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INFORMATION ABOUT RAIGARH

Raigad is located in the south western side of Maharashtra state with the district headquarters in Alibag. It lies from North Latitudes 1751 to 19.80 and East Longitudes 7251 to 7340. The total population of the district as per 2001 census is 2,205,972. Agriculture and household-industries are the main sources of livelihood in the district of Raigad.

RAIGARH HISTORY

Prior to Indian Independence, Raigarh was the capital of the princely state of Raigarh. The former king and his sons are still there. They still lead a royal life but with no rent to collect their palace is in a very bad state. Culture Raigarh is a city with a cultural heritage. It is famous for Kathak dance and classical music. This city has produced greate Kathak dancers like - Shree Firtu Maharaj, Vijaya Sharma and others. Every year, on Ganesh Chaturthi , a festival named 'Chakradhar Samaroh' is organized in which music and dance exponents from all over India visit and display their art. This event is organized in the memory of great king and musician Maharaja Chakradhar Singh.

RAIGARH TOURISM

    The Places of Interest and Sight Seeing

  • Raigad Fort :Fort Raigad was the capital of the most illustrious Maratha sovereign, nurtured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It is a monument of his prophetic vision of Hindavi Swarajya.


  • Murud Janjira Fort :Murud is a village in Raigad district, south to Alibag. It is just 45 Kms. from Alibag. The place is full of coconut and betel nut trees and has a nice and prosperous sea shore. Like other villages in Konkan, Murud is also on the seashore and there are many businesses dependent on sea which are the natives lives like Fishing and tourism. Murud is not a big village but it has a huge palace of Nawab of Murud. That is the only attraction in the village.But Murud is famous for the fort of Janjira. The fort is build in the sea 2 Kms. inside of Murud. This is one of the vital sea-forts in Maharashtra. The fort is old one but still very strong. Though, today it is not in a proper condition, one can still imagine its hugeness and toughness. Some monuments inside and the walls of the fort are destroyed after so many years now. But the toughness of the fort can be still felt. There are in all 19 Buruj in the fort. Every buruj has huge guns on it especially 3 big guns 'Kalal Bangadi' , 'Chavari' and 'Landa Kasam' are very famous. There are 2 water tanks inside the fort and some tombs as well. The fort was built by Burhankhan - a minister of Nizmashah. Many times , Marathas tried to capture the fort, even Shivaji Maharaj, Sambhaji and Peshwas tried - but all those attempts failed. So this is one of the rare forts in Maharashtra which was not managed by Marathas .Padmadurg - a fort built by Shivaji Maharaj is to north -west of Janjira.


  • Ballaleshwar Ganpati - Pali :Named after Ballal, son of Kalyan Shreshthi, from whose `tapasya', Ganesh appeared at pali. The deity is known as Ballaleshwar. Erlier the deity was placed in a wooden temple. The wooden temple was so constructed that the rays of the sun would fall directly on the deity from the two equinoxes of the temple. The temple was reconstructed in 1770 by Morobadada Phadanvis. The Ganesh idol in the temple is 3 ft. high. Behind the temple, another temple of Ganesh, known as Dhundi Vinayak is situated. The Peshwas had installed the big bell, in the temple which is of Portuguese make. Nearby Pali is Sudhagad which is famous for its hot springs. Inner sanctum is quite big and is 15 feet high. Outer sanctum is 12 feet high and it has rat idol with Modak in his hands and facing Ganesh. Temple walls are made quite strong by mixing lead with cement while construction.Hall of the temple is 40 feet long and 20 feet broad and it was built by late Shri Krishnaji Ringe in 1910 A.D. Hall is very beautiful with 8 pillars resembling cyprus throne tree. Idol of Vinayaka sitting on stone throne, faces east and its trunk is left turned. The shining diamonds are embedded in the eyes and naval. The background is of silver where one finds Riddhi and Siddhi waving chamaras. Temple complex has a big bell made in Europe.After defeating portuguese in Vasai and Sasthi, Chimaji Appa brought these bells and offered them at different Ashtavinayak places.


  • Elephanta Caves :The Elephanta Caves are a great tourist attraction in the vicinity of the large Mumbai meteropolis. The Elephanta island is located 10 km away from the Gateway of India at Mumbai. These caves house rock cut temples dating back to the 5th century CE. The Elephanta island was so named by the Portuguese, after the statue of an elephant near the landing area of the island. These rock cut temples dedicated to Shiva Mahadeva are rich in sculptural content. Motorboats take passengers from Appollo Bunder near the Gateway of India. . How They were Constructed: This rock cut temples were created by carving out rock, and creating the columns, the internal spaces and the images. The entire temple is akin to a huge sculpture, through whose corridors and chambers one can walk. The entire complex was created through a process of rock removal. Some of the rock surfaces are highly finished while some are untreated bare rock. The entire cave temple complex covers an area of about 60000 squrare feet and it consists a main chamber and two lateral ones , courtyards and several subsidary shrines. Above the temple is the mass of natural rock. There are three entrances to this temple. The ones on the east and the west marking the axis of the temple. A 20 pillared hall lines the axis, and on its western end is the cella in shich is enshrined a Shivalingam. The pillars consist of fluted columns standing on square bases, and are crowned with fluted cushion capitals. The enigmatic image of Trimurthi Sadasiva: The Sadasiva manifestation of Shiva is carved in relief at the end of the north south axis. This collossal 20 feet high image of the three headed Shiva, Trimurthy is a magnificient one, considered to be a masterpiece of Indian art. This colossal image represents Panchamukha Shiva, only three faces of whom are carved into the wall and it demands immediate attention upon entering the temple through the northern entrance.


