Raigad district with a length of 160 Kms North-South and its breadth ranges from 24 Km to 48 Kms East to West. The district has a coastal line of 160 Km. It is located in between 17052’ and 190 08’ North latitude and 720 51’ and 730 40’ East longitude covering an area of 7148 Sq. kms.
The district is bounded by Thane district on the North, Arabian sea on the West, Ratnagiri district on the South, and Pune & Satara district on the eastern side of the district The district Head quarter is Alibag. The total population of the district is of (2001) 2207929 souls.
The topographic set up of the district is very uneven and rugged. The coast line is characterized by alternative bluffs and curved bays having narrow hinterlands. The central region of the district has many plateau and hills rising from the valleys. The Eastern part of the district is much rugged merging with the Sahyadris which are running North South direction. The eastern horizon is marked by Sahyadri hills.
In the western direction with a steep slope dropping from 869 mts. at Raigad to 3 mt. above M.S.L. at Shrivardhan.
The drainage system of the district may be divided in to three groups as follows:
The northern region : Drained by river Panvel,Ulhas, Patalganga, and Amba.
The central region : Drained by Kundalika, Mandad
The south region : Savitri and its tributaries
The peculiarities of the drainage system of the district is that all rivers are westerly following.
The entire district is covered by basaltic lava flows known as “Deccan Traps” of upper Cretaceous to lower Eocene age. The lava flows were poured out of the long and narrow fissures in the earth's crust and are spread in the form of horizontal sheets. The thickness of the Lava flow is nearly 762 mt to 865 mt. around Matheran plateau and Raigad fort respectively. The individual flows vary in thickness from few meters to as much as 25 mt. or even more.
Megascopically the basalt of the district can be grouped into aphinitic hard and compact basalts and vesicular Amygdaloidal basalts filled with silicates minerals. The Lava flows in the district have been intruded by innumerable dykes especially in the northern part of the district, one ring dyke is also observed at Mahad.
The laterite and bauxite are seen on plateau tops in the middle and coastal tracts of Roha ,Murud, Shriwardhan taluka and also in Pen and Matheran. The thickness of laterite varies between few mt to 24 mts. Patches of alluvium are seen along the banks of the Patalganga, Amba and Kundalika river.
The thickness of the coastal alluvium ranges from 3 to 9 mts.
Straligraphic succession of the district is as follows:
Reddish coloured porous lateritic formation
Yellowish dark brown vesicular and tabular vesicles of Bauxite formation
Alluvium deposit of fresh water consist of fine sand, silt and clay
Coastal alluvium consist of sand, shale, Matrix in calcareous material.
Coastal area of Shrivardhan Murud, Mhasla and part of Pen
Part of Panvel near Kalundri river basin
Coastal parts of Alibag, Murud, Mhasla and Shrivardhan
Lower Eocene to upper creataceous
The deccan trap formation
consit of hard massive, fine grain, black coloured, jointed and fractured or coarse grain, greyish coloured highly weathered. Vesicular trap rock filled with secondary mineral like silicates, zeolities.
Almost all over the district
The district is divided into seventeen watersheds. The groundwater occurs in weathered mantle, fractures and joints in deccan trap.
The depth of wells ranges between 3.50 to 8.50 mt. bgl. The SWL in winter ranges between 1 to 3.50 mt and swl in summer ranges between 4 to 8.00 mts. Majority of the wells goes dry in the summer season due to poor productive aquifer.
The yield of the wells tapping in the trap is poor to moderate. Wells are mainly used for seasonal crops.
In the coastal part of the district ground water occur in sandy formation. The depth of the wells ranges from 3.50 to 7.00 mt. bgl. The swl in winter ranges between 1.5 to 2.50 mt. and swl in summer ranges between 3.50 to 6.50 mt.
Important tourist attractions in the district include Elephanta Cave in Gharapuri Island of Uran taluka and Matheran in Karjat taluka, Raigad Fort in Mahad taluka and Shirdhon Fort in Panvel are important historical places. The town Harihareshwar in the district is known for its tranquil and picturesque beach.
There are nine forts in the district Raigad and Janjira is famous among them. Raigad, the capital of Shivaji Kingdom, Bronze Statue of Shivaji and the Spartan samadhi where the last remnants of that great warrior are sheltered beneath a chhatri.
The district is famous for paddy and large area of land have been brought under paddy cultivation. In addition coconut, Kokum and Arecanut trees present a beautiful landscape of the district. Marathi is the local language of the district and rice, fish curry are quite popular. Gauri-Ganpati and Shimga (Holi) are the most important festivals of the district.
In Raigad district there are hot springs at village Unhere of Sudhagad taluka and at village Sav in Mahad taluka. No major earthquakes since 1967. Eastern part of the district faces scarcity. Due to heavy rainfall natural disaster like landslides occurred in the Mahad and Poladpur talukas of the district.