The district was renamed after Raigad - the fort that was the former capital of the Maratha leader Shivaji Maharaj. Fort is located in the interior regions of the district, in dense forests on a west-facing spur of the Western Ghats of Sahyadri range.
Raigad district is bounded by Mumbai Harbour to the northwest, Thane District to the north, Pune District to the east, Ratnagiri district to the south, and the Arabian Sea to the west. It includes the large natural harbor of Pen-Mandwa, which is immediately south of Mumbai harbour, and forming a single landform with it. The northern part of the district is included in the planned metropolis of Navi Mumbai, and its port, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port.
The district includes towns/cities of Panvel, Alibag, Mangaon, Roha, Pen, Khopoli, Kharghar, Taloja, Khalapur, Uran, Patalganga, Rasayani, Nagothana, Poladpur, Alibag, Karjat and Mahad. The largest city both in area and population is Panvel. The district also includes the isle of Gharapuri or Elephanta, located in Uran which has ancient Hindu and Buddhist caves.