Raigad district, a part of the Konkan division is a district of Maharashtra state with its administrative headquarters located at Alibagh town. The district got its name from the Raigad fort, which was the former capital of the Maratha leader, Shivaji Maharaj. The fort is located in the dense forests on a west-facing spur of the Western Ghats of Sahyadri range, an outskirts region of the district. In 1869, Kulaba district was carved out from the Thane district. At that time the northern portions of present day’s Raigad district were retained in Thane district. Till 1883, Panvel, just across the bay from Mumbai was not a part of the Kolaba district and Karjat, an area in the north-east corner of modern Raigad district was not under the Kolaba district until 1891. With the passage of time the name of the Kolaba district was changed to Raigad district.
Vinayak Narahari or Vinoba Bhave, an eminent Indian advocate of nonviolence and human rights was born on 11th September, 1895 at Gagode, Pen in the Raigad district. He is also popularly known for the Bhoodan Movement. The Government of India honoured him with prestigious award, Bharat Ratna in 1983.
Geographically, the district lies at 18052'N latitude, 73018'E longitude and 219 m altitude. In the year 2019, there was a total 41.10% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 7,152 sq km. and in terms of geographical area it occupies the ranks of 24th in the state and 128th in India. It is bounded by Thane district on the North, Mumbai Harbor on the North West, Ratnagiri district on the South, Pune district on the East and Arabian Sea on the West. Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season. The actual rainfall in the district was 3242.9 mm in the year of 2018-19.
Administration wise, the district is divided into 4 subdivisions namely Alibag, Panvel, Mangaon and Mahad. Moreover, it comprises 15 sub-districts, 42 towns and 1,860 villages. The administrative language in the district is Marathi.
According to 2011 census the district has a population of 26,34,200 out of which 13,44,345 are males and 12,89,855 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 959 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth rate in the district was 19.31% including 20.29% were males and 18.30% were females. The population density in the district is 368 persons per sq. km. In the year 2017 the number of live births in the district was 32,351 including 16,606 were males and 15,745 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 14,594 including 8,035 were males and 6,559 were females. As per 2011 the major religion in the district is Hindu with 85.01% of the total population. According to 2011 census he principal language in the district is Marathi with 80.06%.
The economy of the district is mainly based on both the agricultural as well as industrial sectors. The chief agricultural products in the district are coconut, sesame, fodder crops, paddy, etc. The adoption of the new agricultural technologies amongst the famers of the district helps to increase the production of various agricultural items. Industrially also the district is quite well developed. The district has a number of factories and mills likewise rice mill, paper and paper products, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cotton textiles, engineering products, fabrics, salt making, etc. Every year a huge chunk of revenue comes from the agricultural products in the district helps in its economy to a great extent. In the year 2017-18 the gross domestic product in the district was Rs. 56,44,500 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 46,07,600 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2011-2012. In the year 2013-14 the net domestic product in the district was Rs. 33,84,400 lakh at Current Price and Rs. 19,88,700 lakh at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005. In the year 2013-14 the Per Capita Income or NDDP, At Factor Cost in the district was Rs. 1,32,112 at Current Price and Rs. 77,631 at Constant Prices in the year 2004-2005.
The district is well known as an abode of several reputed educational institutions. It provides a platform for higher education. Prabhakar Patil Education Society, a significant society which regulates a large number of educational institutions in the district. As per 2011 census the literacy rate in the district is 83.14% out of which 89.13% are males and 76.92% are females.
Abdul Rehman Antulay, a veteran Indian politician and the 8th Chief Minister of Maharashtra state was born on 9th February, 1929 at Ambet village in the Raigad district. He was a member of the Indian National Congress, political party.
The district has several centres of attraction which allures many travellers from different parts of the country as well as world. Raigad fort is the very heart of Maratha country, which was the capital of Shivaji's kingdom. Varad Vinayak Ganpati temple, located at the Mahad village in the Raigad district which was founded by a devotee of Lord Ganesh called Paundkar in a lake near the temple almost three hundred and seventy five years back. Some other places of interest in the district are Hari-Harihareshwar Beach, Mandwa and Kihim Beach, Matheran, Murud Janjira Fort and many more.