Saturday, July 31, 2010

Shriram Temple of Kargani

Kargani is a village in Atpadi tahasil of Sangli district of Maharashtra. Here is a very beautiful temple of lord Shriram. There are idols of Shriram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman inside the temple. There is a Shivlinga also in the temple. According to the folktale, lord Shreerama came here and the sword of Laxman felt from his hand here. Consequently the  Shivlinga appeared. Then Shreeram worshiped this Shivlinga.
Very beautiful design has been inscribed on the walls of the temple. The finishing of the stone  pillars is so smooth that you can see the mirror images of your fingers inside the black stone!!!.
I love the village because this is my birthplace. Here are some of the pics of the temple, you may like.
Shreeram Temple of Kargani
Design inscrideb on the walls of the temple
Design inscribed on the walls of the temple.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Shivneri : Shivaji Maharaj's Birthplace

Fort Shivneri, as seen from Junnar
Shivaji is known as the ideal king in the world. The great king Shivaji was born on this fort.  It is situated near Naneghat and in the valley of river Kukadi (Kusumavati). It is surrounded by the robust forts like Hadsar, Chavand, Jeevdhangad etc.  
Caves and water reservoir in the way to Shivneri via sakhali route.

There is temple of Hindu goddess Shivai. The name Shivaji was derived from the name of goddess Shivai
The history of this fort dates back to Satvahana era. After that it was under Yadava rule till it was captured by Malik Uttujar 1n 1443. Then it was under Mughal rule. In 1650 sixty rebel members, all from Koli  community were slaughtered on this fort. The place where the slaughter was carried out is still on the fort and is known as Koli Chauthara.
Sakhali Route to the fort.
   The main points on the fort are seven gates(Mahadarwaja), Ganga - Jamuna  twin water reservoir, Godawn (Ambarkhana),  Idgah, Badam  lake and the statue of Shvaji MaharajJijabai mother of king Shivaji, birth place of King Shivaji.

How to go?
Junnar is the base station for Shivneri. Above photograph has been taken from Junnar. You have to go to Junnar so as to visit the fort.
From Pune: Pune--> Narayangaon ---> Junnar.
The distance between Pune and Junnar is about 103 km. The fort is about 2km from Junnar. You can trek to top of the fort by Sakhali route or have a vehicle to drop you at the main entrance.

Birth Place of king Shivaji
Birth place of king Shivaji

Ruins of the buildings
Badam lake
Place of Kadelot. This is the place from
where offenders were thrown down in the
valley as punishment.

One of the gate of fort

Fortification of Shivneri
Temple of goddess Shivai 

Kulup Gate

Mena Gate

Ganesh Gate

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sajjangad : The fort of good people


            Saints have contrbuted a lot in creation of Swaraj, and Sajjangad is the witness of one of the devotions. Sajjangad is the holy place where Samarth Ramdas used to live. The tomb of Samarth Ramdas increases the importance of the place.
The fort was formly known as Parali. Ashwalayangad’, ‘Navarasatarawas another name of the fort in ancient time.  In Marathi ‘Sajjan’  means good people and ‘gad’  means fort, so in Marathi Sajjangad means ‘Fort of good people’. It was under Aurngzeib's rule for some time. Chhatrapati Sambhaji (son of King Shivaji) had spent some time here.
        Sajjangad  is situated in Satara district of Maharashtra. It is about 10-12 km from Satara, and one day trip to this fort from Satara can be arranged. You can reach very close to the fort through a vehicle, public transport is also available. There are two entrances (Mahadarwaja). There are two water 
reservoirs near temple of godess Aanglai.  It is said that, the idol of godessa Aanglai was found in the river Krishna near Angapur, a nearby village. There is a temple of god Ram on the fort.

These are the gates (Mahadarwajas) to the fort. Upper one if Shree Samarth Gate, named in the memory of Samarth Ramdas. Lower one is Chhatrapati Shivaji Gate, named in memory of King Shivaji.

This is drinking water reservoir. This is in use since ancient time. Today also people on the fort use this water for drinking.
The residence of Samarth Ramdas contains some artifacts that were dedicated to Samarth Ramdas by King Shivaji. These include the bed, some vessles etc.
The above picture shows the temple of god Ram. There is tomb of Saint Samarth Ramdas. Special thing about this temple is that, there is an idol of god Ganesh behind the Hanuman idol. The Hanuman idol is before the idol of god Ram. This arrangement is never seen anywhere.
This is the western side of the fort. The temple in above view is Dhabyacha Maruti temple. It is temple of  god Hanuman.. The road visible in above picture heads to Thosegar which is famous for waterfalls.

