Amongst the most strategic forts in Raigad district, it used to serve as a garrison and a watchtower during the Maratha time.

This fort is known for its unique thumb-like shape and the still preserved canons. On a clear day, the fort’s summit offers great views of the Matheran plateau and Chanderi Fort. On a windy day, you can enjoy the views of ‘reverse waterfalls’ near the fort.

Best Time To Visit: Winters (October-March) and monsoons (July-August).

Distance from Raigad: 86.9 kilometres.


Sudhagad Fort

Also known as Bhorapgad, this is a small fort dating back to the 2nd-century BC that was captured by Shivaji from the Bahamanis in the 16th-century. After the annexation of the princely states, the fort had no ruler, which led to its present state of ruin.

The fort, amongst the most-visited forts in Raigad district, is surrounded by three huge gates and has a temple dedicated to Bhoraidevi, a granary, two water ponds, and a shrine. The summit of the fort offers scenic views of the other nearby forts like Sarasgad, Korigad, Taila-Baila, etc.

Best Time To Visit: Winters (October-March) and monsoons (July-August).

Distance from Raigad: 18.6 kilometres.

Located in Alibaug, this hill fort is located amidst lush and thickly forested expanses offering beautiful sea views. Before being finally handed over to the British, the fort changed hands between rulers like Shivaji, Bhivaji Gujar, Kanhoji, etc.

It is said that prisoners were hurled to their death from the monkey point at the fort. A beautiful Dhodhane waterfall, a temple, and a water tank on the way to the fort make the trek to the fort more enjoyable.

Best Time To Visit: Winters (October-March) and monsoons (July-August).

Distance from Raigad: 33.2 kilometres.

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Korlai Fort

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One of the few island forts in Raigad district, built by the Portuguese to fortify the creek of Revdanda in the 15th-century, lies in a sleepy town in the Konkan range. The fort has still-standing seven bastions named after saints like Sao Francisco, Sao Pedro, Sao Diego, etc.

You can see a huge water cistern called Santa Cruz, the façade of a church, and a magazine inside. The fort is reached after trekking through dense forests of teak, cashew, and casuarina overlooking the beach. The highlight of the place is the Korlai lighthouse built in 1955 that is still functional and is a great vantage point to see the creek and lush plains.

Best Time To Visit: Winters (October-March) and monsoons (July-August).

Distance from Raigad: 59.8 kilometres.


Kolaba Fort

Also known as the Alibag Fort, this is one of the most visited forts in Raigad district. Dating back to 300 years, this used to be a naval station for the army of Shivaji. You can see still-existing cannons, huge walls covered in animal carvings, a 17th-century temple, and freshwater well.

Surrounded by the Arabian Sea on all four sides, the fort offers beautiful views of the blue-green expanses of water. During low tide, the fort can be reached via a short walk through the waters and by a boat during high tide.

Best Time To Visit: Winter months (October- March).

Distance from Raigad: 47.3 kilometres.


Manikgad Fort

This hilltop 18th-century fort located in the Manikgad village is one of the most visited forts in Raigad district. It was built by the Maratha armies to guard their trade routes and was ceded to the British later on.

The fort can be entered only from its south gate and the enclosed area consists of a huge stone grinder, an ancient Shivalinga, water cisterns, and structures that resemble granaries. The summit of the fort is a great vantage point to see the sun setting over the Karnala ranges.

Best Time To Visit: Winter months (October- March).

Distance from Raigad: 54.9 kilometres.

People Also Ask About Raigad

  1. Which are the best forts in and near Raigad for trekking?

    1. Raigarh Fort Trek: Perched at the height of eight hundred and twenty meters, the Raigad Fort was named “Gibraltar of the East.” The fort is accessible from one side, and you’ll have to trek through the hills to reach the destination. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the nearby valleys and Sahyadri mountain ranges while trekking through this route.

    2. Sagargad Fort: This hill fort is situated amidst thick forests that offer beautiful sea views. Located on this fort are Siddheshwar Temple, a river flowing by, and a cliff. You’ll have to trek through the hills and green grassy off beaten tracks to reach the fort.

    3. Korlai Fort: This island fort was built by the Portuguese in the 15th-century to fortify the creek of Revdanda. It has seven still-standing bastions named after saints like Sao Pedro, Sao Francisco, Sao Diego, etc. You can reach the fort after trekking through lush green forests of cashew, teak, and casuarina.

    4. Harishchandragad Fort: Harishchandragad Fort is a splendid trekking destination near Raipur wrapped in a thick blanket of greenery. The trek length is around twenty-one kilometers and will leave you spellbound with its rustic aura.

    5. Visapur Fort: This is a renowned hill fort that offers a thrilling and lively experience to the trekkers. It is located at an elevation of 1084 meters, and the trek length is around ten kilometers.
  2. Which are the best forts in the Raigad district?

    1. Karnala Fort: Also known as Funnel Hill, Karnala Fort stands within Karnala Bird Sanctuary and consists of two forts, out of which one is at the lower level, and the other is at a higher level. You have to trek through a steep path to reach the top of the trek.

    2. Kolaba Fort: This is a 300-year old military fortification located near the shores of Alibaug. The fort has freshwater wells and a Siddhivinayak temple built by Raghoji Angre in 1759.

    3. Kothaligad Fort: This is the oldest fort in Raigarh that is considered an idyllic destination for hiking and trekking. From the top of this fort, you can enjoy the splendid beauty of the Western Ghats.

    4. Sudhagad Fort: This fort is situated within Sudhagad wildlife sanctuary and is surrounded by thick forests and lush greenery. It is an excellent trekking destination endowed with about fifty acres of a brown and green sprinkled plateau. It also houses a Hindu temple dedicated to Devi Bhorai.

    5. Padmadurg Fort: Padmadurg Fort is also known as Kasa fort, and it was constructed by the Maratha ruler King Shivaji. This historical sea fort has six cylindrical bastions and is surrounded by sea from all sides. Inside the fort, there is a cistern that acted as the source of fresh water during ancient times.
  3. Can we stay in Raigad Fort?

    Yes, it is possible to stay overnight at the Raigad Fort. There are several options available for stay, the best and closest ones being an MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation) and the Ropeway Rooms Guest House.
  4. How difficult is Rajgad trek?

    The difficulty level of this trek depends on the route taken. The route from Gunjavane village via the Gunjavane Darwaja is steep, rocky, and requires rock climbing experience. The route from Vajeghar to Pali is the easiest but also the longest. Another easy route option is from Gunjavane village through Chor Darwaza.
  5. Is Rajgad and Raigad the same?

    No, Rajgad & Raigad are not the same, As Raigad is a fort located in the district by the same name in Maharashtra in the Mahad region. The Rajgad fort, on the other hand, is located in the Pune district in the Sahyadri ranges.
  6. Why is Kolaba Fort called a sea fort?

    The Sanskrit name of the fort is made of words ‘Kul’ and ‘Aap’ that means surrounded by water. And quite literally it is! The fort, amongst the few island forts in Raigad district, stands on a rock surrounded by the waters of the Arabian Sea on all four sides and is reached via a ferry ride.
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