Karnala Bird Sanctuary
Welcome to Raigad,
Raigad District, also known as Raigarh District, is a district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Agriculture and household-industries are the main sources of livelihood. Raigad is also famous for alibag which is a town in the district. Formally alibag was different district but now it is in Raigad District.
Raigad also has hill station - Matheran which is very famous hill station. It is just few kilometers away from mumbai. One can spend his time on the peaceful hill station. The natural beauty of Matheran is really mesmerising. Places to visit in the city are Birla Ganesh Temple, Hari-Hareshwar beach, Jijamata Palace, Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Queen's Palace, Raigad Museum, Raigad Fort, Varad Vinayak Ganpati(Mahad Ganpati), Jagadishwar Temple, Mandwa and Kihim Beach etc.
Alibag or Alibaug is a coastal town and a municipal council in Raigad District of Maharashtra, India. It is headquarters of the Raigad district. It The town and its surrounding villages are the historic hinterland of Bene Israeli Jews. It is famous for various beaches some of them are Alibag beach, Varsoli beach, Akshi beach etc.
Some famous temples in Alibag are Kanakeshwar Temple, Vikram Vinayak Temple, Uma-Maheshwar Temple, Balaji Temple, Datta Mandir, Hingulja Mandir etc.
More details are shown on the link alibag in Excursion Category.
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.
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.
An artificial lake constructed adjacent to the Raigad fort, Gangasagar Lake is a wonder. The popular belief is that this pond was built in the time of Sivaji's coronation and water from the holy river Ganges had been brought to this lake for Sivaji's crowning ceremony. The villages and the resort on the top is getting drinking water all round the year from this magnificent lake. The all-embracing Palace and Queen's Chamber are located adjacent this lake. The remains of the watchtowers of the fort can be seen from this Lake.
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 and visit the Bankot fort at bagmandala, about 4 kms away.
Sivaji was an ardent follower of the Hindu religion. Jagadishwar temple built in his royal palace is a clear proof of his devotion. History says that Sivaji used to visit this temple daily. The dome at the top of the temple is the reflection of the mughal architecture of that time. The main deity is a Jagadeeswara idol, which inspires the devotee for its uniqueness. The temple holds an idol of Nandi outside, facing the entrance of the temple.
Jijamata Palace at Pachad holds significant place in the history of Maratha kingdom. Jijabai, the mother of Shivaji is credited for the greatness of Sivaji. Jijamata palace is the place where Jijabai, a lady of high values lived till her death. Unfortunately, this monument was destroyed by the British during their rule in India. What remains is only the ruins of the grand mansion.
This remarkable monument is now protected by the Archaeological survey of India. The samadhi of Jijabhai situates near to the ruins of the palace. The magnificence of the entire fort can be seen from this palace.
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.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary is two hour drive from Thane creek and Panvel. The sanctuary is open all through the year but the best time to visit the place is from October to April. Resident birds can be seen in any season of the year but the Migratory birds come between October and April. MTDC offers tents and Forest Departments has a rest house and cottages on the highway. In monsoon the still forest ruffled by the melodies of songbirds. Racket tailed drongo mimic the call of all other birds.
A small town on the bank of river Savitri, Mahad is famed for the water agitation mooted under the leadership of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. A 'Kranti Stambh' has been put up in memory of this agitation.
One of the important places to be visited in Mahad is the holy shrine of Shri Varad Vinayak Temple. It is one among the Ashta Vinayak shrines of the state. The temple's holy pond and Gomukh fills the devotee with devotion. What makes oneself wonder is the eternal lamp, which was burning since 1892 A.D. Memorial of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar is another major attraction here. A picturesque place with ancient monuments and caves, Mahad is a gate way to other tourist destinations in this region.
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.
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 three big guns 'Kalal Bangadi', 'Chavari' and 'Landa Kasam' are very famous.
There are two 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.
