2012-05-03 10:25:41
Raigarh is a city and a Municipal Corporation in Raigarh district in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. It is the administrative headquarter of Raigarh district. Major languages spoken are Chhattisgarhi.Prior to Indian Independence, Raigarh was a Princely state. The former king and his sons still live here. They still lead a royal life, but with no rent to collect, their palace - Moti Mahal - is in a very bad shape. It was declared a heritage site very recently by the state government.Raigarh is now famous for its cultural heritage with its own Kathak Gharana-Raigarh Gharana and its annual classical music concert-Chakradhar Samaroh. It is also on the industrial map, with the World's largest sponge iron plant and 62 industries surrounding this hill city.Raigarh is famous for its 'kosa' or tasar(a kind of fine silk created by the silk worm feeding on mulberry fruit)It has transformed into a growing industrial hub for the steel market. Just 8 km from Raigarh city is the world's largest sponge iron and steel plant owned by Jindal Steel and Power Limited. It has provided employment to large number of people. The chairman of the company is the renowned MP, Naveen Jindal.The Jindal township also includes, O. P. Jindal School, O. P. Jindal Institute of Technology,O.P.Jindal College, O.P. Jindal General Hospital and Heart Research Centre among many modern amenities.
In addition to all, Raigarh has varied tourist attractions including Ram Jharna, Chandrahasini Temple, Singhanpur and Kabra Pahad caves, Teepa Khol, Gomarda National Park.
Apart from these mainstream attractions, 'Dhokra Casting' or 'Bell Metal Casting' is world acclaimed art form of Raigarh. Based in the village of Ektal, the bell metal structures are famous for their aesthetic value.
Tendu patta collection is one of major source of economy for villagers, Raigarh District is one of major producer of rice.KIT(Engineering College ) is Presitigous engineering College in Chhattisgarh. Raigarh was Shivaji’s capital, the hill fort where he was crowned (1674 AD) and where he died (1680 AD). Strategically situated on an irregular wedge-shaped mass of rock, detached from the main body of Sahyadri Mountains by a deep valley and inaccessible from three sides, Raigarh is 210kms south of Mumbai and 27kms north of Mahad. The fort’s 5.12sq.kms hill-top plateau has three main points Hirakani in the west, Takamak in the north and Bhavani in the east. There is only one pathway to Raigarh, probably in keeping with Shiviaji’s strategy “the fort’s approach should be easy for friends and impossible for foes”. A motorable road leads to Chit Darwaja, about 2kms from Pachad, the village at the base, where lies the Samadhi of Jijabai, Shivaji’s mother. A long climb from Pachad takes one to the Mahadarwaza, flanked by two massive bastions and a high curtain wall.
The top plateau is covered with a large number of remains of buildings and reservoirs. Behind the Ganga Sagar reservoir are two high towers, in Muslim style. Behind the towers is the Balekilla or citadel, entered by the Palakhi-darwaza. On way to the right are remains of chambers of women of Royal families and on the left those of the Darbar of Shivaji. On a low mound in the centre is the site of Shivaji’s throne. Further north is the two-row market place, the Jagadishwar temple in an enclosure and the Samadhi of shivaji, and also that of his favourite dog, Waghya.The history of Raigarh, earlier known as Rairi, is obscure. In the 12th century Rairi was a seat of the Shirke-Palegar family. After changing several hands, it was captured by Shivaji from Chandrarao More in 1656 AD. Shivaji chose Rairi for his capital and renamed it as Raigarh. The gigantic construction work was entrusted to Abaji Sondeve and Hiroji Indulkar. In its heyday Raigarh had more than 300 houses, and structures. After Shivaji, the fort remained in the hands of Sambhaji till 1689 AD, when it was captured by the Mughals. Reverted to the Marathas in 1735 AD, Raigarh was surrendered to the British in 1818 AD.Pictures: South-western view of Raigarh from Pachad, the base village (above), and remains of buildings in the fort (insert). The 12-sided two-storey towers (below).