Hang at about 1000 ft and have a 360-degree view of the landscape down. Thrilling and spine-chilling! Slowly move down until you reach a ledge at 300 feet. One misstep and it is a straight drop of 700 feet. Carefully trudge along the ridge and trek back to the top. That’s all about rappelling at Takmak Tok, Raigad.
Raigad Fort, near Mahad, Maharashtra, was Shivaji’s capital. It was at Raigad that he was titled Chathrapathi. Attacked and destroyed by the British, the fort is now in ruins. The queen’s quarters, durbar hall, and marketplace are still discernible among the ruins. The Takmak Tok cliff, from which convicts were thrown to their death, offes superb view from top.
When NatureKnights announced rappelling at Takmak Tok with Pradeep Kelkar, it was irresistible. There was a surprise element in this event. Rappel down a few feet and there is an overhang. A person waits there to guide you traverse the overhang. From top, we can see only till the overhang. What happens below was the surprise. Once you cross the overhang, you hang several feet away from the hill. There is no rock face to keep your feet, and you hang on the rope, rotating. Look down if you dare and it is terrific! Just cross legs and inch down on the rope till you reach the ledge, where people are waiting to guide you back to the top.
There is a ropeway that takes you to the fort. For the more energetic, there are steps as well. MTDC resort functions on top of the fort. Staying in the cottages and exploring the fort is a nice experience.
Raigad fort is near Mahad, which is on the Mumbai – Goa highway. Mumbai to Mahad is 160 kms. Just before Mahad, the road to Raigad fort turns left. It is about 28 kms to the base of the fort. There is an MTDC resort on top of which offers basic facilities. Winter is the best time to go.