RAMSHEJ – The Undefeatable One

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Maharashtra soil is blessed with the history of lion-hearted Warriors like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Sambhaji Maharaj & many more. During their time, the Number of Warriors of the Maratha empire & Maavale Army battled against the enemies and not only won numerous forts to expand the empire but also they all protected the common people.

MARATHA ARMY
Source ; Pinterest (Shekhar Kadam)

Ramshej fort witnessed the war between Mughals and Chatrapati Sambhaji Raje(Son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj).  Mughal commanders threatened the Maratha saying that they would capture the Ramshej within an hour but over 600 Marathas fought against 50,000 Mughals and resisted them for almost 6 years and remains UNDEFEATED in battle at the end. The description of the battle of Ramshej was first to read in the documents of the Mughals and the true history came to light.

Bow down in a tribute to real heroes

INTRODUCTION

Ramshej is one of the rare fort in Sahyadri located north of Nashik that having both spiritual and historical importance.

Ramshej means Lord Ram’s bedstead. While in exile, Lord Ram had made this place as his residence for some time, which given the fort its name.

Statue of Lord Ram, Sita & Laxman in Ram Mandir of Ramshej

Although it is a short trek and also close to Nashik city which is ideal for the beginners, it also having a number of fortifications and temples to explore including ruins, rock-cut entrance, and several water tanks.

HISTORY

VALOR OF RAMSHEJ

First Chapter: Impregnable Marathas

After the death of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Aurangzeb came to Maharashtra and his only motive to completely destroy Hindavi Swarajya (Maratha Empire). Nashik was under command of Mughals so it would be easier to capture Ramshej for them.

To conquer Ramshej, Aurangzeb appointed Shahabuddin Firoz-e-Jung with 10,000 army and cannons in the year 1682. There were about 600 Mavale was on the fort with Killedar(Fortress) Suryaji Jadhav when Mughals first time seizes the Ramshej. Shahabuddin tightened the seize, dynamited the surrounding area and attacked the Ramshej fort by wooden bastion called ‘Dhamdhama’ which capable of enough to hold around 400 people and 50 canons. On unavailability of the stone canon, Killedar Suryaji made wooden canon and replied with a massive Stone attack from the canon. Thousands of Mughal Soldiers injured & died and armaments destroyed in this attack of Marathas. Because of the experience and intelligent strategy of Killedar Suryaji, Mughal’s attacked failed miserably. Sambhaji Raje sent Rupaji Bhosale and Manaji More with 7000 Mavale to break the seize and on the other hand, he also plundered all the logistics of Mughals in the night which was coming from Aurangzeb.

Source : Pinterest

Both the armies fought fiercely in which Mughals lost their soldiers in large numbers to the Maratha Army at the end. And that’s how this victory filled the Marathas in this first battle with enthusiasm.

Second Chapter: Streak Continue

Due to this retreat, Aurangzeb got agitated and send commander Bahadur Khan toward Ramshej and because of consistent failures, Shahabuddin left this war in between and Bahadur khan took the responsibility of this siege. He planned a new strategy were Army with Canons and instruments stationed at one side of the fort and keep the Marathas engaged so that other remaining force of Mughal would attack from the other side of the fort.

Sketch of Maavala army in Ramshej fort watching every movement of Mughal Army
Source: Internet

But again, Marathas already aware of this old strategy and divided their Mavala army into both sides of the fort which indirectly failed plans of Bahadur Khan & Mughals.

Third Chapter: Ghost of Marathas

Source : Marathisrushti

After several defeats from Marathas, Bahadur khan decided to take the help of Aghori Vidya(Black Magic) as the Mughal army thought the ghost of Marathas residing in Ramshej which preventing them from capturing the fort and so they called Tantrik to devise a new strategy. He advised Bahadur Khan for using a golden Serpent (Snake Statue) weighing 100 tolas which cost about Rs. 37,630 and lead the Mughal army to the Main gate of the fort. Khan followed his instruction but when they reached within the range of attack, Marathas again stated their stone attacks with more intensity. Tantrik got hit by one of the rock and the Serpent also felt on the ground from his hands and Mughals were aghast and left no option other than to retreat.  

Final Chapter: Invincible Ramshej

On the continues failure of Mughal commanders, Aurangzeb finally sent Kasimkhan Kiramani to march towards Ramshej, but he too failed to capture the Ramshej. Hence, the ferocious Marathas fought bravely for about 65 months and proved how strong their courage & also Ramshej is.

Source : Pinterest

Finally, Aurangzeb unhappily removes the siege of his army because of financial losses and with no other option, he also drops the idea of capturing the Ramshej fort.

In between the period of 1682-1687, Ramshej stands proudly even after receiving several attacks from Mughals. Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj paid homage to the Killedar Suryaji Jadhav with gemstone, costume, and hone (ancient currency) for this incredible feat.

It is said that the Mughal won Ramshej Fort later by paying a bribe to the new killedar.

Ramshej even captured by the British Army in 1818 after the fall of Trymbakgad fort. Captain Briggs describes that there were eight guns, 9 small cannons called jamburas and 21 jingals on the fort.

 CONSTRUCTION

 Most of the forts of the Maratha Empire were in Sahyadri’s cottages and dense trees. Ramshej Fort, however, is an exception. This fort near Nasik is in the plains. This fort can be seen from the entire Nashik.

The fort is located on a high tableland with escarpments on all sides. There are good steps on the eastern side of the fort which lead to the entrance gate.

