It was a short vacation going on and we were planning to visit Pratapagd Fort in Mahabaleshwar. It was supposed to be a one day trip as the usual distance from Mumbai is ~6 to 7 hours (without traffic).
So we started our journey from Mumbai at 6 am in the morning and reached Pratapgad fort around 12 noon. Pratapgad fort is also close to other famous tourist attractions in Mahabaleshwar. One day trip will not cover all the places in Mahabaleshwar. If you wish to explore all the locations, then you would probably need to spend at least 2-3 days there.
Details about Pratapgad Fort in Mahabaleshwar:
Pratapgad (also called “Valour Fort”) is one of the historical forts in Maharashtra. It is located in Satara district, within the hills of Mahabaleshwar and is at a distance of 23 km from Mahabaleshwar depo.
Our journey started from Mumbai :
While starting our trip from Mumbai, we had 2 routes to reach Pratapgad. One via Pune and the other via Mahad. We headed via Pune (a bit longer route than Mahad to reach Pratapgad). You should preferably start your journey early morning and via the Mahad route.
While traveling on a bike, we had to follow the old Lonavala road as 2 – wheelers are not allowed on Highway.
We experienced the admirable view from Lonavala ghat on our way. People usually halt here for capturing fantastic views and enjoy snacks with these surroundings.
Once we started with the Western Ghats after crossing Mahad, we felt as if we are riding in heaven. The Western Ghats offer amazing beauty to experience.
After a long ride, we finally reached our destination that is the base of Pratapgad Fort.
Shamiyana at Pratapgad :
The fort is well structured. There is a Shamiyana (large decorated tent) built on the north side of the fort. It is said that Afzal Khan’s body was buried at this place. There exists a history behind this.
To elaborate in short words, there was a land battle going on between the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Adilshahi general Afzal Khan. It was also called as Battle of Pratapgad. After a lot of fights, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj sent the message to Afzal Khan. It stated that he did not want to fight anymore and was ready for peace.
To embrace this, a meeting was arranged between both of them. This Shamiyana was built for Afzal Khan to stay with his forces for the meetup with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Eventually, Afzal Khan planned to kill Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. When Shivaji Maharaj came to meet him, he strangled Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with his grip and pierced his dagger in him. But being a warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was always ready to face challenges.
He already wore an armor coat under his clothes which saved him. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj further used the “wagh nakha” (tiger claws) to defend himself and splashed into Afzal Khan’s stomach.
Exploring the Pratapgad Fort:-
The fort has well-built stairs with an amazing historical touch. The majority of the fort structure contains old rocks. Some parts are reconstructed as they were destroyed.
We started ascending towards the fort through these stairs. The fort is basically large and has multiple parts. At the first stage, the fort is well built with the surrounding fence of rocks. There is a small pinnacle at the north end with a flag hoisted at its top.
This fort also contains some old historical antiques. There are also cannons at the fort which were used by the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The second stage of fort needs to be explored with continued stairs which led to a small Bhavani Temple, local villagers, a great store with all the vintage artifacts and a stupendous statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. There is also a huge well on the fort. The store contains a wide range of books, artifacts, vintage cars, and some gift type articles which are priced at reasonable rates.
We witnessed the sunset after approaching and completing our second stage.
Although the fort is not as big as other forts, it surely serves the best history of all time.
We will be glad to hear about your experiences and any other information if missed by us!