Pratapgad fort is a historical hill fort of Shivaji Maharaj. Let’s see information and history about fort and trek. This fort also hosted one the battle of Afzal khan with Shivaji Maharaj.
Location Address: Wada village, 21 km west of Mahabaleshwar, Satara District, Maharashtra (India).
Best Time To Visit: You can give a visit to this fort all year round. September to March is the ideal time to visit this fort. During this period, both rain and heat remain moderate.
Elevation: 3540 feet
Formation Year: 1656 CE.
Pratapgad Fort Information:
This is a giant fort situated at a height of 3540 feet in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It lies just 21 km away from the famous Mahabaleshwar Hill Station. Pratapgad is one of the best-developed hill forts in Maharashtra. This fort is nicely preserved by government authorities. It takes 2 to 3 hours to see all points on the fort and its surrounding. There are about 450 steps to reach the fort from a base village (Wada). The trek to this fort is pretty easy and suitable for everyone. Pratapgad fort now comes under the property of Udayan Raje Bhosale (13th holder of Chhatrapati title after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj).
This fort was built to protect the region of Nira and the Koyna River banks. Defending the Par pass was also the reason behind the construction of this fort. The location of the fort lies amidst the forest of Koyna wildlife sanctuary. One can see magnificent views of the surrounding Sahyadri Mountain Range from the top of the fort. Layers of mountain ranges standing behind each other look absolutely stunning![caption id="attachment_1586" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Great view of the fort![/caption]
Pratapgad Fort History:
The fort was built under the guidance of Moropant Pingale. He was the prime minister of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s the Maratha Kingdom. This fort is famous in the history because of the historical Battle of Pratapgad. This battle took place between Shivaji Maharaj and Afzal Khan on 10th November 1659. Afzal khan was the commander of the Bijapur Sultanate. Maharaj showed his sharp mastery over the huge army of Khan and killed him brilliantly. Bijapur army faced a hugely embarrassing defeat with a small but furious army of Maratha’s. Maratha’s lost this fort during the 3rd Anglo-Maratha War with British in 1818.
The construction of this fort was initiated in the year 1654 which was completed by 1656. It took a duration of around 2 years construct this fort because of its tedious location. The mountain on which fort stands is known as Gudhya Dongar. Mahadarwaja is the main entrance gate of the fort. There are steps to reach the stronghold which is quite small. Most of the architecture of Pratapgad fort is still intact due to its strong bastions. The fortification walls are in good shape and still handling the worst weather very efficiently.[caption id="attachment_1585" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Watch towers of the fort![/caption]
The fort can be distinguished in 2 parts – lower part and upper part. The lower portion of the fort is about 110 m wide and 320 m long. It contains temple of Bhavani Mata, tall towers, and high bastions. Whereas the upper portion has an almost square shape of 180 m side length. It comprises of few structures and a Shiva temple.
Places To See:
- Statue: There is a 17 feet high statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj besides his Palace. It was inaugurated on 30th November 1957 by a 1st prime minister of independent India –Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The statue is surrounded by small Pratap garden.
- Bhavani Temple: There is the temple of Mahishasurmardini Bhavani Devi just left to the Mahadwar. This temple also has a shivling inside it. Idol of the goddess is made from special stone brought from Nepal.
- Shiva Temple: Temple of lord Shiva is also present on the Pratapgad fort. It is popular by the name – Shri Kedareshwar Mandir.
- Bastions: The Kadelot Bastion, The Surya Bastion, The Kedar Bastion, The Afzal Bastion and The Rede Bastion are the parts of strong ramparts of the fort.
- Lakes: The Naske Lake & The Devi Lake are two lakes which are there on the fort.
- Watchtower: To keep an eye over the surrounding region, the watchtower was built just near the main entrance (Maha Darwaja). This tower is known as Afzal tower as people believe that the head of Afzal khan was buried exactly under this tower.
- Handicrafts Centre: While proceeding towards the fort from the base village – Wada, there is one Handicraft center which sells various handmade items.
©Aditya V Singh
IMPORTANT TOURIST INFORMATION
Timings/ Opening hours: Daily 10:00 am to 05:30 pm.
Time Required: 2-3 hours are sufficient to see the entire fort properly.
Difficulty Level: Easy. People of all age groups can climb on this fort easily.
How To Reach
Visitors can take their vehicles on the fort top. There is a proper motorable road till the main entrance of the fort.
- By Road: A large number of vehicles ply between Mahabaleshwar and other major cities in Maharashtra. After reaching Mahabaleshwar, you can catch private vehicles going to Pratapgad. 2nd option is to take a bus from Panvel to Poladpur in the late evening. Then catch a connecting bus from Poladpur to the base village (Wada).
- Nearest Railway Station: Satara road is the nearest railhead to reach Pratapgad fort. The station is 81 km away from the fort. A lot of private vehicles are available outside the station to reach over here.
- Nearest Airport: Pune airport is the closest airport to this fort. The distance between the fort and airport is 148 km.
Entry Fee/Ticket Charges: There are no entry charges to see this fort. But if you wish to hire a guide then local people takes 700-1000rs per visit.
Accommodation/ Stating Options: There are no proper staying options near the Pratapgad fort. You can find an accommodation somewhere near Mahabaleshwar. There are a large number of resorts, hotels, and lodges in Mahabaleshwar. You can choose any of them as per your requirement and budget.
Restaurants Nearby/ Eating Stuff:
The lakes on the fort have enough potable water until December. After that, you need to carry sufficient water along with you. Few restaurants are there in the fort vicinity which serves food to visitors. Local people in the base village (Wada) also provides food on request.
- Mahabaleshwar Hill Station
- Panchgani Hill Station
- Vasota Fort
- Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
- Sajjangad Fort
- Ajinkyatara Fort
Map To Reach:
Pratapgad fort is a good fort to visit with your family and friends. Kids can learn a lot about the history of Shivaji Maharaj by visiting this fort!