BASE VILLAGE & REGION

Aashewadi is the only base village of Ramashej fort lies from 22 km from Nashik city in the Nashik-Gujrat road. It is in Dindori Taluka in Nashik District and also belongs to Khandesh and Northern Maharashtra region. 

Aashewadi Village from Ramshej

Ashewadi is surrounded by Peth Taluka towards west, Nashik Taluka towards South.

fortification

Entrance Gate

Entry Point of Ramshej fort that stands in Nashik-Gujarat Peth road. After entering from the gate, you need to walk 15 minutes to reach the base of the fort.  

Rock Cut Steps

Number of rock-cut steps just ahead of Ram Mandir.  

Ram Mandir

En-routing fort, there is a small temple of Lord Ram inside a huge cave. The cave is well maintained by the devotees and offers a nice place to stay. There is the temple of Lord Ram, Goddes Sita Mata, Lakshmana, Lord Hanumana, Goddess Durga Mata, Lord Gurudatta.

Gupt Water Cistern

It is a source of Portable water lies just below the Ram Mandir

Shilalekh

 Inscription on one side of the Mandir can be seen.

Source : Internet

Gupt Darwaja

One of the Secret Entrance of Ramshej located just ahead of Ram Mandir.

Dhanyakothar Guhaa

Wide Cave that lies just below of Gupt Darwaja was used as Granary.

Haud

  It is a kind of Manmade Basin that was used for bathing purposes.  

Flagpoint

A 15 Feet Bhagwa(Orange) flag of Maratha is hosted at one of a cliff of Ramshej facing Nashik City in the honor of all the Warriors of Marathas who faught bravely and even died while protecting Ramshej from Mughal attacks.

Pond

Connected Water tanks

Bhagwati Devi Mandir

Temple of goddess Bhagwati where people from base village celebrates Navratri Festival.

Ruins of Rajwada

A structure called “Veergal” or “Vetal” can be seen on the fort.

Rock cut Water tank:

2nd Gupt Darwaja:

There exists a secret tunnel that is inaccessible now. This hidden entrance gate on the eastern side of the fort that used to leads the path to Bhorgad fort.

Mahadarwaja

On the eastern side of the fort is the main entrance of the fort which is chiseled from the parent rock. It is constructed beneath the cliff, which is quite huge but devastated now.

Caves

It is nothing but the wonder of Ramshej fort. It having shivling that dip into continuously water stream as there is a hole in rock on the upper portion of the cave through which water stream that flows in the Mahadarwaja region falls into shivling continuously.

Shivling

Another small shivling with Nandi reside at one corner of the cave.  

Art

Surrounding

HOW TO REACH:

MUMBAI – NASHIK – NASHIK CBS OLD- PETH NAKA –ASHEWADI PHATA – ASHEWADI VILLAGE- RAMSHEJ FORT

From MUMBAI, catch any Express Train to NASHIK
– NASHIK CBS OLD via Local bus from Nashik Railway Station
– Catch ST Bus or  Auto to PETH Naka(2km from CBS)
– Catch ST toward Peth village and get down midway at signboard or entrance of Ramshej fort and start walking on tar road toward Ramshej otherwise, Hitchhike to Ashewadi phata  (13km from Peth Naka) and then walk towards Ashewadi village.

TREKKING

Trekking is Very easy for a experienced and easy for beginners or children or aged people. As it is one of the shortest trek in Sahyadri, it is suitable for all generations to visit.

It requires a maximum 1 hour from the Entrance gate to ascend and half an hour to descend.

TOTAL TIME TO COMPLETE :

It requires about 3 hours maximum to complete exploration.

FOOD & WATER FACILITIES

 Food arrangements must be made on our own.

There are several cisterns which are a source of drinking water all year round.

ACCOMMODATION

Ram Mandir is a good place to stay and can accommodate around 10 people at a time. Otherwise, you can set up a tent in the Flagpoint region.

PARKING : There is parking facility available at Base of Fort

BEST TIME TO VISIT 

 Mostly avoid visiting in Monsoon season because of rock steps are slippery sometimes and you cannot able to see surrounding views of Nashik city.

EXPENSES

Less than 200 Rs. By Public Transport (Excluding Food)

NEARBY PLACES

Chambar caves, Sunni Shai Masjid, Jain Mandir, Wagjai Mandir, Bhakti Dham, Someshwar Waterfalls, Balaji Mandir, Topavan Lokmandir, Nawsha Ganpati, Vardhavinayak Ganpati Mandir, etc

EXPERIENCE

Check out my trek experience of Ramshej fort which will give you more information about Ramshej :

Ramshej – Shortest trek diaries

Here is the DRONE VIEW of Ramshej fort by Subodh Pathare. Please do like and subscribe his channel for more such videos.

Final thought about Ramshej  

Unfortunately, the tale of this greatest feat of Maratha army has been deprived of the golden letter of history for some unknown reason. And as a result, the valor of this fort remains unknown to the history and for generations to come.”

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KEEP WANDERING..

– Wandering Mann

Note: I’m here to write an ‘Informative blog’ about the place I visited up till now, so I make sure I include each n every detail about that place. Since sometimes, I not able to do a complete exploration of respective places due to time restriction, therefore, I have included some of the content and pictures from the internet & other blogs which I also mentioned as SOURCE so that it’ll help you to complete exploration of the place. Also keep the note that all information in this website is for general information purposes only. Even though most of the information I gained my through personal experiences, Still I make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore, strictly at your own risk.

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