Alone on a high and remote hilltop, 24km off Hwy 66, the enthralling Raigad Fort served as Shivaji’s capital from 1648 until his death in 1680. The fort was later sacked by the British and some colonial structures added, but monuments such as the royal court, plinths of royal chambers, the main marketplace and Shivaji’s tomb still remain – it's worth an excursion.
You can hike a crazy 1475 steps to the top, but for a more ‘levitating’ experience, take the vertigo-inducing ropeway – actually a cable car – which climbs up the cliff and offers a bird’s-eye view of the deep gorges below. Be warned this is a very popular attraction with domestic tourists and you may have to wait up to an hour for a ride during holiday times. Guides (₹500) are available within the fort complex.