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Surgad Fort (Raigad)

surgad or God's Fort (T. Roha) in the north-east of the Roha taluka and eight miles east of Roha town, consists of a long and exceedingly narrow spur running south from the range of hills which separates Roha from Alibag and Nagothana. On either side stretch flat rice lands from which the hill is separated by a thick belt of forest. Towards the top the hill becomes a mass of compact dark basalt, almost bare of vegetation. Between it and the main range of hills on the north runs a ravine or chasm about 150 feet deep, and to the south the spur stretches into a low range of woody hills, which, after about two and a half miles, fall into the plain near the village of Poi.



From the north, east, or west, the hill is singularly bold and rugged, sheer walls of rock without a trace of masonry. Surgad can be climbed either from the north or from the south. From the south the path leads up the western face of the spur, over rocks and brushwood, to a nearly level grassy ledge, on which stands a modern temple of Ansai Bhavani. Leaving the shrine on the left the path leads to the southern end of the fort, along the face of the rocky escarpment, which is the chief and in most places the only defence of the hill. Probably the path was once provided with a flight of stone steps. A few remain at the bottom of the escarpment, but most are gone and all that remains on the rock are a few made holes. The hill-top is singular, a nearly level ridge about three quarters of a mile long and nowhere more than 150 yards broad. By this path the entrance to the fort is about 800 yards from the south end of the ridge. This part of the fort contains very little of interest. It is almost separate, a natural bastion with a. small rectangular reservoir, which is said never to hold water after the end of March. There is also a ruined temple of God Maruti, of which the plinth and a large image of the god are all that is left. This point commands an excellent view to the south and east. To the south a long wooded spur runs from Surgad close to the central range of hills, which divide Roha into nearly equal parts. From the narrow space between them, the Kundalika or Roha river can be traced east to near the point where it issues from the adjoining Sudhagad peta. Close behind this point, two hills, of no great height but of somewhat striking appearance, mark the village of Jamganv in the extreme east of Roha. North of these are two other little detached hills, close to the village of Kudli. Behind them, a series of parallel spurs stretch, from the line of the Sahyadris, north, till they are hid by the range of the hills to which Surgad belongs. Near where they disappear is the fortified peak of Kurdu or Visramgad on the border of the Manganv taluka.