      Other interesting places on the fort are 'Dhabyacha Maruti', 'Brahmapisa temple', 'Ghodale lake', a mosque, 'Sonale lake' and 'Ramghal  buruj (a bastion).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Pratapgad is counted amongst the jweal forts in Sahyadri. In Marathi 'Pratap' means bravery, valor and 'gad' means fort, so 'Pratapgad' means 'The fort of valor'. This is one of the beautiful forts built by Raja Shivaji

  • History:  The fort was built by Raja Shivaji on the hill formely known as 'Bhorpyacha dongar'  (the hill of Bhorapya) in 1656. Moropant Pingle was appointed by Shivaji Maharaj to look after the construction of the fort. Moropant built many buildings on the fort such as royal court (राजसदर), Redka buruj (रेडका बुरुज), Yashawant buruj (यशवंत बुरुज), Kedareshwar Temple (केदारेश्वर मंदिर), Balekilla (बालेकिल्ला) and other buildings such as houses. Assacination of  Afzalkhan is the most important event that took place here in 1659. The event has casted such impression that it became an identity of the fort. Shivaji Maharaj belived that godessa Bhavani helped him to defeat Afzalkhan, so after that Shivaji Maharaj constructed Bhavani Temple (भवानी मंदिर) on the fort. The stone was brought from river Gandaki (in Nepal) to create the idol of the godessa Bhavani. Later before coronation Shivaji Maharaj had dedicated the Chhatrachamara (छ्त्रचामर ) of gold to the godessa Bhavani on 19th may 1674. The victory against Afzalkhan gave Shivaji Maharaj an important position in the contemporary politics. 
  • Views from Pratapgad:
            In east: Mahabaleshwar, Radtondicha ghat, Aambenali ghat, Jawali
            In west: Poladpur ghat, Konkan.
            In south:  Makarandgad, Chandragad, Kangorigad, Koyana valley, dense forest of Par.
            In north: Raigad.
  •   How to go?
 From Mumbai:
Mumbai---> Panvel --> Mahad --> Poladpur ghat --> Kumbhroshi wada --> Pratapgad
From Pune:
Pune --> Shirwal --> Wai --> Mahabaleshwar --> Kumbhroshi wada -->Pratapgad
From  Kolhapur:
Kolhapur--> Satara --> Medha --> Mahabaleshwar -->Kumbhroshi wada --> Pratapgad

  • When to visit?
One should give high priority to visit in summer or winter and should avoid visiting during rainy season. 

  • Here are some pics of Pratapgad you may find useful:

This is royal court of Shivaji Maharaj. This is the place where Khandoji Khopade was punished by Shhivaji Maharaj for his treachery. Khandoji had helped Afzalkhan against Shivaji Maharaj. Khandoji's left leg and right hand were cut as he was sentensed by Shivaji Maharaj. The royal court (राजसदर) is shown in above photograph.

The content  meaning "The valor and deeds of this King Shivaji is so great that he can only be compared with Alexander the great --Portuguese Governer, Goa" has been inscribed on the stage of the statue of Shivaji Maharaj on Pratapgad. The statue is shown in the above photograph.  

Pratapgad is one of the attractive forts in Sahyadri. One should visit it at least once.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Raigad the King's fort

Raigad is one of the most safe and most tough forts. It is known since 11th century. It is known by about 11 names, some of these are: Raigad, Rairi, Tanas, Rashiwata, Nandadeep etc.
Raigad is situated in Raigad district of Maharashtra. The area was known as Jawali, in 16th century which was very dense forest and was
under kingdom of Adilshaha. Chandrarao More was subordinate of Adilshaha who used to rule the region. At that time the fort was known by the name Rairy. In 1656 King Shivaji seized this fort from Chandrarao More in a battle and later renamed to Raigad.
Coronation (Rajyabhishekh) of Shivaji Maharaj was one of the most important event in the history of India which took place on Raigad. Henry Oxenden was present at the function in behalf of British East India Company. Other incidents include escape of Chhatrapati Rajaram (son of Shivaji Maharaj) to Jinji on March 25, 1689.
there are many place of historical reference are here some of these are tomb (samadhi) of Shivaji Maharaj, market, palace, royal court of Shivaji Maharaj, a temple of god Shiva
(Jagdishwar Mandir). There are some reservoirs these are Hathi Talab, Gangasagar Talab, Kushavart Talab etc. Other are Hirkani buruj, Khub lada buruj, Chitta Darawaja, towers in the palace. Takmak tok and Bhawani tok are among the attractions of the fort.
Most of the constructions on the fort were destructed by a division of British artillery in 19th century. So the fort contains only remains of the glorious history.
  • Geographical Place:
Raigad is situated in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is about 23km from Mahad, which is on Mumbai- goa highway. Pachad village is situated at the base of Raigad. The altitude of the fort is about 820m (2700 ft) above sea level.
  • How to go?:
Pachad is the base station for Raigad. In order to go to Pachad you have to reach Mahad. Here are some of the routes you may feel useful.

  1. From Pune: Pune---->Bhor---->Varandha Ghat---->Mahad---->Pachad---->Raigad
  2. From Mumbai: Mumbai---->Mahad ---->Pachad---->Raigad
  3. From Kolhapur: Kolhapur ---->Karad ---->Chiplun ---->Poladpur ---->Mahad ---->Pachad---->Raigad
  • When to visit? : The fort can be visited in any season of the year, but the most suitable time is after rainy season. It is most appropriate to visit from October to June, but people visit the fort throughout the year.
Time being Raigad is developing as a most holy historical place. The facility of roap-way is also available there. Please visit the fort atleast once. Here are some pics of the fort.
Tomb (Samadhi) of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Entrance of Palace

Jagdishwar Mandir
Main Entrance of Raigad

Mahadarwaja(Main Entrance) from Takmak tok

Palace on Rajgad

Rajsadar (Royal court) on Raigad

Remains of buildings on Raigad

Takmak tok
The Takmak tok is the most exciting place on the Raigad
Place of coronation of Shivaji Maharaj