Raigad fort is a blend of numerous amazing structures, and the Queens Palace is one among them. The Queen's quarters in the fort consists of six chambers with each chamber having its own private commode with plumbing. The royal ladies were using these six rooms.
The Queen's palace was constructed using wood. The Queen's royal chamber is called Rani Vasa, and it's plenty of rooms and passages show the obvious privilege of the Queen. Some of the minarets in the Queen's palace are in good shape and the entire structure generates an elegant look. Placed between the Gangasagar and Kushwatra Talaos, the Queen's Chamber stands as a fabulous site to visit.
Raigad Fort, also called as 'the Gibralter of the east' was the invincible capital of the legendary king Sivaji. Placed at an altitude of 2700 feet on an irregular wedge-shaped mass of rock, Raigad fort is inaccessible from three sides. A massive fort, nested on a steep vertical rock face, appears defiant and insurmountable. This Fort presents a terrifying look and it is very difficult to get into the fort through the rocky path. All sides appear as if it fell down from a huge mass of solid rock. Raigad ropeway that is inaugurated recently, makes the ascent to the fort very easy.
Now the fort features certain new structures like the Samadhi of Shivaji and his loyal dog along with the ruins of the old structures. The most stunning site on Raigad Fort is the Balekilla, from where one can see the implausible views of the enchanting Sahyadris and the propitious Bhatghar Lake. The top of the Balekilla offers a panoramic view of the forts of Purandar, Vichitragad, Rayreshwar, Lohgad, Visapur, Tikona and Sinhagad. Though in a dilapidated state, this magnificent fort stands as a remnant of its past glory.
A tour to Raigad will not be complete without a visit to the Raigad museum, which is located at Lower Station of Raigad Fort. The museum has been created with the help of stalwarts of the Maratha history like Shri Ninadji Bedekar and Shri Babasaheb Purandare.
The museum exhibits photographs of various forts in Shivaji's empire, artifacts, farmans and weapons used in those historic times. A film show on the Raigad fort created by a panel of historians offers a preview of various facets of this illustrious monument and it makes the trip meaningful and unforgettable. Raigad Museum genuinely tries to depict the importance of Maratha Empire and is worthy for a watch.
Raj Bhavan is the palace of Shivaji Maharaj from where he administered his kingdom with his valour. The palace rests on a dual podium and had wooden columns to carry the grand structure. A palatial citadel, the Raj Bhavan witnessed so many glorious moments in the life of the great king. It is a marvelous creation that highlights the structural design of Maratha era. It holds two large water tanks by its side, which is believed to be the place for Royal Bath. Excellent toilet and drainage system and underground cellar is a special feature of the fabulous palace.
Raigad holds so many interesting routes to reach there, varying from the comparatively simple ones to the exigent. From Pachad, Raigad is an easy destination, but those who want to deviate from the ordinary path can opt the adventure-filled route either from Mahabaleshwar or Pune. Rock climbing in Raigad region is a worth attempting adventure. Scattered evergreen forests and fast wind makes the surroundings of this area very cool even during summers.
Raigad provides excellent place of rock climbing like Torana Fort, Lingana Fort, Nijampur Fort, Birwadi - Raigad Trek and Mangad - Raigad trek. Situated in the lap of the Sahyadri mountain range, Raigad is a center of enlivening peaks and vibrant ancient forts that are quite thrilling for climbers.
Takmak Tok, or the punishment point is the place from where Shivaji's enemies were brusquely chucked down into the valley. The rock face inclines down over 1200 feet and presents a tremendous vision of the Sahyadri hills and its dropping crevasses and over-folding edges.
Takmak Tok is amazing viewpoint for the visitor. The feeble at heart should abstain from tweeting into the valley from Takmok Tok, because it presents frightening slope of the valley. This point was the place to punish traitors by throwing them over the cliff. Visiting the cliff during summer mornings and monsoons should be avoided because it may lead to casualties.
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.