In news– Recently, the Indian President visited the Raigad fort and paid tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
About Raigad fort-
- It is a hill fort situated about 25 km from Mahad in the Raigad district of Maharashtra at 2,851 feet above sea level.
- As per the British Gazette the fort was known to early Europeans as the ‘Gibraltar of the East’.
- Its decisive feature is a mile and a half flat top which has adequate room for buildings.
- In its prime, the fort had 300 stone houses and a garrison of 2,000 men.
- The fort, which was earlier called Rairi, was the seat of the Maratha clan Shirke in the 12th century.
- The fort also overlooks an artificial lake known as the ‘Ganga Sagar Lake’.
- The only main pathway to the fort passes through the “Maha Darwaja” (Huge Door).
- The King’s durbar inside the Raigad Fort has a replica of the original throne that faces the main doorway called the Nagarkhana Darwaja.
- The fort has a famous bastion called “Hirakani Buruj” (Hirkani Bastion) constructed over a huge steep cliff.
- The fort changed hands a number of times from the dynasty of Bahaminis to the Nizam Shahis and then the Adil shahis.
- In 1656 Chhatrapati Shivaji captured it from the Mores of Javli who were under the suzerainty of the Adilshahi Sultanate.
- In 1662, Shivaji formally changed the fort’s name to Raigad and added a number of structures to it.
- On June 6, 1674, Shivaji was coronated at Raigad by Gagabhatt where he took on the title of Chhatrapati.
- Six years later, Shivaji passed away in Raigad in 1680 and was cremated at the fort.
- On 9 May 1818, the fort was looted and destroyed by the British.
About Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
- He was the founder of the Maratha empire, a warrior king of Maharashtra.
- He was born in the Shivneri Fort in Maharashtra on 19 February 1630 to mother Jijabai and father Shahaji bhosale.
- Contrary to popular belief, Shivaji was not named after Lord Shiva. In fact, he was named after a regional Goddess Shivai.
- His mother prayed to the goddess for a son and was blessed with one
- He was called as the ‘Mountain Rat’ and was widely known for his guerrilla warfare tactics.
- The secular ruler was very accommodating of all religions. He had numerous Muslim soldiers in his army.
- His only aim was to overthrow Mughal rule and establish Maratha empire.