Saturday, December 15, 2007

17 to 19-Mar-2007 Raigad

Raigad inspires most of Marathis. This is the fort most associated to Shivaji maharaj. But that is not true. Shivaji maharaj spent very small time maybe 8-10 years on Raigad. His most of the time was spent from Rajgad.

We decided to visit the fort. We booked MTDC cottages. We took a MSRTC bus to Mahad. If one has their own vehicle, they can take a route through Tamhini ghat, Mangaon and directly Raigad. From Mumbai, one can get down to Mahad which is on the highway.

8:00 AM Started from Pune to Mahad
We took 8:00 AM bus to Mahad from Swargate.

11:00 AM Reached Mahad
The bus reached Mahad by 11:00 PM. We awaited for some bus to take us to Raigad. Apparently, the bus at 12:00 PM was cancelled.

2:00 PM Took an ST for Pachad
Finally we took some bus which dropped us at Pachad.

4:00 PM Walked to roapeway
We awaited for some vehicle to drop us to the base of the fort. However two hours of wait didnot result in anything. Finally we decided to walk down to the ropeway with the luggage. The distance is about 3 kms. Fortunately the sun was on our back for the most of the route.

5:00 PM Reached cottage
Finally took the ropeway to the cottage. At last, we were on Raigad. We quickly dumped our luggage in the cottage. The cottage was spacious. At least 6-8 persons can stay in a cottage.

6:00 PM Roamed the bastion of the fort
Then we went out to see the fort before sunset. We could just see the six chambers and some portions of the palace. We came back to the canteen. Had our dinner. There was power cut in the evening. Hence till late in the night, it was all dark. We bought candles. There were few who did not get any accomodation. They planned to sleep in the open.

7:00 AM Palace and descent
Woke up early in the morning. We saw sunrise from the front of the cottage. We quickly saw the palace and other surroundings. Immediately we started descend the fort. Along the way, we met a group from Mumbai. They had come by an MSRTC bus. After some rest, they had started to climb the fort.

From Trips - Raigad Mar 07

From Trips - Raigad Mar 07

Every one was admiring Janhavi and Varun. Both of them were descending on their own. Varun did not want to be in the lap. This slowed our pace. But it was nice to learn that children have unbelievable stamina.

11:00 AM Reached base
By 11:00 AM we reached the base at Walsure Khind (pass). We had our lunch at the only hotel there.

1:00 PM Walked to Jijabai’s Samadhi
We walked to Pachad. Jijabai's samadhi is out of town. By now, the sun had risen on top. The heat was becoming unbearable. Finally, we reached the place. We sat there for some time. While returning back, we requested one vehicle for a lift to the base of fort. All this while, Varun was insisting that he will walk. He was just one and a half year old! This slowed our pace.

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Climbed the fort
Back to Valsure Khind, we started climbing the fort. Again Varun wanted to climb on his own. Janhavi was also climbing on her own but with little prodding. I lifted her for short distances. Passersby would give different reactions. Some used to admire the children. Some used to wonder why the heck this family is taking all these pains. We quickly reached the fort.

6:00 PM Saw the fort
Today, we had little more time than yesterday to see places. We saw most of the fort except the Jagadeeshwara temple and the samadhi. While seeing the fort, I had lot of questions about why things are like the way there were supposed to be. However, there was no reliable means to satisfy the curiosity. A boy volunteered to give us some information.

In the night, we had dinner. In the restaurant, I saw a series of books on the same kind of questions I had. I bought the books. But could not read them during my stay on Raigad.

The moment we were inside the cottage, we fell asleep. I remembered my promise to Janhavi. I pressed her acing legs. Afterall the tiny feet had descended the big fort, walked nearly 3 kms in the heat, and climbed back again. Within minutes, I fell asleep.

8:00 AM to 10:30 AM Saw remaining fort
In the morning, we had the breakfast and went to see the remaining fort. We went to Takmak tok. This cliff has a lot of wind. Hence one has to be careful. The cliff was used to punish the guilty to death. There are a couple of buildings where ammunition was stored. When the British conquered the fort, they fired tremendous amount of ammunition destroying most of it.

We took a darshan of Jagadeeshwara (Shankar). The temple top is constructed in Islamic style. On the east entrance of the fort, Shivaji maharaj's samadhi is present.

From Trips - Raigad Mar 07

11:00 AM Descended the fort
We descended the fort in the ropeway.

12:00 PM Rickshaw to Mahad
Again there was no sign of any bus taking us to Mahad. Hence we took a shared vehicle to Mahad. The bus was in the evening. Meanwhile, we wanted to see Mahad.

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Saw Mahad
A rickshaw took us to different places. The first one was the ground where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar addressed the audience. We saw the lake (Chavdar) which was thrown open to the dalits for the first time.

We rested in a beautiful temple. This was closed in the afternoon. Naverthless, we rested in the hall.

6:00 PM Start for Pune
Finally, we went back to the bus stand and started return journey to Pune.

We do not have efficient public transport to the historical places. Commuting to these places takes a lot of energy.

There is utter disregard towards tourists. There are no basic facilities available. e.g. drinking water, toilets, resting places, proper cover from sun. There are no safety precaution taken.

Small children have very good amount of stamina and energy. It is best not to contain their energy but just to give some direction.

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