  • Kanakeshwar :Kanakeshwar - near Alibag is a nice place and famous for cool climate and especially because of old temple of Lord Shiva. The temple is situated on a small hill and the nearby village is ' Mapgaon ' which is almost 12 kms. from Alibag. The hill is almost 1200 feet high and one has to climb 700 - 750 steps to reach the temple. In the mid of the hill one can see 'Nagobacha Tappa' ( a Place of Snakes ) and famous step ' Devachi Payari ' . There is one popular story about this step that it was named because it is said that God itself stepped here after the construction of the temple and the steps. The temple of Kanakeshwar is very beautiful, it is a ' Hoysal ' style structure built in 1764 . A water tank - popular known as 'Pushkarni' - has water almost through out the year. The hill and the surroundings are pretty good to visit. One can feel the hilly region and the forest on the hill. The other places to see near Kanakeshwar are ' Maruti Temple ', ' Gaymandi ' ( Sculpture of Cow ) ,' Temple of Devi Putrabai ' , ' Gaymukh ' and ' the platue of Vyaghreshwar ' ( A small temple of Lord Shiva ) etc.


  • Varad Vinayak Ganpati - Mahad Top :Mahad Ganpati Knwon as Varad Vinayak, the temple is in Mahad village of Raigad district. A Ganesh devotee named Paundkar found this idol in a lake near the temple, three hundred and seventy five years back. The original temple is now enlarged. A spacious audience hall is built within the temple. The lamp before the deity is kept lit uninterruptedly for hundred years or so.


  • Mahad Ganpati :Mahad Ganpati Knwon as Varad Vinayak, the temple is in Mahad village of Raigad district. A Ganesh devotee named Paundkar found this idol in a lake near the temple, three hundred and seventy five years back. The original temple is now enlarged. A spacious audience hall is built within the temple. The lamp before the deity is kept lit uninterruptedly for hundred years or so.


  • Birla Ganesh Temple :20 Kms. away from Alibag is a small village named ' Salav ' on the Alibag - Roha route. There is a temple on a hill top near Salav village. Vikram Ispat company, a part of Birla udyog group has built this temple called ' Birla Mandir '. This temple is between the Vikram Ispat company and its beautifully located residential colony. It is a temple built in pure milk white marble and its dome can be seen from a long distance also. It can be reached by road or by climbing the steps. While climbing the temple steps one is always mesmerized by the landscape. On both sides of the steps is green velvet carpet of grass and beautiful flowers which will keep you spell bound for a minute. The temple has marble floors and the hall of the temple is open from all sides. The ceiling of the temple is transparent which allows free flow of air and ample of light to come in. On entering the temple there is a square shaped nave.The nave is also made of marble and is very beautifully carved. The beautifully carved idol of 'Ganapati' is placed the nave. The idols of 'Riddhi and Siddhi' are placed on both sides of idol. Around the nave are small temples of 'Radha-Krishna', 'Shiv-Parvati', 'Bhavanidevi' and 'Suryadeva'. In the the garden next to the temple there is a statue of "Late Aditya Birla". Around the statue is a beautiful gardened landscape along with colored water fountains. The pleasant climate adds to the beauty of the temple. From the temple hill top the glimpse of the green hill tops surrounding the temple and the lighted Vikram Ispat company on the other side which is a beautiful sight late in the evening. The popularity of this temple has not only in Maharashtra but in and around India also.


  • Mandwa and Kihim Beach :The twin beaches of Mandwa and Kihim lies to the north of Alibag at a distance of about 18 km. These two beaches are very easily accessible from Mumbai. The beach of Mandwa is relatively empty and this offers a perfect place for a visit. On a bright and sunny day, the beaches of Mandwa provide a picturesque view of the bay up to the Gateway Of India. with its beautiful groves of coconut palm, Mandwa resembles very closely a typical sea beach and is one of the finest sea-side destination in Maharashtra. Kihim is another sea-side destination that is famous for its unspoilt beauty. Its isolation is more of an advantage as city dwellers come here in thousands to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and serene beauty of nature. Kihim is a truly wonderful place. The wild flowers in the woods, rare butterflies and birds combine together to make Kihim a paradise for nature lovers. If you visit Mandwa, make it a point to visit the Kobala Fort. It is at a little distance away from the shore. At Chaul you can get a glimpse of the historic palaces of Portuguese as well as some Buddhist Caves. Here you will also find a synagogue. The nearest airport to Mandwa is at Mumbai. It is at a distance of 136 km. If you travel by rail, the nearest station is Panvel, some 85 km away. You can also travel from Mumbai to Kihim by road and it will take about 136 km. Rewas, the nearest sea port is at a distance of 6 km from Kihim. Mumbai is well connected with Rewas by ferry.


  • Hari-Hareshwar beach :One more unexplored jewel in the long Konkan coastline, Shriwardhan bay is simply irresistible to beach lovers. People with a liking for adventure can even take a small boat to the north side of bay and explore a land where the decision makers of the Matratha kingdom resided. The town of Harihareshwar is known for its tranquil and serene beach. the temple of Lord Harihareshwar is also quite famous. This beach is also landmark by kalbhairav-the Shiva Temple. If you are adventurous enough to take a small boat to the nort side of the bay, you can see where peshwas or prime ministers of Maratha kingdom originally resided Also see the 'Peshwa' Smarak & visit the Bankot fort at bagmandala, about 4 kms away.


  • Matheran :Matheran was discovered by Hugh Malet in 1850. The British developed Matheran as a popular tourist resort. At an elevation of around 800m (2,625 ft) above sea level Matheran is a hill station located about 100 km from Mumbai. Matheran literally means jungle on top. All vehicles (Except emergency vehicles) are banned here.


ACCOMODATION/STAY OPTIONS IN RAIGARH



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