July 18, 2015

Fort Pratapgad (Pratapgarh Killa)

If you are visiting Mahabaleshwar, and have 3-4 hrs to spare, Fort Pratapgad is worth visiting, which is approx 25 KM away from Mahabaleshwar. If you are in Mahabaleshwar for 2 or 3 days stay, count this fort in your travel list. From Pune it is 150 KM, from Mumbai it is 200, and from Satara it is approx 70 KM.
Pune - Panchgani - Mahabaleshwar - Pratapgad Road - Pratapgad Fort
Mumbai - Khopoli - Pali - Kolad - Mahad - Poladpur - Pratapgad Rd, Rajpuri - Fort

We saw many waterfalls during the ghat area on the way to Pratapgarh on the road side, which would bloom during peak monsoon season. During monsoons, visibility is quite low, due to dense fog, so drive carefully specially on turns and hairpin bends. You can reach out to parking place by vehicle, and then by walk and by climbing the stairs to reach the top. There are step numbers also marked at many places. There would be approx 400 stairs to climb but its not really tiring, when you reach on the top and see the views, these are really worth. During the stair route, there are many shops who sell souvneirs and snacks. Quite a variety of Maharashtrian food options are available at reasonable price. As Tanuj was quite inquisitive about Maharashtrian Delicacies, we tried all varieties.

This fort has a great historical significance...Afzalkhan, enemy of maratha empire came to this fort with the plan to kill Chhatrapati Shivaji, but Chhatrapati Shivaji defeated him even though he was much younger than Afzalkhan and later Chhatrapati Shivaji built a huge Maratha Empire. Thats a short history of this fort.

There is a small garden on top with a big statue of Chhatrapati situated is in the center. We bow our head in respect to the Maratha warrior king. The place was covered with fog blanket during most of the times, which makes this place more beautiful. The sun was playing hide and seek, whereas side mountains were covered with dense fog, sometimes sunlight and shadows. It feels fresh and lively, once you reach the top and with rains, it was even more beautiful. 

Fort is divided into several parts. From the fort, you can watch out below points within and breathtaking views outside the fort:

Afzalkhan Tomb
Ancient Cave (Shivkaleen Guha)
Ancient Lake (Shivkaleen Taalab)
Bale Killa
Cannon Attack Points
Chhtrapati Shri Shivaji Maharaj Statue
Jawali Valley (Jawali Khore)
Kokan Darshan
Mahabaleshwar View
Main Gate
Makarand Fort (Makarand Garh)
Pratap Garden (Pratap Garden)
Punishment Point
Royal Court (Rajdarbaar Sadar)
Royal Path
Shri Bhawani Mata Temple
Shri Hanuman Temple
Shri Kedareshwar Temple
Under Ground Tunnel (Chorwaat)
Watch Tower

Best way to cover the fort, is to stroll around the fort wall fencing which has stairs and flat areas to walk. It took us 3 hours to be back to parking place. I am not sure if Maharashtra can learn from Rajasthan on how to maintain forts and monuments; but by government, local people, and tourists collaboration and efforts, we can maintain these places. As of now, this place really requires maintenance, the bathrooms are very bad, try to avoid them. Just be careful of the monkeys here. :) I just loved this place and being with Meenal and Tanuj, it added on to the fun.


Rajat said...

Bottom 2 photo good s. How much time it take to cover mahabaleshwar nd fort both. Can cover in same day or more require.

Shubham Bhide said...

thanks for the info. we are going there next month......

Shubham Bhide said...

Is ther good breakfast and lunch for group of people? any advancce booking at top of the fort.

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