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Shivtharghal fort , Shivtharghal Mahad
Whenever we talk about the era to which Shivaji Maharaj belongs, we cannot forget those ones who were behind the legendary hero. Shahaji Raje, Jijamata and of course, Samarth Ramdas Swami. The place where Ramdas resided after 1649 was a huge cavern, which came to be called as Shivthar Ghal (Ghal means cavern). This was where his famous ”Dasbodha” was written. Adorned by exotic nature, this place is worth visiting.
History: The Mores ruled over the region of Javali where Shivthar Ghal is situated. This place is strategically important and very difficult to conquer. These people were serving Adilshah, but even he had no powerful control
over them. Chandrarao was the title conferred upon them by Adilshah. Shivaji Maharaj defeated them and brought this region under his control in 1648. Ramdas Swami came to reside here in 1649, and stayed till 1660. Dasbodha was written here. Before proceeding on “Dakshin Digvijay”, his great campaign in the southern India in 1776, Shivaji Maharaj took Ramdas Swami’s blessings here. For many years this place was undiscovered. However in 1930, 300 years after Shivaji Maharaj was born, Shankar Krishna Dev, an eminent follower of Ramdas Swami, discovered this great pilgrimage.
Fascinating spot: Ascending the steps we reach the building constructed by “Shivthar Ghal Shree Sunder math Samiti”. The organization has provided many facilities to all who come to this sacred place. They have maintained the sanctity of the place and keep it clean. In the main hall we see a portrait of Ramdas Swami. A small well-built path leads to the main cavern where Ramdas Swami used to meditate. This place is beyond our imagination. No words can describe its beauty. A waterfall outside the cavern adds to the beauty of the place. We can realize why Ramdas Swami chose this place to compose Dasbodha. On the plateau above the cavern, there are remnants of the palace of Chandrarao More, the sworn enemy of Swarajya. From here we can have a glimpse of Rajgad, Raigad, Pratapgad and Torna.
Food facility: One should carry the raw materials, and can people there prepare the food.
Water is available in all seasons.
Getting Activities to do :
By Air :
Mumbai is a nearest airport.
By Rail :
Mahad is a nearest railway station.
By Road :
This place is situated at: 1. 30km from Mahad 2. 200km from Mumbai 3. 90km from Pune S.T. buses ply regularly from Mumbai, Kalyan and Pune to Mahad. Vehicles can take us up to the foothills of Shivthar Ghal. From here we have to ascend about 100 steps to reach the cave. This is the most convenient and trodden way. The villages that we pass through are Kumbhe Shivthar, Kasbe Shivthar and Ambe Shivthar. Another way to the cavern is through Kasbe Shivthar. One has to come via Gopya Ghat from Pune and has to follow the following route; Rajgad-Bhutonde-river Belvandi-Mountain of Kumbale-Gopya Ghat-Kasbe Shivthar-Shivthar Ghal. The route is tough and time consuming.