He made the fort his capital in 1674.
Like all other hill fortresses Raigad fort also faced many dynastic altercations and so many dynasties ruled over here. Basically it was the hub of Maratha Subedars in 12th century. From 1479 to 1639 it remained with Nizamshahi rulers of Ahemadnagar who handed it over to Adilshahi dynasty of Bijapur. But it came to its full glory only after 1648 when Shivaji Maharaj took it under his control. After Shivaji, his son Sambhaji ruled here. In the year of 1818 the British had taken possession of it.
Built on a sheer vertical rock, the fort is inaccessible from three sides. There are three points – Bhawani in east, Hirakani in west and Takmak in north. Shivaji’s strategy was that it should be easily accessible to friends and impossible to the enemy. At the foothills in the village Pachad is the samadhi of Mata Jijabai, mother of Shivaji. At the height of 24 km. from here is Chit Darwaza. After reaching still higher, comes Mahadarwaza, the main entrance to the fort.
At the top of the mountain there are many water reservoirs. Ganga sagar is one of them. There are two double story towers nearby with the windows made in Muslim design. Behind these towers entering through Palkhi Darwaza comes Balekilla Durg. This is the entrance used by King and his convoy to enter the fort. To the right of Palkhi Darwaza are three deep and dark chambers. These were food storage chambers of that time. The main entrance is in the south. To the right of it are seven huge houses built for women. To the left of it is Chauki and the court of shivaji. The walls of the court are still standing. In the centre is the throne of the king. The court has been designed in such a way that the rays of the sun reach the foot of the throne directly.
In the people’s court the throne is just like the main throne, placed in front of Nagarkhana Darwaza. It is designed in such way that one can listen to the king from the entrance. Meena Darwaza is also here which was the special entrance for the royal ladies and queens.
Takmak Tok is also one of the place of interest here. This is the execution place for the proclaimed criminals. On reaching still higher, the Samadhi of Shivaji Maharaj and his pet dog Waghya can be seen. Apart from the ruins of many buildings and houses the ruins of markets and shops can also be seen here. The shops here were built in such a way that one could shop simply sitting on the horse.
Regular bus service is available from Pune to the fort which is just 126 km. from here. The facility of cable car is also available here that takes you to the top, through the clouds and whistling winds in just 4 minutes.